Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Bringing The Reef To The Festival With Crystal Lacey

Having spent the better part of 18 years working closely with the ocean and tourism, Crystal Lacey has perfected her expertise, skills, and knowledge, and is using it to positively influence the Whitsundays.

Stepping onto the Great Barrier Reef Festival committee in 2022, 2023 has seen her take the helm as Environmental Coordinator.

Tasked with enhancing the festival to encompass the environmental aspects of the reef, Crystal has helped curate fantastic immersive and educational opportunities for festival attendees to experience some of the very best of the Great Barrier Reef in a time of utmost attention to the Reef.

“We are bringing the Great Barrier Reef to life for the Great Barrier Reef Festival,” Crystal explains.

“Enhancing the Festival in these key spaces, from idea and concept to the actual event.”

Closely partnered with Reef educational bodies and eco-tourism operators, the Great Barrier Reef Festival provides in depth knowledge and education for community members and festival attendees.

Crystal was also integral with incorporation of indigenous leaders into the Festival line up, with indigenous leaders opening the Festival on Friday evening and leading many of the education classes and workshops.

In particular, Master Reef Guides will be playing a big part of the upcoming festival, leading various educational workshops and opportunities.

“This is the biggest collection of Master Reef Guides ever to be arranged,” Crystal said.

Crystal initially approached the Great Barrier Reef Committee in 2022.

“I wanted to bring the reef to the festival so I said, ‘this is what we should do and this is how we can do it’.”

Crystal has an extensive history of tourism, marine boating, and ocean activities, and has moved into eco-tourism, conservation, and education, through her business, Little Fish Tourism.

She was instrumental in the Welcome to the Whales event last month and a driving force behind pushing for the Whitsundays to become an accredited Whale Heritage Site, with the World Cetacean Alliance.

The Great Barrier Reef Festival theme for 2023 is to celebrate the whales, which goes hand-in-hand with gaining this accreditation.

Crystal Lacey has been highly influential in eco-tourism and edu-tourism, stepping into the role of Environmental Coordinator for the Great Barrier Reef Festival

The Master Reef Guides will be running workshops and information sessions throughout the Festival. Photos supplied

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