See inside: Million-dollar marine centre transformation
A new era has begun at the North Star’s Marine Discovery Centre after a million-dollar transformation.
The state-of-the art environmental learning facility at Hastings Point is now open to the public and resort guests on Saturdays and during school holidays following a launch event in March.
The reopening was launched by environmentalist Jon Dee who has been instrumental in the banning of plastic bags in supermarkets and the introduction of single use bags in some states.
Mr Dee also co-founded Planet Ark with Pat Cash and National Tree Day with Olivia Newton-John.
He shared his inspiring vision for a sustainable future with guests at the launch.
The launch of the new Marine Discovery Centre coincided with the announcement that North Star had been awarded Eco-Tourism Australia certification – internationally recognised through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Eco-Tourism designs and delivers certification programs for tourism products and destinations to assure travellers that certified accommodation providers have a strong commitment to sustainability and quality.
The history of the Marine Discovery Centre dates back 60 years when Marine Biologist Ted Brambleby first began collecting marine specimens.
The passionate environmentalist first shared his displays from the boot of his car in the ‘60s, driving coastal roads and stopping to educate beachgoers, scuba divers, snorkellers and like-minded ocean lovers along the way.
In 1999, Mr Brambleby joined forces with teacher and business partner Kerrie Trees and created the unique opportunity to host camps and day visits for students, teachers, community groups and holiday-makers at Hastings Point Caravan Park.
In 2008 proprietors of North Star, Ian and Diana Beadel, allocated space in their resort’s ‘Seascape Building’ where Mr Brambleby and Ms Trees could set up their marine specimens and displays.
The generous owners provided the venue for a token rent of just $1 per year.
Fast forward to 2021 and Mr and Mrs Beadel have funded the a $1.3 million refurbishment to ensure the longevity of this unique environmental learning facility.
The Marine Discovery Centre was designed to inspire and educate.
It aims to help people, young and old, to understand and care for the aquatic environment, its inhabitants and vital ecosystems, and learn about the unprecedented challenges of climate change, marine litter, plastic waste, pollutants and fishing.
There is also purpose-built space within the centre for lectures, seminars, social and business events and group gatherings.
Ms Trees said it was up to every person on the planet to be the voice for micro and macro fauna and flora that have no voice.
“Through this centre, we can continue to encourage the young and the old, schools, communities and governments to take up the challenge and accept responsibility for our environment,” she said.
“Thanks to Ian and Diana’s generous gift to the community and future caretakers of the planet, hearts and minds will continue to change and become empowered with new-found knowledge.
“We aim is to teach people, especially younger generations, to have a voice for the marine environment and be proud to use it.”
For more information about the Marine Discovery Centre opening times or student and group visits, go to www.marinediscovery.com.au