UNESCO World Heritage K’gari-Fraser Island, located off the east coast of Australia, is a unique environment with boundless opportunities for teaching and research. The island encompasses pristine wilderness with large tracts of naturally fragmented habitat, a wide diversity of ecosystems and a rich and ancient indigenous history. The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia (USC) has an environmental education and research centre at Dilli Village on the island. Dilli Village is an iconic flagship for USC and, potentially, offers the opportunities for interdisciplinary learning across the university. Environment and sustainability related education activities on K’gari-Fraser Island encompass a range of courses and programs much of which is closely tied to ongoing research projects on the island. This chapter is a case study of immersive interdisciplinary learning experiences on K’gari-Fraser Island in environmental and sustainability education. The study explores how the field experience may become a transformative experience and how that experience relates to alternate futures. Indeed, immersive field-based activities on K’gari-Fraser Island have the potential to achieve enduring learning outcomes and student transformations that are not possible in the classroom. The challenge now for the University is to move towards a more interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to field based learning on the island.
Envisioning Futures for Environmental and Sustainability Education / Peter Blaze Corcoran, Joseph Weakland, Arjen E.J. Wals (eds): pp.281-291