The QUESTnet 2013 Conference hosted by Australian Catholic University has come to a close.
Rick Van Haeften and his organising committee can be justly proud of the success of the conference in its 20th year. A diverse and interesting range of presentations and entertainment was provided.
The official opening and remarks by ACU Vice-Chancellor, Greg Craven engaged the audience (unusually so) from the start and this momentum was maintained by an excellent series of keynote presentations during the course of the conference.
For the first time the conference experienced Kent Adams (a former Director, IT at JCU) in the role of Master of Ceremony for plenary sessions. He presided over proceedings, demonstrating appropriate amounts of reverence and humour. To show he wasn't a "one-trick pony", Kent also displayed his flair as an auctioneer at the conference dinner, albeit with strong support from Mahmoud Abo Elwafa of AARNet.
The inaugural AARNet Excellence Awards were presented to The University of Queensland (& QRNO), CSIRO and Queensland University of Technology at the conference dinner which had a Prohibition theme.
The conference dinner also saw delegates introduced to "speed painter", Brad Blaze. In double quick time, Brad produced, whilst continuing to entertain his audience, three marvellous paintings (see below) on canvas which were subsequently auctioned to generate a substantial sum for charity. Another painting had been created earlier for ACU - this was of the ACU patron saint, Mary MacKillop.
A message to thank delegates and sponsors has been compiled by the Conference Chair and is being emailed to attendees. This also provides a brief summary of the highlights of the conference. The message can be accessed here.
Planning now commences for QUESTnet 2014 to be hosted by QUT.