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Noreen Burke.

Director of Education at Galway Atlantaquaria.
Co. Galway.
Story of change Noreen Burke. story
“I’d love for people to realise the value of doing something small and to believe in the impact they as an single person can have”


Meet Noreen. Noreen grew up inland in Tipperary where her best childhood summer memories were playing in the backyard paddling pool and taking flukey and fortuitous trips, with her neighbour to Tramore, to be by the sea. Her landlocked love affair with the ocean along with her fathers appreciation of nature culminated in Noreen's commitment to conservation. She traded her paddling pool for the prom and the salty sea air of Galway where she studied a postgrad in Marine Ecology. Noreen is now the Director of Education for Galway Atlantaquaria where she has transformed her team, from one person to a whole department.

“I just knew I wanted to work with people. I wanted to do science communication and education”.

The team design and deliver outreach activities that educate, engage and inspire people to connect and conserve our ocean.

“I would like our material to be accessible and accepting and understanding of other people’s point of view.”

Noreen and the education team prioritise solutions-based thinking using an inquiry based approach, where students are encouraged to question everything and learn that “failure is just an opportunity to learn something new".

Noreen is one of those key teachers you reflect back on as an adult, the ones that have carved out who you are today, the ones that teach important lessons with empathy, openness and integrity.

We need a few more Noreens.


We're not apart from nature, we are part of it. we need to better understand that connection and explore how we can balance out our impact.


Try to identify just one thing you can do and try not to be afraid to fail. You can start with trying to use and buy less stuff. Ask yourself, do I really need it? Do I really want it? Am I going to use it?


We are really starting to see the value of working collaboratively together and not seeing each other as competition.


PERSON: Doug McKenzie - Mohr

To find out more visit or follow them on Instagram @galwayaquarium