K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium

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K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium


Sharing knowledge, sharing understanding

7–8 June 2018

The K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium (7–8 June) will bring together researchers, community members, custodians and carers of K'gari-Fraser Island for a knowledge-sharing event. Researchers will share collective insights from research, historical documents, reports, letters and photographs gathered in USC's K'gari-Fraser Island Research Archive and discuss what these findings mean for the Island now and in the future. Along with the researchers, rangers and community members, K'gari Traditional Owners — the Butchulla people, are invited to share their knowledge and understandings regarding the Island during this two-day event.

Anyone with an interest in K'gari-Fraser Island is invited to attend and add their voice to the conversation.

World Heritage Values

In 1992 K’gari-Fraser Island was formally World Heritage listed because of its outstanding natural universal values, in particular its exceptional natural beauty; and outstanding example of the earth’s formation and evolving geological and biological processes. It is the largest sand island in the world and has over 250 kilometres of sandy beaches, more than 40 kilometres of strikingly coloured sand cliffs, spectacular blowouts and majestic remnants of tall rainforest uniquely growing on sand dunes. The Island has half of the world’s perched freshwater dune lakes, and the world’s largest unconfined aquifer on a sand island. Streams and creeks fed directly from this water table flow millions of litres of fresh water into the sea each day. Rare and significant species of plants and animals have adapted to the island’s unique ecosystems, including the world’s only sub-tropical patterned fens and acid frogs. The island’s sands support wallum heathlands of evolutionary and ecological significance

In 2009, the Great Sandy region, including K’gari- Fraser, was also awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO. Unlike World Heritage listing, which is based on the natural values of the island, Biosphere status takes account of people and the environment.

Join us for discussions and presentations on various aspects of this unique Island that will generate further research questions, opportunities and collaborations.

K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium keynote speakers

  • Professor Jamie Shulmeister - Chair of the UNESCO Fraser Island World Heritage Scientific Committee
  • Sue Sargent - Chair of the UNESCO Fraser Island World Heritage Community Committee
  • Professor David Lamb - Ecologist, World Heritage Values and Research
  • Dr John Sinclair - K'gari-Fraser Island icon, nature conservationist and founder of the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
  • Professor Tim Wess - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), USC
  • Dr Fiona Foley - Artist and Researcher

Where and when?

The K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium is held in Building C, level 2, at the University of the Sunshine Coast Fraser Coast, Hervey Bay, Queensland, 7 - 8 June 2018. Registration on Day 1 is in Building B.

USC Fraser Coast is located in the Hervey Bay central business district, a short walk from the beach, local shops and cafes, and with easy access to USC’s Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre.


All parking is free, though some areas in the precinct may have time limits. The safest option for those staying longest is the Police Citizen's Youth Club or behind the library.

For staff, parking is available between the building and the lake in the permit zone. We ask that staff please send their registration information to Fraser Coast AMS at fcams@usc.edu.au.

Where should I stay?

USC’s Fraser Coast campus is centrally located at Pialba in Hervey Bay. There is a range of accommodation within a few kilometres of the campus from camping, apartments, hotels and resorts to bed and breakfasts. Airbnb listings start at as little as A$40 per night.

Oceans Hervey Bay have kindly offered the following discounted room rates:

One-Bedroom $130p.n (unserviced)

Two Bedroom $180p.n (unserviced)

This rate is available from the 4th to the 8th of June for Symposium attendees.

To access this rate, please email Yun Bai directly and mention the K’gari-Fraser Island Symposium: yun@oceansherveybay.com.au

Organisers and sponsors

  • Associate Professor Kim Walker - Adjunct academic, USC Office of the Vice Chancellor and President 
  • Dr Inez Mahony - Research Development Officer, USC Office of Research

Email: FKISymposium@usc.edu.au

The 2018 K'gari-Fraser Island Symposium is proudly sponsored by Fraser Coast Regional Council and Kingfisher Bay Resort.

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