Robert Pennicott and his family have always been passionate about giving back to the communities in which they work and live since they started Bruny Island Cruises in 1999.  The business employs and trains local staff, and purchases goods and services from local suppliers wherever possible.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ business with the range of experiences developed designed to raise awareness of environmental issues and provide financial support for conservation.

Robert started the Tasmania Coast Conservation Fund in 2007/2008 under the umbrella of Wildcare.   It was established to contribute towards the protection, conservation and management of marine and coastal reserves, marine mammals and seabirds.

The fund is ongoing and supports projects dealing with one or more of the following themes:

  • coastal reserve and marine reserve management
  • marine mammal and seabird conservation
  • community awareness of and participation in coastal and marine conservation

A key project supported under the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund was eradicating cats from Tasman Island which were killing over 50,000 seabirds annually.

In 2011, Robert established the Pennicott Foundation which provided a broader remit of support to include environmental, community and global initiatives.

The first project under the Foundation was Follow the Yellow Boat Road which saw Robert and two others circumnavigate Australia in a 5.4 metre inflatable dinghy, raising $300,000 for conservation and to assist Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio from the world.

Since then the Foundation has financially supported numerous coastal conservation projects, community and educational programs.

“I am very proud of what the Foundation has achieved to date.  Every cent donated to the Foundation goes towards outcomes that make a real difference.  My hope is that the Foundation can grow and deliver greater benefits to the community and environment each year,”  Robert Pennicott.