Australian Marine Parks

The Coral Sea Marine Park Advisory Committee promotes the involvement, engagement and collaboration of marine park users, stakeholders and the community in the management of the marine park.

The Committee brings together a wealth of knowledge and expertise across a range of topics relevant to marine park management, including tourism, fishing, sea country, marine transport, science, conservation, governance, communications and engagement.

Committee members will work with Parks Australia staff to shape the management of Australian Marine Parks, providing advice on marine issues at a regional level and strengthening our understanding of park user interests and issues.

This collaborative approach to management is critical to achieving our vision of healthy, resilient and well-managed marine parks that deliver benefits for all Australians.

There will be a minimum of two meetings per year. The next meeting will be held in March-April 2023.


Committee Members are appointed for a two year term. The current members are:

Russell Gueho

Russell Gueho (Chair)

Russell is the Director of East Marine Parks section in the Marine and Island Parks Branch of Parks Australia. He oversees management of the Coral Sea Marine Park, The Temperate East and the South-east Networks.

Russell has an extensive background in marine and terrestrial wildlife management (natural resource management) and has held the role of Park Manager for Kakadu National Park and Director Authorisations and Compliance with the DNP. Russell brings extensive experience in authorisation and stakeholder engagement. He has many years in management and field roles in both strategic and operational settings.

Russell was a Fisheries and Wildlife Officer in WA for more than 16 years; has operated his own nature-based tourism business in the Kimberley and has extensive experience in tertiary education through roles including lecturing and managing diverse delivery teams in the TAFE system in WA, Victoria, and NSW.

He has authored several papers on impacts from invasive species, has a species of carnivorous plant (Byblis) named, and successfully published two natural history books on the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He has interest in climate change adaptation and management and is keen to support research and monitoring that informs best practice management of Australian Marine Parks.

Russ Babcock

Russ Babcock

Russ is an experienced coral reef researcher who currently works at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation as a Senior Principle Research Scientist. He is passionate about the role of marine protected areas in ocean management and has a deep understanding of their sociological, economic and political benefits.

He has previously provided expert advice to the Federal Government through the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review and currently sits on the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce.

Russ is well published on marine protected area and marine conservation issues and his research experience spans the entire ecosystem, from primary producers to invertebrates, fish and sharks. He has also mapped deep sea benthic habitats and investigated human impacts on coastal ecosystems.

Michelle Grady

Michelle Grady

Michelle is Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Oceans program in Australia, working to conserve and protect marine habitat and species around Australia. Michelle works with community, industry and government to achieve science based and enduring marine conservation measures around the nation which benefit people and nature.

Michelle has worked in the private sector, public sector and the conservation movement including as CEO of the Conservation Council of South Australia during which time she led multilateral campaigns on topics such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and protected areas.

Michelle is passionate about stakeholder involvement in the development and management of marine parks, believing it to be the key to fostering community support and securing long-term benefits.

Andrew Hoey

Andrew Hoey

Professor Andrew Hoey is a Professorial Research Fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Townsville, focussing on herbivorous fishes and reef community structures. He was the lead researcher on the Coral Sea Coral Reef Health Project. He has extensive global reef research experience and is a past President of the Australian Coral Reef Society.

His research focuses on broad-scale ecological processes and the functional importance of different taxa to the resilience of coral reef ecosystems, in particular the functional role of herbivorous fishes and the dangers of seaweed expansion on coral reefs. He has worked at over 30 locations spanning the world’s tropical oceans and this experience has provided him with considerable insight into the differences among these systems in terms of diversity, reef community structure, human use patterns and, perhaps more importantly, the underlying processes.

Andrew’s current research focuses on understanding the functional importance of different herbivorous fishes in preventing and/or reversing seaweed expansion on coral reefs, the differential responses of herbivorous fishes to changes in the benthic community structure on coral reefs, the recruitment dynamics and replenishment of reef fish populations, and the effects of increasing water temperature on the physiology and function of reef fish.

Col McKenzie

Col McKenzie

Col is an experienced tourism professional with more than 36 years’ experience running diving businesses across South-East Asia and Australia.

He is the long-standing Executive Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and runs a marine tourism consultancy. With more than 2,500 days at sea in the waters off Queensland, Col’s understanding of the region is exceptional.

He has been a member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Advisory Committee since 2003 and actively works with State Government to improve dive safety in the workplace.

From his experience working in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Col will bring invaluable insights on a range of marine park management issues including permitting, field management, and invasive species control to the advisory committee.

Doug Sanderson

Doug Sanderson

Doug has been a passionate recreational fisher since he was a boy and currently takes an active role in supporting the management of Australian seas and waterways. He is President of the Game Fishing Association of Australia, and a member of both the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation and International Game Fishing Association.

At the local level, Doug has been involved in community game fishing clubs and participated in population and movement studies of Black Marlin. Doug currently runs his own game fishing charter vessel and will bring both business experience and national and international recreational fishing expertise to the advisory committee.

Craig Stephen

Craig Stephen

Craig has over 20 years’ dive and tourism industry experience. He is currently the General Manager of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, a company who operate vessels throughout the Coral Sea Marine Park and previously worked as a live-aboard dive manager in Queensland and Papua New Guinean waters.

Craig draws on his skills and experience to identify and promote new dive experiences for the industry. He also works with Government to inform management programs, including the Protected Areas Program on the Great Barrier Reef and the development of the Coral Sea Marine Park.

Craig has been involved with the Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef Operators Association for over 15 years and is their current President.

Christabel Warren

Christabel Warren

Christabel is a Wuthathi Woman and a Tradition Owner of the Shelbourne and Temple Bay areas of the Cape York Peninsula. Christabel is the Secretary of Grassroots Aboriginal Corporation, which is made up of five Registered Native Title Body Corporates (RNTBCs) from across Cape York, providing support to individuals and groups. She is also the Secretary of the Wuthathi and Bromley Aboriginal Corporations.

Christabel has a deep understanding of sea country and is committed to protecting the biodiversity and cultural values of the surrounding marine waters. This is exemplified through her work as Deputy Chair of the Cape York Regional Protected Areas Committee and her membership of the Cape York Local Marine Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and her involvement in the Raine Island Recovery Project.

Clive Wilkinson

Clive Wilkinson

Clive has been diving on the Great Barrier Reef since 1965 and has over 45 years’ experience in tropical marine ecosystems. He gained a Doctorate from the University of Queensland for research on Heron Island and then was a senior scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science for 26 years.

Clive previously coordinated the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network for 16 years, and is currently an International Associate with the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre.

Clive has provided extensive advice on coral reef issues, including sustainable development and climate change adaption, to a range of governments and agencies including the United Nations. He was also Chief Technical Advisor for an Australian funded project monitoring and conserving the coastal resources of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Clive will bring a rich global perspective to the advisory committee.


Learn more about what’s being discussed at committee meetings and related content.

Meeting Communiques

After every meeting, we’ll summarise discussion topics and important points in a meeting communique.

The inaugural meeting of the Coral Sea Marine Park Advisory Committee (CSMPAC) marked the beginning of a two year term for the 11 newly appointed members. Individual members were selected from a large number of applicants who responded to a public expression of interest process open to all Australians last year.

Get in touch

Would you like to know more about the Coral Sea Marine Park Advisory Committee? Are you interested in presenting at a meeting, providing information about a relevant issue, event or project, or contacting a member?

For all these inquiries and more, please email the Committee Secretariat.