Australasian Law Teachers Association

Promoting Excellence in Legal Academic Teaching and Research

2006 ALTA conference


Legal Knowledge: Learning, Communicating and Doing


4 to 7 July 2005, Victoria University


The 2006 ALTA conference was hosted by the Victoria Law School at its historic Queen Street campus in Melbourne from 4th to 7th July 2006. Whilst being a small campus it meant some crowding but also meant everything was close together and led to great camaraderie amongst the over 200 people attending.

The conference theme of ‘legal knowledge: learning, communicating and doing’ marked a return to examining the role of the law school in contemporary legal education. 

The conference proper started on the Wednesday morning with our keynote speaker Professor Bryant Garth, Dean of the School of Law at South Western University in California and former Executive Director of the American Bar Foundation. His talk on the role of lawyers in shaping legal knowledge and legal systems, set the tone for the conference, and for other keynote sessions on research, teaching, practicing and publishing in law. 

As is usual the myriad interest group sessions were at the heart of the conference and provided forums for lively discussion and debate on countless and diverse legal issues. Special thanks are due to the Interest Group Convenors for their hard work and also to those who presented papers. 

Our social events started with welcome drinks at the University’s Flinders Street campus. The next evening was an informal dinner at the Old Melbourne Gaol with the highlight being a presentation on Ned Kelly by John Phillips, former Victorian Chief Justice. Our final dinner looking down on Melbourne from the 41st floor of the Rialto Building was a great evening to wound up our social events, even if some delegates were a little the worse for wear the next morning.  

If success is judged by the many complimentary comments made by delegates then the conference was a great success. However, smoothly run and successful conferences do not run themselves. Special thanks must go to the conference organisers, Bron Hewitt and Danielle Russom from Victoria University and the many staff and students who helped behind the scenes. Thanks are also due to our many generous sponsors, the plenary speakers, the delegates, caterers and even the Melbourne weather which stayed fine and mild throughout the conference.  

The 2007 conference in July is being held at the University of Western Australia and I wish them every success. I am sure the conference will be both informative and very enjoyable despite all the hard work needed to get to that stage!

Vanessa Mitchell
2005-06 ALTA Conference Secretary

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