The man behind middle star
Principal Rick Murray pioneered experience based, minimal impact tours across the north of Australia with Odyssey Tours & Safaris, the company he established in Darwin and developed into an industry leading operation. When Odyssey was eventually acquired by a major national resort operator as their touring flagship Rick remained on their Senior Management team for four years.
He has been actively involved at the ‘coal face’ of nature based tourism for over 30 years and has a detailed knowledge of the interaction between tourism and our natural and cultural heritage right across the north of the continent. His experience covers lands both within Protected Areas and other lands of the north such as Aboriginal Freehold lands and Pastoral Leases.
Over the years Rick has spoken at Ecotourism conferences and provided advice in regions as diverse as Sabah Malaysia, Papua New Guinea’s Western Province, Tasmania, Central Australia, the Pilbara and the south and west coasts of the Gulf of Carpentaria, commonly on the interaction between government and private enterprise in the development of a sustainable regional economy.
Over the past three decades he has served on a number of tourism industry committees and Boards, particularly those focused on issues affecting our natural and cultural environment and on the continual improvement of industry standards among tour operators and guides.
He served as a member of the Advisory Board of Tourism NT from 2006 until 2011. He was Chairman of the Kakadu Tourism Consultative Committee and a member of the Kakadu National Park Board of Management, from 2002 to 2015. He has been a Director of Ecotourism Australia Ltd since 2006, was their Chairman for nearly five years and is currently their Deputy Chairman.
Rick served for five years as a Director of the leading, aboriginal owned, tourism business, Nitmiluk Tours Pty Ltd, based in Katherine, NT. During that time he was heavily involved in the development of Cicada Lodge in Nitmiluk National Park.
The consultancy services of Middle Star Pty Ltd draw on Rick’s many years of diverse tourism industry management experience.
In recent times Rick has been providing mentoring support, through the Indigenous Tourism Champions Program, to several aboriginal owned and operated businesses in the Top End, Central Australia, the Kimberley, Northern NSW and Sydney.
In 2018, Rick was awarded the NT Tourism Minister’s Perpetual Trophy.
After spending most of his working life based in Darwin, he is now based in Grafton, NSW.