Senior Penguin Keeper

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Are you passionate about conservation and creating incredible guest experiences for our multitude of visitors?  Do you want to be an integral part of our dedicated curatorial team of keepers? Working across our aquarium in different areas which house some of Australia’s only King, Gentoo and Little Penguins and many native and exotic teleost and elasmobranch species? If interested, we have a fantastic opportunity for you to join our dynamic Curatorial team as Senior Keeper.

About the Role:

The Senior Keeper is responsible for assisting all other Senior Keepers and Displays Supervisors in the effective daily management of all the animal collections and ensuring best practise animal husbandry for the animals under the teams care. This includes acquisition, quarantine and daily care, in addition to conducting internal /external research, monitoring activities, and implementing Public talks, presentations, and guest interactions. You will maintain consistently high standards of displays presentation throughout all public and behind scenes areas of displays and be fully versed in the exhibit’s life support systems operation. This role will primarily be based within the penguin team, looking after King, Gentoo and Little Penguins but also be supporting the rest of the aquarium. This will involve care for a large variety of teleosts, elasmobranchs and one of the world’s only Dugong kept in human care!

As the Senior Keeper, you must be able to undertake the duties of the other Senior Keepers and Display Supervisors in their absence and assist in the effective management of the curatorial team, including the cross skilling of staff, scheduling and implementation of husbandry activities, product quality control, cost control, as well as administration and reporting for the team.

There is also the opportunity for the right candidate to be involved with and lead a conservation project with any of the species we hold onsite.

Due to the nature of Merlin Entertainments this role will be a gateway into gaining experience in our other sites with includes over 100 attractions in 23 countries across four continents.

About You:

You are an enthusiastic, motivated, energetic and suitably experienced animal keeper. You are observant and pay attention to detail. You are a good and professional communicator, have sound planning, time-management, interpersonal and organisational skills, and know how to identify and solve problems independently. 


You hold a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology or Biology or an equivalent Animal Care Diploma, or a minimum of 3 years relevant animal husbandry experience.   An alternative of expertise in penguin/bird husbandry is also given much consideration.

Key Competencies:

  • Experienced in all aspects of animal keeping and specific skills related to birds/penguins would be an advantage
  • Experienced in general aquatic husbandry and experience in maintaining and improving life support systems
  • A proven ability to work alone and in a team environment with peers and Supervisors
  • Work well under duress typical of dealing with living organisms.
  • You have an affinity for working with guests and customer service comes naturally.
  • Ability to assist with the continual development of the entire curatorial team – people and animals alike
  • You hold a minimum of Rescue diver certification with a valid dive medical or are able to achieve this within a short time frame. Drysuit and full face mask training would be an advantage. 
  • The ideal candidate will also have a background in managing and delivering conservation projects. 

Typical Physical demands:

  • Able to lift 50 lbs. to shoulder height, can carry materials, transport boxes, buckets, and frozen fish throughout the facility.
  • You are able to work on a roster which includes working weekends, public holidays and at short notice.
  • Standing, walking and working for long periods in a cold environment, and in close confines.
  • This role carries diving responsibilities.

About Us:

We are MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS, Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator. Merlin runs 110 attractions in 23 countries across four continents.  We aim to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to our 54 million visitors annually worldwide, through our iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of our managers and more than 26,000 employees. Why do we do it? For the love of FUN!!!!!!

So, whether it’s meandering through our Day and Night on the Reef, touching Cushion Sea-Stars at our rock pool or coming face to face with one of the only dugongs on display in the world, these world class experiences are only made possible by the care, passion, dedication and commitment of our fantastic husbandry team, of which you will be an integral part of.  These SEA LIFE teams are all built on the foundation of an incredible commitment to conservation and a need to share the beauty of our aquatic ambassadors with the world in an engaging and interactive way. 

If you are a team player, and the thought of delivering this magic to over a million guests a year makes you smile,  you are vibrant and passionate about educating guests and creating memorable experiences in a great company and team who Love What We Do, we want to hear from you!

Click for more information on how to apply