VALA2020 Keynote Speakers

Announcing the Keynote Speakers for VALA2020!

VALA2020 brings a line-up of brilliant speakers from around the world, offering their insights, research, and fresh and inspirational practices.



Catherine Coleman

  • Stanford University
  • Digital Research Architect

VALA2020 Plenary Session 5

Catherine Coleman is Digital Research Architect for the Stanford University Libraries and Research Director for Humanities + Design, a research lab at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. Catherine works at the intersection of the digital library and digital scholarship as a lead architect in the design and development of research services. She is currently leading an AI initiative within the Library to make the collections of maps, photographs, manuscripts, data sets and other assets more easily discoverable, accessible, and analyzable. Her work within Humanities + Design is encoding interpretive method in tools to create human-centered applications of machine intelligence in support of research.

Siobhan Leachman

  • Wikimedia, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Smithsonian Institution
  • Volunteer & citizen scientist

VALA2020 Plenary Session 4

Siobhan Leachman volunteers for a plethora of GLAM, digital humanities and citizen science projects. Her mission in life is to connect everything. She advocates for open access, open Creative Commons copyright licenses, and defends the public domain. Siobhan is currently obsessed with crowdsourcing, citizen science, various Wikimedia projects, citation data, New Zealand endemic moths, women scientific illustrators, name authority data, iNaturalist and Charles Heaphy artworks. These obsessions change at her whim. In 2019 she was awarded the Auckland War Memorial Museum Medal and is a Companion of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Adam Moriarty

  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Acting Head of Information, Library and Enquiry Services

VALA2020 Plenary Session 1

Adam Moriarty is the Head of Collection Information and Access Team at Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand. For the past five years he has worked to open the multidisciplinary collections online in a way that their stories can be freely accessed and shared. As his own journey has unfolded it has led him to question the true purpose and validity of his work. His most recent endeavours have started him to reconsider the direction museums might take to fulfil their mission.


Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker

  • University of Melbourne
  • Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit

VALA2020 Plenary Session 3

Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker is an ARC Research Fellow in the Indigenous Studies Unit of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. He is a member of the Australian Heritage Council, and the Australian Government Ministry for the Arts, Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation. His research interest is in repatriation, cultural heritage, information technology, community broadcast and the digitisation and preservation of community audiovisual archives.


Dr Philippa Sheail

  • The University of Edinburgh 
  • Lecturer, Digital Education

VALA2020 Plenary Session 2

Philippa Sheail is a Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, and Programme Director for the MSc in Digital Education. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, based in the area of digital and higher education, but drawing on organisational theory, cultural geography, and social theories of time.  Philippa has also been developing research in the library sector, with a particular interest in practices of organising in a research library context.  Her Data Bodies in the Library project was developed in partnership with the University of Edinburgh Library and the National Library of Scotland.

Cecily Walker

  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Assistant Manager for Community Digital Initiatives & eLearning

VALA2020 Plenary Session 6

Cecily Walker is an Assistant Manager at Vancouver Public Library, where she focuses on user experience, community digital projects, digital collections, and the intersection of social justice, technology, and public librarianship. It was her frustration with the way that software was designed to meet the needs of highly technical users rather than the general public that led her to user experience, but it was her love of information, intellectual freedom, and commitment to social justice that led her back to librarianship. VALA represents Cecily’s first trip to Australia, but she hopes it won’t be her last.