International Coral Reef Management and Leadership Program


Building capacity to protect coral reefs as a foundation for sustainable development

The International Coral Reef Management and Leadership Program 2017 is supported through the Australia Awards Fellowship Program (DFAT) with the aim to bring people together and build their capacity to manage and protect coral reefs and inspire new leaders.

As reefs and the people who depend on them confront the global challenges of climate change and population growth, the effective management of coral reefs has never been more important. The International Coral Reef Management and Leadership Program provides opportunities to build leadership and management capacity for addressing these challenges and help improve the outlook for coral reef areas worldwide.


Immersion learning on the Great Barrier Reef

Building the capacity of coral reef managers and leaders since 2015, the International Coral Reef Management and Leadership Program is held in the iconic setting of the Great Barrier Reef. Participants will learn from global experts in coral reefs and share experiences with colleagues from the Great Barrier Reef, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean regions to learn about the latest issues and approaches in coral reef management and to develop the skills and knowledge to tackle the big challenges facing coral reefs.

Course Structure

The International Coral Reef Management and Leadership Course has been designed to bring together current and future generations of people who care about coral reefs and wish to tackle some of the biggest problems on the planet, such as climate change, declining water quality, overfishing and coastal development. The course has been designed by world experts on coral reef management and leadership to equip the participants with the knowledge, skills, experiences, case studies and inspirational stories about coral reefs and people. The course was delivered in 2015 and 2016 to select coral reef leaders, managers and scientists from the Caribbean, Indian and Asia-Pacific regions. The 2017 course once again brings together coral reef leaders and managers from around the world. There are limited opportunities for additional reef managers to join the Fellowship recipients in the course. In addition, we are offering the opportunity for Australian coral reef leaders, managers and scientists to join us for a shorter 5-day course.

 The course features a high-calibre team of facilitators, experts and presenters from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Reef HQ, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University, University of Queensland, Reef Ecologic, World Commission on Protected Areas and local industry leaders to share knowledge and inspire you. The course covers broad topics including leadership, management, resilience, climate change, philanthropy, problem-solving, project planning, fisheries and much more. Participants join field trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Research Stations with leading innovators in reef-based industries and participate in several practical management and networking sessions. Participants are provided with communication exercises and are supported and empowered with activities including social media, radio, newspaper, video and TV interviews.

We use a ‘Learning by doing with reflection’ based approach that encourages you to learn from the course presentations, booklet, online learning and from your colleagues. The course results in new ways of thinking, skills, and global networks. We measured the leadership and management skills of the fellows before and after the course; over 92% of the 2016 fellows improved their leadership and management skills.