Australian National Maritime Museum presents One Ocean Our Future exhibition

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum presents One Ocean Our Future exhibition

Australian National Maritime Museum presents One Ocean Our Future exhibition 1062 439 Ocean Decade

Ocean health is critical to us all

The ocean is a mesmerising, mysterious, relatively unexplored place that is critical to all life on earth. Its vast influence on weather, atmosphere, food supply, culture, society and biodiversity makes ocean health crucial to the future of our planet.

One Ocean Our Future is a rich and immersive experience where visitors explore the wonders of our ocean and the impacts of unsustainable practices, considering how change will shape life on earth, now and into the future.

Curator Emily Jateff said, ‘This exhibition showcases what is currently happening to the world’s ocean. It is all interconnected. Our goal is to inform and educate to show what is being done through science and what needs to happen, to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations.’

WONDERS – let’s appreciate what there is to lose

Cinema-scale vision captures the rich, mesmerising beauty and diversity of Australia’s marine life, filmed by deep sea ROV SuBastian on Schmidt Ocean Institute expeditions around Australia in 2020-21. The film invites visitors to join the thrilling moments when scientists see extraordinary, rare and new species for the first time.

In a 3D interactive aquarium, visitors can virtually meet a dumbo octopus, faceless cusk eel, catshark, ram’s horn squid and nautilus. Use gesture control to (virtually) catch and inspect them up close, learn about their habits, environment and how changes in the ocean threaten their survival.

EVIDENCE – what’s happening and how it’s all connected

Stunning graphics present images, data and stories of the interrelationships and impacts of climate and ocean change on WEATHER, HABITATS, ICE and of the effects of PLASTIC on the ocean and us.

Visitors look through microscopes to see micro-plastics in local beach sand, seawater, washing machine outflows and the flesh of molluscs.

WITNESSES it affects us all as individuals, cultures and societies

The voices of people from around the world who are experiencing the impact of climate and ocean change on their life and existence populate the space.  Their stories – from Canada to the Torres Strait Islands, to Florida and Siberia – feature throughout the exhibition.

Stunning works of art, from First Nations cultures of Australia and the Pacific, provide cultural commentary on how the changing climate and ocean is affecting their life and society, sounding a warning about ocean change from the most vulnerable places on earth.

SCIENCE – measuring and revealing the ocean

Stories and museum artefacts showcase the role of oceanography in understanding ocean change, from two centuries of measuring, exploring, analysing, sampling and mapping the ocean. These range from sediment collected by HMS Challenger in 1872-76, a robot designed to give a lethal injection to Crown of Thorns Starfish, and remote sensing technologies that help us identify, quantify and plan a response to the changing ocean.

Cinema-scale vision provides a dynamic backdrop to these objects and takes visitors aboard advanced scientific research vessels from Australia, Japan and Denmark.


‘Child of the Future’ looks at what life and the marine environment could be like in the lifetime of children born over the next century, with dual scenario predictions: one of continuing unchecked oceanic change, or  a future where science and society respond to the challenges  of today and change things for the better.

The Progress billboard compiles stories from around the world of advances big and small, local and international, in addressing climate and ocean change.

Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO of the museum said, ‘We are proud to launch, with this exhibition, our involvement with the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Over the coming years we will amplify the excellent work on sustainability being done both in Australia and around the planet and bring information to the general public.’

One Ocean – Our Future is an endorsed Ocean Decade Activity.

One Ocean – Our Future is sponsored by The Schmidt Ocean Institute. And supported by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Riethoff | Email:


UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.


The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want





Join #OceanDecade

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