The Dolphin Research Institute

The Dolphin Research Institute is based at Hastings, on the shores of Western Port in Victoria, Australia (map). DRI's research is focused primarily in the south-eastern region of Victoria, especially Port Phillip, Western Port and the Gippsland Lakes.

The Institute has over 25 years of dolphin research - we know our resident dolphins through fin identification and regular surveys; our data-base is extensive and ever-expanding! We also know that our supporters feel proud of our work. It is a tangible way for them to be able to say "Yes, I'm helping these dolphins now, and for their future."

DRI began in the late 1980's by people who were concerned about local dolphins and their marine environment. The Institute has grown in to the well-managed, sustainable, not-for-profit conservation organisation that is the 'go-to' for just about all-things dolphin related in Victoria. The Dolphin Research Institute has been caring for our bays since 1991 - we are proud that we are now also pioneering the federally-funded National Dolphin Health Project.

We work in three areas: Research - for Conservation; Education - for the next generation and Environmental Leadership - for the community.

DRI is a registered charity and is self-funded from the community, foundations, the corporate sector and government grants. Our original concerns and passions about dolphins remain. We now spread our work further through community involvement with citizen science projects and education programs, including our award-winning 'i sea, i care' Ambassador program in primary schools. We know that all 'drains lead to the sea' - catchment management, pollution control and public education are as important as picking up litter on the beach for the health of our waterways and ultimately, dolphins.

The Institute has received many awards including the prestigious Banksia Environment Foundation national award in the "Marine & Coastal Water" category in 1997, the "Victorian Coastal Awards of Excellence" Species Protection category in 2002 and the "Community Partnerships" category in 2013.

DRI Team

Why we do what we do ......

Sue Mason

Research Director B.Ed, B. Sci (Honours), PhD Sue began her career as a teacher, teaching in both the public and private systems.  For a number of years, Sue and her husband John would spend their Chr...

Jenny Pallant

Administration and Fundraising Manager Since joining the Dolphin Research Institute in 2011, Jenny has become an invaluable member of the team. She is now our Event Coordinator and Fundraising Manager...

Jenny Parsons

Communications Manager B.Sci Agriculture; Grad Dip Women’s Studies. Jenny’s main role at DRI is to oversee the production of our newsletters, manage what goes on our website, and update DRI’s promotio...
Mandy at Balnarring Beach

Mandy Robertson

Education Director   BSc (Hons) Microbiology ; PGCE (Science/Biology)   Originally from the UK, Mandy spent several years in medical research before becoming a secondary school teacher. She ...

David Donnelly

Research Officer. David Donnelly is a marine researcher with extensive experience in a range of scientific disciplines. His field experience ranges from fine scale monitoring of the intertidal zone to...

Ric Bland

Chair of Directors Dip For Cres, B.Sc; MBA, CEnvP#15, GAICD Principal of Ric Bland Consulting, specialising in environmental approvals and permitting. Ric has extensive experience in the urban and lan...

Ian Stevenson

Past Chair of Directors B.Sc; Dip.Ed; M.Env. Sci; Grad.Dip. Management. Ian is a former Manager of local Government where has been for over 22 years within the Bays municipalities. He is a teacher and...

Jeff Weir

Executive Director BSc; MSc; Dip.Ed;  MFIA Jeff’s diverse background in Marine Biology, Education and Business has prepared him well for his current role as the Institute’s Executive Director. He has ...

Paul Curtin

Non-executive Director B.Bus.;Grad.Dip Applied Finance and Investments; Chartered Accountant. Paul is the Chief Financial Officer & General Manager Technology and Strategy, Telstra Super. Paul has...

Steph Webster

Non-executive Director Steph Webster is a recent addition to the Board of Dolphin Research Institute, but a lifetime Mornington Peninsula resident and avid animal welfare supporter. Steph is a seasone...

Cate Edwards

Non-Executive Director Cate Edwards has spent much of her working life supporting and providing advice to not-for-profit organisations. She has recently completed her Masters in Management and works i...

Shane Murphy

Non-Executive Director.  B.Bus.Studies; Grad. Dip. Co. secretarial practice; CPA; AGIA. Shane is a Finance Director and has been the Company Secretary of IFM Efector Pty Ltd for 20 years. In addition,...

Legal Structure

The Dolphin Research Institute is constituted as a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Australian Charities and Not for profit Commission as a "medium charity".  The Institute's constitution prevents it from paying dividends  to members. ABN – 73 097 317 112

The Dolphin Research Institute Ltd Environment Fund is listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations under item 6.1.1 if subsection 30.55(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductible.

The Institute's Annual Reports, audited accounts and constitution are available for download from our Annual Reports page.

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

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2016 W4WP
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