Griffith University will become the ‘Lead University Partner’ for a new era of the iconic Binna Burra Lodge, which was devastated by bushfires in September 2019.

A long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Griffith and Binna Burra Lodge will cement a strategic partnership between the university and the historic nature-based tourism provider, focusing on the development, interpretation and presentation of collaborative research and educational activities.

Steve Noakes and Professor Martin Betts after signing the MOU

“This collaboration is a fantastic opportunity to support the rebuilding efforts of a much-loved attraction in what is an environmentally and culturally significant part of the world,” Professor Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Griffith University, said.

“It will include working jointly on research projects, papers and studies, activities and special events that encourage engagement and profile specific disciplines, work-integrated learning placements as well as practice-based field trips and projects, graduate work-placement programs and collaboration around partnership programs.

“In fact researchers from Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT), Dr Sarah Gardiner and Dr Debbie Cotterell, have already started discussions with Binna Burra around its recovery, gathering key business insights for all tourism operators affected by natural disasters.

“Tourism operators like Binna Burra, who have been affected by natural disasters, need to communicate their recovery efforts to minimise long-term effects on the visitor economy.”

The MOU also supports Binna Burra led initiatives such as the new Ambassador at large for Science initiative, a Science Advisory Group and planning for a new Research and Education Centre as part of the new Binna Burra Foundation.

Steve Noakes, Chair of the Board of Directors at Binna Burra Lodge said the MOU with Griffith University extended their ‘Support Research Program’.

“This program has for many decades encouraged and facilitated scholarly research into many topics which has a relationship to the natural, cultural and heritage landscape of Binna Burra Lodge, located within the world heritage listed Lamington National Park,” he said.

“We will maintain our many links with Universities and other research and education institutions here in Australia and overseas, but, especially given the post-bushfire interest from many Universities, it is beneficial for us to have a closer strategic relationship as ‘Lead University Partner’ with Griffith as the largest University in the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim region.’”

Located within the Lamington National Park in the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, since it was formed in 1933, Binna Burra has always had strong linkages to education and research activities of many Universities.

It is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register as a place ‘… important in the course of Queensland’s natural and cultural history’ and for almost nine decades, it has been a significant base for a range of physical, biological and social science research and educational activities.

Binna Burra Chairman, Steve Noakes has served as an Adjunct/Visiting Professor at Universities in Australia, Finland and Norway. From 2005 to 2016, he was an Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University and continues now as an Adjunct Industry Fellow within the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT).