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MEDIA RELEASE: A fitting tribute - Felicity Wishart Reef named in honour of one of its greatest defenders

Fri 2 June 2017

The announcement today of the Felicity Wishart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area is a wonderful legacy to a much loved and highly respected conservationist.

Felicity Wishart died nearly two years ago at the age of 50, while leading the Fight for the Reef campaign, a partnership between the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and WWF Australia

“Affectionately known as Flic to her colleagues and friends, Felicity Wishart dedicated her life’s work to protecting some of Australia’s most treasured places,” said AMCS Fight For Our Reef Campaign Director, Imogen Zethoven AO.

“From the Wet Tropics to the forests of Tasmania to the Great Barrier Reef, Felicity worked with passion, grace and resolve to overcome the odds and protect our priceless natural wonders for future generations.”

“Flic cared deeply about people and the environment. Where she saw injustice, whether it was through environmental desecration or exploitation of people, she would step in and fight for those who couldn’t speak or needed help. She could never stand idly by when injustice was occurring,” Ms Zethoven said. 

The Fight for the Reef campaign turned out to be the fight of Flic’s life. 

“Many were sceptical that a public campaign could ever generate sufficient clout to derail plans for the largest, most rapid industrialisation plans in Australia’s history – all along the Reef coast. Development that would see millions of tonnes of dredge spoil dumped into Reef waters and increase the number of coal ships ploughing through the Marine Park,” said Darren Kindleysides, AMCS Director.

“Flic had an unerring faith that the seemingly impossible was possible. This was her unique contribution: the belief that people power could stop highly damaging developments. Her faith inspired others to believe and join the fight. 

“That a Reef has been named after Flic is a fitting way to honour and remember a dearly loved and much missed colleague and friend. It will mean a great deal to her family.  

“All Australians, whether they realise it or not, owe a debt of gratitude for her work. We are all beneficiaries of her life and work,” Mr Kindleysides said.

Flic believed in the importance of mentoring young activists, particularly young women. A Felicity Wishart Legacy Fund has been established in her honour and this year has supported two young to attend the 2017 Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia program. 

Download high-res images of Felicity, the Felicity Wishart Reef and map  here >>

Download this Media Release as a PDF [33kb] here >>

For further information, interviews and images please contact:

Gemma Freeman, AMCS Media and Communications

0412 505 405 - mediacomms@amcs.org.au

Imogen Zethoven, Fight for our Reef Campaign Director

0431 565 495 - imogenzethoven@amcs.org.au

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