Woodside and the West Australian Museum have built, over the past 18 years, one of the most comprehensive collections of marine species in the world – making WA the leader in sub-tropical marine research.
This extraordinary partnership is now entering a new phase with the announcement of the Woodside Marine Biodiversity Fund which will support the Museum's on-going marine biodiversity research and create the Woodside Learning Studio at the new Museum when it opens in 2020.
At the announcement this week Minister for Culture and the Arts, John Day said the partnership between the Museum and Woodside was widely recognised as an exemplary example of best practice partnerships in the pursuit of scientific endeavour, creating a knowledge legacy for future generations.
The Minister used the opportunity to also launch the interactive documentary, Beneath the Waves. The documentary explores the marine environment of the Kimberley Region and showcases the world-class research made possible through Woodside's support of the Museum.
Woodside's Vice President, Greg Mogan said "We are proud of the achievements of our partnership and truly amazed by the extraordinary marine species which have been discovered off the Western Australian coast through the researchers' work.
"Collectively, the two Woodside collections - Marine Life of the Dampier Archipelago and Marine Life of the Kimberley – have identified 10,700 animal and plant marine species and quite significantly, over 600 of these are new to science," he said.
WA Museum CEO, Alec Coles said, "One of the defining characteristics of this relationship has been the freedom that Woodside has given the Museum team to define the parameters of the research and to conduct it appropriately. This is a relationship built on absolute integrity, on mutual trust, on respect, and on the proven ability of both partners to deliver."
The knowledge collected by the Museum helps Woodside make the right business decisions about the sustainable design, development and operation of our facilities. It also has been instrumental in building a picture of marine life, informing environmental management and conservation, as well as contributing to the development of best practice strategies in hydrocarbon exploration and production.
The new five-year community partnership will build on the robust scientific marine research, enabling ongoing discoveries related to the marine environment. It will also enable the creation of a 'WA Downunder Gallery' at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle. This gallery will showcase the Woodside Collection (Pilbara and Kimberley) and the Museum's broader knowledge of WA's marine biodiversity.
When completed, Woodside Learning Studio will be a prominent space to facilitate learning and collaboration for a range of audiences of all age groups and education levels through presentations, activities and workshops at the new museum.
L-R: Ian Booth, Screenwest; Nick Lowe, Hungry Sky; Alec Coles, WA Museum; Alice Ross, Periscope Pictures; Sam Field, Periscope Pictures; Greg Mogan, Woodside; Hon John Day MLA, Minister for Culture and the Arts; Minh Tran, Hungry Sky; Clay Bryce, WA Museum; Luke Smith, Woodside
Image Courtesy of WA Museum. Photographer: Tobey Black