Category Archives: Media

Ocean to Outback – Sights, Sounds and Smells of the Sea Go Bush

Considering they’re very basic creatures, sea stars have some pretty amazing abilities (like regrowing their own leg if they lose one!) but they don’t normally travel hundreds of kilometres inland… until now.

With a little assistance from Ocean Life Education, our Blue Linckia’s, along with the rest of our marine life menagerie, have temporarily migrated away from the coast to help students who rarely get to see the sea understand more about the challenges these animals face.

In a road trip lasting 3 days and covering close to 500 kilometres, Ocean Life Education is making sure children in Blackbutt, Nanango and Kingaroy don’t miss out on the chance to touch and learn about our wonderful animal ambassadors.

The Ocean to Outback initiative is supported by the State Government through its Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grant.

Why go to such extreme lengths to facilitate these encounters?  Oceans cover almost three quarters of our planet and produce more than half of the oxygen on earth while absorbing harmful carbon dioxide.

Ocean currents also move such a large body water between the equator and poles, they help to regulate the global climate which impacts all of us – even those that live well beyond the shoreline.  Keeping the oceans healthy is in everyone’s best interest.

But travelling with a crew of sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, hermit crabs and a shark is not without its challenges as water quality and oxygen levels are vital to their survival, especially in the hostile bush environment.

One thousand litres of salt water have been transported along with the animals to ensure they are stress free on their little adventure.

But all the planning, all the logistics have been worth it just to see the excitement on the faces of a whole new batch of ocean lovers, who may rarely hear the waves crash or smell the salt in the air but know the importance of caring about the underwater world – even this far from the coast.

Ocean Life Education receives Engaging Science Grant

Moggill State School students touching sea urchin during ocean life education program

Students at Moggill State School during Ocean Life Education program

We are excited to be a recipient of the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grant from the Queensland Government.

The Engaging Science Grants support science engagement and communication projects, events and activities that increase the reach and impact of science in Queensland.

At Ocean Life Education, we combine science and entertainment to deliver our interactive marine education programs using live marine animals with the aim of inspiring students to appreciate and take responsibility for the marine ecosystem.

“We are honoured to be recognised as a business that is increasing engagement and participation of the community in science-based activities.” Richard Coward.


We’ll be using the grant to bring our “Ocean to Outback” program to rural communities in the Western Downs region, to provide students with a greater understanding of the oceans’ marine creatures and ecosystem and the current challenges facing the marine environment.

We can’t wait to get on the road and meet you, and we look forward to bringing the sea to you!

Read the official Media Release from the Minister Leeanne Enoch MP

Read more about the Engaging Science Grants

OceanZen turns plastic waste into bikinis

oceanzen bikini steph

Have you met Steph? She’s one of our Ocean Life Education presenters and probably visited your centre recently to deliver our Ocean Discovery or vacation care programs. There’s more to this girl than just her passion for inspiring children to love the ocean, she’s also created her own sustainable swimwear label, OceanZen Bikini.

Steph started her bikini label while studying an environmental science degree. She knew she wanted to do something unique coupled with her passion for ocean conservation.

Sheph has now recreated the OceanZen bikini and relaunched her sustainable line made from recycled plastic bottles and discarded fishing net fibres taken from the ocean!

The plastics are sourced direct from the ocean and then sent to a factory to be cleaned, finely chopped and processed into a fine yarn that is 100 per cent regenerated. It is then turned into a high quality Italian lycra for swimwear.

Steph says “OceanZen Bikini is saving the ocean one bikini at a time!”

“It’s not just about awesome, functional, stylish and eye catching bikinis with OceanZen. It’s also about an environmentally conscious brand and our dream combing both passions; marine conversation and swimwear together.”

OceanZen also raises awareness with marine conservation projects and environmental updates via its social media.

“The ocean is our last true wilderness that we have left to explore and it needs to be protected,” says Steph.

oceanzen swimming

“Research shows that only 1 in 5 plastic bottles actually get recycled after single use and every second approximately 1,500 plastic bottles end up either in the ocean or in waste landfills. These numbers are rising. No wonder our oceans are polluted, no wonder our beautiful marine animals are suffering!”

Steph held a launch party on the Sunshine Coast this weekend and will debut her collection at the upcoming Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival in October.

We love what Steph has achieved, her motivation to get out there and ‘do something’ is inspiring. Imagine what we can achieve if we all combine our individual passions with a love for our oceans and the Planet.

Ocean Life Education celebrates 10th birthday!

ocean life education celebrates 10th birthdayIt’s our birthday! We’re celebrating 10 years of educating and inspiring kids to love and protect the ocean and all of its creatures that depend on it.

As a small family-run business, this is a huge milestone for us and we want to thank all of you for sharing our passion to educate children to care of the environment and inviting us into your centres and schools.

This week, we celebrated with the staff at Bella Grace Early Learning Centre in Beerwah.

ole birthday gifts

Kristy Griffiths and her team shared a birthday cake with us and presented Tracey and Richard with an amazing card from all the kids at Bella Grace Beerwah. We love it!

bella grace card

The Bella Grace centres were one of the first on the Sunshine Coast to take up the Ocean Life Discovery program when we started in 2006 and have invited us back every year since – so it was nice to share this milestone with them.

How it all began

Tracey and Richard Coward started Ocean Life Education in 2006 on the Sunshine Coast after realising there was a lack of environmental education from a young age.

At the time, they had three children under five so they knew about the entertainment programs that were provided at child care centres but believed that sustainability could be better incorporated into children’s education.

Richard was a marine ecologist and had been working at Underwater World and participating in research programs and whale rescues. Tracey was a registered nurse and midwife and had just completed an MBA at university.

As passionate divers and ocean enthusiasts, Tracey and Richard knew their skills were complimentary and believed they could have a positive impact on children’s education. The rest is history.

What our programs are about

With a strong focus on pollution and how humans affect the environment, our programs offer an exciting learning experience that leaves children with a greater sense of ownership and understanding for protecting our natural marine environment.

Richard says Ocean Life Education is an effective educational resource for schools, early learning centres, vacation care and events.

“Children get up close and touch live marine animals including sea stars, sea urchins, baby sharks and fresh water turtles. They are fascinated by how these animals function and what part they play in our oceans and waterways.”

After 10 fun years, Ocean Life Education has established itself as a leader of children’s marine education programs by bringing live creatures from the ocean into schools and early learning centres.

We’ve been featured on Channel 10’s Totally Wild children’s program several times and most recently won the Sunshine Coast Business Award for Education & Training in 2015.

10 Year Birthday Special

To celebrate our 10 year birthday, we’re offering a 10% discount on all new 2016 bookings during the month of April! Simply mention this offer when booking.

>> Book Now for your school or early learning centre <<

We can’t wait to bring the sea to you!