The 6th Annual Slovenian Australian Academic Association Conference on 18 November 2022 took place for the second time in a blended edition in Perth and online


VIDEO RECORDING (Društvo VTIS Channel on YouTube)

On Friday, the 18th of November 2022, the 6th Annual SAAA Conference: “Sustainability, Ecology, and Community” was a blended conference livestreamed via Zoom and in person in Perth in the Postgraduate Suite at Murdoch University.

The Slovenian Australian Academic Association (SAAA) has continued the wonderful partnership with the Association of Slovenes Educated Abroad (VTIS) as well as the Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce (SloAusCham). The event was sponsored by the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and supported by the Slovenian Embassy in Canberra.

The 6th SAAA Conference was focused on a very important and popular topic of Sustainability, Ecology and Community and acknowledged diverse input from the Slovenian community around the globe.

The conference was opened by Prof Martin Brueckner, Co-founder and Co-director of the University’s Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability at Murdoch University and by Ms Marjana Kaker, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia for Western Australia. H. E. Mr Matej Arčon, Minister for Slovenians Abroad, Government Office for Slovenians, sent a heartfelt video message from Argentina, and H. E. Mr Marko Ham, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Australia.

The Conference brought together more than 40 registered participants from around the globe, including from the US, Brasil, UK and Slovenia. Participants from Australia came from all major cities such as Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and the host city of Perth.

Attendees had the opportunity to listen to three keynote speakers who provided a diverse series of different views and approaches to this year’s topic. Prof. Marjetica Potrč, Artist and Architect, took us on a journey of “The Sydney Biennale Project: Drawing the Rights of Two Rivers and Constructing The House of the Agreement Between Humans and the Earth”, and Prof. Danilo Türk, President of Club de Madrid and Former President of Slovenia (2007-2012), on “Interconnectedness of Sustainability, Environment and Community″, while Mr Dušan Olaj, General Manager, Duol Company, was interviewed live on “DUOL company and Mr Olaj approaches to business” by Ms Mateya Slobodnik from the Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce.

Dr Urša Komac introduced us to the architecture of public space, Mr Neil Churches, author of the book The Greatest Escape: A Gripping Story of Wartime Courage, took us on a walking tour through eastern Slovenia, and Ms Teya Jerman, an inspiring Opera singer, beautifully described how important community is when moving abroad.

Online networking during the lunch break was organised by VTIS. Participants also heard from Slovenian Australian PhD students and the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) Junior Fellows 2022, moderated by Prof. Boštjan Kobe, one of the ASEF Professors for Global Fellowships.

The Slovenian Australian networking conference included a morning Annual General Meeting for SAAA members, afternoon sessions and a conference dinner at the Reveley restaurant in Perth.

The attendance was in particular open to academics, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and all organisations who are interested to learn the current knowledge exchange between Slovenia and Australia in their respective regions.

Catering for the conference was provided by Courtside Catering from Murdoch University. Attendees were treated with delicious food during the day and Fructal juices.

The 7th Annual SAAA Conference 2023 will take place on Friday, the 17th of November 2023 in Canberra and online, organised in collaboration with VTIS and SloAusCham.

Organising Committee 2022: Dr Kaja Antlej, Ms Nina Bečejac, Prof. John Hajek, Ms Anna Tait, Ms Karmen Lužar, Prof. Boštjan Kobe, Dr Jurij Karlovšek, Ms Mateya Slobodnik (SloAusCham), Ms Nika Rožanc (VTIS), Mr Vid Čibej (VTIS).