Presenters and Supporters
Guest of honour
Neville Coleman is a multi-award winning photographer, naturalist and author of over 50 books on marine natural history and diving.
We are proud to have this underwater pioneer and one of the most passionate diver you will ever meet become a major part of the first Byron Underwater Festival. He will dive, identify critters and give a series of presentations. He will also do a book signing as part of the Underwater Village at the end of the festival.
The Oceania Project is a not-for-profit research and education organisation founded by Trish Franklin in 1988.
Trish and her partner Wally have been featured in several television documentaries and have gained world-wide recognition. They have travelled widely to visit areas throughout the world important to Cetacea and to meet scientists and other individuals involved in study and conservation.
The Australian Seabird Rescue was established at Ballina, New South Wales in 1992, following the rescue of a pelican hooked in fishing tackle. Since that time, ASR volunteers have been involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of seabirds and shorebirds, marine turtles, and to date, have rescued over 1000 Australian Pelicans. Lance Ferris will talk about their efforts in saving marine turtles.
Matthew Dasey is Ranger overseeing research and monitoring at Cape Byron Marine Park. The Park was declared in 2002, and following an extensive program of scientific surveys and community consultation the Marine Park began protecting some locations within its boundaries from activities such as commercial and recreational fishing.
Liz Hawkins began a PhD in 2003 with the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre and is currently working on a project examining the associations between behaviour and acoustics of wild dolphins and the potential impacts of vessel interactions. The inshore bottlenose dolphin population of Byron Bay Marine Park is the focus population for this project. Using both land and vessel base surveys, the natural movements and behaviours of dolphins can be observed.
David is a scientist working primarily on the design and construction of wetlands and ecological restoration projects across the north coast of NSW and southern Queensland. David had an early career in commercial fisheries as a vessel skipper and in middle management, in Australia and overseas.
Isabel is a volunteer ‘community education project manager’ with the Belongil Bird Buddies. Isabel has qualifications in adult education and project management and a background in community projects including in Australia and overseas.
National Day of Action to Protect Whales
Howie Cooke and Dean Jefferys will be talking about the latest issues effecting whales and the “Flight of the Humpback” project. They will also be showing some recent whale clips. Howie Cooke established The Humpback Whale Migration Icon Project and set up Surfers for Cetaceans with David Rastavich.