K’gari Conference to explore new insights into Fraser Island


One of the world’s best known parent educators Steve Biddulph will head an impressive list of speakers shining the spotlight on Fraser Island at the Eighth Biennial K’gari Conference. 

Fraser Island Defenders Organisation and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation have partnered with USC to present the conference at the University’s Fraser Coast campus on Saturday 31 August from 9am-5pm.

The conference theme will focus on ‘Community, Culture and Collaborations’ and anyone with an interest in K’gari is invited to attend.

FIDO spokesperson Maria Miller said speakers from as far away as Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory would engage delegates in a full day of thought-provoking and stimulating discussions. 

“There is much to celebrate in this cooperative venture which is the first joint K’gari conference planned in partnership between FIDO and the Native Title holders the Butchulla People,” Ms Miller said. 

The keynote speaker is Steve Biddulph, an author, leading child psychologist and wilderness advocate who promotes nurturing the wild in children and bonds with nature. 

“My talks have been described as evocative and moving and I hope delegates will be able to reflect on their own relationship with nature,” said Mr Biddulph, whose keynote address is titled ‘Growing Up and the Wild’.

Leading contemporary Australian artist, curator and lecturer Dr Fiona Foley will bring to light hidden histories in her presentation ‘All Roads Lead to Takky Wooroo’.  Named Indian Head by explorer Captain James Cook, Takky Wooroo is an important sacred Butchulla site on K’gari. 

“There exists a historical amnesia when the records are jumping like Fraser Island sand fleas,” said Dr Foley, who is from the Wondunna clan of the Butchulla people. 

Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with Queensland College of Art at Griffith University, Dr Foley’s work includes an examination of Queensland’s legislation, The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897. 

Dr Bradley Smith, author of The Dingo Debate, which covers the intriguing story of one of Australia's most iconic animals, will discuss the topic of ‘Decoding Human–Dingo Conflict on K’gari’.

“I look forward to contributing to the Collaborations session, sharing my research on this protected species and providing practical pathways to reduce negative interactions between humans and dingoes,” Dr Smith said.

Other speakers will delve into cultural and environmental matters and the final session will be a question and answer open forum chaired by USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Wess.  Posters of research and projects will also be on display for delegates to peruse.

More information is available at fido.org.au/conferences. Tickets are available through Eventbrite www.eventbrite.com.au/e/community-culture-and-collaborations-8th-biennial-kgari-conference

For more information contact Maria Miller on communityculturecollaborations@gmail.com or 0432 275 571.

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