Mark makes it to Lizard after detouring to China
Monday 16 February 2009
ALTHOUGH Mark Daniell was forced to miss last year's CReefs trip to Heron Island, he wasn't as devastated as you might think.
The health, safety, environment and community (HSEC) superintendent at the Cannington Life Extension project made it to Lizard Island as part of BHP Billiton's employee engagement program with the CReefs project.
He missed the last trip – because he got to go to China to run in the Paralympic torch relay.
Mark admitted it was a tough choice.
"It was an opportunity I couldn't knock back, even though I was very keen to go on the CReefs expedition," he said.
He went to the Chinese city of Quingdao, and ran the torch "about 40 or 50m" before handing it on.
Mark eventually made it to Lizard Island and has spent the past week getting involved in a variety of projects.
He said he enjoyed having a chance to interact with the researchers and see how passionate they were about their individual fields.
At first, Mark said he wasn't sure what he could do to help, but once he realised that everyone was happy to have an extra pair of hands he dived right in.
From helping bring in the Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) and sorting through their contents, to going out snorkelling on the reef and looking through specimens, Mark has thrown himself into the program.
As part of his work at Cannington, 700km west of Townsville, Mark has become involved with several marine-based environmental groups and stewardship programs.
Since coming to Lizard Island, Mark said he had developed an appreciation for why BHP Billiton chose to sponsor the program.
"I think it lines up with our global charter on the environment and sustainability," he said.
Mark thanked project leader Julian Caley and project manager Shawn Smith for making it easy for him to get involved in the program.