Binna Burra set to recover with appointment of chief executive Jonathan Fisher

RECOVERY: Jonathan Fisher will lead the recovery process as the Binna Burra team vows to bounce back from a series of devastating setbacks.
RECOVERY: Jonathan Fisher will lead the recovery process as the Binna Burra team vows to bounce back from a series of devastating setbacks.

Binna Burra Lodge has appointed Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary's Jonathan Fisher as executive officer, with the ecolodge determined to overcome yet another setback in the COVID-19 health crisis.

Board chairman Steve Noakes said the appointment would take effect from June 1 but Mr Fisher would be engaging with the Binna Burra team before then.

"Jonathan is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in purpose driven organisations." Mr Noakes said.

"We are absolutely delighted he will be joining us as our senior executive as we prepare the foundations for the next 100 years of Binna Burra providing access and enjoyment to the world heritage listed Lamington National Park here in south-east Queensland."

Binna Burra Lodge was closed after suffering crippling destruction when bushfires swept through the region in September last year and Mr Noakes said they were now having to deal with COVID-19 impacts

"So we need a special type of senior management leader in these turbulent times as we reset, reimagine and recreate the spirit of Binna Burra," he said "And that's what we have secured with Jonathan's appointment."

Mr Fisher said he had put in 12 years of service at National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and over the past six years as chief executive of Queensland's National Trust of Australia.

"It's such a big challenge, and an honour to be offered the opportunity to contribute to the new era of this iconic Australian ecolodge which is significant in terms of Queensland's cultural heritage," he said.

"After the bushfires last year and now the impacts of COVID-19, Binna Burra has ongoing challenges as well as many opportunities, to re-open the site, restart the business and seek the necessary funds to replace buildings destroyed in the bushfires last year.

"That includes the exciting new adventure activity, Via Ferrata, which is already approved and funded to create a protected climbing route across spectacular cliff faces. This will set a new standard of ecotourism experience through well managed sensitive flora and fauna in Australia.

"Out of disaster will come opportunity, and the Binna Burra team is committed to the rebuild and reopening of this heritage site.

"COVID-19 is a serious issue to now factor in, but one day it will pass, and here at Binna Burra we will be part of the process to rebuild employment and economic opportunities."

Binna Burra has copped a triple whammy of challenges but Mr Noakes said the ecolodge was determined to bounce back.

"It's been a tough past seven months since the bushfires we experienced at the beginning of what became an extended and terrible bushfire season, which impacted many communities right across Australia," he said.

"Due to ongoing road access issues we have not yet been able to get the necessary heavy equipment in to do the demolition work. And now, of course, we all have to deal with COVID-19..

"Binna Burra started during the Great Depression of the early 1930's, we got through the turmoil years of WW2, we'll emerge from the bushfire damage last year and the whole planet will eventually get through COVID-19 - but that could some time yet.

"We're in it for the long-term and Jonathan's leadership as CEO will be a pivitol part of the recovery, rebuild and re-emergence of the spirit of Binna Burra."

This story Binna Burra Lodge appoints new chief executive first appeared on Beaudesert Times.