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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

30 January 2003

Great Barrier Reef Now at the World's Finger Tips


Students and teachers around the world will now only be a mouse click away from exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef thanks to new fully interactive web site launched in Townsville today by the Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.

Dr Kemp said the new site - www.reefED.edu.au - will become the world's virtual window to the Great Barrier Reef and part of an integrated program that gives all Australians access to world-class educational materials about the World Heritage listed Reef that is famous worldwide.

"Never before has so much information on the Great Barrier Reef been available to students and teachers. It's also a very user friendly interface which will have people from all over the world exploring and learning about the Reef with their computers," Dr Kemp said.

The site features information for both teachers and students, with curriculum based lesson plans and resource material for teachers while also offering, movies, photographs, school project material and fun learning activities for students. The site caters for students from years 1-12 but is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more.

"It's only by educating the reef users of tomorrow about its frailty and its beauty that we can expect responsible attitudes to its protection and management and Reef Ed is an excellent way to encourage this," Dr Kemp said.

"The Reef Ed features information for both teachers and students. Teachers can access curriculum-based lesson plans and resource material while school project material and fun learning activities are available for students."

Students and teachers from North Queensland and Victoria will simultaneously be the first to see the site during the Minister's launch.

"We'll have students and teachers with us at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority offices in Townsville while Victorian students from McKinnon Primary School will take part via video conference technology from Melbourne. The Victorian students will also be treated to an underwater tour of the world's largest living reef aquarium at Reef HQ via the internet," Dr Kemp said.

Reef Ed was designed by teachers and scientists from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in conjunction with WWD, a North Queensland Web design studio.

[***Note to News Eds/Chiefs of Staff: Media attending the launch should meet at the GBRMPA, Conference Room 1, at 9.15am on Thursday, January 30 2003.***]

Media contact
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Chip Henriss-Anderssen GBRMPA (07) 4750 0846 or 0408 180 760

Commonwealth of Australia