Reef Restoration and Leadership Workshop – Goolboodhi (Orpheus) Island Research Station


November 11 – 14, 2022

Reef Ecologic have extensive experience in the delivery of informative, high quality capacity building workshops in science, management and reef restoration. The team has delivered over 25 reef restoration and recovery training programs, multiple youth leaders workshops and multiple international coral reef management and leadership programs on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia Awards program.

Reef Leadership and Restoration Workshop
Orpheus Island Research Station, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

November 11 – November 14, 2022

At this time of great change and uncertainty, leadership in the management of natural ecosystems is crucial. Additionally, reef restoration, and its effective implementation, is rapidly becoming an important element of reef conservation and management. Combining the latest scientific knowledge with practical experience from the field, this workshop is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of reef scientists, managers, educators and those interested in making a difference for the future of coral reefs and communities.

Aims of this workshop:

  • Sharing knowledge of leadership and reef restoration methods and  techniques
  • Communications and collaboration about reef health
  • Learning about the magic of the Reef through immersive fieldwork with experts
  • Have fun and enjoy the amazing environment and facilities of Orpheus Island
  • Collaboration with JCU NESP and RRRC


This intensive 4-day/3 Night workshop includes:

  • Learning sessions: Each day is balanced between classroom presentations covering science, management reef restoration and communications and practical in water activities to experience the coral reef issues first hand. Note: Prior to the workshop participants will be provided access to an online training component provided by the The Nature Conservancy and the Reef Resilience Network covering the following topics:
    • Introduction to Restoration & Project Planning
    • Restoring Coral Populations with Coral Gardening
    • Restoring Coral Populations with Larval Propagation
    • Restoring Reef Structure for Coastal Resilience
    • Rapid Response and Emergency Restoration
    • Monitoring for Restoration
  • Field activities: We will snorkel the Great Barrier Reef to experience the fringing reefs and practice basic and advanced skills for restoration practitioners including species identification, reef surveying, solution development and how to put theory into practice.
  • Great Barrier Reef Location: Orpheus Island, fringed by coral reefs and mangroves, is home to James Cook University’s Orpheus Island Research Station (OIRS). An ideal location surrounded by 1,300 hectares of pristine national park, the waters around Orpheus are home to to 1,100 known species of fish and 340 species of coral.
  • Project development: Working together we will aim to review previous reef restoration knowledge and training (globally and locally) and assist the development of leadership and restoration programs for the GBR.

Cost and inclusions:

  • Cost: (Inclusive of event price, carbon offset, booking fee GST)
    • $1134.59 (incl carbon offset + GST + non-refundable Humanitix Booking fee $36.59)
  • Inclusions: 3 nights accommodation at a research station on the Great Barrier Reef (share accom, communal bathroom facilities). transfers (to/from Lucinda), meals (B(3), L(4), D(3), workshop materials.
  • Required: Snorkel equipment including exposure protection (stinger suit or wetsuit).
  • BYO: towel and drinks
  • Max participants: 30
  • Other information: Please contact us if you need assistance in arranging transport to/from Lucinda. We will assist in facilitating car share opportunities to minimise the amount of people driving to Lucinda.

Coordinated by Reef Ecologic  

Reef Ecologic have implemented major projects in all the coral reef regions of the world, including extensive work with coral reef managers, scientists, conservationists and tourism businesses in the Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, Pacific, Southeast Asia, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Reef Ecologic are currently co-leading the National Environmental Science Program on techniques for reef restoration in the Great Barrier Reef and possess extensive experience in marine science programs both in Australia and overseas. Reef Ecologic recognise that the biggest threats to the reef are Climate Change and people. We are a team united by our love of coral reefs and a shared desire to partner with individuals, businesses and organisations to empower them to realise their vision…for a better planet.

Key Partners 

Reef Restoration & Leadership Workshop 2020

Reef Restoration & Leadership Workshop 2019

Reef Restoration Workshop 2018

Introduction to Reef Restoration
Orpheus Island – November 30 – December 2, 2018

Reef Restoration Workshop December 2018 Media Release

Training in “First Aid” for the Reef

Government, industry and community group representatives converged on the Great Barrier Reef to learn and share knowledge on current and emerging technologies to assist the recovery and restoration of coral reefs.

Coral reefs are facing unprecedented threats from a combination of climate change and local pressures. People can make a difference to reef health by reducing threats and improving coral reefs using methods such as reef restoration and coral gardening.

Sometimes compared to “first aid for the reef”, Reef restoration is rapidly developing into an exciting approach for helping coral reefs bounce back after damaging events such as cyclones, ship groundings and mass coral bleaching events. New methods and insights are coming online at an unprecedented pace, and it is crucial that people involved in reef conservation and sustainable use understand the benefits, limitations and best practices relating to reef restoration.

Fourteen reef managers, consultants and local community members attended an inaugural reef restoration workshop to learn about the latest in reef restoration and to share experiences and ideas for helping coral reefs. Held at Orpheus Island Research Station on the central region of the Great Barrier Reef in December 2018, the workshop was coordinated by Reef Ecologic in partnership with National Landcare and James Cook University. It provided a valuable opportunity to share contemporary scientific knowledge and practical experience on reef restoration and devise a strategic framework for future training.

Involving an exciting schedule of expert presentations, immersive learning on reef restoration methods and the memorable personal experience of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, the workshop provided a unique opportunity for participants to enhance their knowledge of reef restoration and understand the role it may be able to play in helping to build the resilience of the Reef at local scales.

“This was a really amazing introduction to reef restoration and opened my eyes to the future possibilities. I loved practising creating the coral nursery, snorkelling to do Reef Health Impact Surveys and learning more about the Reef first hand. I also enjoyed the opportunity to chat to other people from other industries to hear about their efforts in reef restoration,” said Kalita Free, Graduate Scientist with consultancy group Ecosure.

“It was a great forum and opportunity for scientists to share knowledge and experience of reef management and restoration techniques and innovations. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to provide future focussed solutions in active reef management to strengthen the resilience of the reef” said Madelaine Hooper, Marine Scientist with consultancy group Cardno.

James Cook University’s Orpheus Island Research Station manager Bec Tite was excited by the proposed outcomes for the workshop for the local environment. “We  have a rehabilitation zone and a proposed restoration demonstration site on the reefs around Orpheus Island and it would be a great educational tool for all visitors to the station” she said.

“This is the first reef restoration workshop of its kind on the Great Barrier Reef. Our compqny Reef Ecologic is proud to lead the design of the reef restoration course and workshop and involve the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Ecosure, Tangaroa Blue, Reef Check and Cardno to co-design a future reef restoration training program” said Assoc Prof. Adam Smith, Director of Reef Ecologic. “Everyone’s passion and enthusiasm for the reef and education provided significant opportunities for the future.”

“It was great to learn more about coral restoration and discuss future applications that can support reef resilience locally while increasing active community engagement and awareness in the process, ” commented Gemma Molinaro from Reef Check Australia.

Key Partners