VALA2022 Keynote Speakers

Announcing the Keynote Speakers for VALA2022!

Our six keynote speakers are at the centre of the Onsite and Online Programs at VALA2022, and showcase some of the most inspiring and creative professionals in the GLAM IT sector.

Details about the speakers and presentations will be included below as they are available.


VALA2022 Keynote Session 1

Intelligent optimism

Future Crunch

As our kick-off, kick-arse Keynotes, Melbourne-based intelligent optimists, Future Crunch, will set the scene – and our expectations – for the 3-days to come. Bringing their unique approach to technology trends, human skills, adaptability, data and hope for the future, Future Crunch is more a production than a presentation. You’ve not seen anything like them before.

Future Crunch is so closely aligned with the values that VALA and our community espouses that they are a natural fit. Their work is transformative, insightful and thought-provoking. Rocket fuel for the brain. And importantly, crafted with “intelligent optimism”.

You can meet them at VALA2022, but the introduction starts HERE.


VALA2022 Keynote Session 2

Digital Humanities and GLAM Digitisation: the need to build a virtuous circle

Read the abstract HERE

Melissa Terras

Melissa Terras is a leading international figure in the field of Digital Humanities. She is currently the Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Edinburgh‘s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and Director of Research in the Edinburgh Futures Institute. She is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, and Trustee of the National Library of Scotland.

Melissa will address the latest developments in Digital Humanities, exploring the lived experience of the last two years. She will share success stories and adventures in the Digital Humanities and perhaps provide us with a glimpse of the future through her eyes.

You can generally find her on twitter @melissaterras.


VALA2022 Keynote Session 3

Pandemic privacy: preserving and protecting our digital rights when we’re all trapped on the internet

Read the abstract HERE

Alison Macrina

  • Librarian, internet activist

  • Founder and director of Library Freedom Project

Alison Macrina is passionate about fighting surveillance and connecting privacy issues to other struggles for justice and an analysis of power.

Alison founded the Library Freedom Project in 2015, an initiative to help non-techie people learn to protect their privacy online, and to teach librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms.

She is vocal in her opposition to digital surveillance, and was a core contributor and Community Team Lead on the Tor Project (The Onion Router) a free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.

Alison was the recipient of the 2020 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award.

VALA2022 Keynote Session 4

Data, decisions and dynamics: What libraries need to know to realise the promise and avoid the pitfalls of AI

Read the abstract HERE

Kathy Reid

  • Leader, learner, creator, developer

Kathy Reid works at the intersection of technology, people and possibility. Over the last 20 years, she has held several technical and community leadership positions, Deakin University, Mycroft AI, and Linux Australia. More recently she has worked in voice and conversational AI at Mozilla and NVIDIA, helping to create speech technology that works well for everyone.

Kathy holds Arts and Science undergraduate degrees, an MBA (Computing), and a Masters in Applied Cybernetics (MAppCyber).

In 2019, she was one of 16 people from across the world chosen to co-create a new branch of engineering at the Australian National University’s School of Cybernetics, where she is now a PhD Candidate.

VALA2022 Keynote Session 5

The need for a digital clean-up day

Read the abstract HERE

Gerry McGovern

  • Writer, speaker, developer of Top Tasks

  • Author of World Wide Waste

A highly regarded speaker, Gerry McGovern has spoken about designing simpler digital experiences in more than 40 countries. He has published eight books; his latest, World Wide Waste, examines the impact digital is having on the environment. He developed Top Tasks, a research method which helps identify what truly matters to people.

The Irish Times has described Gerry as one of five visionaries who have had a major impact on the development of the Web.

Gerry has appeared on BBC, CNN and CNBC television, partaken in various radio shows, and featured in numerous print media publications.

VALA2022 Keynote Session 6

Me te toroa i te tau ana i te au: riding the currents in uncertain times

Read the abstract HERE

Kim Tairi

  • Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland University of Technology)

  • Kaitoha Puka (University Librarian)

Ko Maungatautari te maunga; Ko Waikato te awa; Ko Waikato te iwi; Ko Kim Tairi tōku ingoa. He Kaitoha Puku ahau ki Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau e mahi ana.

Kim Tairi is an indigenous, intersectional feminist and librarian. Her career spans more than 25 years in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The Kaitoha Puka (University Librarian) at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau (AUT) she is Aotearoa’s first Māori University Librarian and a proud Nuku Woman.

Kim is an avid social media user and fashion-lover. She is going to share some of the joys and challenges of leading a library during a pandemic.