Each year representatives from Marine Discovery Centre’s Australia get together for an annual Marine Discovery Centre conference.
At these conferences like minded Marine Educators meet up and over a period of two to three days discuss ideas, give presentations about their own centres, hear interesting talks and share experiences. It is an excellent opportunity to see how other Marine Discovery centres around Australia operate and to meet the diverse and energetic group of people who work at them.
Each year one of the centers’ will host the conference and this year, it was set in the rather awesome location of Thursday Island, Queensland. Set at almost the tippy top of our continent, our Host Tim Hillier , Head of Land and Sea, Tagai College, held an impressive meeting at the school he works at which houses his Marine Discovery Centre , called the Torres Strait Land and Sea Discovery Centre
Tim boated us around just a few of the 244 spectacular islands that make up the Torres Straits which included Prince of Wales Is, Horn Island, Friday Island and of course Thursday Island itself. We had a chance to dive a few stunning coral ribbon reefs, lunch on pristine sands while conducting ‘reccies’ for future outdoor activities for Tim’s students, conduct a marine debris clean up and check out some of the local wildlife and nightlife. Of course there was the more serious side of business such as presentations about The Great Barrier reef, turtle and dugong management in the area and general fisheries management. We had a chance to tour Tim’s school and check out the marine discovery centre he is in charge of and meet some students.
All in all this years’ conference proved to be once again highly successful as an informative learning session and sharing of thoughts, new concepts and designs. Set in a beautiful location we were treated to some amazing scenery, made new friends and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say we all came back with heads full of new ideas ready to implement into our own centres.
The annual Marine Discovery Centre conferences are made possible with a grant by the FRDC (Fisheries Research & Development Corporation).