VALA Events 2014: Lightning Talks

vala lightning talk bannerALIA Logo

VALA and ALIAVic End-of-Year Event

Lightning Talks (and Walks)

This year’s Lightning Talks event will feature five 10 minute presentations from outstanding contributors within the Library IT field.

  • Brendan Fitzgerald from Infoxchange – Winner of the 2014 Google Impact Challenge for their app to help the homeless

    Navigating the service system is difficult for the 1 in 200 Australians who are homeless on any given night, with 1,200 specialist homelessness services and more than 300,000 health, welfare and community support services. The “Homeless Assist” project will develop a mobile app to improve access to food, shelter, health and other support services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Robert OvercrackerBrendan Fitzgerald, Manager Digital Inclusion will discuss the scale of homelessness and the vision of Infoxchange in what could be described as a slightly better approach to Homelessness than Robert Overcracker’s!

    October 1st 1995 Robert Overcracker rides a jetski over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls to help promote awareness for the homeless. His parachute did not open and Robert ended up promoting better parachutes. He plunged to his death and his body was never recovered. An Egyptian tourist captured this amazing image.

  • Sarah Petchell from the Australian Drug Foundation – Digitising the library

    Sarah PetchellA relatively new graduate into the library field, Sarah Petchell moved from public libraries into the specialist health library of the Australian Drug Foundation in September 2012. As eDiscovery Librarian, Sarah is responsible for the development and maintenance of the library’s physical and digital holdings, as well as assisting in the creation and development of information products for the organisation.

    In this role, Sarah has been part of a restructure of the ADF Library’s model of service, which saw not just the library, but the entire information service in which it sits, shift its focus into the digital sphere. How the information service embraced the digital will be the focus of her talk.

  • Sarah Slade from State Library of Victoria – Digital preservation

    Sarah SladeSarah Slade has worked at the State Library of Victoria for the last 9 years, after working for a range of organisations including Artlab Australia, Scottish Museums Council, International Conservation Services, Australian National Maritime Museum and her own consultancy, S. Slade Consulting. Her background is in conservation and collection management, more recently she has focussed on aspects of managing digital collections and digital preservation. She is the Project Manager for NSLA’s Digital Preservation Group, and is currently a member of NSLA’s Digital Skills Project. She is Manager, Storage & Digital Collection Services at SLV.

  • Nathan Connors from Docklands Library – Virtual Reality Project

    Nathan-ConnorsNathan Connors is the Emerging Technology Team Leader at Melbourne Library Service and has a background in performing arts, technology and media. He was a founding staff member of The Edge at State Library Queensland and has managed many performing arts venues in Brisbane including the Brisbane Powerhouse, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and QUT Gardens Theatre. Nathan has been working closely with creative technologists in Melbourne to establish a new user base for Library at The Dock and has developed a creative technology skills program to support digital literacy development within community.

    As mobile VR becomes more accessible, our experience of the internet will shift from passively reading and viewing content to being fully immersed in a digital environment where you can interact with your surroundings. Melbourne Library Service is investigating whether this could be the future of the virtual library branch and is embarking on a new project to turn Library at The Dock into a virtual reality experience. By harnessing the power of Oculus Rift and skills of our local virtual reality community, we endeavour to bring you a virtual copy of our library for you to explore, create, learn and connect.

  • VALA Award winner – Curtin University Library Apppresentation and brief talk


The Lightning Talks will be preceded by Christmas drinks and followed by a tour of Docklands Library – Melbourne’s newest public library.


Follow the links below and register to attend – registration is free.  Your gold coin donation at the door will be much appreciated.  Money collected will be donated to HomeGround Services which provide support for homelessness.

Not a VALA or ALIA member?
Visitors are welcome at this meeting – but registration is essential – please no walk ups on the night!


Docklands Library
107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands

(Getting there on public transport: Tram from City: 48 , 11 (stop D18).)


Wednesday 26 November 2014, 5:30 for 6:00-7:45pm
Complimentary ‘End-of-Year’ drinks and nibbles on arrival.


Join us from 8pm for a pay-as-you-go dinner at Watermark Restaurant in Docklands.

Dinner RSVP:  Please RSVP by 5.00 p.m. Monday 24 November to: or (03) 9844 2933, clearly indicating that you will be joining us for dinner.

For any enquiries contact VALA Secretariat via or (03) 9844 2933.