Executive Officer Col McKenzie (Retired)
Col has been a member of the marine tourism industry for 32 years. He has owned his own scuba diving business, was a partner (and eventually the General Manager) in bringing SSI to Australia and SE Asia, started successful businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and now owns a marine tourism consulting company that has multiple contracts within the industry.
A strong believer in the marine tourism industry, Col has been active in the two main industry associations for many years. Col is and has been the Executive Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) for more than 10 years and represents the marine tourism industry on 38 different boards, forums or committees. He previously was the President of Dive QLD for 3 years and their Treasurer for 4.
Col has been an active campaigner for the Great Barrier Reef and lobbied for the $200 million Reef Water Quality investment and he became a focal point for increased no take zones in the GBR Representative Areas Plan. Col launched the legal challenge to the GBRMPA’s sea dumping permit and is on several government advisory committees for the GBR. Col is also a Director of the Reef Rainforest Research Centre.
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)
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.
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: