31 Oct 2018 11:03:53
Global Brand With a Local Community Focus
Did you know that SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast used to be called Underwater World before it was bought by Merlin Entertainments in 2013? Becoming part of one of the SEA LIFE brand has done wonders for the aquarium as it is now part of an extended support system that has access to the knowledge and experience of more than 40 other SEA LIFE Aquariums around the world.
But, rest assured, even though the aquarium underwent a $6.5 million transformation to become part of the global SEA LIFE brand, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast continues the community engagement that has been part of the Underwater World philosophy for almost 30 years. Here’s how we continue to engage and support our local community:
Merlin’s Magic Wand
Our amazing charity that supports seriously ill, disadvantaged and disabled children, with the aim to give them a break from life’s daily struggles. We do this in three ways:
- Magical Days Out - We supply free passes to over 3000 children every year
- Magic On Tour Every month our education team take our portable touch tank, educational artifacts and a gorgeous freshwater turtle (named Merlin) to the children’s ward of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and provide distraction therapy for children who are too ill to visit our Mooloolaba aquarium.
- We create Magical Spaces. This amazing project allows us to raise funds to transform a room or play area for a local charity in need. Last year we raised $30,000 and gifted a makeover for a toddler counselling room and deck for Sunny Kids Refuge.
Beach Clean Ups and Conservation
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast has joined forces with Environcon and many local environmental groups and proactively organises beach clean ups. We actively spread the message about the importance of conservation and the environment. See here for our upcoming beach clean up dates.
We can also inspire locals to take action and organise their own clean-ups with their school or interested community groups. We will supply bags, gloves and all the other important stuff including insurance through Sea Life Trust.
Educating Future Generations
Here at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, we pride ourselves on the environmental and marine education we provide to local children through our three hour guided school programs that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Our underwater classroom is educational but also filled with fun activities the kids absolutely love, as they learn through exploration and discovery in a hands on and interactive way.
Supporting the Local Economy
When Underwater World was acquired by SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, we sold off the part of The Wharf that we owned which has also been completed renovated and is now buzzing with popular cafes and restaurants. This provided lots of jobs for the local community as well as providing a place for both locals and tourists to visit, which has helped to boost the local economy.
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary. In fact, so is the rest of The Wharf – how exciting?! So be sure to keep your eye out for information being released of all the celebrations and special offers that will be happening both in the aquarium and along The Wharf that will be sure to give you a fun filled day out.