How Australia’s fishiest faces are helping to save the Reef

The very notion of a fishface selfie seems contrary to the greater good, but that is exactly what Greening Australia’s Fish Up Your Face competition achieved.

The organisation put out the call for Australia’s fishiest face in October to raise funds and awareness for Reef Aid, their ambitious program to reduce soil erosion and help improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef.

Young and old joined in the fun, with some even taking to the water to get the perfect fishface selfie.

The winning photo from Lisa-Marie Sandery. The winning photo from Lisa-Marie Sandery.

A Clownfish, Blue Dory and Saxonfish were among the many species imitated but in the end it was Lisa-Marie Sandery in her blue mermaid outfit who took out the luxury prize – a five night trip for four to the Great Barrier Reef.

It will be Lisa’s first trip to the Reef, an opportunity she is excited to be able to share with her two children, aged five and seven.

Lisa-Marie Sandery receiving her prize from Greening Australia Lisa-Marie Sandery receiving her prize from Greening Australia

“We ran Fish Up Your Face as a fun and easy way for people to get involved in helping to save the Great Barrier Reef. There is such a lot of devastating news in the press about the Reef of late. We wanted to remind people that our Reef is not dead yet and that there are real, tangible actions we can take now that will make a real difference,” said Brendan Foran, CEO of Greening Australia.

“While climate change is the biggest global threat, poor water quality due to fine sediment and nutrients from eroding gullies is the largest local pressure facing our Reef. Luckily, this is one problem we can solve. By reshaping and revegetating these gullies we can stop sediment at its source. We have the solution, now we are calling on the rest of Australia to help us make it happen.”

“We would like to thank everyone who showed their support for Reef Aid by entering Fish Up Your Face.”

A few of the Fish Up Your Face entrants. A few of the Fish Up Your Face entrants.

The funds donated by entrants will add to the significant contributions provided for Reef Aid to date by the Federal Government, QLD Government, Ian Potter Foundation and philanthropists David and Sallie Prior and many other supporters.

Virgin Group Founder and passionate environmentalist, Sir Richard Branson, joined Greening Australia at the Sydney Opera house in April to launch Reef Aid.

To view all of the competition entries visit To lend your support to Reef Aid visit

Fish Up Your Face was run in partnership with Virgin Australia, Pullman Hotels & Resorts and Quicksilver Cruises.