VALA Annual Report 2005/2006

Report for 2005/2006 The highlight of this year was, of course, the thirteenth biennial conference, held in February 2006 at Crown. On the theme “CONNECTING WITH USERS”, the conference attracted the largest number yet of delegates from throughout Australia and overseas, including 62 from New Zealand. The trade exhibition was also very successful, and many non-delegates were able to visit the exhibition and the vendor presentations by using visitor passes.

Delegates were kept busy with the stimulating papers and presentations from six invited overseas keynote speakers and the considerable number of authors, from Australia and overseas, of submitted papers. The different venue meant that all sessions were held close to each other and to the exhibition, but some sessions were standing room only. The trade exhibition was completely sold out, and more booths could have been sold if there had been any space for them.

Special thanks are due to all who helped to make the Conference such a success, particularly those people who were on both the VALA Committee and the Programme Committee, and who participated in so many meetings and discussions. I also thank Sandra Vouch, who chaired the Programme Committee for VALA2006. As for the last two Conferences, the President in the non-Conference year was Chair of Programme Committee and continued in that role the following year, which meant that the workload was shared – thanks, Sandra.VALA also wishes to thank the staff of Waldron Smith Management, and especially our Conference Manager, Vanessa Russell, for their work in ensuring the smooth running of the Conference.


The VALA Student Awards for 2005 were presented to Rosemary Smith, from RMIT University, and to Penelope Legge, from Monash University. VALA was invited to send a representative to the RMIT University Faculty of Business Prize Giving Ceremony and I attended on behalf of VALA. The presentation at the VALA Conference Dinner of the Robert D. Williamson Award to Lloyd Sokvitne, from the State Library of Tasmania, was warmly received by all present. Committee is grateful for the continuing involvement of Mrs Enid Williamson in these presentations. The VALA Award and the VALA Travel Scholarship(s) are given in non-conference years, and applications will shortly be sought for these awards.


Another highlight for this year was the work on changing the name of our Association. The winner of the competition to find a new name was Alan Butters, who has happily taken delivery of his iPod. The new name was announced at the closing session of the Conference, and the formalities of getting approval from Consumer Affairs were finally completed on 26 May, when the Association formally became VALA – Libraries, Technology and the Future Incorporated.

General Meetings

VALA’s general meetings have continued to provide stimulating speakers on a wide range of topics (often followed by an enjoyable social event for those able to join speaker and Committee at dinner). The Association is grateful to the speakers who give of their time and expertise for these meetings, to the University of Melbourne for continuing to provide the venue so regularly.

June 2005Trends in Technology in Information ManagementVicki Adamson, Vice President, EXP Australia/New Zealand Gartner Australasia, Inc.
August 2005Trends in book publishingDean Mason, Managing Director, Enakt Pty Ltd
November 2005Podcasting: observations and opportunitiesTony Walker, Manager, ABC Digital Radio
March 2006Replacing the heavy hand of copyright? Creative Commons and AEShareNetDerek Whitehead, Director, Information Resources and University Copyright Officer, Swinburne University of Technology and Emily Hudson, Research Fellow at the Centre for Media and Communications Law and the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, University of Melbourne
May 2006Libraries, Technology and the Future: the People DimensionGillian Hallam, Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology


The 2005/2006 committee has been:

Darrin Vouch President

Tom Denison Vice-President

Stephen Gillespie Treasurer (to 8 March)

Cathie Jilovsky Secretary

Belinda Blaswick (to 23 August)

Dale Cousens (from 7 September)

Lian Todd

Sandra Vouch

Helen Wolff

I would like to thank my fellow Committee members, the team from Waldron Smith Management, and also Alyson Kosina, from Computer Systems Engineering Pty Ltd, for their support during the year. Thanks are due to Sandra Vouch, who is retiring after four years on the Committee, the last two running the VALA2006 Conference. Cathie Jilovsky is retiring from Committee (again!), after eight years, six of them as an office-bearer – thank you, Cathie. Special mention is due for Stephen Gillespie, who retired from Committee in March after a record-breaking almost eleven years, including as Vice-President, President, Programme Committee Chair for VALA’98 and Treasurer since July 1998. Thank you, Stephen, for all your hard work.

Darrin Vouch 28 June 2006