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Ron and Valerie Taylor are pioneers of Australian marine conservation but began their underwater careers as competitive spearfishers in the 1950s and 1960s. Since 1969 they have devoted themselves to full-time shark research and underwater filming and photography. Recently they kindly donated much of their underwater equipment and memorabilia to the museum and some of it has just gone on display in our New Acquisitions Case, located on the ramp outside The Theatre.

Stephen and Peter installing some of the Taylor collection

Their spectacular footage has been used in such movies as Blue Water White Death (1970), Jaws (1974), The Blue Lagoon (1979) and The Island of Dr Moreau (1995) among many others. Their landmark 39-episode TV series Barrier Reef was followed by Taylor’s Inner Space, featuring the marine life of eastern Australia and the Pacific. The Taylors’ research into shark behaviour led to the development of stainless steel chain mail diving suits and electronic shark deterrent equipment and they were the first to film the Great Whites without a cage. The Taylors have been recognised worldwide for their passionate and vocal defence of the marine environment.

This small display will remain up until June 2012.

Lindsey Shaw, senior curator


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