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The Reef Rebels

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Reef Rebels is a program that offers young Australians the opportunity to travel to the Great Barrier Reef and investigate its health for themselves. The program is designed to challenge the "reef is bleached and dying" narrative that has been popularised by the media and environmental groups.

The Reef Rebels Logo, The Institute of Public Affairs Logo and the text "The Reef Rebels" foregrounded over a background of a close-up photo of a fish.

According to their website, selected applicants of the Reef Rebels will have the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef and other inshore reefs, visit the rainforests and surrounds, hear from experts on how reefs are formed, what sustains them, and the threats to their health, hear varying perspectives from those who work in and around the reef everyday, and compare and contrast these differing viewpoints on the overall health of the reef.

The Reef Rebels program was established by the Project for Real Science, which is an initiative of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), intended to "rebuild the integrity of scientific research in Australia, with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef." The project is headed by Dr. Peter Ridd, a former professor of physics at James Cook University who was sacked for his criticism of the university's Great Barrier Reef research.

Accompanying him in heading the project is Dr. Jennifer Marohasy, a senior fellow at the IPA "with responsibilities for Climate Change in the Research Program at the IPA." In 2005 Dr. Marohasy was chairwoman of the Australian Environment Foundation, a group reportedly featuring mining and timber lobbyists amongst its directors. One of the AEF's main campaigns was to combat environmental education for children which it believed to be "ideologically driven."

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