This award recognises sustainable tourism operators who focus on providing experiences that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.
This award recognises FACET student members who are working towards FACET’s aims and objectives.
Named after our founder this Award recognises extraordinary personal and professional achievements and contribution by an individual to the cultural and ecotourism industry in Western Australia. This award is open to both members and non-members of FACET.
2019 – Marielle Sengers, Travel Western Australia
It is an immense honour to receive this award. For the past 15 years I have been guiding day and extended tours across all corners of Western Australia, carrying my heart on my sleeve.
How can you not fall in love with what we have on offer in our own backyard? Pure wilderness in its finest form, from the red dirt to the crystal clear turquoise waters of the ocean, remote bush land, unique flora and fauna and country, our heritage in the oldest living culture on our planet, the indigenous Aboriginal culture.
Being outdoors storytelling and connecting with people is what I have been doing my entire life. As a kid I grew up in the outskirts of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The bit of nature we have in my hometown, I explored the lot and always came home covered in dirt with a spark in my eye and another bruise on my arm or leg. I have always had an adventurous heart and an unbeatable passion for exploring and discovering nature and sharing it with others.
After I finished my studies in Education and Media and Cultural Anthropology, I worked as an editor in Amsterdam, guided hiking tours in the French Pyrenees and took courses in Adventure Tour Guiding. I started traveling the globe on a shoestring and worked in the Caribbean as a news editor for a local television and radio company. It was Western Australia that eventually won my heart. This place feels like home and this is where I am meant to be, where I have a feeling of purpose.
Over the years, I found a job as a tour guide when tourism in our state was booming. I did back to back overland stints between Perth and Broome, throughout the Pilbara, the Kimberley and the South West, until I hurt my back on a tour in 2011 and had to go through major back surgery. I could not walk anymore and thought I would never guide again, but the operation was successful and I was on my way to recovery.
I started assisting in marketing and promoting Western Australia domestically and internationally on road shows in Europe. I became a Board member of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation and combined my tour guiding with working as a facilitator in outdoor leadership programs in WA. These roles beautifully complement each other and allowed me to enhance my skills and expand my network in the industry, resulting in setting up my own tour guide business in 2017. I now contract myself out to several tour operators in Western Australia and recently as a guide on hiking expeditions in the Himalayas in Nepal.
Being out there in remote areas amongst the elements is challenging and gets the best out of me, and I guess that spark rubs off. It is beautiful to see the impact of traveling in our state on visitors. They have often never experienced anything like it.
In 2016 and 2018 I was lucky enough to become a finalist in the FACET Golden Guide category in the WA Tourism Awards but 2019 showed me that dreams come true as long as you keep putting in the work and believe in what you do.
With this award I aim to encourage others to step up and follow your heart. If you do what you are passionate about, you will shine as best as you can and the world will smile right back at you.
2014 – Lori-Ann Shibish, Edith Cowan University
Lori-Ann Shibish was awarded the 2014 FACET Student Award. Lori-Ann is currently studying her Masters of Tourism Management at Edith Cowan University. Her Master’s research paper focuses on Aboriginal cultural and ecotourism development in national parks. Lori-Ann’s vision for the cultural and ecotourism industry is to raise its profile to become the preferred type of tourism, creating a paradigm shift away from mass and consumptive tourism. The aim is encourage people to embrace the experience of connecting with nature as well as for sustainable, ecologically and culturally sensitive tourism development and for the preservation of our environmental assets and cultural heritage.
Image: Pat Barblett, AM with Lori-Ann Shibish
2014 – Mandurah Cruises, Mandurah Cruises & Gift Shop
Mandurah Cruises won the 2014 FACET Operator Award. This award recognises sustainable tourism operators who focus on providing experiences that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Mandurah Cruises are a very worthy recipient of this award. The business has been in operation for some 30 years, adhering to an extensive environmental policy, and was the first Australian business to obtain EcoPlus Accreditation, which is a further testament to their commitment to fostering environmental and cultural understanding.
Image: Pat Barblett, AM with Lori-Ann Shibish
2014 – Colin Ingram, Department of Parks and Wildlife
The 2014 Pat Barblett Medal was awarded to Colin Ingram, immediate past Vice Chair of FACET and Senior Planning Officer with the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Colin has had a life-long passion for connecting people with parks and is a very deserving recipient of this special award. The Pat Barblett Medal recognises the extraordinary personal and professional achievements and contribution made by an individual to the tourism industry in Western Australia. Colin has worked in the tourism and outdoor recreation industry, specialising in nature-based tourism and ecotourism, for over 30 years and has contributed greatly to the nature-based, ecotourism product offering in our National Parks.