Yumi Stynes

Yumi Stynes is a broadcaster and writer who’s been working in Australian media for almost two decades, evolving from music reporter to her current, “more mature” focus as a writer on Arts, Culture, Food, Gender Politics and Human Sexuality. She’s known for her honesty, warmth and humour.

Angela Meyer

Proudly Sponsored by James Bennett

Angela Meyer has worked in the book industry for almost two decades, including as a bookseller, book journalist, trade magazine editor, commissioning editor and publisher, freelance book editor, and author. She is also an award-winning author of novels, a novella, and flash fiction, and her work has been widely published in magazines, journals and newspapers. Her latest novel is Moon Sugar. She is currently a lecturer in the Master of Writing and Publishing at RMIT University.


Australian publishers are bringing energy to the climate crisis and other, interrelated issues of environmental sustainability. They are switching to green energy, cutting down on plastic, managing waste, switching to greener packaging and shipping methods and more. But by the time a book arrives in a bookstore or library, it has already been through a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)-heavy process. A large percentage of the CO2-e footprint of a book comes from paper, printing and shipping. In the trade, some books are shipped back and forth and often pulped at the end of the process, which is wasteful and unsustainable.
At the beginning of 2023, a report Angela worked on for BookPeople (the Australian Booksellers Association) was released, looking at these issues from a bookselling point of view. Angela has kept in touch with publishers and will present an update of where the industry is at with environmental sustainability and what this might mean for libraries.

Dr Bridie Kean

Lecturer – University of the Sunshine Coast

Dr Bridie Kean is a Lecturer in Public Health and the Program Lead of the Master of Health Promotion (MHP) and Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion at UniSC. Bridie teaches foundational public health and research courses within the MHP. As an early career researcher with a lived experience of a physical disability, Bridie’s research how to create equitable opportunity to and through sport and physical activity for people with a disability.

Bridie’s research is underpinned by a belief that when there is equitable opportunities, inclusive sport and para-sport can greatly impact the health and well-being of people with a physical disability. Bridie works closely with industry to conduct research to inform equitable opportunities for para-athletes and has conducted research projects with Paralympics Australia, Queensland Academy of Sport, Basketball Australia and UniSport.

Bridie’s passion for equitable opportunities in sport extends to grassroots and inclusive sporting opportunities. Bridie was involved in the bid process for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is focused on the legacy vision of ensuring all Queenslanders with a disability have better access to sport and physical activity as a result of hosting the 2032 Games. Bridie’s research and practice is underpinned by a public health perspective, that in order to achieve this vision we must consider the role of the environment in order to create equitable opportunities for people with a disability to access sport and physical activity.  

Teaching and Learning

·    Member of School of Health Learning and Teaching Committee, UniSC 

·      Program Lead of Master of Health Promotion and Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion


·      Public Health Foundations

·      Public Health Research and Evidence


  • Why inclusion matters
  • Current project overviews on creating inclusive environments

Chris Boden

Director – Peregian Digital Hub

Chris brings 20 years of experience working in digital leadership roles in startup and corporate environments. After creating and launching some of the early consumer mobile apps back in 2001, he has gone on to create and launch innovative new services around the world, building and leading teams in Sydney, Beijing, Singapore, Melbourne and San Francisco. He has helped take a start-up from concept through to an exit to a Nasdaq-listed company, mixed it at the corporate executive level working with high profile boards and investors, and pitched to some of the leading venture capital firms and investors.

Chris moved his family to Noosa from Silicon Valley where he ran a mobile start-up that he had incubated and spun out of Lonely Planet. He had previously led Lonely Planet’s digital transformation as the head of its Mobile division and Innovation Lab. Most recently, he has been consulting on digital transformation and product development for emerging platforms.

PRESENTATION: The role of Libraries in the Age of AI

Chris Boden will provide an enlightening exploration into the dynamic intersection of libraries and Artificial Intelligence. Leveraging his diverse experience in the tech sector, Chris will offer unique insights into how libraries can play a crucial role in the age of AI. This thought-provoking session will reveal how libraries are positioned not just to adapt but to thrive and lead our communities in the digital era. Expect an engaging discourse that navigates from the fundamentals of AI to the potential of libraries as pioneers in AI literacy and education.

Dr Dinesh Palipana

Dinesh Palipana OAM is an Australian doctor, lawyer, scientist and disability advocate. He is the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, Australia. He is the second person with quadriplegia to graduate as a doctor in Australia and the first with spinal cord injury.

Dr Palipana has been an advocate for medical students with disabilities in Australia, where significant barriers existed.


Connection, community, and knowledge has been important for as long as humankind has existed. For these things, the community library forms a beating heart. The power of our libraries can be amplified by being inclusive for the rich diverse cross-sections of our society, empowering people to grow, then shine their light into the world. This is the story of how community, connection, and knowledge empowered one person to thrive after a spinal cord injury, depression, and a move from a war-torn country.

Lightning Talk Presenters

Rachel Oldfield – Noosa

Rachel Oldfield is currently the Branch Libraries Team Leader at Noosa Libraries and part of the
Noosa Libraries Leadership Team. Rachel has worked in Library Customer Service, ICT, Collections,
and Facility Management. From Metropolitan Melbourne to Regional and Rural Victoria, and now
to Noosa, she has managed to live in some of the most beautiful places in Australia and
considers herself a Vagabond Librarian.
Rachel loves the way Libraries support her addiction to reading without financially crippling her,
and the wholesomeness of help that can be found in Libraries.

Teresa Kohne – Sunshine Coast

Teresa Kohne has fulfilled many library roles, from customer service and program delivery, through managing and delivering projects and grant outcomes, to leadership, and service planning and management. She currently leads the digital services team for Sunshine Coast Libraries and value continuous service improvement and development. Teresa has broad state and local government experience in community, policy, planning, regulatory, leadership and service delivery roles.

Georgia Laxton – Sunshine Coast

Georgia is an enthusiastic and energetic library professional who has worked in a variety of library-focused roles. She is an experienced leader who values innovation and strategic thinking with a community focused approach. Georgia currently lead the Programs and Marketing team at Sunshine Coast Libraries. With a background in social sciences, Georgia is passionate about ensuring equal access to services and working with community to make libraries a place that everyone belongs.

Erin Davey – Ipswich

Erin Davey has worked in Ipswich Libraries for over 15 years. Initially starting as a volunteer and trainee Erin has worked across all Ipswich Libraries locations in various roles including Team Leader, shift supervisor, Coordinator, and in her current role as Branch Services Librarian. As Branch Services Librarian, Erin is responsible for assisting customers with advanced reference, readers’ advisory and local and family history enquiries as well as developing and delivering staff training to fill knowledge gaps to achieve wider staff knowledge and a greater customer experience for library patrons.

Patrica Stahl – Sunshine Coast

Patricia is a Library Supervisor at Beerwah Library with over 13 years’ experience in Public Libraries. She has been involved in different library projects and really enjoys seeing people engaged and contributing their many skills and talents to advance the library service.

Jenelle Harrup – Sunshine Coast

Jenelle joined the Sunshine Coast Council from private enterprise bringing with her, strong project management skills. She has been with the library service for 13 years, successfully delivering projects. Her focus is on developing innovative initiatives, putting libraries at the forefront with an emphasis on enhancing customer experience.

Vicki Shapcott – Sunshine Coast

Vicki started her career in public libraries in 1992 and has navigated the many changes in this dynamic and essential industry. She loves the public, project management and working with teams to achieve great outcomes.

Kerry Davis – Mackay

Kerry Davis is the newly appointed Collections Librarian at Mackay Regional Council, having previously held professional positions within the operational and programming teams at Mackay after holding positions in Archives, Records Management and Corporate Libraries in Western Australia.

Rachel Smith – Noosa

Rachel is passionate about all things literacy and the power libraries have to improve the lives of families. Her love of libraries has been a constant throughout her life, always the first place she visits when moving to a new community.

Amy Meredith – Noosa

Amy is currently the Library Assistant at Noosa Libraries and works within the Young Peoples (YPS) Team to deliver programs to the Youth of Noosa.
Amy recently joined the library sector as a Trainee in March 2022. Prior to that she worked in Private Business Admin and excelled at wrangling three daughters. A skillset that has served her well in her new career.

Katie Pittock – Townsville

Katie Pittock oversees the Local History Collection with Townsville Citylibraries.

Nicole Kilah – Lockyer Valley

 Nic has been working at Lockyer Valley Libraries for a long time.  She has been supported by a team who like to try new things and look at new ways of doing things.  Nic is a jack of all trades, working from a library assistant, mobile library operator, library operations supervisor, system administrator, branch coordinator and in 2020, received her dream job of Coordinator, Libraries and Galleries. 


Lisa Hetherington is the Outreach Librarian at Logan City Council Libraries. Having had a long career in education, Lisa is passionate about libraries providing programs for the enhancement of multiple literacies, especially for the marginalised and vulnerable. Lisa works for the Library Programming Team and oversees library outreach, volunteer management, the Adult Literacy Program and the Digital Home Library Service.


Debra Cooper is the Strategic Priorities Librarian for Logan City Council Libraries, with a passion in providing equitable, safe and welcoming environments where anyone can access and participate in shared experiences, for individual and community enrichment and empowerment. She has worked for many years with library teams in developing  services and inclusive programs in partnership with community, cultural and internal stakeholders.

LISA GARDOLL – Goondiwindi

Lisa Gardoll has worked at the Goondiwindi Library for almost two years and considers supporting social connections one of the most rewarding aspects of library work. Each day represents an opportunity to make a positive difference for someone else by providing spaces which enable the community to connect. Prior to joining the library workforce, Lisa spent twelve months writing and producing a family history book following six years of employment in the aged care industry working with people living with dementia. Throughout her aged care career Lisa completed a Diploma of Dementia Care and implemented a Dementia Support Group for community members.

JAKE BRYANT – ipswich

Jake has served as a Library Services Officer at Ipswich Libraries for approximately two years, working in both bustling, large branches and tranquil, smaller ones. He has great enthusiasm for the role Public Libraries have within their local communities and the invaluable bonds they foster, and he looks forward to a fun and exciting career in Libraries.