Join the Tangaroa Blue Foundation Board

About the job

  • Non-Executive Board Director Opportunities
  • Not for Profit, Australia
  • Duration of appointment: 3 years

Excellent opportunities to support marine debris initiatives and programs that help to protect our waterways and oceans.

For almost 20 years, the Tangaroa Blue Foundation has been working to look after our oceans. Today we have operations across the country with our staff and volunteers running hundreds of clean-ups, educational sessions and source reduction programs.

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. Tangaroa made laws to protect the ocean and its sea creatures “Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki”… If you look after me, then I will look after you…”

We are seeking Board Members to join Tangaroa Blue to continue this work by supporting and overseeing the organisation’s strategic direction and our risk and governance frameworks. In particular we are seeking to appoint a Treasurer and a legal expert but there are also opportunities to contribute to a range of specialist sub-committees in the areas of:

  • Governance and organisational risk management
  • Strategy, sales, fundraising and marketing
  • Human resources and not-for -profit business administration

Successful candidates will demonstrate capabilities in strategic thinking, NFP governance, understanding of fiduciary duty obligations and a strong commitment to the values, vision and purpose of Tangaroa Blue. We are seeking independent thinkers who express their views respectfully and confidently, offering constructive contribution to Board deliberations and decision-making.

You are invited to apply for our current Board opportunities by submitting your CV (max 3 pages) and a short statement (max 300 words) articulating the value you believe you can bring to Tangaroa Blue aligning to the area of your expertise.

Further information about Tangaroa Blue Foundation can be found on our website:

To apply for a board position, please request a Board Nomination Form from:

Applications close 5pm (AEST) October 8th 2022

2021 ReefClean Report: 31.2 tonnes of debris removed

The 2021 ReefClean Report showcases another successful year of the program.

Ninety organisations, volunteer groups, schools and Traditional Owner groups participated in the 2021 ReefClean project. At 335 clean-up events, over 31.2 tonnes of debris was removed by 2,633 volunteers over 1,775 hectares. Volunteer effort was particularly high in the southern Fitzroy region, with 310 volunteer occasions for a total of 1,308 hours in 2021. Using the data collected from these clean-ups and entered into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database, 21 source reduction plans (SRPs) were rolled out and 186 educational and awareness raising activities were held. ReefClean workshops and presentations had over 20,000 participants in 2021. Despite COVID-19 related challenges over the last two years, the program has grown significantly since it began in 2019.

Plastic bits and pieces (hard and solid) and lids and tops, pump spray, flow restrictor and similar remain as the top two item categories, with no change from previous years. These two item categories were also often found in the top three for each NRM region zone, with foam insulation and packaging (whole and remnants) and plastic film remnants also found in high numbers. The three zones in the Cape York region had the highest density of debris, ranging from 0.203 to 0.226 pieces per m2 . The central Fitzroy region, on the other hand, had the lowest debris density for the last two years at 0.003 pieces per min 2021 and 0.002 in 2020. All data was entered into the AMDI Database and will inform management strategy recommendations and plans in the future.

We would like to acknowledge all ReefClean partners and volunteers for another successful year. We look forward to continuing to build on the marine debris removal and prevention work in the coming third year of the ReefClean project.

ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia, AUSMAP, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, OceanWatch Australia, Reef Check Australia, and South Cape York Catchments.

Navigating Island Health in the Coral Sea Marine Park

Cruising between the cays and islets of the Coral Sea Marine Park for 21 days may sound like a breeze, but the team involved in this important expedition returned with much more than holiday snaps. The aim of the trip was to evaluate island health in the region by conducting terrestrial flora and fauna surveys, seabird monitoring, pest species assessments and marine debris surveys. 

Led by Parks Australia, the Coral Sea Marine Park Island Health Voyage embarked off the coast of Queensland to the remote area encompassing 900,000 square kilometres. Tangaroa Blue’s Senior Project Coordinator, Mathilde, joined the expedition team, along with Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff and volunteers. 

On some of the southern islands the crew were hard pressed to find a single item of marine debris, however as they progressed north it started to significantly increase. A total of 1.6 tonnes of marine debris was collected from 20 cays and islets in the southern and central regions of the Coral Sea Marine Park, despite these sites being over 250 nautical miles from mainland Australia. 

The crew were all delighted to see the incredible number of seabirds, including globally significant nesting populations of several species, such as the endangered New Caledonia fairy tern. Unfortunately, at one site they were unable to collect the debris due to the hundreds of nesting seabirds which had laid their eggs amongst the rubbish.  The source of much enjoyment on the voyage was the abundance of large hermit crabs. They were found hiding in all kinds of places, which sadly included the marine debris. 

It was incredible to see how much the wildlife was thriving, with nesting species of red footed boobies, brown boobies, lesser and greater frigatebirds, red tailed tropic birds, black-naped terns and sooty terns amongst many others,” said Mathilde from Tangaroa Blue Foundation. “Even more satisfying was leaving the islands and cays clean of any rubbish, at least for the meantime”. 

Once the expedition returned to the mainland in June, the marine debris was sorted and recorded in the AMDI Database. Amongst the debris collected was:

  • 816 plastic water bottles
  • 1600 plastic lids and bottle tops
  • 452m of rope
  • 2km of commercial fishing line
  • 3411 broken hard pieces of plastic
  • 564 thongs and rubber soles
  • a large number of items from all the shipwrecks over the years.

This trip was the third large voyage undertaken by Parks Australia in support of the Coral Sea Island Health Project, which was initiated in 2018. A huge thank you to Ocean Conservancy for contributing funding towards this important expedition.

For more information, please download the Parks Australia Coral Sea Marine Park marine debris presentation.

Coral Sea Marine Park_Marine Debris Presentation_Parks Australia

8.2 Tonnes of Debris Removed From World Heritage Listed Site

4WD Queensland volunteers held their annual Fraser Island (K’Gari) Clean Up in late May, marking 21 years since the event was first established. This year an astonishing 8.2 tonnes of debris was removed over the two days, which is 2 tonnes more than last year. These incredible results were achieved by 751 participants, who attended in 350 vehicles representing 23 affiliated 4WD clubs from all over southeast Queensland. The enthusiastic crew were faced with strong winds, heavy rain and foggy conditions as they spanned the coast from Hook Point to the Sandy Cape to remove marine debris. 

The Fraser Island (K’Gari) Clean Up is organised by 4WD Queensland in conjunction with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and relies on the annual support of club members and event sponsors to ensure the ongoing removal of marine debris from this iconic World Heritage listed island. The Tangaroa Blue team appreciated the opportunity to attend and assist with data collection. 

K’Gari is such a special place and it is humbling to see the 4WD community come together and assist in keeping this culturally and environmentally significant treasure cleaner and safer for marine life” said Heidi Tait, CEO of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. 

During the 2022 clean up event, it was concerning to see countless large pieces of polystyrene across the island, a devastating result of the recent flooding events. Emergency services were also called in due to the uncovering of two dangerous silver canisters. The canisters can often contain toxic chemicals and need to be removed by the appropriate authorities. The immediate area was evacuated while the necessary precautions were taken to ensure the safety of participants. Tangaroa Blue staff members Ian and Jodie were also involved in the rescue of two green turtles. They are both trained to carry out these specialised rescues and were able to care for the turtles until they were able to be handed over to staff from Queensland National Parks.

Tangaroa Blue would like to acknowledge the Queensland Department of Environment, Ocean Conservancy and the Fraser Coast Regional Council for providing the funding opportunity for our team to attend this very important event.