June 2022

Catholic Education South Australia

Thanks to the generous support of the Green Adelaide grant, the Marine Discovery Centre has been busy finalising more projects that improve the visitor experience within the centre. We look forward to showcasing an enhanced interactive and educational experience to all of our visitors. New additions to the Marine Discovery Centre in 2021/22 include:

  • 15 x Virtual Reality headsets
  • Beachcomber model
  • Climate change model
  • New animated educational series aligned with QR codes throughout the centre
  • Immersive lighting experience in the Kaurna Education room
  • Shoaling and schooling fish displayed on the floor
  • Sounds of marine and coastal wildlife
  • Discovery Dive game
  • QR coding for displays and specimens
  • 3-tiered Oyster display tank
  • Hooded Plover display
  • New Kaurna tools and artefacts


School excursions

The 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.

Whilst we still have some availability in 2022, we are now accepting bookings for 2023.

School Excursion program>

Online Bookings>

Vacation Care Group Bookings>

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

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

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

Public Events

The MDC hosts a minimum of one public event per month. We have listed a few in this newsletter, or you can follow us on Eventbrite and you'll be the first to know when an event is listed.

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Victor Harbor Science Fair

The second annual Victor Harbor Science Fair on 26th June at the Victor Harbor Recreation Centre College aims to delight and engage with all ages at morning and afternoon sessions.

When & where
Sunday 26 June, 2022
9am-12.30pm (Session 1)
1pm- 4.30pm (Session 2)

Victor Harbor Recreation Centre
5 George Main Road
Victor Harbor, SA 5211

Purchase tickets here>


Art Exhibition at the MDC - Azzuro Arts

Wednesday 20 July from 5pm
Marine Discovery Centre
Free Event


Exhibition Name: ‘Strange Tides’

70% of Australia’s population live within 50km from Australia’s southern reef, yet many would have no idea that the profoundly diverse creatures splashing in these shallows make the ones at the Great Barrier Reef look like toys out of a happy meal. The street artist AZZURRO presents a series of paintings and illustrations featuring marine species of the Great Southern Reef; some are near-threatened and at risk of devastation… or already possibly extinct. 

Artist Bio

The artist AZZURRO spends half of his time on top of a ladder painting the sides of buildings for corporate businesses, and the government. He spends the other half of his time beneath the surface of the sparkling waters of Brighton, Seacliff and Port Noarlunga, drawing inspiration from the abundance of unique and enigmatic marine life found there. 

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School Holiday fun at the MDC

Book online here>

Back by popular demand to the Marine Discovery Centre

Join Seastar Rock LIVE on stage from 10am on Thursday 21 July

It's a giant party when Lucy of SeaStar Rock hits the stage with music and dance for children, promoting sustainability and positivity. Kids will be singing, dancing and playing games as they navigate the sustainability of our oceans.

After the concert, join the team at the Marine Discovery Centre for a morning of interactive fun, marine-based learning and recycled craft activities.

During the session, children will have access to a variety of interactive discovery stations including Kaurna learning, sea aquariums, brand new virtual reality headsets, brand new hands-on games and recycled craft activities

* Please note: Tickets are only required for children, one parent per child (multiple children are allowed though). Parent's must order their ticket (free of charge) when purchasing tickets for children. Parents must stay with children throughout the session but tea and coffee facilities are available.


10am - 10.45am - Seastar Rock performance on the decking

10.45am - 12pm - Marine Discovery Centre hands on activities with the MDC team


Marine Discovery Centre

Cnr Seaview Road & Marlborough Street, Henley Beach, SA 5022


* Live performance by SeaStar rock

* Materials for recycled craft activities, art can be taken home

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

* Brand new Virtual Reality Headsets giving you the opportunity to explore under the sea without getting wet. Underwater virtual reality experiences include Australian Sea Lions, Leafy Seadragons, swimming under the Henley Beach Jetty, and Google Expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef

* 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 our brand new diving games, brand new beachcombing game plus oceanography, climate change, marine debris, marine habitats, touchscreens, sustainable fishing, stormwater, beachcombing, and get hands-on with our microscopes.

* Each child will receive a free beachcombing sheet to take home

Book online here>

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Sounds of the Ocean - New Interactive

One of the latest interactive educational games to join the Marine Discovery Centre is the 'Sounds of the Ocean'. We have two of these set up in our aquarium room so four people have the opportunity to listen to the sounds of the ocean at any one time.

This interactive display has been a huge hit with visitors (and us!). Marine sounds visitors can choose to listen to include snapping shrimp, bottlenose dolphin, humpback whale and many more.

Marine animals rely on sound to acoustically sense their surroundings, communicate, locate food, and protect themselves underwater.

Designed by the team at Monkeystack and seeded by Green Adelaide.

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National Science Week events

This year for National Science Week, the Marine Discovery Centre is hosting daily after school Marine Science Clubs from Monday 15th to Thursday 18th of August.

Each afternoon will be a new experience providing an insight into marine science and age-appropriate hands-on interactive learning experiences.

You can view all of the events here>

Individual event links - you can come more than once!

Monday 15th August - suitable for Kindy & Junior Primary school-aged students

Tuesday 16th August - suitable for Primary school-aged children

Wednesday 17th August - suitable for Primary school-aged children

Thursday 18th August - suitable for High School-aged students (with Dr Zoe Doubleday)

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Azzuro Arts donated to the MDC

We were thrilled to get a visit by local artist/muralist @azzuroartist at the Marine Discovery Centre today. Azzy generously donated his painted jigsawed fish to be enjoyed by the thousands of visitors who visit the MDC every year. The local species include the Ornate Cowfish, Longsnout Boarfish, and Port Jackson Shark.

Fun fact: Azzy visited the MDC with his reception class 20+ years ago and his love for marine life is still going strong.

We look forward to sharing more of his work.

You can check out some of his work here: https://www.azzurroarts.com/

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The effect of tourism on iconic species of the Fleurieu Peninsula

In 2018 tourism on the Fleurieu Peninsula contributed $493 million in visitor expenditure with 771 000 overnight visitors per year, 78 % of which being from South Australia (18% interstate, 4% international). The Fleurieu Peninsula encompasses 4 national parks including Granite Island Recreation Park, Encounter Marine Park, Onkaparinga River national Park/ Recreation Park and Deep Creek Conservation Park. 

Read More
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New interactive fish installation at the MDC

We have some new friends at the Marine Discovery Centre. Schooling and shoaling fish are ready to interact with you as you walk through the centre. This new installation is with thanks to a collaboration with Monkeystack and a project seeded by Green Adelaide.


New Discovery Island game now at the MDC


Thank you Adopt a Spot

Hundreds of these small glaziers buckets get thrown out from building sites across the state each year.
Adopt a Spot is grabbing all they can to repurpose into collection buckets for their school students who have adopted spots. This batch headed to the MDC for students to use as we clean up the Henley Beach area.

The MDC team and visiting participating schools have been volunteering for Adopt A Spot Scheme since December 2020. 

In 2021, 862 students and adults have conducted 21 beach cleans spending 14.65 hrs out there contributing $659.25 worth of volunteer work.

In 2021 all Adopt A Spot volunteers cleared 4054.5kg of debris from 1996 cleans.

AASS volunteers strive to minimise marine debris entering the ocean through regular collections/removal of waste at self-designated areas as well as forward statistics of items collected. This evidence will be used to hopefully inspire action from local members, council members and other stakeholders associated with each individually adopted spot.

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Protecting our "Puppies of the Sea"

Earlier this month Chanel 10 aired a story describing the killing of juvenile Port Jackson sharks off South Australia’s Metropolitan coast and the subsequent community-driven push for stricter laws protecting this species.

Article written by Mary Gordon

Read More
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World Environment Day with Dr Zoe Doubleday

On Saturday 5 June for World Environment Day and to celebrate Adelaide becoming a National Park City last December, the Marine Discovery Centre hosted 'Ocean Fest'. The day started with a presentation from marine biologist Dr Zoe Doubleday for those that have aspirations in becoming future marine scientists.

We would also like to thank Chris from Adopt A Spot Scheme who donated "Carpus detritus" to be displayed on the wall, all the pieces used to create the art piece were found on the beach at Christies Beach over a period of 18 months.

Due to the wild weather, we were unable to get down to the beach for the guided beachcombing walk, but we ensured every guest went home with a beachcombing sheet so they can identify their finds the next time they do a beach walk.

Event seeded by Green Adelaide

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Sugar Lerps

Depicted in this image is a crystallised form of honeydew, known as Sugar Lerps.

These cases are actually produced by the larvae of Psyllid bugs as a type of protective covering, of which there are over 300 species throughout Australia.

Lerps are energy-rich consisting mostly of starch, with some proteins and fats. Lerps can be found on the leaves of eucalyptus and gum trees and are typically eaten by Flying foxes, Possums and birds such as Pardalotes and Honeyeaters.

The name Lerps is derived from an Aboriginal group in the North-Western parts of Victoria and the South-Western parts of New South Wales. The tribal clan name of this group is the Wemba-Wemba or Wamba-Wamba.

Nymph Psyllid bugs will excrete honeydew onto the leaves, the sugars and amino acids will crystallise in the air to form the Lerps.

Lerps sizes and shapes can vary depending on the species of Psyllid that has formed it.

Lerps have long been a naturally sweet treat eaten also by Aboriginal groups around Australia where the Lerps can be found.

They have a subtle sweet taste to them, reminiscent of that of a Honeysuckle and a somewhat waxy texture when chewed on.


Why you should go beachcombing in winter

Winter is here! We think Beachcombing is the best in the winter. Our visiting schools have found some wonderful marine species on the beach this winter. Some of the finds included over 20 snapping shrimp, a spider crab, a leathery chiton, sea cucumber and a wonderful-looking swimming anemone.

Even though it’s a bit cooler, we highly recommend visiting your local beach in winter to see what you can find.

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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



We have TikTok

Our current intern from the University of Adelaide, Mary Gordon has created short videos giving you a quick tour of the Marine Discussion Centre, our aquariums and some of our events.

We can’t wait to start sharing more videos with you. We mostly can’t wait for you to visit.

You can check out the videos here: https://www.tiktok.com/@marinediscoverycentre

#tiktok #marinebiology #mdc #marinediscovery #education #henleybeach


Who we are

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.

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

The Marine Discovery Centre features interactive learning stations covering topics such as sustainable fishing, responsible water use, Aboriginal culture and the importance of preserving our 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 very lucky to have such a caring, committed group of people. Our Volunteers will make you feel very welcome and valued. Our volunteers are a very special part of the Marine Discovery Centre. Through their personal contributions to supporting our visitors and their learning, assisting with cleaning and maintenance of our aquariums and the Centre we have been able to offer a very high-quality experience

Meet the staff, volunteers and patrons of the Marine Discovery Centre>


If you would like to get in contact with us, please call 08 8115 7402 or email info@marinediscoverycentre.com.au

We would love to hear from you.