September 2020

Catholic Education South Australia

Welcome to the September 2020 edition of the Marine Discovery Newsletter. The MDC has been a hive of activity since we were able to reopen our doors at the beginning of the term.

In addition to what is in this newsletter below, we have some wonderful developments to announce soon. Watch this space and read on.


Kids Marine Scientist Club - Sign up now.

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.

There will be weekly activities that the children will be participating in, including but not limited to:

  • Henley Beach Marine Trail
  • Marine Debris Survey Program
  • Learning how to feed marine and freshwater creatures and aquarium tank maintenance
  • Aboriginal Cultural knowledge and understanding
  • STEM activities – making / collecting / building
  • Recycled art activities
  • Junior Dolphin Ranger program
  • Secchi Disc recording and understanding ocean transparency
  • Ocean currents
  • Plastic pollution and stormwater
  • Learning about South Australian marine creatures up close and personal

Program details>>

This program is proudly supported by SA Water

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Open Day - Under the Sea at the MDC

The Marine Discovery Centre is excited to take part in a new festival for South Australia - The Nature Festival. With more than 100 events for all ages, the Nature Festival is full of creative ways to connect with others and to set out on adventures near and far.

Under the Sea at the MDC
Friday 25 September
3.30pm - 5pm

Discover what is under the sea at the Marine Discovery Centre - an afternoon of aquatic delights and hands-on play.

About this Event

Take a look under the sea at the Marine Discovery Centre.

The Marine Discovery Centre in Henley Beach is opening its doors to the public for an afternoon of aquatic delights and fun education. A range of interactive experiences will engage visitors with the wonders of marine life and the importance of looking after our environment.

A guided and self discovery opportunity to explore the many features of the centre, including:

* Aquariums featuring local South Australian marine creatures such as the Port Jackson Shark, Shaw's Cowfish, Pot Bellied Seahorses, Southern Fiddler Ray, Porcupine Fish, Murray River Turtle and more

* Kaurna education Room (The Wodli) is an interactive room which highlights the relationship that Kaurna people have with the Adelaide Plains and the coast.

* Interactive models featuring oceanography, climate change, marine debris, marine habitats, touchscreens, sustainable fishing, stormwater, beachcombing, and get hands on with our microscopes.

The tour will conclude with a Marine Trail with our Marine Scientists on Henley Beach from 4.30pm

Admission: $10 per person

Admission price includes Beachcombing Poster and storybook

Bookings and details

Bookings are strictly limited in line with Covid Safe Management Plan.

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Deep Blue Treasure Hunt Winners

Congratulations to everyone who participated in The Deep Blue Treasure Hunt, there were hundreds of amazing entries.

The interactive app was an initiative of the Marine Discovery Centre and The Science Collective, and part of this year’s National Science Week theme ‘Deep Blue Innovations for the future of our Oceans’.

We are pleased to announce the winners from the competition:

  • Annabel - Big 4 West Beach Parks accommodation voucher
  • Jake – Marine Discovery Centre Class visit
  • Adelaide – Marine Discovery Centre Class Visit
  • Kaitlin – Mega Adventure Adelaide Silver Package
  • Ella – 12 month Cleland Wildlife Park family pass
  • Tanya - Dolphin Sanctuary Family Tour
  • Jessica - Dolphin Sanctuary & Ships Graveyard Kayak Tour
  • Bernadette – Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries - $100 voucher
  • Liam - $60 Bunnings voucher
  • Danielle – Charlesworth Nuts Supreme Selection Gift Basket
  • Thea – Marine Discovery Centre Gift Basket
  • Shanique – Marine Discovery Centre Gift Basket

While the competition and marine trail is now closed, thanks to the support of Green Adelaide the app will be live for 3 years, which means there is plenty of time for marine-based learning. The Marine Discovery Centre will incorporate the app into their educational modules which will be accessible to all schools and the community.

With thanks to the following sponsors and supporters National Science Week, Green Adelaide, Big 4 West Beach Parks, Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia, Mega Adventure, Visit Henley Beach, Adventure Kayaking, City of Charles Sturt, Charlesworth Nuts, Bunnings Adelaide Airport, Naomi Schwartz Jewellery Design Gallery, Foodland Henley Beach, TerryWhite Chemmart Henley Square, Pro Med Health, South Henley Beach Newsagency and Kids Like That.


School excursion bookings open for 2021

The Marine Discovery Centre is now booked out for the remainder of the 2020 school year. There is still availability in the December / January School holidays for Vacation Care Bookings.

We are now accepting bookings for 2021.

School Excursion program>

Online Bookings>

Vacation Care Group Bookings>

Our team at the Marine Discovery Centre hope to connect you and your students with the marine world through our interactive excursions and classroom activities. Learning experiences at the Marine Discovery Centre are facilitated by qualified marine scientists and a cultural educator.

The Marine Discovery Centre is closely aligned with ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) particularly the cross-curriculum priorities of Sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

Educational resources>


Bread Tags for Wheelchairs

The Marine Discovery Centre is pleased to announce that we are now an official drop off location for bread tags.

Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs collects bread tags nationally in Australia. The tags are recycled locally, raising funds to buy wheelchairs for disadvantaged people in South Africa. 

 You will be saving bread tags from going into landfill and helping people who cannot afford a wheelchair to get one. 

Find out more here>


New MDC Marine Creatures - Frayed Fin Goby

Our newest additions to the Marine Discovery Centre creature family are two Frayed Fin Gobies. These fish are bottom dwellers and can be found in seagrass beds and shallow sunlit waters of eastern and southern Australia. 

Read More
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Minister for Environment visits the MDC

On Wednesday 16 September, the Marine Discovery Centre welcomed the Minister for Environment David Speirs MP and Matt Cowdrey – Member for Colton for a tour of the centre. Star of the Sea year 5 student wrote to the Minister earlier in the year explaining her passion for centre. It was a highlight that Chloe was able to take both David Speirs MP and Matt Cowdrey for a private tour, who were able to see first hand the educational opportunities and important environmental messages the MDC advocates.

Chloe wrote:

My school, as well as other schools’ students get to experience the MDC through excursions/ incursions, their website and books. The MDC teaches students, parents and the wider community about sustainability and our beautiful oceans. We learn about marine sciences, native fish/ sea life and local marine habitats. On top of this classes get to go on marine trails at the local beach as well as the opportunity to learn about aboriginal culture from Karno, our indigenous educator. Students also get the chance to engage in virtual reality sessions which create a better understanding of what is really under the waves. The MDC teaches about the affect that pollution has on our oceans and ways in which we can stop it, through many educational games, experiments and diagrams. Having access to the MDC has supported my passion for marine biology as a future career. The MDC lessons have taught me a great amount about our planets beauty and why we need to protect it.

This is why I believe these lessons are so important in today’s world and without centres like the MDC our planet might not survive.”

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Ukiyo 浮世 Floating World Sculpture

Saturday 19 September 2020
2pm - 3pm
Marine Discovery Centre

An opportunity to view the Ukiyo 浮世 Floating World Sculpture

A myriad of wire, rusted and blackened,
form a twisted tree.
Hanging from it's
branches is…

Ukiyo 浮世 Floating World

A Kaleidoscope of 222 origami butterflies hand coloured and folded by the community.
Breakfree from their floating world, their
isolation, their lockdown, their cocoon,
released from Ukiyo changed and altered by that.

Hopefully with a new perspective, a new found respect, for Ukiyo the feeling of being present and mindful of the current moments, unbothered by stress.

The tree is made from repurposed fencing wire, the world is constructed from repurposed paper, and 111 leaves are cut from plastic bags.

Butterfly Conservation South Australia Chairman, Gerry Butler will be giving a short talk about SA butterflies, especially a few of the coastal ones and his favourite, the Chequered Copper, which has an obligate relationship with an ant. 

Due to Covid restrictions there is a 40 person limit in the venue.

2pm: Arrival

2.10pm: Artist talk

2.15pm: Colour and fold origami butterflies

2.30pm: Butterfly talk

3pm: Finish

A free ticketed event.
Tickets available>


Plastic Free July - By Donna Lehmann

Like most people, the global pandemic has meant more time at home for me and my family.  Gardening, home improvement, cooking.  There are two things at my house no longer contained-my waistline and my recycling bin. Loungewear is a comfortable solution for my personal spillover, but the other is a bald-faced testament that I am not as eco-savvy as I like to think. 

Read More
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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



Thank you to our volunteers

We have a dedicated team of volunteers and the Marine Discovery Centre has been delighted to be able to provide opportunities for aspiring marine scientists, educators and people who are passionate about our marine environment.

You can meet a handful of our volunteers here>

We would also like to welcome our new volunteers.

  • Hannah
  • Estelle
  • Adarsh
  • Jenny
  • Shannon
  • Geoff
  • Lauren
  • Helen
  • Grace
  • Jill
  • Kathy
  • Kanch

We look forward to introducing them to you soon.


Henley Beach Beachcombing finds

There has been amazing colour on Henley Beach in September. Our Marine Trail groups found a beach full of ascidians, also known as sea squirts and sea tulips.
Ascidians are the evolutionary link between invertebrates and vertebrates. They are an invertebrate with some primitive vertebrate features, such as a primitive backbone during a stage in their life cycle.

Contact us

If you would like to get in contact with us, please call 08 8115 7402 or email

We would love to hear from you.