Camping Instructions

Things you MUST KNOW before Tech Camp

Here are the TOP 10 REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS you need to know and to do before you leave for VALA Tech Camp 2019.

(You really should read the rest of this, but for those who know they won’t, flip to the end for a handy and short list of the things you cannot leave home without.)

1. BYOD –

Laptop.  Bring a fully charged LAPTOP and charger to Tech Camp; NOT an ipad or similar device. Why are we asking you to do this? Workshops require full access to a laptop for optimal user experience.

Administrator access.  You need admin access to your laptop, so if you are bringing one from your workplace, ensure that you have full admin rights.

Recharging.  Charging stations will be available to recharge your laptop if required.  But you need to have your own charger.

WIFI Access – AARNET will supply and support onsite WiFI. Delegates MUST register for the guest Wi-Fi access on their own laptops prior to the event. Details have been emailed to you.

  • Wi-Fi registration is valid for the duration of Tech Camp 2019 and will require delegates to reconnect each day.
  • Please read the William Angliss Centre’s Terms and Conditions for Internet Usage Policy when registering.

What else to bring –

  • Install prerequisite software for your Workshops before you get there (see Workshops section).
  • Clothes for all seasons – Melbourne in autumn, anything could happen.
  • Lunch on Day 1. You will need to either bring a packed lunch or join your fellow Campers at a local lunch spot (see Venue section).
  • A positive and collegial attitude.


Special Dietary Requirements.  Our catering can support vegetarian, vegan, coeliac and gluten-free options only; if you require any of these dietary options, please advise the Secretariat at by 5.00pm on Wednesday 3 April.

If you have a severe food allergy, please advise the Secretariat at prior to 5.00pm on Wednesday 3 April and we will do our best to cater for your needs.

Please note that we CANNOT ACCEPT individual dietary orders on site.


VALA Tech Camp is not a traditional conference. You are expected to be an active participant, to work in groups at times, and learn by doing and making things. It may be confusing or challenging at times but because everyone is there to learn and have fun, we expect all participants to support each other in a relaxed and respectful manner.  VALA’s Code of Conduct applies, and a Duty Officer will be on site at all times to handle any issues that may arise.

The Code of Conduct applies in all VALA Tech Camp spaces including during Workshops, Short Talks, associated social events, and online. Ask for permission before posting quotes or photographs of other people on social media.

Please ensure you have read and understood the Code of Conduct before you arrive, and do not hesitate to contact the VALA Secretariat or Duty Officers should you have any questions or concerns.


 VALA Tech Camp 2019 will be held at the

William Angliss Institute Conference Centre,
Level 5, Building A,
555 La Trobe St, Melbourne.


Car parking in the Melbourne CBD is limited and can be expensive. If you must bring a car, useful information is available from the City of Melbourne, Parkopedia and many other parking websites.  Tip: it pays to book your parking space ahead.

Public Transport: 

We strongly recommend that you catch public transport to VALA Tech Camp. The nearest train station is Flagstaff, only one block away, and trams and buses are plentiful – see the PTV website for all your public transport options – there are many.

Transport disruptions for the Melbourne CBD have been in the news this week; most occur after Tech Camp, but check here if you are concerned.


It’s really important that you read all the information here and anything VALA sends to you by email – don’t skim read as you will miss something important!


Be on time for Registration on Day 1 – we are open from 9.45am.  Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be available.  Collect your lanyard, name badge and TC19 T-Shirt (courtesy of AARNet).


Two sessions are programmed on Day 1, Wednesday 10 April, in Docklands 5.18, for you to double check your tech with our support crew from AARNet:

  • 9.45-10.30am
  • 13.00-13.30pm


Make sure you tell everyone on Twitter and Facebook that you are attending VALA Tech Camp – #VALATechCamp, #TC19, @valalib

9. VENUE –

 William Angliss Institute Conference Centre,
Level 5, Building A,
555 La Trobe St, Melbourne.

Room Allocations –

TC19 will occupy all of Level 5 at the Angliss Conference Centre.

  • Short Talks – the Auditorium
  • Workshops – Flagstaff Rooms, Docklands Rooms and Auditorium
  • Tech Check – Docklands Room 5.18
  • Quiet Space – the Theatrette
  • Registration and Catering – the Foyer

Video Recording –

 We will have video recording of the Short Talk sessions, and some Vox Pop interviews on site.  These recordings will be available post-Tech Camp on the VALA Website.  If you DO NOT wish your image to appear in recordings, please identify yourself at registration and avoid situations where recording is obviously underway.

 Where to eat –
At Tech Camp:  Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be served on both Days of Tech Camp.

  • On Day 1 (Wednesday 10 April) Happy Hour will be on from 16.30-17.30pm; cash bar, cheese, biscuits and fruit platters provided.
  • On Day 2 (Thursday 11 April), breakfast will be served from 7.45-8.15am and lunch from 1.00-2.00pm. Check the TC19 program or website for details.

Nearby:  Lunch is not provided on Day 1 (Wednesday 10 April) and Campers are encouraged to brave the elements, stretch your legs and sample some local cafes and eateries. Or you are welcome to bring your own paperbag lunch and eat on the balcony or in the Flagstaff Gardens just across the road.


Download Software

Most Workshops require specific software to be installed on your laptop. Make sure you have the relevant software for your Workshops. See the list of workshops, software and links on the Camp Sessions page OR read on….

Workshops have the following requirements:

W#1 Introduction to the Command Line

Participants will require a WiFi-enabled laptop (tablets or similar will not be sufficient). Further information will be available soon regarding the various options available to access a ‘Bash’ environment including for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Pre-requisite links: Bash – on device or via jslinux

W#2 Cleaning Data with Open Refine

Participants must pre-install OpenRefine on their laptops prior to the workshop. The software is freely available at for Mac, Linux and Windows machines. OpenRefine is a Java app and runs in a browser, but most features do not require an internet connection.

W#3 Introduction to programming with Python

Come prepared with your laptop installed with Jupyter Notebook, an interface to Python. Install Jupyter Notebook via Anaconda ( which has installers for Windows, Linux and Mac machines. Please choose the Python 3.7 installer.

W#4 Gaining Insights with SQL

  • A laptop (or tablet, but having a keyboard will make it easier to participate)
  • A web browser
  • Access to the internet.

W#5 Telling stories with data

Participants require their own laptop with the (free) Tableau Public Desktop Edition.

W#6 Make a gadgety……thing?

A laptop



Things I must bring:

Things I must do:

  • Download software I need for my Workshops
  • Get admin access for my laptop
  • Email if I have a severe food allergy OR require a special diet (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free available).

Things I must do after Tech Camp:

  • Tell everyone on social media what a great time I had – #VALATechCamp, #TC19, @valalib
  • Complete the online feedback survey which will be emailed to you
  • Share your learning with colleagues at work and in your professional circle
  • Make awesome things!
  • Stay in touch with friends you made on Camp
  • Register for VALA Conference 2020 (Registrations Open September 2019)