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Keynote Speakers


Suzie Lightfoot

Be seen. Be heard. Be noticed. Building a personal brand in today’s competitive and changing environment

Do you want to build your authority, leadership capabilities and influence?
Are you ready to make deeper connections and nurture trusted relationships with your colleagues, networks and communities?
Want to elevate your professional image and presence without compromising your individuality?

Get ready to unlock your limitless potential to thrive and be recognised for your full value, who you are and all that you bring to the table! Building a powerful personal brand and knowing how to share it authentically with the world, helps you own your voice and step into your confidence to stand out in all the right ways.

A successful media personality, business woman and fashion identity with over 25 years’ experience building her own personal brand, Suzie’s unique ‘brand’ methodology is crafted from real-life strategies and ‘know how’ to help other professionals build outstanding personal brands!

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Edward Luca

Using Design Thinking to Create a User-Centred Library

Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving approach that can be used to help you with decision-making and to improve library services. The process is user-centred, as it allows you to better understand your users and their needs, and it’s based on evidence, which requires finding the best methods or tools to gather data and insights. Design Thinking is also a low-cost and simple way to learn more about your users, meaning that it is perfectly suited to a range of different libraries and contexts: from informing major projects, such as redesigning your library website, to specific challenges in your physical spaces, such as the placement of furniture or signage.

Through this talk, you’ll learn how you can make significant and meaningful changes in your library, and gain practical advice on approaches that you can take to transform your library to truly reflect the values and needs of your community.

Edward Luca is a library practitioner and researcher. He currently leads a team of liaison librarians at the University of Sydney Library, providing teaching and research support to the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Throughout Edward’s career he’s applied a researcher perspective to his library work, advocating for user-centred approaches to research support, spaces, web design and overall user experience.

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Go-Go Academy

Renowned mass dance master Anna Go-Go will bring her unique and revolutionary mass dance magic to this year’s conference. The founder of Anna’s Go-Go Academy, Anna revolutionised dance and alternative fitness in Australia back in 2006. Since then her events have broken records, frequently make the news, and countless others have followed her lead, bringing fun and fitness to everybody! She is an inspirational leader, comedian, dance teacher, and more. She has appeared at festivals all over Australia, on many TV shows, and is a regular on ABC radio. She grew up in libraries too, and started working the circulation desk at 6 years old. Hailing from Melbourne she’s also looking forward to the Mackay weather!

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Dr Amantha Imber

Innovation Survivor: how to outthink, outsmart, and outlast your competitors

It is our ability to generate breakthrough ideas to business challenges and opportunities that is what literally enables us to outthink, outsmart and outlast our competitors. We will take you through the latest scientific findings in relation to what really drives highly inventive and disruptive thinking – and how participants can apply these findings to their role.

You will walk away with a set of practical tools that you can use in your own role and also with others across the organisation to innovate what you do and disrupt the competition.

Dr Amantha Imber is an organisational psychologist, founder of Australia’s leading innovation consultancy Inventium, and co-creator of the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies list. With a PhD in organisational psychology, Amantha has helped companies such as Google, Apple, Disney, LEGO, Virgin Australia, Commonwealth Bank and many others innovate more successfully.

Amantha’s thoughts have appeared in Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fast Company and she is the author of two best-selling books: “The Creativity Formula” and “The Innovation Formula”. In 2016, Amantha was inducted into the Australian Business Women’s Hall of Fame.


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Ton van Vlimmeren

Ton van Vlimmeren is director of the Public Library of Utrecht in the Netherlands since 2010. Earlier he held that position from 1995 till 2004. Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the country.

He was trained and worked as a psychologist, as a teacher, an educational consultant and Director of Public Education in Utrecht. He also acted as director for the city of Utrecht in different roles like Real Estate and Urban Planning, Districts and Civic Centers and Public Services.

He was earlier vice-president of the Dutch Library Association and member of the governmental steering committee for library innovation in the Netherlands.

He contributed in the International Libraries Network of the Bertelsmann Foundation, was a strategic advisor for the Global Libraries Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and contributed in their Ineli program as well as in the (European) Public =Library 2020 program of the Reading and Writing Foundation.

He has been speaking on conferences in countries all over world and masters Dutch, English, French and German language.

He currently is president of the board of NBD/Biblion, the national Library supplier in the Netherlands and member of the board of the Pica Foundation that supports innovation in libraries. He also is President of the Executive Committee of Eblida.


Ana Brzezinska

Virtual reality and new media as an opportunity rather than a threat to traditional ways of storytelling. How cultural institutions can use technology to educate, raise awareness and build their audiences.

AR and VR are on the way to transforming the way we communicate, the way we learn, the way we make choices as consumers. Soon virtual reality will become a part of everyday life. According to IDC, worldwide spending on Augmented and Virtual Reality might surpass $20 billion in 2019. How can we use this rising tide to lift mission-driven institutions? What kind of benefits XR can bring to educators, trainers, researchers and curators? Let’s follow the best of good practices, and analyse pioneer XR ideas to see how the cultural and education sectors can benefit from the greatest technological change since the introduction of the World Wide Web.

Ana is a Warsaw-born Filmmaker and AV Producer with over 10 years experience in film, TV and digital sector. In 2018 she founded Petersdottir Media – a creative initiative that focuses on impactful, innovative storytelling (linear & XR production, marketing solutions and media education). Ana has extensive experience in directing and producing TV shows, promotional videos, indie documentaries, animated series, and digital experiences.


Dr Ingrid Burkett

Libraries as Civic Innovators

Innovation is at the core of local economic development, particularly in regional communities. However many people think only of industrial and technological innovation when this topic is raised in community contexts. In this presentation I will focus on what it means to innovate socially, and for civic outcomes, and how libraries are well placed to play a central role in the innovation process. Using examples from Australia and internationally, this presentation will explore what it means to innovate for purpose.

Dr Ingrid Burkett is the Co-Director of the Yunus Social Business Centre at Griffith University. She is a social designer, designing processes, products and knowledge that deepen social impact and facilitate social innovation. She has contributed to the design of policy and processes in a diversity of fields, including community development, local economic development, disability, procurement and social investment.

Ingrid led the foundation of social procurement in Australia with a number of guidebooks and research reports. She is one of the co-founders of Social Procurement Australasia. She provided much groundwork for Australia’s entry into social and impact investment, having undertaken seminal research work whilst Social Innovations Manager at Foresters Community Finance, and then undertaking comprehensive reviews and blueprint development for initiating place-based impact investment in Australia.

Ingrid has designed the foundations for a number of key place-based initiatives aimed at addressing entrenched disadvantage, the most notable of which is GROW, based in Geelong, Victoria. She is currently undertaking further work in regional NSW and in Southern Melbourne on similarly ambitious and ground-breaking initiatives. Her previous leadership role at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation involved building internal and external capability in design for social innovation, and leading TACSI’s portfolio of systems innovation work which focused on shifting outcomes in relation to some of Australia’s most challenging social issues.

Ingrid has worked in the community sector, government and with the private sector and believes that each of these sectors has a valuable role to play in social innovation. She has worked in social innovation and design positions in the community development finance sector and in overseas development. Ingrid is a Past President and Honorary Ambassador of the International Association for Community Development and is committed to fostering an international dialogue about designing innovative methodologies for sustainable development. Ingrid has held a number of University positions, including most recently as Social Design Fellow for the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW and UWA. Ingrid has qualifications in Graphic Design, Social Work, Business and Community Economic Development. She has particular expertise in the design of economic processes and products and is recognised internationally for her work in social innovation, community economic development and finance.


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Panel session

Understanding the impact of broad social issues such as mental illness, homelessness and drug use on library staff. Strategies to effectively interact with customers experiencing adverse social conditions and tips to enhance team and personal wellbeing.


One in five Australians have a mental illness and there is a growing incidence of social isolation, domestic violence, drug use, homelessness and suicide in our communities. Given these dynamics libraries are often frequented by vulnerable people who seek refuge in libraries’ safe, secure and inviting environments.

This panel will explore the impact of social determinants on community and individual wellbeing, the resulting impact on library staff, tips on how to have “conversations for life” with vulnerable customers and strategies to enhance team and individual wellbeing.

Panel Members: ConNetica Directors Adjunct Professor John Mendoza and Marion Wands, Patria Consulting Director – Cherie Miller and Mackay Regional Council Libraries Community Outreach Team Leader Kimberly Lehto-Head