Members of a previous Great Barrier Reef Festival committee (from left) Lisa Stockow, Kirsten Orenshaw, Fiona Van Blarcom, Margie Murphy, Heather Batrick, Lily Tarver, Ellen Kerr and Brian Duell. Photo: Vampp Photography
Members of a previous Great Barrier Reef Festival committee (from left) Lisa Stockow, Kirsten Orenshaw, Fiona Van Blarcom, Margie Murphy, Heather Batrick, Lily Tarver, Ellen Kerr and Brian Duell. Photo: Vampp Photography

Reef Festival dates locked in after 2020 COVID cancellation

The Great Barrier Reef Festival may have been brought to a halt last year, but the event is moving full steam ahead in 2021 and more hands are needed on deck.

The festival committee is on the hunt for new volunteers to help plan and organise this year's event.

The event was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19 but the committee has now started planning for this year and the dates are locked in for August 5-8.

President Margie Murphy said COVID regulations meant there would be some changes and the committee was also considering new events to ensure compliance with the COVID-safe rules.

"It's time to look outside the square to ensure we have a great festival and that everyone is safe," she said.

More stories:

Whitsunday town to be case study for sea level rise project

Bitter Adani legal battle hits Supreme Court

How to activate your free Courier Mail subscription

Mrs Murphy said volunteering was a fun and rewarding experience.

"As part of this year's festival planning, we are introducing a volunteer mentoring program," she said.

"That will allow the new volunteers to learn a variety of new skills from the more experienced committee members.

"If you are new to town, this would be a great way to meet people and become involved in the community."

The four-day festival will celebrate its 21st anniversary this year.

Previous festival favourites, including the Family Fun Day, Recyclable Regatta and Comedy Gala, will be back this year but the committee is looking for fresh events to be added to the program and needs new volunteers to be involved.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive officer Tash Wheeler said the Great Barrier Reef Festival was a much-loved event, made possible by the help of dedicated volunteers.

"The introduction of the volunteer mentoring program is just another example of how Whitsunday events continue to evolve and grow, helping to cement the Whitsundays as the heart of events," Ms Wheeler said.

The festival has developed a new strategic plan and now needs more people to help work with the current committee members to implement the plan.

"More people will mean less work for each committee member and volunteers can be involved as much or as little as they like," Mrs Murphy said.

"Some people may want to be involved in the planning straight away and others may just want to help during the festival."

An informal gathering will be held at The Garden Bar, Coral Sea Marina on Thursday, March 11, from 5.30pm for new volunteers to meet the team.

If you are interested in getting involved head down on the evening, phone 0418 155 542 or email info@greatbarrierreeffestival.com.au for further information.