Gold Coast's wildlife educator and First Nations advocate
Wildlife and Indigenous relations expert, Al Mucci knows a lot about the importance of business events.
He’s been a catalyst for bringing many to the Gold Coast and is a regular presenter at them. He’s our very own GC wildlife guardian and proud Ambassador for Destination Gold Coast Business Events.
As the community becomes more committed to sustainability – whether ecological, social or economic, his areas of expertise are in demand and valued in Australia and overseas.
His Gold Coast credentials come from pioneering work at Dreamworld where he was General Manager of Life Sciences and responsible for delivering visitor experiences that showcased animals through the eyes of First Nation people. That attraction is called Dreamworld Corroboree and it was built around a very different and innovative model
While no longer working at the attraction, Al Mucci lectures at The University of Queensland for the degree coarse Management and Husbandry of Zoo Animals at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences which supports his endeavours in wildlife education, conservation and research. He’s also a Director of the Save the Bilby Fund and former Director with the Queensland RSPCA.
Some of his projects have been on a global stage – especially the work with the “tiger community”. He’s very proud of this work which happens under the auspices of the London Zoological Society and Big Cat Conservation Alliance of which he continues to be involved with the global protection of these critters.
“I continue to be on the Zoological Society for London tiger alliance group - it was a no brainer that I go on the committee and drive the changes globally for tiger conservation.” He says.
Al Mucci has been enchanted by the furry and feathered creatures, bugs and beetles – and anything that moves since he was a child.
From those early years as a “child naturalist”, he has become a recognised leader in wildlife management, educating thousands of Australian and international students through his work as Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Queensland and well as in the visitor economy.
He is deeply committed to embracing the insights and knowledge of Indigenous Australians. They have been his teachers, he says.
His career is focused on protection of the environment and threatened species, the history of Queensland and protection Australia’s First Nations people’s heritage.
“I have been able to successfully bring innovative practices, breeding and release programs, and Indigenous heritage and First Nation cultural capacity to the businesses that I lead or worked with and in doing so, have driven growth in both visitation and profit metrics.” He says.
About 20 percent of his time is now spent teaching. He is proud of this work and its potential future impact as alumni venture into the world as the next professionals in zoos and environmental management.
“They are the future planners, zoo managers, environmental officers at councils – they are the people who will impact how things are done.
After a lifelong interest in conservation his impact has been enormous.
He’s trusted by the Indigenous communities of the Gold Coast and was proud and humbled to be the Indigenous Relationship Manager for the Commonwealth Games held in the city in 2018.
“I was proud to be the Indigenous Relationships Manager for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and to drive change in the community about how they saw First Nations people. The Commonwealth Games, as a major international sporting event, had some important firsts,” he says.
Among them was the inclusion of a Reconciliation Action Plan related to the local people of this area. He says when the baton left Buckingham Palace on its journey to Australia, Aboriginal people from the Gold Coast were present.
“They spent time with the Queen inside Buckingham Palace. Uncle Ted Williams spoke, not the Queen, this gesture showed respect which honoured the importance of First Nation Involvement. All these firsts happened, and I was very honoured to be the chosen to be the Relationships Manager for the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Al Mucci is an important member of the Gold Coast community. A leader, a teacher, a communicator – who ably brings people with him so that the human impact on the environment and its animals can be managed with balance and care.
He loves the Gold Coast. Its ocean, its headlands, its rivers, its hinterland – its conservation areas abutting the built environment.
What he cherishes now is that the Gold Coast is changing and there is a much greater commitment to embrace the collective responsibility to value and respect the land, the natural environment, and the First Nations people.
There’s no doubt Al Mucci has been an influencer of that change.