Mapping the Islands: How can art and science save the Great Barrier Reef?

Artists and collaborators

Kim Williams, Lucas Ihlein, Sarah Hamylton (Marine Science), Leah Gibbs (Human Geography)

Project dates 



Three Isles, Low Wooded Island, Nymph Island (Central and Northern Great Barrier Reef)


Art/science/humanities collaboration

Creative outputs

  • Original song: Rock the Boat – music, lyrics and arrangement by Kim Williams, copyright 2018. Digital download: Rock the Boat, Bandcamp  [MP3 file] Lyrics [PDF file]
  • Cover song: The Reef Song – lyrics by Kim Williams, Leah Gibbs, Sarah Hamylton Rafael Carvalho (an adaptation of Bad Moon Rising by John Fogerty, published by Jondora Music (BMI) and Burlington Music Co. Ltd (PRS). Used by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd) [MP3 file] Lyrics [PDF file]
  • 7” Vinyl recording (Rock the Boat; The Reef Song) – Recorded and mastered by Ben Davies at Silver Sound Recording Studio, Wollongong, September 2018. Musicians: Kim Williams, Lucas Ihlein, Sarah Hamylton, Leah Gibbs, Rafael Carvalho, Mystery Carnage (hard copy supplied)
  • Musical notation of Rock the Boat with scholarly footnotes [PDF file]
  • Record cover image: Kim Williams; record sleeve design: Kim Williams and Mystery Carnage [PDF file]
  • Kim Williams, Sarah Hamylton, Leah Gibbs, 2018, Nymph Island Reflections, individual accounts and collaborative woven text [PDF file]
  • Kim Williams, Lucas Ihlein, Sarah Hamylton, Leah Gibbs, 2020, Rock the Boat large format poster with scholarly footnotes [PDF file]

Selected Project images


Williams, Kim. Hamylton, Sarah. Gibbs, Leah. Ihlein, Lucas. (2019). “Sustaining the seas through interdisciplinary songwriting.” Book chapter. In: Sustaining Seas: Oceanic space and the politics of care (Edited by Probyn, E., Johnston, K and Lee, N.). Published by Rowman and Littlefield. [PDF file]

Williams, Kim. Gibbs, Leah. Hamylton, Sarah. Ihlein, Lucas. (2019) “Rock the Boat.” Cultural Geographies in Practice, 1-5. DOI: 10.1177/1474474019886836 [PDF file]

Hamylton, Sarah. Williams, Kim. Gibbs, Leah. Ihlein, Lucas. (2019) “Uncovering interdisciplinary insights on the climate crisis: Narratives from the Great Barrier Reef.” GeoHumanities (in prep)

Gibbs, Leah. Hamylton, Sarah. Williams, Kim. Ihlein, Lucas. (in prep) “Arts-science collaboration as transdisciplinary research method.”

Conference and symposia presentations

Kim Williams, “Transdisciplinary collaboration: Weaving through a Changing Reef”, Interrogating Impact: Research in a Changing World, Postgraduate symposium, University of Wollongong, 3rd September 2018.

Sarah Hamylton, Lucas Ihlein, Kim Williams, “Interdisciplinary Research Methods and the Sea”, Sustaining the Seas: Fish, Oceanic Space and the Politics of Caring, University of Sydney, 11-13th December 2017

Kim Williams and Lucas Ihlein, “Creative Ecologies: Art, science and community collaboration in the Anthropocene” Keynote address, James Cook University, Cairns. February 2018.


Kim Williams, radio Interview with Natalie Osborne, 4ZZZ, 19th December 2018 [MP3 file]

The Stand: Stories from UOW, 2019, Global Challenges project profile 

Response from the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland to “Rock the Boat” [PDF file]

Eva Amsen, “What Makes a Catchy and Effective Climate Song?” Forbes online, 26th November 2019


Bundanon Trust Artist in Residence Program, June 2018 (Kim Williams, Lucas Ihlein, Sarah Hamylton, Leah Gibbs)