Woodford Folk Festival 2017/18 Reef Think Tank Series
The Woodford Folk Festival in conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will present an ambitious series of talks at this year’s festival, examining the current health and future security of one of Australia’s and the world’s greatest natural assets – the Great Barrier Reef.
The Reef Think Tank Series will feature some of the world’s leading experts on the Reef and global marine health, who will dissect ideas on global marine world heritage, the value of the Great Barrier Reef, new technologies and those tasked with protecting and managing our reef.
2018 is the third International Year of the Reef, a campaign to strengthen global awareness of the value and threats to coral reefs to ensure their survival.
International guests Dr Fanny Douvere, UNESCO and Dr Brian Von Herzen, Climate Foundation, will join Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and other guests at The State of the Reef Forum, to discuss the work under way to protect the Reef.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said featuring The Reef Think Tank Series highlighted the importance of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
“The vibrant Woodford Folk Festival plays an important role in growing tourism and supporting regional jobs in Queensland, but it goes a step further to highlight important issues for our state and urges people to think outside the square,” Ms Jones said.
“The speakers involved in this programme, including Dr Fanny Douvere and Dr Brian von Herzen, are pushing boundaries to ensure our amazing natural wonder is around for many years to come and the beauty of the Reef is protected through scientific research and conservation.
“I congratulate the Woodford Folk Festival team on this year’s Think Tank Series.”
Other speakers presenting throughout the week long festival include; former president of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Professor Emeritus at the Griffith University School of Natural Sciences, Professor Ian Lowe, the Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Russell Reichelt, and the first ever Minister for the Reef the Hon. Steven Miles MP, who has secured record funding for reef protection.
Adding to the discussion will be Deloitte economics and public policy experts Claire Atkinson and Kelly Heaton, as well as representatives from Queensland’s tourism industry including ecological crusader and co-owner of Lady Elliot Island Peter Gash and the CEO of Queensland’s peak tourism industry body Daniel Gschwind, marine debris initiative founder Heidi Taylor and Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is the charity for the Great Barrier Reef, raising funds for projects grounded in science, technology, engineering and on-ground action to protect and restore the natural treasure.
Managing Director Anna Marsden says she’s optimistic about the future of our beloved World Heritage-listed icon.
“There are clever, talented and passionate people on this planet who are working in marine science and management,” Ms Marsden said.
“I think all Australians feel they’ve heard so much bad news around the Great Barrier Reef and the reality is there is lots of good news to share.
“We hope to shift that with this year’s Woodford programme.”
To illustrate innovations in the field of Marine Science, experts will share with ticket holders insights into how they’re doing things differently.
QUT robotics specialist Dr Matthew Dunbabin is known internationally for his research into using robots for environmental management of the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish while Dianne Sciacca is the co-creator of the sustainable ‘ecoganic’ farming system – a new way of farming without reliance on chemicals, fertilisers and insecticides.
Woodfordia Inc. General Manager Amanda Jackes says Woodfordia is the perfect context for important discussion.
“Inspiring thinkers, innovators and doers are right at home here,” Ms Jackes said.
“Through art and celebration people are able to relax, turn their thoughts to the kind of world they’d like to live in and what’s important to them.
“From there anything is possible.”
Now in its 32nd year, the Woodford Folk Festival has become known around Australia and internationally as a leader in contemporary arts programming.
The Woodford Folk Festival plays host to an aggregate audience of 132,000 at a dedicated 500-acre festival site known as Woodfordia, one hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Held every year between 27 December and 1 January, the 6-day festival is Australia’s largest gathering of performers.
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