Sharing the love for Victoria’s marine protected areas

Mr Mark Rodrigue1

1Parks Victoria, Melbourne, Australia


Since establishment of Victoria’s Marine National Park system in 2002 Parks Victoria and partners have delivered a suite of programs that seek to foster passion and support active community participation for these marine protected areas.

Monitoring programs in which volunteer capacity to visit parks regularly, track changes, and report information to managers, creates a vital link in ensuring healthy parks. Volunteers themselves benefit from mixing with like-minded people and health benefits from pursuing a more active lifestyle.

Education and interpretation initiatives delivered by community organisations make a major contribution to protecting the health of the parks, and in turn provide a purpose for people’s passion.

Supporting efforts of volunteers and facilitating opportunities for “sharing the love” for the marine environment are win-win situations and provide useful models for applying Parks Victoria’s Healthy Parks Healthy People philosophy to the marine environment.


Mark is Statewide Leader – Marine and Coasts with Parks Victoria and has oversight of the state’s rich and diverse marine protected area system.

A marine and coastal specialist Mark has a passion for education, partnerships, and building community stewardship for protected areas through effective management.

He lives with his family in the coastal community of Barwon Heads and can often be found with his head underwater in the local marine sanctuary.