TechNet 2018

We are pleased to invite you to The University of Queensland, Brisbane to participate in the 2018 National TechNet Conference.

The theme of this year’s conference is SuperTechs, ‘From invisibility cloaks to capes; revealing your value’, reflecting the growing pressure for the tertiary sector technical community to demonstrate our worth, and recognising the opportunities for meaningful learning, networking and profile-raising that arise through the conference itself.

The conference will take place in the picturesque Global Change Institute's Living Building on the St Lucia Campus, 22 - 23 November 2018. Optional field trips will run on Wednesday, 21 November and facility tours will be offered throughout the conference. The conference dinner will be held on Thursday, 22 November. 

The conference is open to all technical, clinical workshop and safety staff from tertiary institutions across Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. Anyone who supports teaching, research and infrastructure in the tertiary education sector may benefit from attending.

The focus of the conference is cross-disciplinary professional development. Learn from specialists, leaders and peers from around the country about emerging trends in the tertiary technical sector, facility design, working in dynamic or multi-user spaces, proven time-saving strategies for efficiency, and more. The diversity of our speakers and attendees ensures that those who attend will develop knowledge and practices that are directly beneficial to supporting a range of technical roles. Take the opportunity to network with likeminded colleagues at the concurrent social events or while touring a selection of the region’s cutting edge research facilities.

Our aim is to draw from UQ’s broad range of disciplines in teaching and research to also accommodate special interests for delegates from science, engineering, medicine, nursing & midwifery, archaeology, media & communications, creative industries, workshops, safety-focussed roles and more.


We invite you to register online for the TechNet Australia Conference 2018. To register, fill in this online form, which will subsequently direct you to the payment portal.

You can use the portal to pay for:

  1. your conference registration for 22-23 November 2018
  2. add on a field trip for 21 November 2018, and
  3. accommodation at Emmanuel College.

Once you have registered you will receive an email with the subject line “TechNet 2018: Finalise your registration now” to pay for your registration. Your registration will not be confirmed until payment has been received.

To process your payment click on the email’s “Proceed to payment portal” link. Next, “Create Booking”, fill in form and follow the links. Payment is by credit card; please email if you would like us to invoice your institution instead, or if you have any questions about the registration process. Please let us know of any cancellations as soon as possible. It may take several weeks for your refund to be processed.


Earlybird registration: $440

  • Conference entry on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November
  • Includes lunches + morning teas + afternoon teas + conference dinner on Thursday 22 November
  • Check “Important dates” for the Earlybird registration cut-off

Standard registration: $495

  • Conference entry on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November
  • Includes lunches + morning teas + afternoon teas + conference dinner on Thursday 22 November
  • Check “Important dates” for the Standard registration start and cut-off

Day registration: $200 per day

  • Available for either Thursday 22 November or Friday 23 November
  • Includes lunch + morning tea + afternoon tea for the day chosen
  • Does not include entry to conference dinner

Group shared registration: $500

  • Gives a transferable lanyard for attendance by one person at a time from your work group on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November
  • Includes lunches + morning teas + afternoon teas + conference dinner each for one person only
  • Please nominate the ‘lowest common denominator’ for catering preferences – contact us for advice if you’re unsure of how to do this

All fees include GST.

Modest fees are payable for the optional full-day or half-day field trips on Wednesday 21 November. Please refer to the Tour program section for more information.

You may need to seek authorisation from your supervisor to attend, or you may be wondering whether several days away from your core duties is justifiable. Here’s some food for thought that might help:

  • As technical staff, finding useful professional development activities can be difficult due to our degree of specialisation – or generalisation. What better way to learn than from your peers who are facing and overcoming similar challenges?
  • TechNet conferences are very affordable and great value for money. Comparable industry conference registrations often start at $2,000.
  • About to embark on a new project? Struggling to overcome a particular challenge? Proud of a recent achievement or innovation? Looking for a sea change? There is space at the TechNet conference for you to share information, avoid re-inventing the wheel, demonstrate your leadership, and network vertically.
  • Knowing where to go for help or advice can really add value in your job. TechNet conferences put you in touch with the people who can help.
  • The conference theme of ‘revealing your value’ could even be brought to light at your home institution through your absence for a couple of days. It might be a reminder of how invaluable you are!


Technical program

The conference program handbook (PDF, 2.2MB) introduces the conference, our speakers and activities. Note that the program timetable is subject to minor change. Please navigate our website headings for the Tour Program for information about tours on Wednesday 21 November, and Conference Location for how to get around.

Tour Program

Tour Program for Wednesday 21 November. Participation in these tours is an optional add-on for conference delegates. These tours offer exciting opportunities to view cutting-edge facilities and to take home learnings from other technicians that you can apply to your workplace!

All tour participants must wear fully enclosed shoes. Additional PPE will be provided as required.

Modest fees are payable for attending these field trips, set at $45 for full-day tours and $15 for afternoon tours. Fees include food and transport to & from UQ. More details are below, and on the conference registration form.

Please note that places on tours are limited and places will be allocated in the order of registration.

Tour 1: UQ Gatton Campus (full day tour)

UQ’s historic Gatton Campus is situated 80 km west of Brisbane in the heart of the Lockyer Valley food bowl. Established as an agricultural college in 1897, it now also hosts animal, veterinary, wildlife and crop science, plus the largest solar research facility in the southern hemisphere. The campus boasts many places of interest including the majestic Queenslander-style Foundation Building beside the Avenue of Palms that add to the atmosphere of a relaxed, fertile subtropical landscape.

Delegates on this tour will learn about:

  • Incorporating technology and effective design into large multi-purpose teaching labs, and the role of the technician teacher
  • Transitioning into a global top-50 university facility: an on-farm case study of applying technology for evidence-based management, strategic planning, and improving sustainability & safety
  • Sustainable use of available resources to maintain practical learning in a resource-dependent discipline
  • A new focus on learning in labs: creating hubs that nurture student-directed learning of practical skills and abilities
  • Visit to the Solar Research Facility
  • We also hope to visit two research and service facilities

This tour would be of particular interest to delegates from small and regional campuses, managers & designers of (teaching) labs, technicians or clinicians involved in teaching, those with an interest in sustainability issues, life science disciplines (including agriculture, food & crop, plant, veterinary and medical sciences), and facility managers generally.

Participants for this tour should arrive at UQ St Lucia at 8:45am.

A small fee will be payable to participate in this field trip , which will include morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and transport.

Tour 2: Moreton Bay Research Station - TOUR FULL

Please note: this tour is now full. 

The Moreton Bay Research Station is east of Brisbane on North Stradbroke Island, the world’s second-largest sand island. The research station there supports marine and terrestrial teaching, research and other education activities.

This tour would be of particular interest to any facility, technical or safety manager. It is also definitely for you if your team manages or uses stand-alone small, regional or remote facilities.

The tour will include a look at the facility’s accommodation, research lab, teaching lab/theatre and discussion of active projects. Technical discussion points include:

  1. The challenges of a dynamic lab space: adapting labs to meet temporary research requirements
  2. Supporting tertiary research and education in a semi-isolated and protected environment
  3. Building and adapting new spaces and equipment (relevant to facilities of all sizes/locations)

Lunch will be on the other side of the island at beautiful Point Lookout. Here you’ll see stunning views of the coastline from the Gorge Walk, interesting native plants in the surrounding bushland, and there is a real possibility of spotting wildlife such as kangaroos, raptors, turtles, dolphins, whales and more.

Participants for this tour should arrive at UQ St Lucia at 8.15am, or depart in a taxi from the domestic airport at 8.45am (available upon request).

A small fee will be payable to participate in this field trip , which will include morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and transport.

Tour 3: Translational Research Institute (afternoon tour)

We are excited to offer a tour of Australia’s newest and most comprehensive medical research and biopharmaceutical facility. Located on the on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus, the seven-storey TRI building comprises four floors of laboratory research plus facilities for research support, administration and teaching.

The building is hosts UQ’s Diamantina Institute and Faculty of Medicine, as well as QUT, Queensland Health, Mater Research and commercial partners.

On this tour, you will be taken inside some of these facilities, and there will be discussions that will be relevant to a range of disciplines, such as:

  • Sharing of facilities across multiple partners, including core facility provision
  • Multi-levels of governance between a non-University and University entities
  • Space management, including design and grouping of like-with-like administrative areas, research groups and more
  • Integration of research and teaching on hospital campuses

This tour will leave St Lucia campus at 1pm. A small fee is payable to participate on this trip, which will include afternoon tea and transport.

Tour 4: Indooroopilly Experimental Mine Site (afternoon tour)

Indooroopilly Experimental Mine Site: mineral processing and geometallurgy research facilities.

In 1951, a former silver and lead mine situated at Finney's Hill in the Brisbane suburb of Indooroopilly was acquired by UQ's School of Mining Engineering. Now, the site also hosts the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s mineral processing and geometallurgy teaching and research facilities. SMI is the largest Australian research centre in this field and collaborates with major mining and mineral processing research groups worldwide.

This tour will incorporate a walk-around of the site where you will see some of the old mine infrastructure, followed by a tour of some of SMI’s facilities, such as the Pilot Plant, Mineral Characterisation Research Facility and various laboratories.

The talks and workshops for this tour are yet to be finalised but may include:

  • Demonstration and discussion of analytical techniques
  • The challenges of dealing with very large volumes of samples
  • Managing a shared-user satellite facility

This tour will leave St Lucia campus at 1pm. A small fee is payable to participate on this trip, which will include afternoon tea and transport.


Professor Roger WepfProfessor Roger Wepf
Director, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, UQ

The Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) is an interdisciplinary research, teaching and service centre that plays an integral role within the research programs of The University of Queensland and participates in both undergraduate and postgraduate education.

View Roger Wepf's profile page


Associate Professor Susan RowlandAssociate Professor Susan Rowland
Deputy Associate Dean Academic (Future Students and Employability), UQ

After completing her BSc Hons and PhD at the University of Sydney, Susan was a Human Frontiers in Science Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut, USA. After gaining an academic position there, she returned to Australia in 2006 to teach and research at UQ. She completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education at UQ in 2007 and in 2009 she was appointed as a full-time teaching-focused faculty member in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.

View Susan Rowland school profile page


Dr Dee GibbonDr Dee Gibbon
Associate Director, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, UQ

Dr Deanne (Dee) Gibbon CSC is the Associate Director of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion at UQ. She holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales. Her doctoral research focused on finding practical, evidence-based ways of increasing women’s representation in non-tradition occupations. Before leaving her career in the full-time Air Force, Deanne deployed to Afghanistan as NATO’s Senior Gender Advisor to the Resolute Support Mission, where she assisted the Afghan Ministers of Interior and Defence to increase women’s representation in their National Army and Police Force. Deanne also served as the Head of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SEMPRO) and the Project Director for the ADF’s Review into the Treatment of Women. Deanne was a founding member of the Australian Chief of Defence Force’s Gender Equity Advisory Board (GEAB). Her efforts to progress diversity outcomes in the ADF resulted in her winning the 2013 diversity category of the Westpac and Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence awards and receiving a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Dr Clint ChapmanDr Clint Chapman
Senior Manager, Research Facilities and Infrastructure Planning, Faculty of Science, UQ

Clint provides leadership and strategic direction to the Faculty of Science Research Facilities & Infrastructure Group, comprising the glasshouses, marine research stations, Boating & Diving Unit and Faculty workshops. He also ensures all occupational health and safety legislative and UQ policies are achieved or exceeded by all stakeholders of these facilities.


Barry O'SullivanBarry O’Sullivan
Director of Sustainable Change

A former senior partner at KPMG, Barry now applies his 22 years of Big 4 experience to leadership coaching and building professional presentation skills. Having attended night classes for over four years at The Actors Conservatory, Barry’s unique coaching methodology brings together business knowledge, coaching, acting, performance and personality type insights.

In his 15 years as a leadership and executive coach, Barry has intensively coached over 500 leaders and executives. His Fear-free presentations workshops have been delivered throughout Australia.  He prepares executives for major Board presentations and conference keynotes, as well as coaching entrants in pitch competitions across the University of Queensland. 

Sustainable change website

Dr Elizabeth JamesDr Elizabeth James
Technical Services Business Partner CEMPS, University of Exeter

I am a technical services business partner at the University of Exeter, with experience in the management of technical services staff, and research and teaching facilities. I have fifteen years of experience in the HE environment as a researcher, lecturer, professional services member of staff, and now as a member of the senior management team, helping to lead and develop Technical Services at the University of Exeter.

I am responsible for translating the strategic aims of the Colleges into a pragmatic operational delivery plan for Technical Services. This involves working closely with Heads of Disciplines and Directors of College Operations to ensure that resources (people/space/facilities) are being allocated in the most appropriate and effective way.

I directly manage several teams including the Engineering workshops and senior technical services managers running research facilities and teaching laboratories, managing a total of ~35 staff. The favourite part of my job is helping my teams realise their potential and I support and champion their development.


Important dates

Please note that these dates are subject to change.

  • Abstract submission open: 22 June 2018
  • Abstract submission end: extended to 19 October (thereafter by special arrangement)
  • Earlybird registration end: extended to 14 October
  • Standard & Group registration start: 1 October 2018
  • Standard & Group registration end: 26 October 2018
  • Tour program registration end: 26 October 2018
  • Day registration end: 12 November 2018
  • Conference field trips: 21 November 2018
  • Conference dinner: 22 November 2018
  • Conference sessions: 22-23 November 2018

Call for contributions


We are no longer accepting new abstracts. Please see Technical Program for a copy of the conference handbook.

Abstract submissions are welcome on any topic relevant to the tertiary sector technical community.

However, the committee particularly welcomes abstracts that address the conference theme, such as:

  • Demonstrating your value: how to arm yourself with data and market yourself
  • Recognition and Reward: are your skills and contributions defined, measured, optimised and rewarded?
  • Champions of Change: surviving and maximising opportunities in a forever changing tertiary sector. How to strategically align yourself better: advice and encouragement to others.
  • Centralisation: tricks, traps and pitfalls of the centralisation process and what it means for you.
  • Unions: how can they help and support technical staff?
  • Uniforum: understanding the implications.

…or abstracts on the other key session themes:

  1. Finding efficiencies and strategies to work in a fast pace and dynamic environment: the little things that work.
  2. Facility design: success stories and failures.
  3. Problem solving and funding: where to look and how to get help.
  4. Staff development opportunities: ways to discover opportunities and pay rises. How to approach management successfully.

We encourage a diversity of applications, and ask that all presenters think about how their presentation may be of relevance to other delegates regardless of discipline or job type. Presentations (including facility tours) will be most effective if they are framed around problems, solutions, innovations and skill-sharing.

To submit an abstract, you must intend to register and attend the conference if your abstract is accepted. The conference committee will inform you in mid-September if your presentation has been accepted for inclusion in the conference program.

You may submit multiple abstracts, but will only be able to give one oral presentation.

If the demand for oral presentations exceeds the available slots, the committee may ask you to consider presenting a poster or 5-minute speed talk instead, or may ask you to do a short presentation instead of a long one.

Four types of presentation can be presented by conference delegates. Different types of content will be suited to each presentation type.


Posters will be on display throughout Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November, in the same venue as the trade display and catering. This will give you opportunities to discuss your work or ideas face-to-face with fellow delegates.

Short or long presentation

Short (20 minutes) or long presentations (40 minutes) are talks that will occur in themed sessions on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November. They may be ‘traditional’ oral presentations, interactive presentations or roundtable discussions.

Oral presentations are a great way to give an overview of a project or initiative that you recently completed, or to share your knowledge on a subject. You should allow 5 or 10 minutes at the end for questions from the audience. We also hope to finish each of these sessions with a discussion panel.

Guided roundtable discussions could be a suitable format for seeking collective solutions to a problem you’re facing, or exploring a topic in more depth.


A workshop involves the hands-on demonstration of a technique, method or tool. You must be prepared to be self-sufficient for materials for your workshop. Proposals for practical activities must be accompanied by a risk assessment or JSA.

Tour of a facility

Note: The tour submission portal is for UQ St Lucia applicants only – contact the conference organisers directly if you would like to offer a tour of a nearby facility, and we’ll see if we can accommodate your request within the conference program.

Instead of doing a powerpoint presentation in a lecture theatre, consider doing your presentation in your facility. Tours of facilities are a great way to show off your gear, but they can be so much more. You can introduce delegates to your facility, but then think about framing your presentation around issues that you have faced. Delegates will be looking for take-away lessons: Could this happen to me? How can I apply this in my facility, to my staff, or to my discipline? How can it help me in my job?

After reviewing your tour proposal, the conference committee will contact you regarding logistics such as capacity, availability, access, and risk management.

Guidelines for using the abstract submission portal

  • Provide your name, institution and email address in the portal below. If there are multiple authors, you can provide these details on your Abstract Submission Document (docx, 12Kb).
  • Provide a brief title that describes your presentation (up to 20 words).
  • Upload your Abstract Submission Document (Word document format, .doc or .docx) with all parts of the Abstract Template filled in. It should end up looking like the example abstract below (fig. 1).
  • In the submission portal, you will be asked what your preferred presentation type is.
an image of a abstract template
Fig. 1 example abstract

Submit your abstract

Thank you for your interest in presenting at TechNet Australia 2018. Please complete the online form. We will be in touch within one week with acknowledgement of your submission. We will announce in mid-September if your abstract has been accepted into the conference program.


Social program

View of the UQ Alumni CourtThe conference meal breaks provide an attractive setting for networking, catching up with associates and meeting new people. In addition, several social events are offered.

Wednesday, 21 November - Welcome Event

The conference committee would like to invite you to a social BBQ in the Alumni Court. The Court was established in 1970 by UQ’s alumni association, and incorporates part of a former Radon Lab that’s been converted to a garden pavilion.

The BBQ will run from 5:30 - 7:30pm, freeing up the rest of the evening to visit Brisbane’s night spots such as Fortitude Valley, West End or Mt Coot-tha.

Attendance at the Welcome Event is included in your conference registration.

Emmanuel College dining roomThursday, 22 November - Conference Dinner

It’s time to live it up, have some fun, network like mad, enjoy delicious food, show off your technical talents, and dance like a geologist (because they rock?!) at the official conference dinner.

Overlooking a quiet reach of the Brisbane River, the formal dining hall of Emmanuel College will be our venue. Dress is smart casual to semi-formal to SuperTech! Guests should arrive by 6:00pm for canapes, followed by the main meal, dessert and entertainment by Subatomic Cookie Bandits. The winner of the 2018 National Excellence Award for Tertiary Technical Staff (NEATTS) will also be announced during the dinner. This event concludes at 10:30pm.

Friday, 23 November - After the conference close

You are welcome to join the conference committee for an informal gathering after the conference has concluded. 

Accommodation and activities


Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College

When you register for the conference, you’ll have the option at the same time to book accommodation at Emmanuel College, one of the on-campus colleges.

Rates are just $80 per night including breakfast for a standard single room with communal bathroom. You can stay for the nights of the conference, or add days before or afterwards. Limited parking is available for guests upon request.

The college is a 10 minute walk (door-to-door) through the campus to the conference venue. The conference dinner will also be on-site at Emmanuel College.

Other accommodation options

There are many other accommodation options within several kilometres of the campus. Suburbs with numerous accommodation options that are well-connected to UQ by public transport include:

  • Toowong
  • Woolloongabba
  • South Brisbane
  • Brisbane city

Suggested activities in and around Brisbane

Brisbane and surrounds are ripe for exploration if you have a free evening or choose to stay on for the weekend after the conference. There are activities to suit all interests. Here are some suggestions!

  • Catch a train & bus/taxi to the see the sights of the Gold Coast, with its world-famous beaches and themed fun-parks.
  • Catch a bus or taxi to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout for sweeping day or night views of the city and beyond.
  • Wander through the historic City Botanic Gardens. Stroll along a huge network of riverside walks in the CBD and inner suburbs. Visit the iconic Kangaroo Point Cliffs on the river opposite the CBD and near the Storey Bridge (abseiling optional!).
  • Buy a Go Card and ride a CityCat Ferry along the Brisbane River.
  • Visit Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands, complete with public swimming pools. While you’re there, ride the Wheel of Brisbane for stunning riverside views of the city.
  • Brisbane’s nightlife is alive and kicking, with clubs, pubs, restaurants and live performance venues in the city, Fortitude Valley, West End and beyond.
  • For something quite different, a night-time tour of the former Boggo Road Gaol near St Lucia campus is a chance to get all ghostly.
  • Book in to a free City Hall Tour.
  • A large brewery stands as a landmark on the edge of Brisbane’s CBD, where XXXX beer is made. Tours run frequently throughout the week.

Conference location

UQ St Lucia campus aerial view You can download a PDF (PDF, 537kB) of the below Conference location information.


The conference will take place in at The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. The campus is located on the banks of the Brisbane River, west of the Brisbane CBD.

Getting Around

To find your way around the St Lucia Campus download the UQNav app or vist UQ Maps


The St Lucia Campus is like a mini city. We have a range of food options, cinema, hairdresser, news agency, pharmacy and more. Find out more about places to shop, where to eat on, and services and facilities.

How To Get To St Lucia Campus

From Brisbane Airport

Catch the Airtrain to Roma Street Station, tickets can be booked online. Return ticket is $29.75 as of June 2018.

From Roma Street Train Station, transfer to Roma Street Bus Station, go to platform 1, catch the 66 bus straight to UQ Lakes Bus Station.

If you plan on using the local public transport system regularly, we suggest that you purchase a Translink GoCard. You can load money onto the card and use it to travel on all Translink services. 


Taxi ranks are just outside the Domestic and International Terminals. Estimated fare to the St Lucia Campus is $54.57 to $76.40 depending on day, time and traffic. 

Local Public Transport

Brisbane has a great public transport system which includes trains, buses and ferries that cover from the Gold Coast (south) through Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast (north). Many routes include the University campus.

The best way to use our public transport is to purchase a GoCard from a newsagency or the Translink machines at the UQ Lakes or Chancellors Place Bus stations. A GoCard costs $10 and can be topped up with funds online, via the Translink app, over the phone, at Campus News or Translink vending machines.

To plan your trip, you can use the Translink journey planner.

Trade displays and sponsorship

The TechNet conference trade exhibition is open to everyone in UQ. Come along to meet scientific suppliers, and find products & services to advance your teaching, research or facility management.

  • Open 11:30am - 12:00noon & 1:30pm - 2:30pm,
  • Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November
  • Level 2, GCI Building (20)

We are pleased to invite trade sponsors and exhibitors to the TechNet Conference. By joining us at the conference tradeshow, or purchasing a sponsorship package, we can help you build up your business with the tertiary education sector.

You can download our Trade Prospectus Application form. Contact us if you would like to discuss your options for supporting the conference.


General enquiries

Vanessa Glenn
+61 7 3346 3138

TechNet Australia Conference 2018

Post using #technet2018

Trade exhibitors

Thanks to our trades exhibitors:

Vicom Australia PTY LTD Lastek

TRIO Test & Measurement Scientrific Pty Ltd

John Morris Group Labtek

Air-Met Scientific Edwards

Stanton Scientific AVT Services

EZZI Vision AD Instruments

Rohde & Schwarz Papworths  Construction Testing Equipement

Agilent Logo