Data collections can be seen on:

Data Management Policy/Procedure:

Project Members:

Beth Crawter (Project Manager,

Bec Owen (Project Member,

Caren Hudson (Project Member,

ANDS Contact:

Kathryn Unsworth (

Project Status:


University of the Sunshine Coast Fraser Island Collection

University of the Sunshine Coast

Project Description

World Heritage listed Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island off Australia’s eastern Queensland coast.

The Fraser Island Collection is founded on a selection of material compiled by John Sinclair OAM to underpin research into the values of Fraser Island. It comprises print and digital material including manuscripts, photographs, reports and surveys.

The collection charts the history of a contested area from pre-colonisation to World Heritage site. Through the 1970s Fraser Island occupied a critical place in Queensland’s political landscape, and the transcripts and exhibits to the 1975 Fraser Island Inquiry form part of this collection. As founder of the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation John Sinclair’s interest was associated not only with the environmental values of the island, but also with industries including forestry and tourism. Material on the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation, forestry and tourism activities is also part of the collection.

All of the Fraser island material will be digitised for preservation. The original hard copies of the entire collection will be available on site. Where copyright and permissions allow, the digital copy will be made openly accessible. The seeking of permissions to make material available as open access will be ongoing. Digitised material will be accessible in the USC Institutional Repository (USC Research Bank) and will be searchable through Google, Trove and Research Data Australia (RDA).

Additional components of this project include an environmental scan of Fraser Island resources available in collections elsewhere in Australia, and an annual bibliography of published Fraser Island research.

The aim of this project is to establish USC Library as a resource centre to support ongoing research into Fraser Island. The project will expose online and print-based material held at USC and provide pathways to material available elsewhere. The USC collection will primarily constitute an archive of donated material which will be managed for preservation and for both digital and physical access.

The Fraser Island project is an initiative of the USC Executive Projects Unit, with the support of the Tropical Forests Research Centre and Prof. Aaron Ellison of the Harvard Forest. John Sinclair OAM, founder of the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation has had significant input to the collection. John Sinclair has initially donated his papers and book collection to USC Library, and it is anticipated that there will be further donations from John and others as interest in Fraser Island research grows.

It is expected this collection will help focus past and future Fraser Island research.

The resource collection component of the project will be undertaken in 2 Phases:
• The initial 6 month phase will develop a collection based on material donated by John Sinclair. This phase will inform the future management of a collection of Fraser Island related resources at USC. The phase will involve the development of criteria to evaluate resources and processes for managing the collection.
• The second, long-term phase looks to the future and involves transitioning from the ANDS project to ongoing management of the collection. It will involve implementing and consolidating the processes developed during Phase 1. Ongoing maintenance of the Fraser Island collection will become part of USC Library workflows. Inbuilt in this phase will be training beyond the initial project to ensure longevity and sustainability.

This collection is significant to the University of the Sunshine Coast as there are close links with Fraser Island through ecological research and through its management of the Fraser Island Research and Learning Centre at Dilli Village. The collection will contribute to USC’s goal of positioning the University to be a focus for international interest in Fraser Island research activity.

Data Type:

Print and digital material including manuscripts, photographs, reports and surveys.