New chief after ‘best move ever’

2015-12-15 06:00
Michael Farquhar will be taking over from Dr Patrick Garratt as the CEO of the Two Oceans Aquarium. Farquhar says he started working permanently at the Aquarium in 1997 in “the best move I could ever have made”.

Michael Farquhar will be taking over from Dr Patrick Garratt as the CEO of the Two Oceans Aquarium. Farquhar says he started working permanently at the Aquarium in 1997 in “the best move I could ever have made”.

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The Two Oceans Aquarium is entering a new era in leadership.

Michael Farquhar, the current curator, has been appointed as the new CEO, and Maryke Musson will take over the reins from Farquhar as the Aquarium’s curator.

Farquhar started at the Two Oceans Aquarium as a volunteer with no intention of working for the organisation. However, in 1997, he was offered a position as the aquarist in charge of the Ocean Basket kelp forest exhibit, the penguin exhibit and water quality. He hasn’t looked back since.

“It was the best move I could ever have made!” says Farquhar.

Shortly after his appointment, he became the Aquarium’s operations manager and in 2003 he was appointed as the curator. In this position he was involved with the plan, design and construction of new exhibits, as well as leading a team of dedicated aquarists.

“I am delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to lead an incredible team which runs a world-class aquarium,” says Farquhar.

Musson holds various degrees, including in Fisheries Sciences, Marine Biology and Zoology, and has experience in business management, consulting and research.

She joined the Aquarium building team in 1995. She left a few years later and pursued a career in aquaculture, returning briefly to the Aquarium in 2013.

“One of the things that excite me most about returning to the Aquarium is the opportunity to tell stories, to challenge visitors and to change their behaviour in one way or another,” she says.

Dr Patrick Garratt retired as CEO at the beginning of December. His memoir, Crazy: adventures of a marine biologist, details his career which started as a commercial fisherman in 1976.

“As time went by I was increasingly enthralled by the world of aquariums. They are a wonderful mix of science, technology and art. An aquarium is the best place in the world to work,” says Garratt.

Farquhar says the Aquarium is on the brink of a significant expansion when a new large exhibit opens early next year.

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