- Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex unveiled state-of-the-art facilities including five science labs for ground-breaking conservation work, including preservation of coral to re-seed the Great Barrier Reef
- Their Royal Highnesses experienced three never-before seen immersive student classrooms home to animals including bilbies, quokkas, monkeys, native birds and echidnas
- The Institute will provide a base for Taronga to continue its breed-to-release and habitat restoration programs for threatened and priority species in Australia and internationally
- First of its kind in Southern Hemisphere, the centre provides education experiences from preschool to PhD
LONDON, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, visited Taronga Zoo to cut the ribbon at the official launch of the brand-new world class Taronga Institute of Science & Learning, a purpose-built research and education centre on site at Taronga Zoo Sydney and the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This state of the art facility houses the largest conservation science team of any zoo in the southern hemisphere.
Their Royal Highnesses launched the Taronga Institute, which will put science on display, creating an inspiring and collaborative environment for future generations to become champions for change for the environment and the community. The Taronga Institute will enhance and expand Taronga's role as a leader in conservation science for wildlife and habitats.
Alongside the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and Director and Chief Executive, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Cameron Kerr, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were presented with their wedding gift from the people of New South Wales - namesake koala joeys. Following this, their Royal Highnesses were given a tour throughout the brand-new world class Institute, visiting:
- The Science Hub: dedicated science lab facilities which will support Taronga's science team, including two multi-disciplinary labs, a behavioural ecology lab, wildlife health lab, CryoDiversity lab and enrichment development centre. The Cryo lab or 'frozen zoo' is preserving the largest collection of frozen coral cells from the Great Barrier Reef until they are needed to re-seed the reef.
- Learning Hub: made up of three immersive habitat classrooms, these multi-sensory education spaces mimic the climate and geography of the desert, rainforest and woodlands. The classrooms are home to animals typically found in these habitats, such as echidnas and bilbies in the Arid classroom and Cotton-top Tamarins in the Rainforest classroom. It also houses a teaching lab, a 250-seat lecture theatre and tutorial rooms providing learning facilities suited to students from preschool right through to PhD.
- Atrium and Collaborative Centre: the beating heart of the Taronga Institute, this centre will provide informal spaces for collaboration and independent study for students participating in Taronga learning programs. It is the physical link between conservation science and education programs, where visiting school students can witness conservation science in action and be inspired by role models and pathways for a future STEM career.
Following the tour of the Institute, their Royal Highnesses were gifted platypus pins and a bouquet of native Australian flowers in recognition of the opening, before being invited by Mr Cameron Kerr to cut the ribbon and unveil the plaque, officially opening the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.
The Taronga Institute is the latest milestone for the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, which also operates Australia's world-renowned Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in regional NSW.
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