Rekindling historic connection.

Written by Binna Burra

December 23, 2021

Steve Noakes, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Binna Burra Lodge has been appointed as the new Vice Chair of the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ).

The appointment symbolises a rekindling of the history of both organisations founded in large part by the vision and work of pioneering Queensland environmentalists, Romeo Lahey and Arthur Groom.

At the first meeting to form the NPAQ held at Brisbane City Hall in April 1930, Romeo Lahey was elected President and Arthur Groom the Secretary. Three years later, they led the establishment of Binna Burra Lodge to enable the public to visit and learn from nature,

The connection between the NPAQ and Binna Burra Lodge has remained strong across respective members and shareholders over the decades, and has strengthened as Binna Burra Lodge continues its recovery from the devastation of the September 2019 bushfires.

Now, some 90 years later after Binna Burra ‘grew’ out of the NPAQ membership, the two separate organisations have commonality in their respective Board leadership.

‘The NPAQ advocates for the protection, expansion and good management of the protected areas in Queensland’ explained Steve Noakes

‘It supports the development and application of scientific and professional knowledge in advancing national parks and nature conservation – just like we do at Binna Burra Lodge, located inside the Lamington National Park.’

Since the foundation of the NPAQ, about 70% of all national parks in Queensland were either gazetted or extended following recommendations made to the State Government by NPAQ. The list includes iconic parks such as Girraween and Springbrook, Glass House Mountains, Hinchinbrook, Eungella, Munga-Thirri (Simpson Desert) and World Heritage Areas such as the upper sections of the Daintree.

In his address to in 19th Romeo Lahey Memorial Lecture 2021[1] titled ‘Issues for QLD’s national parks from 1930 to the Black Summer Bushfires 2019/2020’ held on 23rd October 2021 at City Hall – Brisbane, Noakes said:

‘We have the good fortune as beneficiaries of Romeo Lahey’s vision and passion for Queensland’s protected areas. Additionally, in the case of the many thousands of people who felt an emotional impact of the 2019 bushfire devastation, we can be thankful for the vision of Romeo and others that a lodge on the Binna Burra Cultural Landscape in what is now a World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park came into existence and its ongoing disaster recovery process draws upon the legacy, resilience, and inspiration of its founders.’

About the National Parks Association of Queensland.

The Association promotes the preservation, expansion, good management and presentation of National Parks, and supports nature conservation in Queensland.

The objects for which the Association is established are –

  • To preserve the National Parks and other protected areas of Queensland in their natural condition, to the greatest possible extent, and to endeavour to ensure the reservation and preservation of other areas considered to be suitable for protection;
  • To foster member and public interest in, enjoyment of, and respect for National Parks and nature conservation;
  • To promote the appropriate management of National Parks and other protected areas, and appropriate management of environmental factors which may affect existing and potential National Parks;
  • To promote effective legal and environmental protections in respect of National Parks and other protected areas, and to ensure the enforcement of provisions for their protection;
  • To promote appropriate and balanced measures for visitors to experience National Parks while conserving and protecting the natural environment



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