Recently-appointed Board members Damien Burrows and Richard Hoolihan.

New Directors join NQ Dry Tropics Board

Two new Directors have joined the NQ Dry Tropics Board; Richard Hoolihan and Prof. Damien Burrows.

Mr Hoolihan belongs to the Gugu-Badhun (Upper Burdekin) and Ngadgjon-Jii (Atherton Tablelands) Traditional Owner Groups, and brings a wealth of cultural heritage experience to the organisation.

For the past four years he has been the Gugu-Badhun representative on the Traditional Owner Management Group — an advisory body facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics that provides a platform for groups in the Burdekin region to contribute to natural resource management activities.

He is passionate about supporting indigenous people to reconnect with country and culture. He is also keen to promote positive relationships between landholders and Traditional Owners, so they can work together to improve the environment while also protecting cultural heritage.

Prof. Burrows is Director of The Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) — an amalgamation of aquatic expertise from across James Cook University. He  leads the National Environment Science Program (NESP) Tropical Water Quality hub – a research program focused on improving water quality of the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments.  He is also a member of the federal government Independent Expert Panel for the Great Barrier Reef.

His nearly 20-year relationship with NQ Dry Tropics began when he supported the then fledgling organisation to develop North Queensland’s very first Natural Resource Management Plan — a blueprint for safeguarding the Burdekin region’s land, water, plants and animals.

Richard Hoolihan is the Gugu-Badhun representative on the Traditional Owner Management Group

Prof. Burrows Directs the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)

NQ Dry Tropics CEO Dr Scott Crawford said the Board was responsible for overseeing NQ Dry Tropics’ strategic direction, and would be strengthened by these appointments. 

“I am delighted to welcome Richard and Damien to the organisation,” Dr Crawford said.

“They will help ensure NQ Dry Tropics continues to work with Traditional Owners to deliver culturally appropriate work that promotes reconciliation, and also embrace future opportunities within the science and research sector.”

Dr Crawford said the appointees filled the considerable gaps created last year by the resignation of two long-standing Board members Phil Rist and Jamie Gordon

“I would like to thank Phil – a founder member of the Traditional Owner Management Group – and Jamie – a leader in innovative and sustainable grazing practices – for their contributions over many years,” Dr Crawford said. 

The NQ Dry Tropics Board has the overall responsibility for setting the organisation’s strategic direction, and ensuring financial viability. The current Chairperson is Mr Les Tyrell OAM, supported by a Company Secretary, a Finance & Audit Committee and a Nominations Committee.