ALIA National Conference: A Reflection

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Professional Development, Visibility As Inclusion | 0 comments

Reflection on representing ALIA Multicultural at ALIA National by My Van Nguyen Dang

In May this year I was given the opportunity to attend and speak at the National ALIA Conference in Adelaide. I was representing my organisation along with 2 colleagues, presenting about one of our most long running community programs, the Talking Faith? Forum.

Then Mare (Convenor of ALIA Multicultural) asked if I could represent our ALIA Multicultural group on a panel discussion, I was reassured that another of our group member, Joey, would also be there with me. And so, I said yes.

The first thing that popped in my head was, how do I prepare for it and what do I need to talk about. That was soon sorted out through an assortment of virtual meetings and emails.

I felt 80% better by the time the day came for me to attend the panel.

A week or so prior to the panel, we all received a run sheet that told us what the questions were going to be asked and an indication about how long our answer was required to be. Between Joey and I, we split the questions between the both of us and prepared a response.

On the day of the panel, the panel members were able to meet before the session and got familiar with each other before it started.

I found this experience terrifying but rewarding at the same time. Terrifying because you had to speak in front of a room full of other professionals. But rewarding at the same time because you got to meet colleagues face to face for the first time and discuss together our insights and aspirations for our profession and industry.

Some interesting questions that we got from the audience include:

  • What are the things to consider when thinking about starting an ALIA group?
  • What projects are upcoming for the ALIA groups?
  • Are there plans for collaborations between the ALIA groups?
    • This one I was interested in because I had come to realise that there is a lack of resources (e.g. large print books) for the elderly or people with vision impairment in the multicultural area. I was thinking perhaps this is an advocacy opportunity for the ALIA Disability and ALIA Multicultural to consider.

All in all, the panel was successful, and I enjoyed being able to work with other industry professionals from the different states of Australia.

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