Southern Hemisphere‘s First Underwater Museum Installed In North Queensland
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE’S FIRST UNDERWATER MUSEUM INSTALLED IN NORTH QUEENSLAND
Saturday 7th December 2019
The inaugural sculpture in the Southern Hemisphere’s first Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) has been installed, 30 metres offshore from North Queensland’s iconic Strand Jetty in Townsville.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said ‘Ocean Siren’ is important to growing tourism industry across the region.
“The Queensland Government has provided $2 million funding to support Stage One of the MOUA project to grow the North Queensland experience,” Minister Jones said.
“Tourists want an experience they can’t get anywhere else and as the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, this new attraction certainly provides that.”
The world’s leading marine sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has designed and created the ‘Ocean Siren’, modelled on local Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner Takoda Johnson.
“Our vision is to inspire reef and ocean conservation action and achieve positive environmental outcomes. The ‘Ocean Siren’ reacts to live water temperature data from the Davies Reef weather station on the Great Barrier Reef and changes colour in response to live variations in water temperature,” Mr deCaires Taylor said.
“She is a visual representation of current conditions underwater and a warning of potential stresses to the marine ecosystem.
“We hope to advance education and offer opportunities for scientists, marine students and tourists to engage in action-based learning and to conduct globally important research on coral reef restoration and new technology.”
MOUA Chair Paul Victory said MOUA acknowledges the Sea Country on which it operates, the Manbarra and Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners.
“We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and to all Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Victory said.
“It has been a wonderful journey from conception to completion of Stage One of the MOUA and one which has brought together many different groups within our community including Traditional Owners and our Indigenous community, along with the arts, science, education and tourism sectors.”
The second component of Stage One of MOUA, the John Brewer Reef ‘Coral Greenhouse’ is also expected to be installed later this month.
Both Stage One installations will be officially opened in early 2020.