Madeina David

Early Career Outstanding Alumni, College of Science and Engineering

Madeina DavidThrough her role as Senior Natural Resource Management Officer for the Torres Strait Island Regional Authority (TSRA), Madeina David is connecting modern science with traditional land and sea knowledge on her island home of Iama.

Leaving her family at the age of 11 to attend boarding school on Thursday Island, Madeina’s journey is one of courage and resilience. Having excelled at Tagai College, Madeina relocated to Townsville to study a Bachelor of Science. Despite distance and distractions, her love of all things marine kept her connected to her studies and helped solidify the decision to apply her knowledge to help the Torres Strait.

Madeina’s responsibilities with TSRA’s Sea Team include an variety of resource management activities from habitat monitoring of seagrasses and corals to working with future marine science wannabe graduates at Tagai’s marine science program. She works daily with Indigenous Rangers to track the health of marine reserves significant to local communities and works on ways to incorporate drones, artificial intelligence and eDNA for monitoring across remote communities.

The 24-year-old frequently represents the Torres Strait Regional Authority in media interviews and field collaborations with other institutions including TropWATER, AIMS and CSIRO. In late 2021 Madeina participated in the Great Reef Census Reef Women expedition that was aimed at promoting the role of women in reef science.

Madeina’s passion for the Torres Strait has led her to inform local decision-making and support those around her, especially young people, by encouraging them to chase their dreams. She understands the value of strong role models and cites her parents as inspiration as they taught her the importance of the marine environment to the livelihood and identity of Torres Strait Islanders.

Madeina is enthusiastic about everything marine, fisheries and conservation and is an outstanding young leader in her community.