Steve Noakes has been re-elected by the Board of Directors as Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge Ltd., the nationally significant nature-based tourism enterprise located within the World Heritage Lamington National Park, Queensland.
The pioneering Queensland ‘ecotourism collective’ commenced operations in 1933, being incorporated the following year as an unlisted public company with the support of an initial 97 shareholders. The founders were also founding members of the National Parks Association of Queensland. Described as ‘Australia’s first crowd-funded nature-based venture’, nowadays, the shareholder members exceed 800 consisting of generations of families with deep emotional links to the ‘spirit of Binna Burra’.
On Sunday 8 September 2019, the heritage listed lodge and cabins were destroyed at the beginning of what became known as the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires across Australia. It took one year before the remaining assets including the Sky Lodge accommodation, camp ground and Binna Burra Tea House could be reopened for trading in September 2020.
Noakes was re-elected by his fellow Board members at a closed meeting of the Board of Directors held on Wednesday evening, 02 December 2020 – coinciding with his 65th birthday!
At the Annual General meeting of Binna Burra Lodge held at Beechmont on Sunday 22 November 2020, the shareholders unanimously re-elected Noakes for a further three year term of office. Subsequent to the AGM, under the company’s constitution, the Board appoints a Chairperson from within its ranks.
Noakes whose Bundaberg family roots go back to the start of that famous rum that carries the Bundaberg name, has been involved in the travel and tourism industry for over 40 years. He is widely recognised as a long term advocate for sustainable tourism practices across the Asia Pacific region.
He is founder of Pacific Asia Tourism, an international project management company focused on tourism’s capacity to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. He is Director/part-owner of Ecolodges Indonesia & EcoSafari Indonesia, operating ecolodges and inbound tours with a wildlife and biodiversity conservation focus across Indonesia.
In 2008, Steve was honoured with the inaugural Ecotourism Australia Medal, recognizing his active engagement in the Australian and international ecotourism industry.
Some two decades ago he laid the ground-work as the lead Asia Pacific representative in the development of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. He has also been an active participant on the Panel of Tourism Experts within the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, and the UNWTO World Committee on Tourism Ethics and contributing to a number of UNWTO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international agencies projects in Asia and East Africa.
Steve has served as an Adjunct/Visiting Professor in Sustainable Tourism, at Universities in Australia, Norway and Finland. Nowadays, he is an Adjunct Industry Fellow at the Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University, Australia, and over the past number of years, has been teaching the full semester Sustainable Tourism & Indigenous Cultures, subject at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia.
He is a member of the National Parks Association of Queensland (formed in 1930) and the
Royal Geographical Society of Queensland (origins in 1885).