Good interview with Samba’s Tridge. He explains where the penguin mascot came from — I never knew the linux penguin was in fact a fairy penguin! All those trips bringing visitors to Phillip Island while I was in Melbourne were not wasted then. ;)
Some time later Linus was looking for a mascot for Linux, and apparently the incident at the National Aquarium helped influence him towards choosing a penguin. If you go there now you will see a little plaque commemorating the fateful day when Linus caught ‘penguinitis’ from one of the fairy penguins in the enclosure (the 6ft one, of course).