Mark and Bill showing signage exemplar.
Mark and Bill showing signage exemplar.

Project to install marine awareness signs on GKI boardwalks

A GREAT Keppel Island (GKI) non for profit charity is working to install a series of interruptive signs to raise marine environmental awareness on the island.

Keppel Turtle Fund Inc (KTF) was founded in 2017 and aims to enhance the natural environment of Australia by engaging with the community to protect the reef, marine life and the environment on GKI and in Keppel Bay through education, appreciation, protection and rehabilitation, whilst working in conjunction with all current reef advisory groups.

KTF’s first project is to establish a Marine Environmental Awareness/Education Trail.

This trail would have a series of interpretative signs with information on marine turtles, marine life, coral, reef, sea birds, shells, how to protect them, safe snorkelling and reef smart practices so that future generations can enjoy the reef.

This information will be provided by Dr Alison Jones, Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority (GBRMPA), Fitzroy Basin Association and other government sources.

This trail will be located within the grounds and boardwalk of the GKI Hideaway because of issues faced in constructing signs on crown land, i.e. insurance and approvals.

A project stakeholder visit was held last week.

The stakeholders were met by Denise Weisse (KTF’s Chairperson) who welcomed them to the island, then spoke about the Keppel Turtle Fund Inc. (KTF) background and proposed projects.

A light lunch was served to the stakeholders who included Mr Adam Belot (Livingstone Shire Council’s Deputy Mayor), Councillor Tanya Lynch, Mr Phil Luzzie (Chairperson – Emu Park and Yeppoon Community Bank Branches of the Bendigo Bank) and his wife Robyn, Mr Shannon van Nunen (Fitzroy Basin Association), Mrs Rebecca Allen (GBRMPA), Mr Bill Gannon (Project Manager and Designer/Artist), Mr Luke Gannon (Industrial Designer), Mrs Michelle Black (Graphic Designer), Mr Glenn Knox (Metal Fabricator) and Mr Kelly Harris (Manager – GKI Hideaway).

Stakeholders on the Great Keppel Island boardwalk.
Stakeholders on the Great Keppel Island boardwalk.

Mrs Britney Lauga MP accepted our invitation but due to the arrival of the Queensland Premier that day, was unable to attend the site visit.

Denise continued to explain that the KTF also hopes to achieve its purpose through the GKI Hideaway Reception staff who provide relevant reef protect information to their guests and visitors to the island.

Denise has also established a GBRMPA Remote Access Point in the GKI Hideaway Reception area and distributes information such as Zoning Maps, Protect Your Patch and other posters on how to protect the reef, to the Hideaway guests and island visitors (KTF would like to acknowledge the support from the GBRMPA Southern Region Assistance Director, Rebecca Allen, for supplying this information).

Denise has also established a gift shop within the GKI Hideaway for the purpose of raising money to fund the projects.

KTF would like to acknowledge the support from the Manager of the GKI Hideaway, Kelly Harris.

The KTF has contracted Bill and Luke Gannon to provide project management as well as design work for this project.

All the planning, design, fabrication and installation of the panels will be conducted by local companies.

Bill plans to use the same companies that have previously provided him with excellent end products. The graphic designer, Michelle Black is well known in the region and has previously provided products for the Fitzroy Basin Association.

The use of QR scan codes will be used and will provide references to further information.

After lunch, Bill Gannon and Mark Edmistone (KTF’s Secretary) took the stakeholders on the proposed trail while explaining the information available at each of the proposed 13 locations.

The signage at the start of the trail will be free standing with an aluminium base in the shape of reef animals and an area of two A3 pages to illustrate the information.

The existing hand rails will be used to support the signage that will be located on the boardwalk within the grounds of the GKI Hideaway.

Signage will be lit up at night by using the existing lighting scheme as well as being located near the proposed new lights that will provide additional lighting to the walkway.

Bill and Mark were wrapping up the site visit when Mark received a message requesting them to proceed to the beach for immediate transfer to the ferry.

Bill Gannon showing the signage exemplar.
Bill Gannon showing the signage exemplar.

The very low tide was preventing the ferry from using the gangway to embark our visitors.

Hence the wonderful people from Keppel Dive were requested to assist the evacuation from the beach.

Mr Dane Bulder who operated the dive boat, picked up the stakeholders who had to take off their shoes and roll up the trousers to waddle out to the boat.

There were a couple of new ways to get into a rigid inflatable boat which proved to be very comical to all watching.

The return trip to the mainland went well and our guests were back at the Keppel Bay Marina by 2.30pm.

The KTF would like to thank the Keppel Dive for providing the dive boat.

The Keppel Turtle Fund wishes to thank all who attended the stakeholder site visit and hope they have a better understanding of the KTF and the proposed Marine Environmental Awareness Trail.

All donations to support this project are welcome. If you wish to make a donation, please email Mark at with the details.

The Keppel Turtle Fund wishes to acknowledge the financial support from the Emu Park and Yeppoon Community Bank Branches of the Bendigo Bank and the GKI Hideaway. Also, this stakeholder site visit was supported by Fitzroy Basin Association Inc., through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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