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'Our World Heritage Island' Groups
The Our World Heritage Island (OWHI) initiative aims to improve the engagement of the broader community in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area.

This includes designing better ways to work together, identifying critical projects, monitoring, and inviting locals to become actively engaged with scientists, and personally contribute to help better protect our ecosystems.

There are three groups which form the 'Our World Heritage Island' initiative:
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See below for more information on each of these groups.

Funding details


With $157,00 funding received from Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), in July 2021, the team have now employed four part-time coordinators until May 2023 in the following positions:

  1. Community Action Plan Leader

  2. Community Partnerships for Ecosystem Monitoring

  3. Traditional Owner Coordinators to strengthen aspirations for the protection of cultural heritage and economic opportunities on land and sea country.


For more information regarding the major objectives for each of these three projects, view the August 2021 Magnetic Island Reef Community Action Plan Press Release.

For more information on the Our World Heritage Island project contact: Gemma Wickens at

For more information on the funding of this project, visit our 'About' page.

Ecosystem Monitoring
(Marine Ecosystems, and Terrestrial Ecosystems)
The major objective of the Community Partnerships for Ecosystems Monitoring Project is to harness the energy and knowledge of residents, Traditional Owners, and stakeholders to systematically record, report on, and communicate the island’s marine and coastal ecosystem health, and factors affecting this health. This project has established a partnerships group to advise and implement the following:
  1. Working with scientists and managers to train residents, Traditional Owners and stakeholders in ecosystem monitoring and reporting techniques.
  2. Encouraging two-way knowledge sharing between Traditional Owners, scientists, residents, and Reef managers.
  3. Increasing voluntary participation in ecosystem monitoring and citizen science initiatives to benefit the Reef and to inform management responses.
  4. Ensure clear lines of communication between the Magnetic Island CAP leader and leaders of other island-based CAP projects to avoid duplication of effort and ensure efficiencies.
This project has a number of community science based workshops under it's banner, as well as the monthly  'Maggie On Tap - Island Pub Talks'.

NB: In late 2023 Ecosystems Monitoring will be broken into two working groups:
  1. Marine Ecosystems, and
  2. Terrestrial Ecosystems

For more information and to stay up to date with events and workshops, visit the 'Our World Heritage Island' Facebook page.

For more information on this project contact Jo Marks at
Ecosystems Monitoring

Monitoring Magnetic
May 2022 Seminar Presentations


The first Monitoring Magnetic Symposium was held in May 2022 at Amaroo on Mandalay, with the aim to include all stakeholders (and the public) who currently had invested interest in the ecosystems on and around Magnetic Island.


The weekend allowed for research, projects and future initiatives to be discussed, with the benefit of sharing local knowledge and the possibility of pooling resources for future projects. The 17 presentations can be seen below. (Please check your download folder to view the ppt presentations):

  1. Magnetic Island's World Heritage Values .pptx presented by Gethin Morgan, President Magnetic Island Nature Care Association (MINCA)

  2. Creek to Coral Program, Magnetic Island Citizen Science Inititaives .pptx presented by Alana Lorimer, Townsville City Council

  3. Monitoring on Magnetic .pptx presented by Alana OBrien, Port of Townsville Limited

  4. Coral Sea Foundation .pptx presented by Dr Andy Lewis

  5. Magnetic Island Network for Turtles (MINT) .pptx presented by Paul Groves

  6. Earthwatch .ppsx presented by Dr Scott Wilson

  7. Reef Check Australia .pdf presented by Jenni Calcraft

  8. Tangaroa Blue .pptx presented by Kara-Mae Coulter-Atkins

  9. Yunbenun Fish .pptx presented by Dr Daniela Ceccarelli, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) 

  10. Magnetic Island Research & Data .pptx presented by Libby Evans-Illidge, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) 

  11. Arcadia Coastcare .doc presented by Tony O'Malley (Also visit

  12. Mangrove Watch .pptx presented by Jock Mackenzie

  13. Macroalgae Removal .pdf presented by Hillary Smith, James Cook University (JCU)

  14. Sea Research: Long-term Changes on Magnetic Island Fringing Reefs .pptx presented by Tony & Avril Ayling

  15. Eye On The Reef .pptx presented by Paul Groves, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)

  16. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) .pptx presented by Neil Maddock

  17. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) presented by Patrick Centurino

Maggie On Tap Island Pub Talks Shipwrecks.jpg

Maggie On Tap Island Pub Talks are a success!

To echo the words of our brilliant MC Tim Hempstead, our Pub Talks would not be possible without the extremely talented and generous volunteers who gift their time to share knowledge with us and provide set up, including Tim himself.


Since beginning in early 2022, the monthly Magnetic Island Pub Talks have been a roaring success. Each month the Talks are held in a different pub or bar around Magnetic Island with scientists and professionals speaking about anything from shipwrecks to stingrays, or koalas and cephalopods. Usually on the last Thursday of the month, visit the Our World Heritage Island Facebook page for the next Pub Talk info.

Traditional Owner
Capacity Building

Wulgurukaba inhabited Yunbenun for thousands of years, this connection was disrupted by colonisation but there is a hunger for Traditional Owners to get back to looking after their country. There has been constant effort in this regard, however people have lacked resources and training.


Our World Heritage Island Project has been funded to build capacity for Wulgurukaba to gain the knowledge and expertise that empowers them to take greater control of their country. This includes support for Indigenous Rangers and training with:

  • Scuba diving

  • Marine monitoring

  • Turtle monitoring

  • Ecosystem restoration

  • Cultural database use

  • Drone operations

For more information on this project contact Lyle Johnson at or Brian Johnson at

Traditional Owners
World Heritage Values

In 1981, The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) was accepted as a World Heritage property, and the Commonwealth of Australia accepted its legal obligation to protect and conserve the area to the best of its ability for the benefit of present and future generations throughout the world. Although only a relatively small part of the 35 million hectare GBRWHA, Magnetic Island, 8km off Townsville, contributes features and values that are found nowhere else within it. Thus, the Island’s size belies its significance.”

- MICDA and MINCA 2004 Magnetic Island's World Heritage Values, A Preliminary Assessment.

In 2004 local residents published a technical paper outlining The World Heritage values of Magnetic Island. Although almost two decades have past, the report is still relevant today.

The MINCA World Heritage Values Project is building a comprehensive knowledge base of the island’s marine and terrestrial natural features and values.  It will do this by reviewing existing knowledge and refining it through a series of expert and public workshops and targeted research.


The project will enable the island community to identify the natural values needing protection, and the best way to reduce any threats. As well as consolidating existing knowledge and concern, the project will provide direction for further activities and for targeted monitoring of impacts. 


More information on the project is available at:

For more information contact Gethin Morgan, MINCA President at

Our World Heritage Values

Our Magnetic Island Community Action Plan (MICAP) Partners:

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