|Alex with Mark Taylor with a queenfish caught during the first show.
Alex Julius was age 24 when he arrived in Darwin , Northern Territory , in June 1978 driving a battered old short-wheel-base Land Rover with a red heeler in the back, a boat on top and a boat in tow. Darwin was meant simply to be a stopover on a round-Australia fishing/working holiday. Already he’d spent 18 months living in a tent, and exploring the sportfishing across north-west Australia . However, it seemed that, the closer Alex got back to his home at Bondi in Sydney ’s Eastern Suburbs, the longer he stayed at places.
Some 27 years later finds Alex not only still resident in Darwin , but arguably the nation’s foremost authority on fishing tropical North Australia . From his antecedents as a budding teenage professional photographer and a regular contributor to national fishing magazines by age 19, Alex is now one of Australia ’s best-known fishing media identities. He publishes NAFA (National Australian Fishing Annual), the country’s biggest fishing magazine, and its sister publication, Barra Bass & Bream; and his company also operates Hotspot Fishing Tours which organises NT fishing holidays for interstate and overseas visitors. More recently, he has been involved in the development of the Arnhemland Barramundi Nature Lodge.
For several years, Alex was fishing presenter for Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports and Northern Territory presenter for the Channel Nine national Hooked On Water series.
During the mid-to-late 1990s, in a co-production with Channel Nine Darwin, Alex presented series 1 & 2 of Fishing North Australia, which has been shown in the United Kingdom and throughout South America on the Discovery Travel & Adventure network, Asia and the Pacific.
In the competitive fishing arena, at one time or another, Alex has won pretty well every major Northern Territory fishing tournament, including the famous NT Barra Classic, the Barra Nationals and the NT Game Fishing Championships.
However, when asked, Alex would like best to be remembered for his efforts in the development and protection of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory , particularly in respect of barramundi. For six years spanning two terms in the ‘80s and ‘90s, he was President of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT (AFANT) and is now a Life Member. From 1986 to 1990, before going into private enterprise fulltime, he was employed as Recreational Fishing Development Manager for the NT Fisheries Department, the first such position created in Australia .
Through the highly-regarded AFANT, his advisory capacity on various Departmental and Ministerial fisheries committees, his work internally within Government, and his own newspaper and radio media outlets in the NT, he has been credited as the principal proponent behind the successful push to drastically reduce the number of commercial barramundi netting licences through licence buy-back schemes and the closure to commercial barramundi fishing of several major Northern Territory rivers. A direct result of this has been the protection of the Northern Territory ’s valuable barramundi resource, the significant enhancement of lifestyle opportunities for Territorians and the enormous growth of the NT recreational fishery as an industry in its own right.
In 2003, Alex was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Australian Society during the Centenary of Federation. The citation read: For promotion and protection of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory .