HomePast ConferencesSpeakers (2019)

A/Prof Henrietta Marrie

Project Leader, Great Barrier Reef Indigenous Tourism Project, CQUniversity, Cairns

A/Prof Henrietta Marrie


Great Barrier Reef Indigenous Tourism: translating policy into practice

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is Queensland’s greatest natural asset, and the major destination for both domestic and overseas visitors, yet around 80% of tourism activity occurs within seven per cent of the GBR Marine Park. The GBR also forms part of the traditional estates for over 70 Indigenous Traditional Owner groups with continuing relationships with the GBR and interests in or rights to “sea country” from the eastern Torres Strait south to Bundaberg. However, despite proactive Queensland ecotourism and employment policies which specifically encourage Indigenous participation in the tourism industry, there is little participation by Traditional Owners and Indigenous businesses in this industry along the GBR. Research has been undertaken to find out why this is so, analysing the varying challenges and opportunities faced by Traditional Owners and Indigenous businesses in different sections of the GBR. Key findings and and recommendations from the report will also be presented.


Henrietta Marrie AM (Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law; Dip. T; Grad. Dip. of Arts [Indigenous Studies]) is an Elder of the Gimuy Walubara clan of the Yidinji people and Traditional Owner of the land on which the City of Cairns is located. Henrietta has published widely on Indigenous cultural and natural resource management , intellectual and cultural property law, heritage legislation and philanthropy. She served for 6 years with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, and nine yeas as Program Manager for North Australia with The Christensen Fund, a California-based private philanthropic fund. Henrietta is Associate Professor (Indigenous Engagement) with Central Queensland University. She is Patron First Nations of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. On January 26th 2018 Henrietta was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division, and on June 8th she was recognised as a Queensland Great.