Gold Coast to host major world surfing symposium

Griffith University will support a major surfing symposium on the Gold Coast in 2017.
Griffith University will support a major surfing symposium on the Gold Coast in 2017.

The world’s leading researcher in adventure tourism, Griffith University’s Professor Ralf Buckley, will be part of a stellar cast of speakers at the 2017 International Surfing Symposium.

The Currumbin event, which wasformally launched today (Friday) by Dr Steven Miles MP, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, will acknowledge the Gold Coast’s inclusion in the prestigious club of World Surfing Reserves.

Many of surfing’s leading figures will be on the Gold Coast for the March Symposium, including the first world champions to come out of the Coast, Peter Townend and Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew.

RobHales1“The conference will examine how the experience of surfing can be sustainable into the future,” Dr Rob Hales, a researcher at Griffith’s Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, said.

“The unique experience of connecting with the forces of nature in our oceans is today being accessed by more and more people as our population increases.”

Dr Hales is also Program Director of the Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise.

“Increased media coverage of surfing and its beach culture has also contributed to its growth in popularity,” he said.

“This hasbrought significant economic benefits to local communities across the globe but also has other social and environmental effects, and all of this will be discussed and explored next March.”

Preservation of surf zones

The program director of Save the Waves, Nick Mucha, will travel from California to attend the 2017 International Surfing Symposium at Currumbin RSL from March 13-17.

Save the Waves is the world’s governing body of world surfing reserves.

The Gold Coast became the eighth location to be identified as a World Surfing Reserve in 2015, joining a host of celebrated venues in California, Portugal, Peru, Mexico, Chile and Manly Beach in NSW.

World Surfing Reserves identify, designate and preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world.

The Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve has secured the support of the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast.