Executive Officer Col McKenzie (Retired)
Col has been a member of the marine tourism industry for 39 years. He has owned his own scuba diving business, was a partner (and eventually the General Manager) in bringing Scuba Schools International (SSI) to Australia and SE Asia, started successful businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Col was the person that lobbied for and got an award put in place for the recreational dive industry and negotiated one of the few awards without penalty rates on weekends and holidays. He co-wrote the original Workplace Health and Safety Diving Code of Practise which has resulted in the Queensland marine tourism industry being the safest in the world today.
Col has been a Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) since 1998 and during that time was the Executive Director for nearly 20 years representing the marine tourism industry on 34 different boards, forums or committees. He was the Executive Director when GBR protection was raised from 4% no take to 33%, when AMPTO stopped the disposal of capital works dredge spoil on the GBR and lobbied for funding and ran the Crown of Thorns Star Fish control program for 20 years.
While Col has retired, he has been appointed a Director by the Board to ensure continuity of his valuable industry knowledge.
Chairman Tony Baker
Tony Baker is the Managing Director of the Quicksilver Group, Australia’s largest reef tourism operator. The Quicksilver Group comprises Quicksilver’s Outer Reef and Low Isles cruises, Great Adventures’ Reef and Green Island cruises, Silver Series dive and snorkel excursions, Pro Dive Cairns, and, the eco-sensitive Green Island Resort. Based in Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland, the company conducts daily operations within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s outer reef and island destinations. Tony has extensive experience in the Australian tourism industry with key management and development roles in leading Queensland attractions. Tony is a Board Member of Tourism Queensland, Chairman of AMPTO (Australian Marine Park Tourism Operators) and a committee member for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s TRRAC (Tourism Reef Recreation Advisory Committee)
AMPTO Executive Committee
The AMPTO Executive Committee is very impressive with it almost being a Who's Who for the marine industry. With the exception of the Executive Director, none of the Board Members receives any remuneration for their Board activities and even the expenses incurred in attending meetings are incurred at the member's own expense. The Board Members are:
Deputy Chairman Steve Moon
Steve is an accomplished Senior Executive accustomed to fast-growing operations in diverse cultural environments, with particular strengths in project management, business development, and vocational and technical training, especially in the maritime sector.
He is currently the Managing Director of Projects Global, an independent maritime consultancy providing project management, marine engineering, crew training, audit and compliance services with a particular focus on marine tourism and the domestic commercial vessel sector.
Steve represents the industry on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s National Safety Committee and is the current chair of the Maritime Industry Reference Committee with responsibility for ensuring the MAR Maritime Training Package meets the needs of the industry and provides nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications for all marine occupations.
Trevor Rees - Whitsunday Escape and President of Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Assiciation
Glen Macdonald is the Chief Executive Officer of Fitzroy Island Resort located 45 minutes from Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef; he was formerly General Manager for over six years.
Fitzroy Island Resort compromises five accommodation styles, multiple Food and Beverage outlets, a Dive & Activities Centre, and offers daily vessel transfers to and from Cairns.
Commencing his career in Cairns in the late 80’s, he possesses a diverse skill set with over 35 years’ experience in Business Management, Tourism/Hotel/Resort Management, General Management and has owned and operated numerous prosperous business enterprises.
David Boyd - Hamilton Island
Chief Executive Officer Gareth Phillips
Gareth has been involved with the marine tourism industry for 20 years. He owns a Great Barrier Reef research and education company.
Gareth has also been a skipper in the snorkeling and diving industry in Port Douglas and Cairns. Gareth has a strong passion for the Great Barrier Reef and he believes that the marine tourism industry has a critical role in its conservation. The marine tourism industry has faced many challenges, and that has never been more true now with the impact of the Coronavirus.
Sam Appleton - Keppel Dive and Snorkel
Adam has over 25 years experience bringing adventure experiences to travellers in Far North Queensland, having led the business of Calypso Reef Cruises and Charters in Port Douglas prior to it's acquisition by Experience Co. Adam moved from the sea to the air in 2019, taking on the role of General Manager of Air Operations for Experience Co. His experience and knowledge was quickly recognised with Adam taking on the role of General Manager - Great Barrier Reef in late 2019.
Tony Brown - True Blue Sailing and President of Whitsunday Charter Boat industry Association (WCBIA)
Alan has been actively involved in the tourism industry as an advocate for many years. He is the founder and co-owner of Passions of Paradise, a Cairns based reef tour operator established in 1989. Some of his current roles include Director, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and Director, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). This not-for-profit body works with over 38 organisations translating science based ecological knowledge into improved environmental outcomes. Alan's company is also part of the Coral Nurture Program, engaging in local reef restoration efforts in partnership with the University of Technology, Sydney. Passions of Paradise is a GBRMPA High Standard Operator, an Australian Tourism Award Winner and holds Climate Leader Status with Eco Tourism Australia.
Chris Briggs - General Manager Sealink