2013 Award Recipient

Vanessa McGuiness – Murdoch University Western Australia

Project Title:An Investigation into Recreation Succession and Current Visitor Thinking at Popular Visitor Attractions in Shark Bay, WA’.

Project Aim: The research aims to determine current levels of visitor satisfaction at the dolphin-feeding natural attraction in Monkey Mia and particularly since 2005.

Project Description:

This current study is a duplicate of Smith and Newsome's work on Impact Creep and Visitor Satisfaction in 2005. An investigation into current visitor experiences (positive or negative) and levels of satisfaction at the dolphin-feeding site at Monkey Mia and the stromatolite boardwalks at Hamelin Pool (near Monkey Mia) will be produced via questionnaires and interviews. This research will allow DPaW management to explore what social and aesthetic impacts or management actions are occurring which may be causing dissatisfaction and therefore a decline in tourist numbers at Monkey Mia.

 Ms McGuiness completed her thesis in October 2013.

2012 Award Recipient

Shannon Hassell – Murdoch University, WA

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Source: S. Hassell

Project TitleNature based Camping in Western Australian Protected Areas

Project Aim:  To understand the characteristics and expectations of nature based campers in WA protected areas.

Project Description:

The WA Government, through the auspices of Tourism WA, is conducting a review of caravan camping. Also, DPaW regions/districts are currently preparing nature based camping strategies. A comprehensive understanding of how and why campers are using protected areas is essential information for these strategies.

This research project will provide this information though analysing preliminary research on visitor segmentation and conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with these visitor segments at a number of protected areas in WA. The information and recommendations from this project can then be used to inform these strategies. It will also add to the knowledge provided by Tourism WA from their review efforts.

Shannon was an honours student in the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University, Western Australia and undertook her research in Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region and Warren National Park in the Warren Region, Western Australia during 2012. Tourism WA supported the Nature Based Recreation and Tourism Research Award by providing additional funds for this project and we thank them for this assistance.


2011 Award Recipient

Professor Roy Jones and research staff - Curtin University, WA

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Source: T. Jones

Project Title: Community and Socioeconomic Impacts of the World Heritage Nomination of Shark Bay.

Project Aim:  What are the community and socioeconomic impacts of the World Heritage nomination of Shark Bay? Have these been positive or negative and, if so, how?

Roy Jones, supervising research staff from Curtin University, Western Australia, was awarded funds to assist with this research project. Tourism WA supported the Nature Based Recreation and Tourism Research Award by providing additional funds for this project and we thank them for this assistance.


2010 Award Recipients

Clint Bracknell - Curtin University, WA

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Source: R. Weir

Project TitleThe Aboriginal History of the Fitzgerald River National Park.

Project Aims:

  • To involve the traditional owners of the Fitzgerald River National Park in compiling a record of their sites of significance, including the dimensions of spiritual and cultural connections and oral history.
  • On the basis of this record, to produce an analytical narrative of Aboriginal history of the Fitzgerald River National Park. 

Clint and Supervisor Dr Christina Birdsall-Jones from Curtin University, Western Australia explored the Aboriginal history of Fitzgerald River National Park.

Emily Pinkus – Murdoch University, WA

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Source: E. Pinkus

Project Title:  Satisfaction, Service Quality and the Behavioural Intentions of Visitors to Purnululu National Park

Project Aim:  To describe the relationships between the perceived quality of the facilities and services provided at the park and visitor satisfaction and loyalty.

Emily was an honours student in the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University, Western Australia and undertook her research in Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia in 2010/11.


2009 Award Recipient

Joanna Tonge – Murdoch University, WA

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Source: J. Tonge

Project title: Understanding the Place Attachment of Campers Along the Southern Ningaloo Coast.

Project aims:

  • Experimentation with a suite of techniques to access and describe place attachment associated with marine parks.
  • Gain information from management agencies and locals as well as visitors to form a complete picture of place attachment with regards to Ningaloo Marine Park.
  • Make recommendations to managers (and for Curtin University’s tourism destination model) regarding how to include place attachment in evaluating societal responses to future management scenarios.

Joanna was a PhD student in the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University, Western Australia and undertook her research along the Ningaloo Coast in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in 2009 and completed her dissertation in 2012. The Committee awarded Joanna funds in both 2009 and 2010. 



2008 Award Recipients

Jennifer Strickland-Munro – Murdoch University, WA

Project title: Developing Indicators of the Impacts of Tourism and Purnululu National Park on Warmun community (PhD).

Emma Tomren – Murdoch University, WA

Project title: Development of a Wastewater Technology Selection Tool: An Assessment Method for Nutrient Management – Nambung National Park (Honours).