Solar Nights goes under the sea at USC

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Sea life will be in the spotlight for the return of Solar Nights – the Sunshine Coast’s biggest and most captivating light trail.  

Running from 13-22 December, Solar Nights features a series of enchanting light displays and is expected to attract thousands to USC’s Sunshine Coast campus at Sippy Downs to take part in the special celebration. 

While the theme of last year’s event focused on Australian wildlife, this year the light sculptures and displays explore the ocean and the sea life that call it home. 

The event, which ran for the first time last year, was created by USC to celebrate sustainable energy, the environment, creativity and community. 

In particular, the event recognises USC’s partnership with Veolia to solar power the Sunshine Coast campus with the aid of a giant ‘water battery’, cutting energy emissions by 40 percent – a giant step toward the university’s plan to become carbon neutral. 

USC’s Director of Marketing and External Engagement, Karyn Brinkley, said the idea behind this year’s theme was to draw attention to the fragile beauty of our oceans, and the importance of protecting them from human impact.

“As a university that’s making huge advances in climate and environmental sciences, we wanted to create an event that not only entertains but provokes thought and conversation while celebrating achievements we’ve made in this field,” Ms Brinkley said. 

“Last year it was quite incredible for us as USC staff to see the excitement and joy that this special event brought to those who attended. 

“We’re looking forward to providing that same atmosphere again this year but with more light features spread over a larger area on our beautiful campus.” 

This year, apart from a larger light trail with more light displays, USC has invited a selection of food trucks to join the festival-like atmosphere, serving food such as Mexican dishes, loaded fries, snacks, desserts and coffee.

Ms Brinkley said Solar Nights was a chance for USC to give back to the community that had supported the University since its inception. 

“USC was founded by our community, so we relish any chance to give something back to the people who have stood behind us from the very start,” Ms Brinkley said. 

“Our campus is a community asset and we are always looking for new and creative ways to welcome communities to visit us and enjoy our unique environment.” 
 

 
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