Living memorial for Australian conservationist

Published: 02/06/2017

Felicity Wishart spent her entire career working as an advocate for the conservation of nature and especially the Great Barrier Reef.

She died aged 50 in 2015 and, in recognition of her dedicated efforts, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Dr Russell Reichelt today announced a reef located about 50 km north-east of Hinchinbrook Island will become Felicity Wishart Reef.

Beginning in the 1980s as a campaigner for the Franklin River, Felicity gained widespread recognition for her environmental advocacy with the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Queensland Conservation Council, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).

“She had a passion for the environment and she wanted her children to inherit a world that was biologically diverse, healthy and beautiful. She saw this vision slipping away and wanted to stop the loss,” AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven observed.

WWF Australia Director of Oceans Richard Leck said, “She made Reef protection the most high profile environmental issue in Australia in 2014 and 2015.”

Felicity Wishart Reef is a living memorial to her commitment to the Great Barrier Reef —and the string of achievements she accomplished to protect it.

But Ms Wishart’s most enduring legacy lies in the people who experienced her generous, nurturing spirit.

“She invested a great deal in the people around her, and in turn she touched the hearts and minds of thousands of people,” Reef campaigner Cherry Muddle, who was mentored by “Flic”, said.

“She was a natural leader at work, because she inspired people to believe in themselves, to grow and to exceed their own expectations.  

“Her number one priority was her children Bardi and Clancy (now aged 17 and 10). Felicity’s legacy is two beautiful, caring boys who will continue her values into the next generation.”


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