Monday, June 14, 2010

Australian Space Development Conference Full Preliminary Program

The National Space Society of Australia has released the full preliminary program which can be found here.

My first thoughts on the preliminary program are – things are really taking off here! Firstly, if they get most of the invited speakers, the conference has really taken a step up in its importance for both the industry in general, and its significance to the Australian government. Secondly, they have been able to create 4 streams for most of the conference, all with interesting and relevant speakers – when compared to the last conference in 2008, this is a big step up.

A few speakers/Sessions that will be interesting...

Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
We’ll call him the minister for Space for now. Senator Kim Carr has achieved some big strides for the Space Sector so far since being in the portfolio, and we should thank him for that. What will be interesting, will be any comments he can make about the future – in particular, in Space Policy development.

Session 4A - Defence and National Security
The Australian Department of Defence is really recognising how truly important Space is to what they do. I would guess that we’ll see some big changes in the way Space Defence works in Australian in the coming years, regardless of what happens on the civil side. This session could be really interesting to hear what the various defence branches have to say.

Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water
One Government minister would be good, but two would be incredible to attract to the conference. If Senator Penny Wong can speak, it will demonstrate just how important this government takes space and space technology. Fingers crossed that she comes.

Dr Michael Green and Prof Ros Dubs: Capacity Building: The Role of Government
Both Dr Michael Green and Prof Ros Dubs are two of the main players in the Australian Government Space scene now. Everyone in the room should be interested in their talk.

I could go on, but let’s see how the program develops over the next few weeks. I also hope that the Liberal party can also send some representatives – just to get a real understanding of the importance of the Space sector to Australia.

Let me also send out a big congratulations to Kirby Ikin, Anthony Wicht and the entire conference team at NSSA. Every two years they put on an very good conference, and a lot of hard work goes into the organisation that most of us never see.

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