FIDO’s 7th Biennial Conference, to be held at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 16 August, is intended to be complementary to a Fraser Island Symposium being organised by the University of the Sunshine Coast and being held at USC’s Fraser Coast Campus in November. FIDO’s conference is targeted more at laypersons with a special interest in Fraser Island, while the USC Symposium will appeal to a more academic audience.
The $100 cost ($60 for students and concessions) includes light lunch and morning and afternoon tea. Online registrations can now be made here. Because the cost of catering for the conference exceeds $40 per person, FIDO has to know exact numbers to be catered for in advance. Registration by 1 August is essential.
The theme is Time, Tide and Tourism. Time, because 2017 marks two significant landmark anniversaries for K’gari: sand mining ceased just over 40 years ago, and it is now 25 years since K’gari’s World Heritage listing. Tide refers not only to the marine environment surrounding K’gari, but to the tide of events that are relevant to this unique island. Tourism has a big economic and political, as well as environmental, impact on K’gari and thus this focus.
The conference will be opened by Dr John Hookey, the man who led the Fraser Island Environmental Inquiry more than 40 years ago that stopped sand mining. The keynote speaker is Dr Martin Buzacott, whose paper ‘Drawing Artistic Inspiration from the Landscape’ is most relevant to one of K’gari’s World Heritage values.
There will be two very impressive panels during the afternoon. The first will cover citizen science initiatives from the state of the weather to the birds and the bees, all relevant to K’gari; BioBlitz from the perspectives of various participants, librarians, specialists, citizen scientists, and the artists; and the role citizens can play in collecting weather and other data. Another panel will cover a range of volunteer programs from Sandy Cape to Great Sandy Strait to protect K’gari’s natural integrity, most of which address pests, particularly weeds. Each panel should allow time for questions and discussion.
These biennial Fraser Island conferences are unique opportunities to network with others involved with K’gari and to learn from them. They are also gaining in popularity—the 2015 Sand, Sea, Sun Conference attracted almost a full house of 100. So, don’t leave it too late to register!
This conference is sponsored by the Queensland Government and supported by FIDO, FINIA and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Submitted by John Sinclair AO, FIDO