Southern Cross University ‘stoked’ to co-host international surfing conference in 2020

Published 26 March 2018
Surfer on wave at Gold Coast credit Jessica Nelson Catching on the wave on the Gold Coast.

Southern Cross University is stoked to be onboard for the 2020 Global Wave Conference after the Gold Coast won the bid to host the major international surfing festival which attracts up to 400 surf experts from around the world.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Ben Roche said Southern Cross was proud to be announced as one of the partners of the first Global Wave Conference (GWC) to be held in Australia.

“We are thrilled to host the academic and industry-facing elements of the program to align with our long-held interests in the cultural, sports and business aspects of surfing,” Mr Roche said.

“Southern Cross University is conveniently located in the Gold Coast Airport precinct and minutes from the iconic beaches of the Southern Gold Coast.”

The event will attract surfing academics, marine scientists, ocean conservationist, industry leaders, legends and champions of the sport to address issues and concerns facing surfing and how to seek solutions and outcomes for its sustainable future.

Coolangatta received unanimous support to host the sixth bi-annual event, hosted by Save The Waves Coalition and its partners Surfrider Foundation, Surfers Against Sewerage and Conservation International.

The Gold Coast is the eighth World Surfing Reserve and Coolangatta is the birthplace of Australia’s surf industry.

The first GWC conference was held a decade ago in the Canary Islands, followed by Biarritz, Mexico, UK, and in Santa Cruz earlier this month.

GWC executive director Nik Strong Cvetich said he was excited to bring the conference to such an important surfing destination.

"Gold Coast will be such an exciting venue for the sixth biannual held the week before the World Surfing League (WSL) tour event at Snapper Rocks and in the year that surfing is introduced into the Olympics for the first time in Japan.”

The five-day conference will include a World Surfing Reserves mini-conference, a surfing expo, movie festival and live music, all in the Coolangatta area, estimated to generate $1.2 million to the local economy.

Queensland Sports Minister Mick de Brenni, and a surfer himself, said there was no better place for surf than Queensland, and there’s no better time to pull this conference together than March 2020.

“Already, Queensland surfers will play a massive role at the 2020 Olympics both as athletes and coaches, and the Global Wave Conference cements our spot on the international stage,” Mr de Brenni said.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved on the Goldy with the World Surfing Reserve, the significant participation in club and free surfing, and the surf industry that’s grown around it.”

Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus is located 500m from North Kirra beach and 5km from the famous Snapper Rocks surf break.

Photo: Jessica Nelson

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417 288 794