VALA Annual Report 2012/2013

VALA has had another busy and successful year in 2012/13.

One of the main items for VALA this year was the selection and implementation of a new Secretariat. The Good Work Group was awarded the contract, with Lesley Ryall taking up the role of Executive Officer. Alyson Kosina has worked diligently in providing a successful handover to Lesley, and we are pleased that we will be retaining the services of Alyson as the Editor for VALA2014 Conference, and hopefully beyond.

During the year, our general meetings have continued to provide stimulating speakers on a wide range of topics. The VALA Award, VALA Travel Scholarship and the VALA Student Awards were announced in November.

Planning for the 17th Biennial Conference is well under way, and the Main Announcement and Registration brochure for VALA2014 will be live on 2nd September. Special thanks to the members of Programme and Conference Committees for their hard work on this. All keynote speakers are confirmed, and there was again a gratifyingly high response to the call for abstracts. VALA2014 will again be held in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

A Special General Meeting was held in March this year to consider alterations to the VALA Rules in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. VALA took this opportunity to adopt some of the content and structural improvements within the new model Rules and to tailor some modest changes of our own, principally to provide VALA with greater flexibility within our membership framework. The Rules were approved by the membership and lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria who have advised that the new VALA Rules have been accepted subject to the requirement to adopt two Model Rules (model rules 55(3) & 69) which deal with election of ordinary members and management of funds. In accordance with the Act, members must be advised that the VALA Rules are to be read in conjunction with the two model Rules.

Having so advised the members, the VALA Rules are complete.


General Meetings

As always, the Association is grateful to the speakers who give of their time and expertise for our general meetings, and also to the University of Melbourne for continuing to provide the venue for most of our meetings.


June 2012Digging Big Data Census 2011

Heather Burns, Australian Bureau of Statistics

August 2012

elearning – what is to come?

Kevin Daly, Edsoft Interactive

September 2012

Setting the Default to Open Access: Three Points of View

Rebecca Parker & Birgit Loch, Swinburne University of Technology, and Lian Todd, Sage Publications

November 2012

Lightning Talks

Showcase of local ideas or practices with a focus on IT innovation

March 2013

Technolust: the fifth column of the information counter-revolution

Hugh Rundle, Kew Library, City of Boroondara



  • The VALA Award was presented to The Research Hubb, at Griffith University.
  • A VALA Travel Scholarship was awarded to Warren Cheetham, from City Libraries Townsville. Warren will travel to the United States and Canada in order to investigate existing planned projects where fibre-broadband rollouts affect libraries. A paper reporting on his investigations will be presented at the 2014 VALA Conference next February.
  • VALA Student Awards were presented to Kirsten Thorpe, who was a student at Monash University, and to Blair Gatehouse, from RMIT University.
  • The Robert D. Williamson Award is only given in Conference years, and nominations for this award are to be sought shortly.


The 2012/13 Committee has been:

Bart Rutherford

Wesley College Library


Tom Edwards

Wyndham City Council


Jeremy Taylor

St Vincent’s Hospital


Julie Gardner

Parliament of Victoria


David Feighan

Bialik College

Lynette Lewis

Zenith Information Management Services

Kim Tairi

Swinburne University of Technology

Lian Todd

Sage Publications

I would like to thank my colleagues on the VALA Committee as well as the Programme Committee members for all their hard work and assistance. I would also like to thank Alyson Kosina and Petra Sorensen, from CSE Systems Pty Ltd; Lesley Ryall and her team at The Good Work Group; and Kate Smith and the team from WaldronSmith Management, for their professional support during the year.

Bart Rutherford
June 2013