Conference Program

Conference Program (Draft) Note: Program is Subject to Change

Welcome Drinks

6pm – 9pm
An informal event to welcome IA Conference guests to Sydney.

8.30am Start – Registration
Conference Opening

Keynote Presentation: Michelle Pascoe
Exploring the Link Between the Engaged Customer and the Engaged Employee
Having an engaged workforce creates an interaction between customer and employee when it comes to customer service. Creating not only the “first impression” but the “first connection” to build rapport, trust and loyalty for customers to become advocates of your business. Team members who are positively engaged in their role will provide an enthusiastic welcome and offering to your customers. Engagement won’t happen if employers/managers don’t get to know their team so that they can allocate their tasks to match their strengths. This presentation looks at the links and what you can do to improve, rebuild and strengthen these ties between customers, employees and volunteers.

Camille Softley
Practice What You Teach

Morning Tea

Keynote Workshop
Linking the Client and the Employee

Jordan Charters & Vanessa Wiggenraad (Parks Victoria)
Connecting with nature through collaboration

Sophie Daniel & Belinda Fairbrother (Taronga Zoo)
Tiger Trek – a transformational experience
There are only 350 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild. This situation may seem hopeless … but it’s not.  Tiger Trek, a new exhibit within Taronga Zoo, was designed as an immersive and disruptive experience that would create internal conflict; sparking emotional connections to Tigers, then challenging and inspiring people to take positive action to help save these magnificent animals. The exhibit uses a combination of authentic cultural theming and landscaping, interactive elements and AV, props and staging, rich storytelling and soundscapes to create an immersive physical and emotional journey. In a simulated flight onboard Tiger Trek Airlines, guests are transported from Taronga Zoo to Indonesia. On disembarking, they find themselves walking through a replica Sumatran village to enter the jungle of Way Kambas National Park. Within the jungle environment, Way Kambas Rangers share their intimate knowledge of Sumatran wildlife through AV and static signage. Guests engage with Sumatran Tigers through close encounters, learn about Tigers’ behaviour and find out about local conservation projects such as the Wildlife Protection Unit.  Finally, in transition back to the urban world, guests enter ‘Choice Mart’ — a simulated supermarket where they are empowered to make consumer choices to help Tigers in the wild. They can also encourage manufacturers and retailers make more sustainable choices in food production through the Raise Your Palm community campaign. This campaign, developed as an integral part of the Tiger Trek exhibit, leverages community action to support the transition towards a truly responsible (sustainable) palm oil industry in Australia.


Viewing: The Veiled (Short Film)

Graham Chalcroft (Vertebrae)
Public Art, Placemaking and Community connection as Interpretive Story Telling
A highly visual presentation of permanent and temporal public art and placemaking case studies as a creative story telling methodology to site responsive social, cultural, ecological and heritage interpretation. The case studies examine outcomes that have directly translated participatory community workshops concept designs and consultations developed to the point of design detailing, fabrication and installed public art & place based interventions. This approach enhances connection and collective ownership through factual, imagined, personal and communal understanding. Other project examples demonstrate how cross cultural artist collaborations can successfully combine diverse background perspectives and aesthetics into a visually consolidated and multilayered public artwork. The projects explore a range of artwork mediums and form for natural environments, development architecture and landscaping, transport hubs, recreation open spaces and WSUD.

Tim Adams (Umwelt (Australia) Pty Ltd)
Using Social Media as an Effective Mechanism for Dissemination of Archaeological Findings
Recent and ongoing civil works undertaken in road and former heavy rail corridor areas of Newcastle for the construction of the Light Rail have contributed to the transformation and revitalisation of Newcastle. Given the current town plan was established approximately 20 years after the 1804 penal settlement of Newcastle and the rail corridor was not established until the 1850s the Newcastle Light Rail Project provides a rare opportunity to uncover Newcastle’s early settlement history and the dramatic changes that have occurred to its landscape in just 200 years. With the limited opportunities for retention and display of archaeological remains beneath a light rail corridor and the complexities of public involvement during construction of a major infrastructure project the Light Rail Project focused heavily on dissemination of information and community engagement during the archaeological works. Filming short videos throughout the archaeological program, the Project team documented onsite ‘real time’ archaeological findings; uploading the videos to the Revitalising Newcastle website and Facebook pages allowing the general public to actively engage with the archaeological program as excavations progressed across the Newcastle CBD. The videos proved to be a very successful time and cost efficient form of communication and community engagement during a highly scrutinised civil works program. The paper will present results of the archaeological findings and how these have been disseminated to the public in ‘real time’.

Paula Simpson (Zoos Victoria)
Zoos Victoria’s Keeper Kids – a play-based learning experience
Keeper Kids is an indoor, interactive play-based learning experience that invites children and their families and carers the opportunity to experience what it is like to work at the Zoo. A variety of roles from Zoo Director, Keeper, Veterinarian, Researcher and Horticulturalist are brought to life through play. Zoos Victoria use a child-centric approach underpinned by contemporary learning philosophy and interpretive approaches. By provides hands-on interactive experiences for family groups through the use of props, real objects, animal exhibits and costumes to encourage imaginative play children start to foster connections with zoo animals and with zoo staff.

Afternoon Tea

Glenn Fraser (Transmedia Entertainment)
Award Winning Writer and Director: The Veiled

Jude Turner (Wellington Zoo)
Telling our Own Stories
Our ethos at Wellington Zoo is Mei Tiaki Kia ora! which means we take care of things – we look after our animals in the best possible way so that they can flourish and thrive. Our dedicated Animal Care and Science Team works hard to ensure our animals are all as happy and healthy as can be. We are proud to have achieved ZAA Animal Welfare accreditation based on the Five Domains of Animal Welfare: Nutrition, Environment, Health, Behaviour and Mental/Affective State. As a Zoo team we understand and respect the science and research behind the Five Domains and adhere to these standards at every level.
Our visitors love the Zoo and they love our animals. We want to share the story of the Five Domains and our commitment to positive Animal Welfare in a fun and accessible way. It is important to us that visitors leave the Zoo knowing that Animal Welfare is a top priority and they feel confident that our animals are receiving the greatest of care. This is a first for us – the first time we have shared the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure our animals are happy. That their diet is nutritious and balanced, their habitat is designed to offer choice, that health care is in place and that the animals physical and mental needs are met to achieve positive Animal Welfare. Happy Animals is an innovative, exciting and colourful visitor interactive sharing this work and care with our visitors in a fun and accessible way. The installation has been exceptionally well received by Zoo visitors and we are extending the Happy Animals theme in other areas in the Zoo including more boxes and a new Happy Animals video.

Amy MacKintosh
Children in Historic Houses Museums: Busting the Myths
Interpretation at historic house museums is primarily designed for adults, especially those with a pre-existing interest in history. Other than formal school excursions, there is very little interpretation which focuses on the needs of children. Why is this? And why does it matter? In this presentation, the myths which surround young visitors to historic house museums are exposed and busted.

Interpretation Australia AGM

Afternoon Networking Session & Drinks

Free Evening

8.30am Meet for Travel to Newington

Travel to Sydney Olympic Park – Newington Armory

Welcome / Fiona Tucker (SOPA)
Newington Armory

Glynn Jacobs (Convict Trail Project)
The Great North Road

Morning Tea

Convict Footprints Performance

Dr Matthew Kelly (Extent Heritage)
WWII & The Kokoda Track

Dr Sarah Barns (Parramatta City Council)
Re-imagining Parramatta: A place to rediscover how stories shape a nation


Jessica Heidrich
What’s in a Place? Revisiting Memorial Museums Located on Former Sites of Atrocities

Gretta Logue (Sydney Trains)
Escalation Sensation
‘Escalation Sensation’ chronicles the history of the last operational wooden railway escalators in Australia. After 60 years of service, the much-loved wooden ‘Otis’ escalators at Town Hall and Wynyard Stations were retired in 2017. ‘Escalation Sensation’ – documentary and historic booklet – captures the lasting memories of the machines and records the final days of operation.

Concurrent Offerings:
Heritage Tour of Newington Armory
Workshop 1 – Marketing & Photography Basics – An Easy, Hands-on Guide to Improving your Public Image
Workshop 2 – Interpretive techniques as lessons in leadership

Afternoon Tea

Concurrent Offerings:
Heritage Tour of Newington Armory
Workshop One: TBC
Workshop 2 – Interpretive techniques as lessons in leadership

Travel to Circular Quay

IA National Awards Gala Evening – Sir Stamford

Guest Speaker: Chris Fox, Creator of INTERLOOP at Wynyard


8.30am Registration/Welcome

Lightning Talks

Dr Felicity Strong (Trades Hall Interpretation Project)
The challenges of curating living memory of ‘The People’s Palace’
Interpreting the living memory of a beloved heritage-listed building is a daunting task, especially one that is currently undergoing conservation works. This lightning presentation will outline some of the challenges that have presented at the half way point of a heritage interpretation and exhibition project currently underway at the Victorian Trades Hall, ‘the People’s Palace’. The project is aimed at installing a semi-permanent exhibition celebrating the history of the Hall and the people who have worked in it, met in it, danced in it and even lived in it! Challenges have traversed balancing the desires of key stakeholders with heritage conservation and interpretation best practice; navigating historic accuracy, interpretation and memory; and how to deliver a single exhibition that honours the building’s 150+ year old history and the place’s living memory.

Sarah Agterhuis (Zoos Victoria)
Education through empowerment – setting new standards for animal encounters

Em Blamey (Australian National Maritime Museum)
Working with (possibly) the largest exhibition development team ever
Think your development teams are too large to be effective? This session reveals how the ANMM collaborated with over 200 museums to co-create a travelling exhibition. It will share ideas for engaging with remote and regional museums, to capture their stories, and present ways to seek and combine content a from variety of sources to create a cohesive exhibition.

Hayley S Kirk (Taronga Zoo)
Wild Squad – To Inform. To Inspire. To Mobilise.

Kylie Christian (Interpretation Australia)

Morning Tea

Keynote Presentation: A/Professor Tracy Ireland (Canberra University)

Campbell Rhodes (Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House)
Voices from the past: Creating living memory through the digitisation and interpretation of sound recordings
Our democracy is based on voices – your voice, our voices, their voices. Often we judge our political and social leaders by how they use their voices – what they say and how they say it – and some of history’s most prominent politicians have been described as great orators. But what did they actually sound like? What happens when their voices are no longer in living memory?? A chance encounter on eBay led to a treasure trove of voices from the past. During my regular perusal of the offerings I stumbled across rare recordings of some of Australia’s early prime ministers – Billy Hughes, Stanley Bruce, and Earle Page. Nowadays, we are used to politicians being recorded on a daily basis and broadcast on 24-hour media. But, it wasn’t so very long ago that hearing their voices was a novelty, restricted to public speeches, radio broadcasts, news reels and gramophone recordings. By digitising these recordings and making them accessible, the Museum of Australian Democracy is giving the public a chance to hear these individuals and effectively ‘create’ living memory. In this presentation, the audience will have the opportunity to hear segments of these recordings, and others in the Museum’s collection, and witness these voices from the past being transported into living memory. I will also reveal how and why these recordings were first made, the process of digitisation and interpretation, and how listening to these voices makes us part of the living memory of Australia’s democracy history.

Dr Patricia Gillard
Visitor ecologies. Volunteer experience, shaped for interpretation


Viewing: Escalation Sensation

Luke Saffigna (Zoos Victoria)
The evolution of Zoos Victoria’s presentation toolkit
Hear how the Interpretation Australia award winning presentations toolkit evolved into the Community Conservation toolkit – not only still relevant to presenters but to an entire organisation in helping to define and align each staff members role with Community Conservation and the Connect–Understand–Act (CUA) model that underpins it. At Zoos Victoria we believe everyone has a role to play in Community Conservation and to help staff understand their role and give them confidence in playing their role we trained over 500 staff in the CUA model over 6 months. This built staff confidence in our Community Conservation Campaigns and enlightening them on the crucial role they play in fostering wildlife friendly attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in our visitors, contractors and stakeholders. This presentation unpacks the CUA model and outlines how staff where trained in CUA. The new Community Conservation toolkit is opened up to reveal the various tips and techniques it offers to connect people with wildlife by creating memorable moments. Pre and post CUA training survey results are presented, including one stand out result that showed that post CUA training 93% of zoo staff strongly agree or agree that CUA is essential to Zoos Victoria achieving its vision as a zoo-based conservation organisation.

Amy Jarvis (Canberra Modern)
Canberra Modern: Conservation Through Preservation
Canberra is Australia’s capital: a modern city built on brave ideals & experimentation. Mid-century modern (MCM) architecture/planning is a key part of Canberra’s identity and its living memory, but this heritage is rapidly disappearing due to a lack of understanding and appreciation of this irreplaceable layer of its history. As they saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone and today’s Canberra is developing so rapidly that we are fast losing the mid-century character. Unfortunately many of these places and spaces are being lost with little rebuttal and without legal protection or recompense. MCM places are often considered not ‘old enough’ to be ‘heritage’ but then ‘too old’ to fit the more recent ideals of ‘shiny and new’. So what are we going to do about it? Enter ‘Canberra Modern’ – a festival of innovative events established in 2017 to engage the community and advocate for Canberra’s MCM heritage. Rather than shoving ‘heritage’ down the throats of the public – Canberra Modern adopts the principle of conservation through participation – believing that once people understand and appreciate Canberra’s modernist heart, they will become advocates for its protection. The festival is in its infancy, but with over 1000 participants in its first year (2017) and a range of fun and engaging events for all ages and interests – there is real potential for Canberra Modern to have tangible conservation outcomes, change the often negative perceptions around Canberra and its identity as a contemporary and dynamic capital. This presentation will introduce Canberra Modern as a case study for alternative approaches for community engagement and advocacy around heritage, as a vehicle for collecting and celebrating living memory and discuss the model adopted by the Canberra Modern team in trying new ways to make a difference for future.

Ros Moriarty (Balarinji)

Afternoon Tea

Expert Panel / Question Session
A/Professor Tracy Ireland, Michelle Pascoe, Chris Fox, Sophie Daniels

Conference Recap and Close

Afternoon Networking Session & Drinks