Besides striving to be a key job generator, tourism attraction, and marine science and research hub, the new Townsville museum will emphasize coral reef conservation, restoration, and education. As the only underwater art museum in the Southern Hemisphere, MOUA will complete in 2021 and will present an array of art installations created by Jason deCaires Taylor, the leading underwater sculptor. The large-scale project will be shown all along Queensland; John Brewer Reef and The Strand, with future plans to set up in Palm Island and Magnetic Island. One of his pieces, “Ocetan Siren” is modelled from a 12-year-old Takoda Johnson, an indigenous girl of the Wilgurukaba community. The siren reacts to live temperature data from the Davies Reef weather station and changes colour in response to variations in the water’s temperature.
The chairman of MOUA, Paul Victory, has recently stated that: “Townsville is the hub for marine science, and the Museum of Underwater Art only adds to this by offering a unique and thought-provoking encounter with the world’s most iconic natural wonder while acting as a contemporary platform to share the stories of the reef, and the culture of its First Nations people.”