On paper, a Questacon membership provides unlimited entry to the centre and discounts at the Questacon shop and café, among other things. But in reality, it provides so much more. People become members for different reasons, but at its core, membership is another way of encouraging people to engage with science.

Geoff Robertson’s decision to become a member was driven by an interest in science and the idea of a national science centre. Now 78, Geoff has been coming to Questacon since the 1980s – before it moved to its current building. Visitors walking up the ramp at Questacon

“I was very interested in the concept of Questacon. My background is in economics and politics, but I am interested in conservation and science, so I was interested in what was on display at Questacon. When it moved to the current building, I made a point of going and joining up.”

Over the years, Geoff’s membership has included the names of his children and now his grandchildren (the youngest of whom is 4), as he has taken them all to visit Questacon as they’ve grown up.

Geoff enjoys the visits just as much as the kids do. “The kids have loved the kiddies’ corner [Mini Q]. In the main room, it’s great that things are always being changed and renewed, such as the dinosaurs [exhibit] in the past to the Moon [exhibit] at the moment. And I have used the freefall slide, though I think I’m getting to an age now where it might be a bit dangerous!”

Image of Children playing in Mini Q water play

“The shows were always interesting. I think kids like the entertainment – they may or may not associate it with science, but it broadens their horizons.” This horizon broadening is one of the key benefits Geoff sees in a Questacon membership, and he’s found these benefits span generations.

For others, the value of a membership can take a different form. Tom Gay first became a member less than a year ago and is enjoying bringing his whole family into the Questacon magic, including his 3 children aged 6, 3 and 1.

The thought of a membership hadn’t occurred to Tom before, but when he was given a Questacon gift card, he signed up.

“My work colleagues gave me a Questacon gift card when I was going on paternity leave for my third child. It meant I was able to introduce the kids earlier than I could have, and it means I can go regularly. When you have to pay each time for a bigger family, the price can make it a harder decision to go.”

Image of members of lining up for members night

Tom explains how important Questacon has been in giving his children something to look forward to. “Every visit is a thrill for the kids. They really look forward to it. You can sense the excitement in the car on the way there and they talk about it all the way home.”

Even though the children are young, the family’s visits have helped bring conversations about science into the home. “My kids are young, so a lot of the educational stuff goes over their heads at the time, but then we have a conversation about it later. Those conversations would be harder if we hadn’t already seen the exhibits.”

As with Geoff, Tom gets just as much enjoyment from the experience as the kids. “Sometimes the kids are ready to go to the next room, and I’m like, ‘Wait a second!’ And for the things they enjoy, I get such a joy from watching them be mesmerised by an exhibit.”

Questacon offers memberships for individuals, concession holders and families, and provides discounts for current members when renewing. Find out more about Questacon memberships.