ALIA Blog Article

ALIA Blog: National Conference wrap so far

We're in the midst of our fantastic National Conference which is taking place at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, and what a joy it is to see so many of our friends and colleagues in person!

Day 1 kicked off with a Welcome to Country from Ngunnawal woman Selina Walker and the presentation of ALIA Fellowship certificates to Sue Hutley, Trish Genet, Pru Mitchell and Vanessa Little. 

This was followed by a keynote address Michael Coyne, a photographer and photojournalist who has covered wars, revolutions, famine, natural disasters and other international events in places as diverse as the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. Michael’s gift for storytelling was on full display (not to mention many of his powerful photographs) as he recounted his adventures in some of the most remote parts and communities across the world, the essential humanity at the core of his photographic subjects, and how to truly capture a moment and tell a story in a world saturated with images.   


Another highlight was the launch of ALIA's Professional Pathways Frameworks and the panel ‘What ‘professional’ will mean in 2025’ chaired by ALIA President Vicki Edmunds and facilitated by ALIA Director of Policy and Education Trish Hepworth. This session brought delegates up to speed on the results of the focus groups and consultations for this ground-breaking project and emphasised the need to make our voices loud when it comes to the future of the profession.

Other panels included the eSafety Commissioner on protecting voices at risk online, a discussion on First Nations Protocols, insights from researcher Kristen Thorpe on the National Survey on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment in Australian Libraries, an exploration of gender diversity in fine arts collections and much more. The day’s formalities concluded with the keynote address from Tanya Hosch, Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy at the Australian Football League.

Day 2 opened with the keynote address from Dr Catriona Wallace, CEO of Ethical AI Advisory and founder of Flamingo AI. Catriona explored emerging technologies in the AI field, the effect on these on the library sector, and the need for ethical leadership that centres human, social and environmental well-being when navigating the rapidly advancing AI and tech revolution.

Once again it was panels galore with sessions on the role of public libraries in the lives of people experiencing homelessness, disability inclusion in libraries, and creating safe, including and welcoming library spaces for LGBTIQA+ students.

In between it all, our Exhibition Hall has been bustling with vendors, networking opportunities, a meet and greet with the editors of JALIA, and the all-essential relaxation station where delegates have been getting some restorative neck and shoulder massages. Still to come is the keynote address featuring Carly Findlay, Zoya Patel and Ed Le Brocq, the Conference Autumn Ball, and the final session featuring NSS2022 author, Josh Pyke.

Follow #national22 on Twitter to catch up on and follow all the action from our keynote sessions, panels, exhibitors and more.

Disappointed you an’t be there in person? We have a post-conference recording package which means you won’t miss out on the conference highlights! Email [email protected] to purchase.