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Thank You for attending QUESTnet 2013

Dear Delegates,

On behalf of the QUESTnet 2013 Conference Organising Committee, I would like to thank you for your support and participation in the Conference held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

More than 400 delegates, sponsors and exhibitors attended the Conference and Exhibition from Australia and abroad.

I extend our thanks to all our sponsors and exhibitors for their invaluable contribution and support for the Conference.

I thank our keynote speakers for finding time in their busy schedules to join us and share their inspiring and thought provoking perspectives.  The opening remarks from ACU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, set the scene for what unfolded over the three day of the Conference.  The presentation from Professor Anne Cummins, highlighted the challenges and opportunities around tertiary education and challenged us to keep our feet on the ground while our heads were surrounded by clouds.  Andy Yates enlightened us on bioinformatics and demonstrated his deep knowledge and passion for the subject.  Storing data on DNA, what’s next?  And then there was Mark Pesce with his ‘special_tastic’ tablet and his views on MOOCS and the concept of ‘Education as a Service’ and the ‘Now’ moment.  Geoff Garrett gave us his insights into CLOU2D2 (Communication, Leadership, Outputs, Understanding, Direction, Urgency and Discipline).  Tony Haymet exposed us to a whole new world of sensors, satellites and oceanography with amazing undersea graphics; and Ian Oppermann gave us an excellent view into the deliberations of Government agencies and Business on the take up of Cloud services.  Our lives are much richer for the opportunity to have shared their perspectives.

I would also like to thank all our presenters for sharing their experiences and ideas with colleagues and conference delegates.  The high quality of the presentations is to be commended, it is clearly a reflection of the skills, expertise and passion that abounds in the Higher Education sector.

Planning for this event began many months prior to the Conference and it was the coordinated efforts of a dedicated team that made the QUESTnet 2013 the success that it was.  

I would like to pay a special tribute to the huge efforts of Gina Shaw and Samantha Hart from Conference Logistics.  As the Conference organisers, their professionalism and ‘can do’ attitude, coupled with their attention to detail and friendly caring approach, ensured the success of the Conference.  Congratulations to Gina and Sam on their accomplishments. 

I would also like to thank the team from the QUESTnet 2013 Organising Committees.  In particular:

  • Bruce Callow Chair, QUESTnet – Griffith University.
  • Ross Gorham, retiring Executive Officer of QUESTnet;
  • Wil Daniels (ACU), Chair of the Program Committee;
  • Victoria Bick (ACU), Chair of the Social Committee;
  • Mark Laffan (ACU), Chair of the Technical Committee;
  • John Croft and John Newitt (JCU), Advisors and hosts of QUESTnet 2012;
  • Rob Moffatt (UQ), Senior advisor and host of QUESTnet 2011;
  • James Sankar and Mahmoud Abo Elwafa (AARNet);
  • Martin Lack (Martin Lack and Associates) as special consultant;
  • Gina Shaw and Samantha Hart (Conference Logistics) Conference Organisers; and
  • Rod Swile (QUT), host QUESTnet 2014.

BIG thanks to Kent Adams.  As the MC for the conference, Kent was a natural from the get go, as he engaged us with his special brand of humour that carried the conference from start to finish.  What Kent believes he lacks as an Auctioneer, he makes up for in his friendly and persuasive nature.

While the weather conspired against us and prevented the golf day from going ahead, I hope you took the opportunity to enjoy the ambience created by the musical experience at the Welcome Reception.  The Social Night was a big hit and provided an opportunity to re-engage with friends and meet new people in a relaxing space.  The screening of the movie attracted a number of delegates who were no doubt taking note of the period costume in preparation for the upcoming conference dinner.

The Prohibition themed Conference Dinner was an outstanding success.  A number of delegates got right into the swing of the theme and dressed up in 1920s attire.  Our friends from New Zealand went to great lengths and justifiably took home the trophy in the male category.  The ladies sparkled in their outfits and brought a level of class to the occasion that made me wish we had more trophies to hand out.

Brad Blaze was very much ‘ablaze’ as his paint brushes flew across canvas.  As we were drawn in by the high energy music, he demonstrated his artistry and engaging humour and before our very eyes, he produced an Einstein, an extraordinary Soccer moment and a Cricket icon.

Who could forget the auction or the Auctioneer and his bodyguard?  A heart stopping experience for many as the bidding bounced back and forth challenging Kent the Auctioneer, who edged closer to his bodyguard but eventually rose to the occasion and successfully, collected thousands to be donated to charity.

Our thanks to Victoria Bick and the Social Committee for coming up with the ideas and arrangements for the memorable social events.  

I trust the program of events has provided a level of inspiration and motivation that encourages you to consider introducing new ideas and thinking in your organisation. 

I hope that you enjoyed the conference.  Thank you again for your support and participation and I look forward to seeing you at the QUESTnet 2014 Conference.



Rick Van Haeften

Chair, QUESTnet 2013

Conference Organising Committee