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Digital Directions 2019

Digital Directions 2019

Digital Directions 2019

Digital Directions brings together people who care about Australia’s cultural heritage in the digital age. 

Australian and international keynote speakers joined the brightest minds in the GLEAM (galleries, libraries, educators, archives and museums) sector for Digtial Directions at the NFSA on 14-15 November 2019.


Watch talks from Digital Directions 2019 in the YouTube playlist below:


Thursday 14 November

Talks in Arc cinema

1.30 – Welcome to Country and Introduction

2.00 – Jon-Paul Dyson, The Strong National Museum of Play (US)

3.00 – Alain Dufaux, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)

4.00 – Afternoon tea

4.30 – Panel: Leadership in the age of transformation 

6.00 – Networking drinks presented by AARNET (until 7.30pm)

Note: Game Masters: The Exhibition open 10.00am – 4.00pm and exclusively for delegates from 4.00 – 7.30pm.


Friday 15 November

Stream 1 – Talks in Arc cinema

8.30 – Rebecca Matthews, ABC

9.30 – John Bradley and Fred Leone, Monash University

Morning tea from 10.30 – 11.00am

11.00am – Ana Tiquia and Claire Evans, Grumpy Sailor

12.00pm – Bill Peck, Twist Bioscience (US)

Stream 2 – Talks in Theatrette

8.30am – Lightning talks #1, Rachel Fensham & Jenny Fewster, Anita Beck, Simon Drake & Craig Dingwall

9.30am – Lightning talks #2, Jonathan Barrett, Matt Ravier, Teressa Ward

Morning tea from 10.30 – 11.00am

11.00am – Lightning talks #3, Cheney Brew, Mark Denbow & Cameron Burns, Que Minh Lee

12.00pm – Elisa Lee, Unstacked

Networking lunch from 1.00 – 2.30pm

Note: Game Masters: The Exhibition open to delegates and the public from 10.00am - 4.00pm.

International Speakers

Jon-Paul Dyson (US)

Jon-Paul Dyson standing in front of arcade game machines

Dr Jon-Paul Dyson is the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) and Vice President for Exhibits at The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York.

He will be speaking about his pioneering work in collecting, preserving and sharing interactive games.

At ICHEG, Jon-Paul has supervised the growth of the collection to more than 60,000 video games and related artefacts and hundreds of thousands of related materials.

He is also in charge of highly interactive exhibits at The Strong that are visited by nearly 600,000 people a year.

Bill Peck (US)

Portrait of Bill Peck

Bill Peck is Chief Technology Officer at Twist Bioscience.

He will be speaking about the latest breakthroughs in data storage.

At Twist Bioscience he is instrumental in identifying technology opportunities for the Twist DNA synthesis platform across many industries including storing digital data in nature’s preferred and oldest information storage medium – DNA. 

DNA as a storage medium has many profound advantages when compared to current storage methods. It has the potential to fill the gap between archival technologies currently in use and the need for enduring digital repositories of the future.

Alain Dufaux (Switzerland)

Portrait of Alain Dufaux

Dr Alain Dufaux is a lecturer and co-director for PhD students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and the operations and development manager of the Cultural Heritage and Innovation Center at EPFL.

He will be speaking about the digitisation, preservation and presentation of more than 11,000 hours of video, 6,000 hours of audio and 180,000 photos from 53 editions of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival.

Alain's field of expertise is in signal processing for audio, with a dual profile in both academic and industrial worlds.


Leadership in the age of transformation

Leaders of key Australian institutions from the Galleries, Libraries, Education, Archives and Museums (GLEAM) sector discuss the shared challenges and opportunities resulting from the digital transformation of the cultural industries.


  • David Anderson, Managing Director, ABC
  • Mary-Louise Ayres, Director-General, National Library of Australia
  • David Fricker, Director-General, National Archives of Australia
  • Jan Müller, CEO, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
  • Jane O’Dwyer, Vice-President, Engagement and Global Relations, Australian National University


John Bradley (speaking with Fred Leone)

Dr John Bradley is the Director of Wunungu Awara at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre.

Along with a group of Monash computer animators, John works with Indigenous communities to preserve Indigenous languages facing extinction, creating an archive of 3D animated films used as tools to reengage and revitalise interest in language continuation and preservation.

John has worked alongside Indigenous communities in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, in the Northern Territory, for more than 30 years. In that time, he has developed a close bond with the local Yanyuwa people and is now among a tiny minority of people who speak Yanyuwa fluently.

Claire Evans (speaking with Ana Tiquia)

Portrait of Claire Evans

Claire is the part-owner and Managing Director of Grumpy Sailor, overseeing operational activities as well as Grumpy Sailor's strategic direction. 

She will be speaking with Ana Tiquia about their experiences using digital storytelling to bring audiences and collections together.

Claire gets the opportunity to satisfy her creativity working as the internal creative and project lead on select projects like the Madhatters Tea Party for ACMI’s Wonderland, and continues to develop and produce long-form content such as Grumpy's first feature film – the award-winning 2017 documentary Kings of Baxter.

Elisa Lee

Portrait of Elisa Lee

Elisa Lee is a creative technologist with a passion for telling the stories of organisations and their users by bringing collections to life and revealing how people interact with them.

She will be speaking about her real-time collection data visualisation projects including the latest Unstacked project in development for UNSW Library. For this she will be joined by Jackson Mann, UNSW Library Curator, Special Collections and Exhibitions, to introduce the work and provide insights from the university's perspective.

Unstacked is a real-time visualisation of materials that library staff and patrons are accessing at any given time. It is has been rolled out at the State Library of NSW, State Library of Queensland and the State Library of Victoria. She will also be talking about 11-808, a live-data visualisation which spatially interprets the movement of books in and out of the UTS Library retrieval system in real-time.

Fred Leone (speaking with John Bradley)

Fred Leone is the Project Manager for Wunungu Awara at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre.

Fred is an established arts and cultural facilitator, curator, educator, youth worker and creative producer. He is the Song man for the Guruman Dancers, an award-winning Australian Indigenous hip-hop artist and a current member of the Indigenous Advisory Group for the National Indigenous Music Awards.

A well-respected community leader, with strong Australian Aboriginal, Tongan and South-Sea Islander heritage, Fred and his family come from the Garawa of Far North-West Queensland into the Northern Territory amd the Badtjala of the Fraser Coast region of Queensland South East Coast.

Rebecca Matthews

Rebecca Matthews is the Head of Content Management at the ABC, where she leads the archives, library and distribution teams.

She will be speaking about the recently implemented CODA project which streamlines digitisation, preservation and access to the ABC’s extensive and diverse archive.

Rebecca has been a part of the media industry for more than 25 years. She has worked in most roles in a newsroom, from journalist and producer, to Chief of Staff and State Editor. In recent years she has been a member of the ABC News Executive team, firstly as Head of Operations, and then as Head of State Coverage, where she led all the state newsrooms around Australia.

Ana Tiquia (speaking with Claire Evans)

Portrait of Ana Tiquia

Ana is Head of Development and Strategy at creative technology studio Grumpy Sailor.

She will be speaking with Claire Evans about their experiences using digital storytelling to bring audiences and collections together.

She previously led major digital engagement and audience-centred projects for cultural organisations, including at Museums Victoria. In the UK she has worked with Somerset House, the Barbican Centre, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra to produce digitally-driven exhibitions, installations and interactive experiences.

Lightning Talks

Jonathan Barrett

Jonathan Barrett is the Senior Digital Producer of the Defining Moments Digital Classroom at the National Museum of Australia. He will be speaking about this content-rich, immersive and fully interactive history education resource website. Jonathan is responsible for the development, information architecture, content and interactivity of this exciting new website.

Anita Beck

Anita Beck is an Exhibition Content Manager at Questacon. She will be speaking about Questacon’s latest exhibition: Born or Built? Our Robotic Future. The exhibition uses digital kiosks to poll visitors on their opinions regarding technology’s impact on society. These digital tools have deepened audience engagement with the topic and has provided us with a fantastic insight into the public opinion of technology in our lives.

Cheney Brew    

Cheney Brew is a communications specialist for the National Library of Australia’s discovery service, Trove. She will speak about new initiatives to increase access to Trove, encouraging wide understanding of, and engagement with, a diverse range of online collections.

Mark Denbow and Cameron Burns

Mark Denbow is the Director of Collection Preservation and Digitisation at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He is joined by AIATSIS Senior Audio Technician Cameron Burns. Together they will talk about their preservation work on 1,200 magnetic strip cards in their collection which contain words and phrases used in the critically endangered Miriwoong language from the East Kimberley region.

Craig Dingwall and Simon Drake

The NFSA's Digital Archive Colourist Craig Dingwall and Collection Reference Coordinator Simon Drake present their efforts to digitise and colourise archival footage to create the hit SBS documentary series Australia In Colour. Produced by Jo-anne McGowan and Jennifer Peedom, the landmark series was recently nominated for an AACTA award for Best Documentary or Factual Program.

Rachel Fensham and Jenny Fewster

Rachel Fensham, Chief Investigator and Jenny Fewster, Project Manager for AusStage, the national live performing arts database. As the world’s largest digital database for live performance research, AusStage is uniquely placed to develop systems to meet the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders and user groups. This lightning talk will demonstrate some of the systems that AusStage has already developed, with a focus on our geospatial capabilities, using the Circuit Mapping Tool as an example.

Que Minh Luu

Que Minh Luu is Executive Producer, Drama, Comedy and Indigenous at the ABC. She will present Content, an ABC comedy filmed in vertical format, breaking new ground with a story told from the perspective of a smartphone screen which speaks to the relationship we have with our devices.

Matt Ravier

Matt Ravier is the Chief Experience Officer at the National Film and Sound Archive. He will be speaking about a new interactive trivia game developed using the archive’s rich audiovisual collection, and its uses in residential care with older Australians suffering from memory loss.

Teressa Ward

Teressa Ward is the Assistant Director-General, Digital Archive Taskforce at the National Archives of Australia (NAA). In this Lightning Talk, Teressa will discuss the work of the NAA in transitioning to a ‘digital archive by default’, as well as how the NAA envisages its future role in the digital world. The NAA is taking the opportunity to refocus and rethink its business, and digital archiving – from record creation in agencies to public access to digital records – is the driver of that change.

About Digital Directions 2019


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