James Brown is the third generation pearl farmer and marine biologist who now runs Cygney Bay Pearls which was founded by his grandfather in 1946.
In 2009, following the GFC crisis, Mr Brown opened Cygnet Bay to tourism which allows visitors to get a glimpse of their existence, learn how pearls are grown, and skate over the region’s powerful currents on boat trips. He did up the old workers’ cottages and has added safari tents, a pool and a restaurant. At the same time, Mr Brown started the Kimberley Marine Research Station, welcoming students and researchers onto the farm to study the environment.
Mr Brown is also an ambassador for Save the Children.
In 2021, Mr Brown was named the Australian Farmer of the Year for his forward-thinking approach in farming and pearling, for his dedication to research & development and advancing pearls as a premium product around the world. He is the only award winner from WA, and was also the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Innovation.