October 2020

This month, Marine Biologist and co-founder of the Hastings Point Marine Discovery Centre at North Star Holiday Resort, Ted Brambleby, delivered his final session ahead of a major refurbishment of the popular museum over upcoming months.

In the 1960s, Ted began collecting specimens for the Marine Discovery Centre, which has grown to become one of the largest independent collections in Australia. The passionate environmentalist first shared his displays from the boot of his car, driving coastal roads and stopping to educate beachgoers, scuba divers, snorkellers and like-minded ocean lovers along the way.

In 1999, Ted joined forces with teacher and business partner Kerrie Trees. Together they created the unique opportunity to host camps and day visits for students, teachers, community groups and holiday makers at Hastings Point Caravan Park. The original Marine Discovery Education Centre welcomed thousands of school students, and visitors who travelled from far and wide to learn about the importance of protecting the marine environment.

In 2008, thanks to the generosity of proprietors of North Star at Hastings Point, Ian and Diana Beadel, Ted and Kerrie relocated their resource centre and collections to the Resort. Ian allocated the space required in his state-of-the-art Seascape Building for a token rent of just $1 per year.

With ongoing future education very much the focus, it was agreed Ted’s collection would remain at North Star to carry on his legacy and to ensure the collection can be appreciated for many years to come.

A history of giving

Ian and Diana Beadel will once again invest in the centre over upcoming months to ensure the longevity of this unique environmental learning facility. This latest philanthropic gesture from the couple comes at a cost of around one million dollars, an investment Ian sees as “paramount to the continuation of fostering respect and knowledge of the marine environment amongst younger generations.”

“Many aren’t aware that this is the only privately-funded Marine Education facility in Australia, a valuable community asset that we believe must be fiercely protected.

“This facility is one of a kind in Australia, if not the world, and this latest redevelopment is the next phase of our long-term strategy to ensure its future,” said Ian.

The next phase of the Marine Discovery Centre

The new Marine Discovery Centre will incorporate state-of-the-art technology in a world-class display of marine and coastal science. Traditional displays will blend seamlessly with interactive digital terminals and audio and visual elements to enhance the learning experience. Its versatility will allow the Centre to host lectures, social events, a wide range of classes, guest speaker evenings, group gatherings and even meditation.

A team including Kerrie and Ted’s son Rhett, along with other passionate educators, will continue to deliver important lessons we all need to treasure and protect the marine and coastal wealth of Hastings Point and surrounding areas.

Although the new Marine Discovery Centre will be vibrant and dynamic, educator Kerrie Trees said the fundamental principles of its conception remain the same.

“Our engagement and relationship with nature is paramount to our wellbeing and to the wellbeing of our ocean-planet home. Education is key to unlocking our continued understanding of the many and complex issues that exist. “Always question; always seek out new ways of delivering scientific information to all and formulating our social conscience about our environment. The look but don’t touch, stay in your seats, nose in your textbooks approach is not how we should be nurturing budding young scientists and it certainly doesn’t cut it when it comes to learning how to care for our oceans and its inhabitants.

“We want to inspire people to experience nature. In turn they are encouraged to look at their individual footprints and become empowered to take responsibility for protecting our oceans, beaches, rock pools, creeks, rivers and our unique country, now and into the future,” said Kerrie.

For more information or to follow the transformation of the centre be sure to follow the Marine Discovery Centre’s page @marinediscoverycentrehastings