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For Dugong Lovers, this National Science Week

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

BIEPA's Dugong Diaries Project encourages community members to contribute their dugong sightings to help expand the knowledge of Bribie Island's dugongs. (Photo from the one of the project's Facebook group. observations by Claire Bear)

With National Science Week in full swing, BIEPA is joining in the Australia-wide activities by hosting the Bribie Island Dugong Symposium on Saturday 19th August at the Bribie Island Seaside Museum.

The Symposium will bring together researchers, citizen scientists, artists, and the community, to share knowledge and help develop a framework for the actions needed to conserve and protect our mythical marine friends.

Organised by BIEPA Wildlife Team’s Dugong Diaries Project members, the program includes speakers, discussion, artistic inflections, and a dugong-spotting cruise to round-out the day.

The BIEPA Dugong Diaries Project launched back in April 2023 with the establishment of the Bribie Island Dugong Sightings Facebook group. Now 400-members strong, the group is the focus for collecting observations, which are then collated into a database and mapped by members of the Dugong Diaries Project Team. This work aims to develop knowledge of dugong habits in the waters around Bribie Island and encourage community involvement in their protection.

The Symposium's plenary sessions will be held at the Bribie Island Seaside Museum.

Symposium Program

Speakers Sherry Bruce; Brent Smith, Dr Gabriela Shuster and Dr Janet Layon

Fostering Community Stewardship of Bribie Island’s Dugongs

Sherry Bruce, BIEPA Wildlife Team

Keynote Address: Can We Conserve Queensland's Dugongs?

Dr Janet Lanyon, University of QLD

Seagrass Recovery: Partnerships for Success

Dr Gabriela Shuster, Health Land and Water

Making Observations Matter

Brent Smith, Dugong Sightings Gold Coast

Panel Discussion/ Q+A

A chance to delve deeper into issues presented by our speakers and discuss our dugong conservation aims.

Readings: “Love Letters to the Dugongs

Even if you can’t make the event, you can still be a part of it. Local artist Tracey Benson is curating a collection of “Love Letters to the Dugongs” – we’d love you to pen a letter* and send it in before the symposium. A selection of letters will be presented throughout the program.

Dugong-spotting Sunset Cruise

After our Seaside Museum Sessions, we’ll board Ferryman Cruises for dugong (and other wildlife) spotting, conversation, networking and informal discussions around dugongs, conservation, and the health of Pumicestone Passage. During the cruise there will be three “lucky draw” prizes drawn and presented.

The Symposium will conclude with a sunset dugong-spotting cruise on Pumicestone Passage.

Edit: 16/8/2023 ***TICKETS SOLD OUT*** We're sorry to disappoint, but we've reached capacity for our venue and cruise, so we're officially sold out. If you'd like to go on the waiting list, please email YOU CAN STILL CONTRIBUTE *Anyone can contribute a "Love Letter to the Dugongs". Get some inspiration here, then simply send your letter to and your letter will be read as part of the symposium, added to our collection of letters.

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