QPLA infiltrates NSW PLA @ SWITCH 2023

What an inspiring few days last week, at the NSW Public Libraries Association Conference – check out the program here SWITCH2023 Conference | Nov 14-17 (nswpla.org.au). Unfortunately, my flights were delayed on Tuesday, so I missed the first day of Lightning Talks however hope to catch up on the presentations at a later date. Tuesday evening launched the Conference and the Trade Exhibition – it was great to catch up with some well-known vendor friends, as well as make some new contacts. There are some great opportunities for QPLA to engage with some of the new vendors in the near future on a range of topics which will be beneficial to our Queensland libraries.

Day one kicked off with a very engaging keynote presentation by Pauline Nguyen (her younger brother is chef, Luke Nguyen) who shared her journey and the challenges faced along the way. It was a cracking way to start the day and Pauline shared some amazing messages we can all take on board. Therein followed a number of equally engaging presentations on a variety of topics with including an amazing debate.

What a fierce dual between two quality teams for The Great Debate – To Label or Not to Label …. wrapping up the day. I was the final speaker for Team Affirmative, along with Shane Clancy (Library AV) and Kathryn McAlister (Manager Macquarie Regional Library) – what a team. It was such a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to keep everyone awake after afternoon tea and proved a great hit with the audience. And of course, Team Affirmative were the clear winners on the day 😉

There was a fun-filled Conference dinner held at Penrith Leagues Club where almost everyone dressed up in costume to the theme Book Week. They take their costumes very seriously here – it was a great laugh and certainly set a benchmark for Queensland library staff to aspire to for 2024’s Conference dinner.

Day two opened with another amazing keynote session featuring Judy and Tim Sharp – Tim is the author/illustrator of Laser Beak Man. I thought Pauline’s keynote on Day one would be hard to beat, but wow, Judy and Tim’s presentation was awe-inspiring – just proving that you can overcome many things in life to achieve your goals and kindness/happiness is key to this.

Bolinda interviewed author & speaker Brenda Matthews. Brenda’s story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. It has been told on a recent documentary The Last Daughter. The documentary is now screening on Netflix, Brenda’s book is available, and Bolinda has recently released the audio book version.

A hearty congratulations to Adele Casey, our indominable QPLA Executive Officer, who also sidelines as Executive Officer NSW PLA, and the NSW PLA team on a brilliant conference. I look forward to sharing more details and ideas that have come from this conference with the QPLA Board and Conference planning group for the QPLA Conference 2024 – Townsville.


Nicole Hunt

President – QPLA

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