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Fraser Island Conference — “A Natural Laboratory”

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The fifth Biennial Fraser Island Conference will be held in the Mt Coot-tha Auditorium in Brisbane on Thursday, 8th August. 

The Conference being organized by FIDO with the support of both FINIA and the Fraser Island World Heritage Scientific Advisory Committee is featuring the theme “A Natural Laboratory” which underlines two aspects of the purposes in having these ongoing conferences.  One aspect is to highlight the value of Fraser Island as a natural scientific resource and the other is to try to encourage more study of aspects of Fraser Island’s environment to help better understand how to better manage it.

The Keynote Speaker is Dr Barry Jones, a former Federal Science Minister who appreciates the significance of places like Fraser Island for study and research.  Barry Jones has been long renowned since he was a teenager for his enthusiasm in gathering knowledge on a vast range of subjects and should be most entertaining.

  • The Conference is to be opened by FINIA’s Sue Sargent and will include papers on an assortment of topics.
  • Prof Roger Kitching from Griffith University will discuss aspects of climate change on the natural environment.
  • Dr Patrick Moss from the University of Queensland’s School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management will elaborate on the findings of his study of the fens of the Great Sandy Region.
  • Dr Greg Baxter, also from the University of Queensland and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee will present an analysis of the latest data on Fraser Island’s dingoes.
  • Jock McKenzie who has been working on the mangroves of Great Sandy Strait will discuss the estuarine areas of the Great Sandy Region.

There will be a break from science when Elizabeth Cumming one of Australia’s currently most collectible artists focusses on the aesthetic quality of the natural environment of the Fraser Island World Heritage area because one of the criteria under which Fraser Island was inscribed is because it “contains areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”.  These should not be overlooked when considering other aspects of the island’s OUV.

There will be also shorter presentations and poster displays on topics from Visitor surveys, Phaius orchids and the fishery of the Great Sandy Region as well as some of Lindsay Titmarsh’s amazing mangrove photography from the Great Sandy Region.

The conference also includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch all for $100 for the day or $60 for students and concessions.  Details of the program are being regularly updated on the FIDO web site:  www.fido.org.au.