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Conference tackles the key issues of the World Wide Web


1 July 2003
The World Wide Web is regarded as the most revolutionary development in communication since the printing press. Terms like “www” and “on-line” sit comfortably in our vocabulary.

Yet, despite our wholesale infatuation with internet technology and practices, major challenges remain for those joining the internet revolution.

Each year in Australia there is just one major web conference – Ausweb, hosted by Southern Cross University. For nine years, Ausweb has tackled the tough questions. This year is no different. From July 5-9 at the Gold Coast Hyatt Regency, experts from around the world will gather to present, hear and see the latest on the web.

Among those leading discussion will be Professor Bob Hopgood, a pioneer of computer animation in teaching, and one of the USA and UK’s leading authorities on web animation. Prof. Hopgood, from Oxford Brookes University, has used animation as a teaching aid since the 1960s. His keynote speech will focus on the advantages of using the web as a basis for teaching material. Professor Hopgood pioneered the establishment of computer animation in the teaching of mathematics and he has worked extensively in the UK and the USA. In retirement, he teaches a Masters Course at Oxford Brookes University, continues to teach at Brunel University and is a member of the International World Wide Web Conference Committee.

Dr Andrew Arch from the Vision Australia Foundation will be exploring the vexed issue of online accessibility. Online accessibility hit the headlines in 2000 when the Sydney Olympics Games Organising Committee refused to comply with a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission order to make its web site fully accessible by the start of the Sydney Olympics. In 2003, all Australian governments, many tertiary institutions, the banking industry and the internet and multimedia industry have adopted accessibility policies. Dr Arch will be exploring whether these policies are just lip service, or whether there is a real change in the approach and attitude of web managers and developers.

As the Manager for Online Accessibility Consulting at Vision Australia Foundation, Dr Arch works with a large number of public and private organisations. He also co-presents Vision Australia's web accessibility workshops.

Michael M. Lean, former Copyright Officer at Queensland University of Technology and at Griffith University, will be delivering a keynote address entitled ‘Copyright - going too far?’

As the commercial opportunities of the web have become apparent, copyright has moved into cyberspace, creating some complex problems. Mike Lean believes that no-one involved in web development can remain untouched by these problems, and a working knowledge of copyright is essential. But Mr Lean is also concerned about how much further intellectual property law will encroach, how far is too far, and what can be done for the future. He’ll cite case studies and legislation.

Mike Lean has just retired after 27 years with QUT, the last twelve as Copyright Officer for the University, and the last three also with Griffith University. He has a background in education and media production.

C. Rodney Curnow is the Managing Director, Melbourne company Marketability. His experience in direct and mainstream marketing spans 20 years and includes senior management roles and experience in the USA, UK, Europe, Southeast Asia and Saudi Arabia. His keynote will examine whether the web can really boost marketing. Looking back on the early days when the internet was hailed as the most cost-effective way to communicate in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer environment, Mr Curnow will reveal what difference the web has made to marketing. This keynote will address which industries are best suited to using the web for marketing and case studies of what's worked and what hasn't.

Marketability's clients include Australia Post, BP Australia, Multimedia Victoria (now Infrastructure ) and Xcellink.

Media contact: Sara Crowe or Kath Duncan in the SCU media liaison unit, Ph: 6620 3144.