Small World Journeys Guides
Maggie Booth has worked as a marine biologist for 14 years. Originally from England, Maggie has lived in north Queensland for 18 years. Part of this time she ran the James Cook University research station on Orpheus Island -- the research station plays a critical role in the study of the systems at The Great Barrier Reef, as well as hosting numerous student groups interested in marine biology. Maggie has a double degree in zoology and marine biology, as well as a graduate diploma in education. Having worked with teenagers both in and out of the classroom, Maggie has honed a teaching style that young people appreciate and learn from. She is an avid SCUBA diver, Dive Master, and enthusiastic teacher.
Dr. Martin Cohen
Martin has worked as a zoologist and wildlife commentator for over 20 years. During this time he has conducted numerous wildlife surveys, been involved in wildlife research (including a PhD on cane toads), and undertaken biodiversity monitoring programs. He has also worked with community conservation groups, guided eco-tours all over Australia, written countless popular wildlife articles and presented wildlife and conservation talks to people from all walks of life. He was even sponsored by Land Rover to drive right around Australia in 80 days and write about his experiences including the best wildlife locations and places to camp. Martin is always in demand for his writing and photography skills, and is involved in several wildlife research projects including climate change impacts on the Wet Tropics biodiversity and canopy bridges for arboreal fauna for James Cook University. With Julia Cooper, he was the author and photographer of 101 Animals of the Wet Tropics, 101 Plants of the Wet Tropics, 101 Animals of The Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest Animals.
As a former researcher for the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Rick has spent many years up close to Australian fauna. He was involved with frog monitoring and mammal surveys, which eventually led to his profession as a naturalist. Rick also conducted extensive field research and interpretation programs on sea turtle biology at the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. Rick is a true-blue Aussie bloke born and bred in Queensland, and he knows the Aussie “bush” intimately. Having worked as a full time naturalist guide from the coast to the outback for many years, Rick is also a superb generalist with an enthusiasm for camping, teaching, and working with young people. Working with companies such as Australian Wild Escapes and Wilderness Eco Safaris further honed his group management and “tour guiding” skills. His travels have taken him through South America and Papua New Guinea, and his time with Australia’s indigenous people created a fondness for playing the didgeridoo.
Alan Gillanders is a wildlife expert and keeps busy showing guests the unique fauna of the area. Alan was a primary school and high school science teacher, as well as temporary principal for several small schools. Alan’s natural history education started in childhood with his parents, along with family and aboriginal elders, developed through personal experience and investigation and rounded out by joining scientists in the field. He was a national park volunteer for 20 years, and now his specialty is wildlife spotting. Alan is a true-blue Aussie bloke, born and bred in the region, and groups always enjoy his enthusiasm for all things wild.
Kylie is our Sydney-based guide: she loves showing visitors the hidden and unusual corners of Sydney, and her two children keep her busy discovering more. Kylie got her start as a guide in 1994 with Contiki which gave her a sound background in managing groups of young people and an intimate knowledge of Australia’s entire east coast. Kylie then went on to train tour guides for Contiki’s head office in Sydney, and even taught tour guiding at an adult college. Kylie studied mass communications at MacQuarie University in Sydney, and obtained her NAATI accreditation as an interpreter which has led to work in Italian as well as French. Kylie has also recently completed a course on the colonial history of Sydney, which has added a new dimension to her knowledge of the city. Although Kylie spent her youth in Florence, Italy, having attended the American School there, she is an Aussie through and through. Consequently, Kylie is just as comfortable sipping a cappuccino at a cafe as a beer in a country pub.
Having studied tourism and indigenous culture through Charles Darwin University, Eddie has also more than 20 years of field experience as a guide. He has worked in conjunction with the Australian Tropical Research Foundation to carry out research on mega bats and micro bats in Daintree National Park, and with the University of Western Sydney to create a feral animal control program in the Blue Mountains. Eddie has led tours in the Red Centre/Ayers Rock region, the remote Kimberly region and Arnhem Land of the Northern Territory, and from Cairns north through the Cape York Peninsula. He has circumnavigated Australia four times in his 4x4, which has allowed him to experience the true diversity of the continent. Coming from a aboriginal origins himself, Eddie loves to share his understanding of indigenous culture with others, weaving both scientific and cultural elements into his teachings.
Mark knows the Aussie bush intimately and as a certified snake catcher he is our own “Steve Irwin”. Mark has spent many years up close to Australian fauna, leading adventures through the depths of Australia’s Red Centre as well as the rainforest. As an English teacher overseas, Mark has taught in the classroom and as a certified dive master, Mark has also honed his teaching skills under the sea. After obtaining a Certificate IV in Tour Guiding, Mark has had the opportunity to work with guests from all over the world, and his travels have taken him through Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He speaks basic Japanese, and has a great an enthusiasm for trekking, diving, music and flying.
With a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Andrew has worked with young people for many years, facilitating ropes courses, team building and adventure sports. By helping students through physical and intellectual challenges, he has helped them achieve both personal and group goals.
Andrew has a sound background in safety and first aid skills, and his energies have gone into developing student risk management assessments and emergency management plans. Since 2006 Andrew has also been guiding guests of all ages through the rainforest, teaching about its flora, fauna and natural history. As an avid kayaker and an accomplished rafting guide, he has led hundreds of adventurers down Queensland rivers as well. Andrew’s extensive travels have taken him through North and Central America, Europe, Africa, China, Japan, South East Asia, and Papua New Guinea.
Yann is our French-speaking guide: originally from Brittany in northwest France, Yann came to Australia inspired by his love of sailing and by the tropics. In 1985, he pursued his dream of sailing around the world. By crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a French 3 mast old rigging and then in 1986 on a luxury yacht through the Pacific Ocean, Yann joined the America's Cup's yacht racing organisation. In 1988 he came back to Australia to represent France on another French old rigging for the celebration of the Australian bicentenary. Enamoured by Australia, Yann decided with his family to permanently move to Queensland’s Far North. Yann has been working in the Cairns region now for more than 20 years, teaching visitors about both the sea and the rainforest. Yann is an accredited guide through the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WETMA), a highly regarded certification, as well as a lifeguard. He and his wife divide their time between living on their yacht and in their house in the middle of the rainforest.