Workshop Instructions

Things you MUST KNOW before Tech Camp

Here are the TOP 8 REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS you need to know and to do before you head off to your VALA Tech Camp 2021 Workshops.


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!

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

2. BYOD –

Laptop.  Bring a fully charged LAPTOP and charger to your Tech Camp Workshop; 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.  NB. Workshop B content IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MACs.

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.

WIFI Access – will be supplied and supported onsite by your Campsite Host organisation. No pre-registration is required.

      What else to bring –

  • Install prerequisite software for your Workshops before you get there (see Workshops section).
  • A positive and collegial attitude.


Local Campsites are providing basic catering only; if you require any very special dietary options, particularly regarding food allergies, please make your own arrangements.  Full catering details can be found on your Campsite’s information page.


At all VALA Tech Camp 2021 Workshops, 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 if you encounter any behaviour or situations that make you uncomfortable, please let your Camp Counsellor know.

The Code of Conduct applies in all VALA Tech Camp spaces including 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 should you have any questions or concerns.


 VALA Tech Camp 2021 is being held in 10 Campsites in major centres across Australia and New Zealand.  For up to date details, please check the VALA Tech Camp 2021 website for your Campsite location ON THE DAY of your Workshop.

Covid-19 Information:

All Campsites have provided links to local Covid-19 Information that are available from the Campsites tab on the VALA website.  As the Covid-19 situation is subject to sudden change, please monitor your local conditions carefully and follow all advice relevant to your location.  If necessary, individual Campsite sessions will be cancelled.  If this occurs, we will advise you via email as quickly as possible, and seek to either transfer you to a Virtual Workshop, or reschedule or refund your session.

Please know that all Campsites are operating at Covid-safe density levels.

Your health and that of the general public is paramount in the management and delivery of VALA Tech Camp 2021, and decisions regarding cancellation or rescheduling will be made with that front of mind.

If you are suffering any Covid-19 symptoms on the day of your Workshop or are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test, DO NOT ATTEND.  Contact the VALA Office to discuss options for refund or transfer of your registration fee.


Most Campsites have provided links to Transport information that are available from the Campsites tab on the VALA website.  We strongly recommend public transport but understand that some attendees may not be comfortable with “share rides” at this time.

Car parking will vary from Campsite to Campsite. If you choose to bring a car, check the local Campsite information well prior to your Workshop and plan your parking in advance; where possible, book your parking space ahead.


Make sure you have the correct LOCAL TIME for your Workshop:

  • Perth = 9.00am – 1.00pm
  • Darwin, Adelaide = 10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Melbourne, Geelong, Hobart, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane = 11.00am – 3.00pm
  • Auckland = 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time for your Workshop.  Each local Campsite has its own Covid requirements for people attending their site, so allow yourself the opportunity to deal with these processes calmly and without time pressure.

On arrival, your Camp Counsellor will greet you at the designated Workshop Room (for these details, check the Campsites page of the VALA TC21 website), register you into the VALA Workshop event and present you with your TC21 lapel pin. Your Camp Counsellor will also take you through any local requirements for site or wifi registration.


Download Software

Most Workshops require specific software to be installed on your laptop. Make sure you have PRE-LOADED the relevant software for your Workshop/s. See the list of workshops, software and links on the individual Workshops pages on the VALA TC21 website OR read on….

Workshops have the following requirements:

Workshop A = Open Refine
Workshop Trainer = Anton Angelo

For OpenRefine, please download and install the appropriate kit of OpenRefine 3.4.1 from The “Windows kit with embedded java” should not require administrative access.

You will also need doaj-article-sample.csv.

OpenRefine is free to download and use – no subscription fees required.

Workshop B = Data Visualisation
Workshop Trainer = Justin Kelly

For PowerBI, please head to and download PowerBI Desktop.

PowerBI Desktop is free to download and use – no subscription fees required.

NB: As previously advised, Microsoft BI is compatible with Windows only and we cannot support Macs at this Workshop. 

You will also need to download the files that will be used during the workshop, available at Notes for the workshop can be found at, and you may find it helpful to print these out to refer to during the workshop. Note that it’s best not to print the notes until shortly before the workshop, in case of final amendments.

Workshop C = Natural Language Data Processing
Workshop Trainer = Tyne Daile Sumner

Workshop C, Natural Language Processing, requires no software to be downloaded and installed. Campers will instead work through NLP tools that are browser-based.

There may be a walk-through of the HUNI website. Campers connected to an AAF (Australian Access Federation) organisation will be able to login using their organisation credentials. Other participants will need to create a HUNI account using an existing GitHub, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn account. GitHub accounts are very easy to create and then delete after the workshop.

Workshop D = Python
Workshop Trainer = Jonathan Garber

For Workshop D, Python, all workshop materials can be found on GitHub. Campers may find it helpful to print off the cheat sheets (located in the cheat_sheets folder) prior to the workshop. There is no requirement to download and install any software! The workshop will be run entirely using browser-based tools. If participants really want to install Python, consult the readme file for links and additional instructions. But again, Campers do not need to install Python or any other software for this workshop.


Make sure you tell everyone on Twitter and Facebook that you are attending VALA Tech Camp 2021 – #VALATechCamp, #TC21, @valalib



Things I must bring:

Things I must do BEFORE Tech Camp:

  • Download all the software I need for my Workshops (see Workshops page of the website)
  • Get admin access for my laptop. You need admin access to your laptop, so if you are bringing one from your workplace, ensure that you have full admin rights
  • Check the VALA Tech Camp 2021 website for my local Campsite and Covid-19 information

Things I must do AFTER Tech Camp:

  • Tell everyone on social media what a great time I had – #VALATechCamp, #TC21, @valalib
  • Complete the online feedback survey which will be emailed to you
  • Share your learning with colleagues at work and in your professional circle
  • Do and make awesome new things
  • Stay in touch with colleagues you met on Camp
  • Register for VALA Conference 2022 (Registrations Open October 2021)