The former Sea Shepherd flagship lands in Newcastle
If you’ve ventured out to Carrington of late or have had a peruse across to that side of the harbour, you may have noticed a new tenant docking in our Newcastle waters.
That tenant is none other than Sea Shepherd’s MY Steve Irwin and is here in Newcastle for hopefully the foreseeable future. The former flagship vessel was purchased by the ever-so-bubbly, enthusiastic, and driven lass that is Kerrie Goodall for a whopping $10. Yes, you read that right – just $10 for this vessel was all hers.
In the January of 2019, Kerrie stumbled upon the news that this iconic MY Steve Irwin was destined to be sold for scrap in Hong Kong following a decade of protecting our oceans. Hoping to see someone step in to preserve the ship and retell its years of stories to keen individuals when no one did, it was a no-brainer for Kerrie to step up to the plate.
What followed has been two and a half years of plenty of restoration works, a pop-up restaurant, events, workshops, and more.
Having called Williamstown in Melbourne home for the past few years, Kerrie and her team of volunteers have had over 10,000 people through the ship, which is a huge feat considering we’ve been faced with strict lockdowns, especially for those in Victoria.
But what brings this iconic ship to coastal Newcastle?
Whilst Newcastle wasn’t originally on Kerrie’s radar for the ship, in fact, Brisbane was where the MY Steve Irwin was headed, but alas, weather and a bunch of other factors came into play.
Having been living on the ship since getting the keys back in 2019, and with her sidekick and second in charge, Admiral (the staffy) joining the adventures a little over a year ago, Kerrie’s daily life and long-term plans have now completely moved into transforming this incredible ship into a celebration of its past life and a home to rotating selection of events and more.
“I’ve been living onboard for two years now. Initially, it was quite weird and a bit creepy. It took me a while to be comfortable with living on a ship. Now, I can’t believe I ever thought it was difficult. I guess, you just sort of sleep with one eye open. Sometimes you’ve got to get up in the middle of the night and fix something if you feel that something isn’t right.”
What more can you expect?
Well, come September, Kerrie is hoping to have an incredible exhibition launching by the name Seeing Is Believing. With help from projection artist Victor Harbor this truly unique exhibition will be a ticketed event operating over five weekends.
“He’s coming here for an artist residency on the ship! He is brilliant. We’re making a big screen and it’s going to be really exciting. His art will be down in the mess and then have a projection out on the bow.”
Guests will explore the ship on a guided tour, before being presented onto the bow of the ship to a huge projection in front of them. Stay tuned for more info on this upcoming exhibition!
In addition, Kerrie is also in the process of fitting out some spaces which will be offering a unique, and truly never seen before, escape room experience! Again, this is very much in the planning process, so do watch this space!
Another upcoming event on the cards is a collaborative Father’s Day offering within the Carrington community. Still in the planning stages, keep an eye out for this awesome gift which will be filled with all the best things Carrington has to offer.
Whilst we wait for more news on the plans for upcoming events on the MY Steve Irwin, make sure to follow along on Kerrie’s journey and her established not-for-profit organisation, Ship4Good on Instagram, Facebook, and website here, and learn more about ocean conservation.
“The ship is now on the historic ship register, is a mixed event space and museum dedicated to ocean conservation and the work of Sea Shepherd.”