Posted on 14/10/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
New Penguin Parade Celebrated!
The opening of the new Penguin Parade visitor centre was celebrated in style with a party for all ages on Sunday 13 October.
Locals and visitors flocked to the ‘housewarming’ party for Phillip Island’s penguins to enjoy a celebration of the spectacular new Penguin Parade visitor centre with talks, walks, music, fun, food, activities, tours, roving performers and much more.
From the moment the doors opened, party goers arrived to be a part of the celebrations. It started with a yoga and meditation class on the front deck – even Misty the giant penguin joined in.
Local talented musicians led by Maddy May and Nic Huigs got the party started as people joined the activities including learning about penguins and their homes with the Nature Parks researchers and rangers.
Local historian John Jannson gave a fascinating presentation about the history of the Summerland Peninsula. Special guests included the daughter of one of the Penguin Parade’s founders, Bert West.
Many visitors then joined the building site tour where Nature Parks’ Special Projects Manager Damian Prendergast and penguin researcher Leanne Renwick told the story of the construction of the centre and how the penguins were protected throughout the process.
The front of the centre was alive with colour and fun as roving performers including Helly Hoops and an amazing ‘Sustainability Snail’ welcomed the crowds along with kids’ games and blowing giant bubbles, not balloons with Nature Parks rangers.
A crowd joined Nature Parks Stuart Murphy and Craig Bester for a Fox Dog Demonstration with canine colleague, Sam.
A moving Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony was held in the centre’s new Welcome to Country area. Bunurong Elder Uncle Mic Edwards and son Eric spoke to the crowds and asked them to care for the Country and each other.
Island Grooves drummers then provided the beats before Vika and Linda took to the stage. Their magical voices filled the centre up to the rooftops in a real celebration of the stunning centre. They commented on the centre’s spectacular architecture and what a special building it is. Local musician Bern Carroll followed the duo delighting crowds into the late afternoon.
As the fun slowed down, visitors joined the last tour of the day – a behind the scenes walk around the Penguin Parade with penguin expert, Dr Andre Chiaradia. Many visitors also took advantage of the discounted tickets and stayed for the evening Penguin Parade.
The event was the community celebration and launch of Phillip Island’s stunning new Penguin Parade visitor centre completed in July 2019.
Roland Pick – Communications Executive
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