2018 Winner: Environmental Guardians Award
In 2017, the University of Queensland Underwater Club (UniDive) completed the first habitat map of the Flinders Reef Marine Park as part of a pioneering research project to determine the condition of the offshore reef located north of Moreton Island. An army of 50 volunteers conquered sea and weather and used their own boats, equipment and expertise to conduct 400 surveys mapping the reef and analysing its condition.
After months of work, the project concluded Flinders Reef is a healthy and diverse marine habitat. The findings were documented in a publicly-accessible map, book, video and peer-reviewed journal, providing a wealth of knowledge and insight for researchers, managers and the community. The project provided invaluable experience to the dozens of volunteers, instructors and marine experts involved, and helped showcase Flinders Reef as a slice of the Great Barrier Reef on Brisbane’s doorstep.