Posted by Erica Johnson on 3 March 2021 | Comments

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Ecotourism Australia is proud to recognise Rick Murray with an Ecotourism Australia Honorary Life Membership. 

The Ecotourism Australia Board recognised Rick, a long-time Chair and Director of Ecotourism Australia, for his untiring contribution to EA and the broader ecotourism industry on Tuesday evening.

Rick’s involvement with Ecotourism Australia spans EA’s lifetime and his involvement with the Board in particular spans over 14 years, serving as a Director from 2006 until retiring in 2020. Rick was elected Chairman for nearly five years and Deputy Chairman for two years.

Pioneering experience-based, minimal impact tours in 1990’s Australia with Odyssey Tours & Safaris, Rick has been actively involved at the ‘coal face’ of nature-based tourism for over 30 years and has a detailed knowledge of the interaction between tourism and our natural and cultural heritage right across the north of the continent. Rick’s experience covers lands including Protected Areas, Aboriginal Freehold lands and Pastoral Leases. 

Over the years Rick has spoken at Ecotourism conferences and provided advice in regions as diverse as Sabah Malaysia, Papua New Guinea’s Western Province, Tasmania, Central Australia, the Pilbara and the south and west coasts of the Gulf of Carpentaria, commonly on the interaction between government and private enterprise in the development of a sustainable regional economy. 

Over the past three decades Rick has served on several tourism industry committees and Boards, particularly those focussed on issues affecting our natural and cultural environment and on the continual improvement of industry standards among tour operators and guides. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of Tourism NT from 2006 until 2011. He was Chairman of the Kakadu Tourism Consultative Committee and a member of the Kakadu National Park Board of Management, from 2002 to 2015, and in 2018, Rick was awarded the NT Tourism Minister’s Perpetual Trophy.

Now based near Grafton in Northern NSW, Rick provides tourism business development services through his tourism consultancy, Middle Star Pty Ltd. Middle Star supports the development and sustainability of quality tourism businesses that are focussed on the natural and cultural environment in northern Australia and beyond.

Rick Murray is the fourth person to be presented with an Ecotourism Australia Honorary Life Membership; the other three recipients – Ross Dowling OAM, Tony Charters AM and Rod Quartermain receiving theirs in 2013, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Thank you, Rick.


Rod Hillman
CEO Ecotourism Australia
0427 279 414

Ecotourism Australia thanks City Wine, Brisbane for their hospitality on Tuesday evening; a special thanks to Upcycle Studio for supplying the membership frame. 

Cover Photo: Rod Hillman, Rick Murray & Claire Ellis

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