A night in for the ocean: Australian National Maritime Museum x National Geographic Wear

World Ocean Day was Saturday 8th June. A day for taking a moment for the great oceans that are essential in ensuring a healthy climate for the planet. With so many incredible conservationists, educators, researchers and changemakers creating waves in the ocean conservation space, one day doesn’t seem enough…. it is however a great catalyst to talk what matters.  
In the spirit of World Ocean Day, National Geographic Wear and Australian National Maritime Museum hosted a special evening with Australian icon and marine conservationist, Valerie Taylor to coincide with the extraordinary and historic exhibition, Valerie Taylor: An Underwater Life.
Guests were invited to a film screening of Playing with Sharks, the enduring story of Valerie Taylor, followed by an empowering panel discussion moderated by ANMM’s Curator of Ocean Science and Technology, Emily Jateff, featuring Valerie Taylor; Playing with Sharks film producer, Bettina Dalton; and National Geographic Explorer, Producer and Storyteller of Secrets of the Octopus, Dr Alex Schnell.
Emily Jateff worked closely with Valerie to curate the Valerie Taylor: An Underwater Life exhibition. Guests were able to experience first hand artefacts including the infamous chainmail diving suit and cameras and underwater camera housing created and used by her Valerie and her husband Ron Taylor. Valerie Taylor is a pioneer in her field and continues to empower the next gereration of marine conservationists, divers, researchers and ocean enthusiasts to protect our precious ocean. Playing with Sharks producer and director, Bettina Dalton, created an emotionally charged, funny, heart melting and powerful film that captivated the audience and brought her own expertise to the panel.
We were excited to have National Geographic Explorer, reseracher and storyteller of Secrets of the Octopus, Dr Alex Schnell join us for the evening. Her work as a researcher and storyteller is charged with a heightened sense of connectivity, capturing the wondrous elements of nature with equal measures of passion and respect. 

A few lucky competition prize winners had the chance to meet Valerie Taylor, and all guests had the chance to explore the An Underwater Life exhibition after hours.
We sipped on Wallaby Water from their signature recycled and recyclable cans they launched in June 2019. In the few years since Wallaby Water launched they have replaced over 5.8 million plastic bottles. No small feat. And their Australian springwater is delicious.
All in all it was a movie night to remember (yes, popcorn was served). Anecdotes, experiences, and important collective knowledge about marine conservation were shared, inspiring both a new generation and those already activated in the field.
Playing With Sharks, the Valerie Taylor story is streaming now on Disney+.

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