Upcoming Events

Women of the Reef Forum

Venue Grand Ballroom at the Pullman Cairns International, Abbott Street, Cairns

Date 10th August 2022 Time 6:00 – 8:30pm

58th annual Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference, Cairns, Queensland

The Great Barrier Reef is a national and international icon that supports a diversity of species and habitats and the world’s largest coral reef system. The region is also a global leader in research, resourcing and implementation of evidence-based management and Indigenous-led processes. Examples include the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan, declared in 2004, which continues to be a world leader in large-scale ocean zoning; and the Australian and Queensland government’s overarching framework for protecting and managing the region, the Reef 2050 Plan, which is supported by an unprecedented investment of $3 billion. Despite these achievements, the integrity of the Great Barrier Reef is increasingly threatened by cumulative pressures, especially climate change. The challenges associated with sustainable use of this iconic region illustrate the need to empower Traditional Owners, build adaptive capacity in reef communities, and increase connections between science and practice to support actions for transformative change in reef management. The Women of the Reef Forum begins with a panel discussion featuring five women leaders in research, industry and management with in-depth knowledge on the past, present and future of Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.  Topics to be covered during the discussion include status and trends in reef health, climate change impacts, management opportunities, Indigenous leadership, and careers and networking in reef-associated industries. The panel discussion will be followed by a catered networking event to support the development of new relationships and the trade of information and ideas.

MC: Dr Maxine Newlands Moderator: Associate Professor Alana Grech


  • Dr Michelle Dyer, Assistant Director Social Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • Professor Helene Marsh, Emeritus Professor in Environmental Science, James Cook University
  • Ms Sheriden Morris, Managing Director of the Cairns-based non-profit Reef and Rainforest Research Centre
  • Dr Carly Randall, benthic and restoration ecologist, Australian Institute of Marine Science

Past Events

Women of the Reef network/Women of the Reef research

Venue Board Room, Level 4 Room 407, JCU City Campus, Townsville

Date 21st June, 2022 Time 3:00 – 5:00pm

Associate Professor Kerrie Foxwell-Norton and Dr Deb Anderson share their research from the project, The Women of the Great Barrier Reef: The Untold Stories of Environmental Conservation in Queensland. Deb and Kerrie’s research shines a light on the stories of women who have been involved in the protection and conservation of the Reef, amplifying their voices and capturing a history of the Reef untold. Their talk is part of a broader Women of the Reef research project that supports a history of women’s contribution to the care and conservation of the Reef since the 1960s. In amplifying the role of women in the story of the Reef, they aim to illuminate the ways discourse on the Reef and its women sit at the intersection of biography, culture, politics and place. Deb and Kerrie are recipients of the Queensland State Library’s John Oxley Fellowship (2020).

This event will be available in-person and on Zoom: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android here Password: 715587

WoTR members will have an opportunity to continue their informal conversations during a catered afternoon tea.

Location: Board Room, Level 4 Rom 407, James Cook University City Campus, Townsville, QLD Australia

Women of the Reef: SAGE Athena Swan

Venue Collaborative Learning Area, Level 3 Room 306, JCU City Campus, Townsville

Date 12th May 2022 Time 3:00 – 5:00pm

Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is a national program promoting gender equity and diversity in science, technology engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). It is based on the principles of the UK’s Athena SWAN Charter, an evaluation and accreditation framework that addresses the improvement of gender equity policies and practices in STEMM.

James Cook University and AIMS are a member of SAGE, and were both awarded Bronze accreditation in 2020. Our speakers Associate Professor Theresa Petray (JCU) and Sharon Barnwell (AIMS) will provide an overview of the self-assessment process and the tangible actions implemented by their organisations to advance gender equity, diversity and inclusion. WoTR members will have an opportunity to continue their informal conversations during a catered afternoon tea.

Location: Collaborative Learning Area, Level 3 Room 306, James Cook University City Campus, Townsville, QLD Australia

person diving on blue water

Women of the Reef: Networking Event

Venue Collaborative Learning Area, Level 3 Room 306, JCU City Campus, Townsville

Date 18th November, 2021 Time 2:30 – 4:30pm

This networking event will provide an opportunity for women to build new relationships with members of the network. We will use a series of icebreaker activities to facilitate introductions and get people interacting. Members will then be provided an opportunity to continue their conversations during a catered afternoon tea. Celebrations of the coming end of another pandemic year will move to City Lane after the networking event.

Women of the Reef Website Launch
It’s time to celebrate making it through the first half of 2021 …
Speed Networking Event
Thanks to all who attended the inaugural Women of the Reef Network event in Decemberand to all those who shared …

Events in your region

All of our events so far have been limited to the Townsville region. We are keen to spread our impact so please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to host your own Women of the Reef event!

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