Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries’ (EMS)

is an incorporated, not-for-profit, non-government organisation. The program is based on (with permission) the highly successful New Zealand program ‘Experiencing Marine Reserves’. 

An important component of EMS’s approach to education is to give children and their parents (and grand parents) a safe and professionally supervised ‘hands on’ experience of our unique and beautiful marine life.


Our EMS coordinators are qualified first aid, snorkeling and/or diving instructors and offer guidance, direction and coordination of in water experiences. EMS provides mask (goggles), snorkel, fins (flippers) and wetsuits. For many participants it is their first time snorkeling, therefore having a ratio of one parent to two students assists with supervision and safety.



appreciation and conservation of the marine environment.


the establishment, effective monitoring and management of marine sanctuaries.


people to become citizen scientists and actively participate in marine conservation.


and engage through experience in the marine environment


 the value of marine sanctuaries


President: Professor Bronwyn Gillanders

Vice President: TBD at next AGM

Treasurer: Mark Pierson

Secretary: Sue Hill

Public Officer, Co-founder, Executive Officer & Program Manager: Carl Charter

Committee Member – Inclusive Subcommittee Member: Michael Ray

Committee Member: Gill Peacey

Committee Member: Michael Mills

Committee Member: Jikke Adema

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders | President

Bronwyn is a Professor at the University of Adelaide. She has a background in marine biology and ecology and is passionate about training the next generation of marine biologists. Her research interests are broad but include gaining a better understanding of the giant Australian cuttlefish. She enjoys snorkelling and SCUBA diving around South Australia as well as in warmer environments.

Mark Pierson | Treasurer

Mark is a PADI qualified science teacher and father of four, with a long history of involvement in coastal and marine community groups. He is a 2020 Coastal Ambassador who loves getting wet. He has dived with Whale Sharks, Great White Sharks, Seals, Sea Lions, Dolphins, Turtles, Tuna and Cuttlefish and wants to open up our wonderful underwater world for others to see and enjoy and hopefully fall in love with.

Sue Hill | Secretary

Since my early childhood – when my father founded KESAB, I have been immersed in environmental causes and issues.       Perhaps it was summers spent on the beach participating in some of the state’s earliest beach cleans that my passion for the health of our oceans emerged.

I currently volunteer with Sea Shepherd and assist them locally with publicity when and where appropriate.   I also volunteer my time and expertise pro-rata to environmental causes and organisations including working alongside and helping the students on the first School Strike for Climate events in Adelaide.

In both my professional career and through organisations in which I’ve been involved, I have experience in working with volunteers and to a lesser extent, fundraising.

Aside from the environment, my other passion is travel and Im lucky enough to have travelled solo and with my family to every continent bar Antarctica (but Im working on that one!).

My career path has primarily followed a course of PR & Marketing providing me with a skill set honed over several decades within this field.

Carl Charter | Public Officer, Executive Officer & Program Manager

Carl is passionate about the ocean, he has been diving for over 30 years and recently became a PADI Dive Instructor with specialties in teaching underwater photography, O2 provision and First Aid (EFR). Carl has worked as a trainer, consultant, executive officer and program manager in the not-for-profit arena for past 20 years. He has a Degree in Fisheries and a Diploma in Resource Technology and has worked in marine archaeology, on-ground conservation, environmental management, sustainability auditing, community engagement and school and community education. Carl developed and managed an award-winning program for schools and community on River Murray and water conservation and more recently has worked on the multi award-winning Reef Watch SA Intertidal Monitoring and Feral or in Peril programs.


Sophie enjoys the ocean all year round snorkelling, diving, surfing and cold immersions in winter. When she is not supporting the behind the scenes coordination and administration for EMS, she volunteers leading snorkel tours at EMS community events. She is passionate about community building and ocean conservation, having supported various initiatives to protect our coasts. Sophie has previously worked as an educator and project administrator in adult and community education. She also facilitates yoga retreats and workshops with a focus on eco-grief healing, deep ecology and nature connection.

Gill Peacey | Committee member

Gill grew up in NZ spending as much time as possible in the beautiful outdoors including sailing and diving the coastal waters and inland lakes around the top of the South Island. A passion for the environment and a love for the outdoors led to a career in environmental management, and after working in several NZ national parks she moved to NSW, then across to South Australia’s national parks as a Park Ranger focussing on community engagement programs and park accessibility. She later moved into senior management roles including Commonwealth and State funded NRM grant programs, grant governance and national parks volunteer programs.

Michael Mills | Committee member

Michael is a writer, producer and director, with a particular expertise in communicating science to young people through stories, theatre and songs. Through HeapsGood Productions, Michael has written and produced dozens of shows and interactive experiences around Australia, including as one of his alter egos, singing palaeontologist Professor Flint. He has a particular passion for exploring Earth’s natural history, including all that has dwelt, and still dwells in the world’s oceans. In 2014, for slices to science communication, Michael was awarded the SA Unsung Hero of Science Communication.

Jikke Adema | Committee member

Jikke Adema has a background with 22 years as project manager / change manager and senior research support officer, mostly in an academic environment and some in the public sector, both in Australia and the Netherlands. This gives her a wider perspective on how to plan, budget, and run research projects, and how to support academics with their career development. Examples of past experience include project management of science projects; coordinating multidisciplinary science projects as part of larger programs; research data management; use of electronic learning environments in tertiary education; e-Research. Apart from that she has a strategic view on the research landscape with a focus on removing barriers and improving processes for the longer term.