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. 


Committee Members are appointed for a 3-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 roles of Park Manager for Kakadu National Park and Director of Authorisations and Compliance within Parks Australia.  

Russell operated his own nature-based tourism business in the Kimberley and has extensive experience in tertiary education including lecturing and managing diverse teams in the TAFE system in multiple states. He has a species of carnivorous plant (Byblis guehoi) named after him and has also published two natural history books on the Kimberley region of Western Australia.  

Russell has an interest in climate change adaptation and management and is keen to support research and monitoring that informs best practice management of Australian Marine Parks.

Andrew Hoey

Andrew Hoey

Andrew is a Professor of Marine Ecology with the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University in Townsville and is the lead researcher for the Coral Sea Coral Reef Health Project (2018-2024). He has extensive global reef research experience and is a past President of the Australian Coral Reef Society.

Andrew is a leading authority on the resilience of reef communities, the functional importance of fishes and invertebrates to ecosystem processes, and the responses of reef communities to human and natural stressors. He has worked on coral reef systems throughout the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and has published more than 190 scientific papers and reports. He regularly provides scientific advice to government and non-government organizations, at state, national and international levels, on science-based management of marine ecosystems.

Fiona Maxwell

Fiona Maxwell

Fiona is an experienced Australian marine scientist, environmental advocate and natural resource management professional. She has 20 years of experience working in a variety of government and non-government positions, including her current role as National Oceans Manager for The Pew Charitable Trusts, leading Pew’s Queensland Outback to Oceans program Marine Parks Campaign Manager for the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Policy Advisor to the Queensland Environment Minister.

During her time with the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Fiona worked on campaigns for the implementation of the Coral Sea Marine Park. This experience has provided her with strong insight into the broad range of stakeholder views and the community attitudes towards the marine park.

Fiona’s diverse work has led to a strong understanding of marine park design, management, compliance, biodiversity values, pressures and extensive experience leading communications strategies to increase awareness of marine parks.

Maxine Newlands

Maxine Newlands

Maxine has a doctorate in Environmental Politics from the University of East London. She has worked in a wide range of areas including, sustainable develop, ecosystem governance, restoration regulation, environmental policymaking, as well as climate change mitigation and adaption strategies.

Maxine is currently working as an independent consultant / policy analyst, recently collaborating with the Australian Academy of Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, as well as the Queensland and Australian governments. Maxine is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The University of Queensland; and Adjunct Principal Research Fellow at The Cairns Institute.

Maxine’s mission is not only to help promote sustainable management practices that mitigate the impacts of climate change and human activities on the environment, but also participate in facilitating environmental recovery for future generations

Within the committee, Maxine will draw on a variety of knowledge strands to provide strategic advice and guidance to assist Parks Australia make informed decisions.

Robert Pender

Robert Pender

Robert operates Saltwater Solutions, an agency supporting new and established commercial fishers in Queensland. Robert has an extensive network reaching over 1100 stakeholders in the Queensland fishing industry through his bi-monthly newsletter.

Robert has over 20 years of experience as a commercial fisher in the Gulf of Carpentaria and has previously provided his expertise on the Northern Marine Parks Advisory Committee. He previously was the Chair of The Fishermen’s Portal Inc, which represented the interests of over 250 commercial fishers. In his early career, Robert was a helicopter pilot.

Through his experience and network, Robert will bring a practical point of view relating to commercial fishing licenses and permits that are used in the park.

Gareth Phillips

Gareth Phillips

Gareth, is the Chief Executive Office for the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators Ltd.

Gareth has a masters degree in Zoology specialising in marine science. He holds various marine engineer qualifications including being a Vessel Master. Gareth has spent over 10 years working on reefs. He has been both a skipper and engineer for diving and snorkelling operations, with over 3000 days at sea in the Great Barrier Reef and is a divemaster with over 5000 dives.

As the owner and Director of Marine Discoveries, a reef research, consulting and training company in Cairns, he has delivered over 250 lectures, presentations, speeches and guided thousands of people. Adding to that he was one of the first people to be qualified as a Reef Authority Master Reef Guide.

Through his experience, Gareth strives to bring tourism, compliance, ecosystem and environmental protection knowledge to the 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 was President of the Game Fishing Association of Australia from 2016-2020, and a member of both the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation and International Game Fishing Association.

At the local level, Doug is the president of the Lizard Island Game Fishing Club and has 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 30 years’ dive and tourism industry experience. He is currently the owner/Managing Director 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 25 years and is their current President. He also currently sits on the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority’s Tourism Reef Advisory Committee.

Samantha Tol

Samantha Tol

Samantha has a doctorate in Marine ecology and is currently a Senior Research scientist at the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Services (TropWATER), James Cook University. She has over 11 years of experience in marine monitoring and research, specifically seagrass habitats and the mega-fauna reliant on them.

Samantha’s current research project is investigating and mapping reef lagoon benthic habitats in the Coral Sea Marine Park. She recently led a research expedition to the Coral Sea which revealed insights into the ecological function of this previously unexplored environment.

Through her experience in academia and also as a fisheries biologist for the Queensland Government, her background is deeply rooted in delivering tangible outcomes for both stakeholders and the environment.

Samantha’s ability to leverage her scientific insights to shape effective marine park management strategies will be highly valuable to the committee.

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.