The Reef Resilience Project


“We need to support our own health to enable us to support the health and resilience of our natural environments.”

We strive to educate participants to be able to preserve and conserve natural ecosystems (not simply coral reefs) by first focusing on their own personal health.  The Reef Resilience Project consists of workshops designed to provide an introduction to coral reefs and the idea of resilience both in individuals and nature. These novel workshops combine understanding about coral reef resilience with exploring personal health and well-being.

The Reef Resilience Project is an innovative new program being delivered in Queensland schools to raise awareness about the health of the Coral Reefs whilst simultaneously providing tools and strategies to cope with day to day stressors facing all of us in our everyday lives.

“If we are going to protect natural environments, we need to look after ourselves first.” Local yoga teacher Tracey Uber Cook and marine scientist Nathan Cook from Reef Ecologic, a local marine consultancy, are addressing the issue of personal well-being and Reef health.

Mindfulness and Well-being

Tracey Uber Cook provides mindfulness training, skills designed to be used on any occasion when participants feel overwhelmed. The premise of this element is to educate participants that you can’t manage external factors (like looking after natural ecosystems) without looking after yourself.

In the first session we start by talking about the importance of being healthy in our bodies and minds. We conduct movements within the body (six movements of the spine) to release tension and stress. We work with the breath to help calm the mind, introducing some relaxing breathing techniques before finishing with some mindfulness techniques. Toward the end of the session we introduce the Tibetan meditation bowl to help calm and focus participants attention. The bell is rung and students are asked to clear their mind and focus on the sounds until they can’t hear it anymore.

Workshop details 

  • Length: Anywhere between 1-3 hours (we can adapt to available time)  
  • Year levels: We work with most age groups but specialise in years 6 and above
  • Number of students: We can do 10 – 500 pax (Depending on your space) but 20-25 is ideal.
  • Topics covered: Coral Reefs, Climate change, personal development 
  • Capacity building focus includes
    • Leadership
    • Public Speaking
    • Collaboration/Working in teams
    • Strategic thinking and planning
  • Delivered by:
    • Nathan Cook: Reef Check Australia coordinator for the GBR and Marine Scientist with Reef Ecologic. Nathan has a long history in citizen science programs and works with youth both in Australia and internationally to raise awareness about the importance of reefs and how we can all contribute to supporting their on-going health and resilience 
    • Tracey Cook: Tracey is a 20 year yoga teacher who has been working in Queensland schools helping students manage the everyday challenges of life.  

Reef resilience project leader Nathan Cook, Clontarf Foundation staff member Dan Beasley, Well being coordinator Tracey Cook and Reef Ecologic intern Kailash Cook.

Past events and workshops

Townsville State High School

19 August 2020

Thuringowa Clontarf Academy

29 July 2020

Kirwan Clontarf Academy

24 June 2020