Issue 2, June 2020

Catholic Education South Australia

Marine Discovery Centre set to reopen in Term 3

The team at the Marine Discovery Centre (MDC) is excited to be able to open its doors again for school excursions and community bookings from Monday 20 July 2020


School Excursions

School Holiday programs (OSHC)

While we have been closed we have been caring for our marine creatures, with food and tank maintenance. We have also been busy loading curriculum and information on our new website, recording videos, getting events online, applying for grants and getting prepared to reopen the centre. 

We look forward to re-launching our Public Open Days next term and Public School Holiday programs during the Term 3 School Holidays. The staff and volunteers at the MDC will be following the strict guidelines of our Covid safe plan to ensure the safety for all. 

If you would like any information about visiting the Marine Discovery Centre, or having our team visit you please contact us via 8115 7402 or

The Marine Discovery Centre aims to provide the most inspirational discovery learning experiences whilst empowering students and the community to actively protect South Australia's iconic coastal and marine environments.

With this goal in mind, we have been empowering students through inspirational and interactive discovery since 1997.

Operating as part of Star of the Sea School, we provide positive learning experiences that focus on ecological sustainability and Aboriginal culture, including the protection of South Australia's coastal and marine environments.

Our aquariums feature local marine wildlife species and we provide engaging beachside marine trails to complement the Centre's indoor educational activities.

We are the only coastal and marine educational facility for school-aged students and the broader community in South Australia.

Download our prospectus


National Science Week

The Marine Discovery Centre in collaboration with The Science Collective is excited to announce that we are the recipient of the 2020 National Science Week grant.

N­ational Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, it normally features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres. These events attract a wide audience from children to adults, and science amateurs to professionals. Over one million people participate in science events across the nation.

We were previously working on a large scale event, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, we had to change our course of action. We are still equally excited to bring to you a month-long interactive web-based App - The Deep Blue Treasure Hunt. It's fun for the whole family with amazing prizes to be won.

Launching August 2020 - watch this space!


The After School Marine Science Club is back on

The Kids Marine Scientist Club is a weekly drop-off club for primary school children aged 7 to 13 years. The Kids Marine Scientist Club encourages independence and self-growth and allows the students to discover a love and appreciation for the marine world around us.  The team at the Marine Discovery Centre will provide both indoor and outdoor setting for children to engage in interactive learning experiences, while empowering them to actively protect South Australia’s iconic coastal and marine environments.

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Leader of the Opposition visits the MDC

On Friday 12 June we were pleased to have Star of the Sea School students Chloe and Seth show Mr Peter Malinauskas and Mr James Agness around the Marine Discovery Centre. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase the learning experiences we offer whilst empowering students to actively protect South Australia's iconic coastal and marine environments; and the vital role we play in teaching visitors about Aboriginal cultural knowledge.

Fun fact: Star of the Sea's School Principal, Mr Joe DeTullio used to teach Mr Peter Malinauskas.

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When Professor Flint visited the Marine Discovery Centre

When Dinosaur University, Dean of Science, Professor Flint, called in to the Marine Discovery Centre, at Henley Beach, South Australia, his good friend, marine biologist Georgie Kenning, was on hand to help introduce the Prof to some of the delightful sea-life that dwells there. Along the way, the Prof was shown some of the important lessons we can all learn, about how to better look after the world's oceans.

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The Marine Discovery Centre through the eyes of a Year 5 student

I open my sleep crusted eyes, and feel the warm sunshine dripping down my skin. I remember that today is the day our school is going to the beach – and I leap from my bed with excitement. Mum fixes me breakfast and fusses about my uniform like a clucking hen, getting me ready for the day, and drops me off at the school bus with a parting “tell me all about your day later sweetie”. I’m in the school bus and my friends and I buzz with anticipation of the day ahead – we’re finally visiting the Marine Discovery Centre!

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An Interview with our Cultural Educator and Marine Trainee – Karno Martin

Karno is our standing cultural educator and marine trainee, and his focus while at the Marine Discovery Centre is on the high importance of environmental sustainability. He seamlessly integrates both a western and traditional point of view with a single focus; a sustainable future.

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Corporate Functions - Learn Kaurna Knowledge and Marine Education with your workplace

You may have heard about the Marine Discovery Centre through your children's visits, but did you know that we host corporate functions? You have the opportunity to see the centre with your own eyes, and educate yourself and your co-workers on Kaurna knowledge, marine life and sustainability in the process.

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Beachcombing – searching for an understanding of Henley Beach

“Beachcombing” is an interactive activity where individuals "comb" the beach and the intertidal zone, looking for anything of value. At the Marine Discovery Centre, this is done at Henley Beach, where kids spend an hour sifting through the sand and enjoying the ambiance of our local beach.

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An interview with our Marine Scientist - Georgie Kenning

Georgie is our Marine Scientist and her focus at the Marine Discovery Centre is looking after our marine creatures and educating our visitors about the importance of preserving our marine environment.


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Thinking like a scientist – the science exploration room

Virtual reality headsets, microscopes and more; the science exploration room puts you in control of your learning. The Marine Discovery Centre’s science exploration room gives students access to technology used by marine biologists in their research, as well as an understanding of South Australian creatures and marine life.

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Recreational fishing restrictions in SA - keeping our fish stocks healthy

South Australians have at least heard of minimum sizes of creatures, boat limits and protected species. What we might not know, is why these restrictions are in place. At its core, size, bag, boat and possession limits are enforced by PIRSA to protect aquatic stocks and safeguards that there are enough fish for the future. They ensure the number and correct size of fish are taken, allowing adolescent species to continue to grow and breed.

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South Australia’s Marine Emblem – The Leafy Sea Dragon

The mystical leafy sea dragon, Phycodurus eques, is proudly South Australia’s marine emblem and attracts global attention for its iconic camouflage, even by David Attenborough himself, claiming it is his favourite animal in the wild. This rare species is only found on the coast of southern and eastern Australia, and masquerades as seaweed using its slow pace and leaf-like structures to ward off predators.

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The Encounter Marine Park – 24/7 opportunities for discovery

The Yorke Peninsula is not only crawling with native South Australian creatures, it is also a magnificent scenic destination. Given COVID-19 restrictions, our closed borders give locals the perfect opportunity to explore our own land. The Encounter Marine Park is located from the southern metropolitan beach of Christies Beach to the northern coast of Kangaroo Island. This park is vital for the preservation of our ocean wilderness and is a spectacular destination to see SA’s thriving marine life. We will focus on three rare species that are delightful to swim with and are habitually found in our waters.

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The Sea Lion Colony of South Australia – Puppies of the Sea

Spanning across the length of The Pages Islands in South Australia and Houtman Abrolhos off the Western Australian coast, Australian Sea Lions, Neophoca cinereal, are a species to behold. They are one of the rarest species in the world, and 85% of them live herein South Australia, while the other 15% lives in Western Australia. In the entirety of Australia, only 9900 – 12,500 remain, with this number diminishing each year.

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A day in the life of a volunteer - By Shona Swart

I walk into the centre at 9am, the taste of an apple crumble muffin and iced long black for breakfast still lingering on my lips, to be greeted by three friendly faces. Georgie Kenning, Marine Scientist and caring educator, introduces herself and proceeds to feed the South Australian fish in their tanks. Karno Martin, Cultural Educator and genius with children, immediately strikes up an easy conversation with me. Carmen Bishop, the Partnerships and Marketing Manager passes me a fluorescent vest and laminated sheet full of marine creatures and minerals found on Henley Beach, and welcomes me to the centre. We wait outside and watch as a school bus full of children pours out of the front of the centre. It’s going to be a busy day!

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What you can do to look after the sand dunes of metropolitan Adelaide

Adelaide’s coast was once a vast sand dune system formed over thousands of years. Waves and currents in the gulf pushed sand northwards, eroding the southern beaches, and the dunes supplied replacement sand as well as a buffer for much of the wave energy


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Online resources

During the Marine Discovery Centre closure, the team at the Marine Discovery Centre were busy creating printable educational resources online, not only for educators but also for students and their families. These will remain online

Teaching activities​ include curriculum tables, information packs, excursion activity sheets, classroom activity sheets, puzzles and fun activities.

Student activities include information sheets, puzzles, fun activities and infographic.

Online Shop includes the option to purchase a wide number of books, puppets and poster sets. All online shop purchases can be posted to you


Adopt a Creature

Why not adopt one of your own marine creatures? We'll send you an information kit about your creature and you'll be helping us to improve our educational activities.

Our Adoption Package gives you the opportunity to receive updated information and provides the Marine Discovery Centre with financial support. For your commitment you receive:

  • A personalised photograph and certificate of your creature
  • Signage within the Marine Discovery Centre with the chosen adopted name of your creature
  • A marine storybook featuring South Australian marine creatures
  • The opportunity to get up close and personal with your adopted creature and feed it

By adopting a marine creature, you are helping the Marine Discovery Centre to:

  • Look after the marine creatures with quality care including food, cooling, lighting and filtration of the aquariums
  • Educating school groups and the community about South Australia's marine environment
  • Provide opportunities for people to observe marine life