Back to list

July Board Update including AATC, upcoming AGM and Board positions, AT Funding Map, and NATA News

Saturday 21, Jul 2018

July sees ARATA preparing for the AATC Conference in November. ARATEE’s are reminded to register before the Early Bird offer closes end August, and to make their plans for spring in Melbourne. Highlights include joining the Board to share ARATA’s  birthday cake for at the Annual General Meeting at the close of Day 2. The latest Conference updates, and awards nomination forms, can be found at the AATC site Read on for an update from Libby Callaway and Tracey Bode, the AATC Co-Convenors

Advanced Notice of call for Nominations to ARATA's Board of Management. Make 2018 – 2020 your time to perform on a National Board. Our skills audit indicates we are seeking members with a lived experience of AT use, understanding of and interest in learning about policy, as well as legal, marketing and financial skillsets. We hope to have a host of enthusiastic contenders to join our Board. Look out for the information pack and nomination form in upcoming weeks. 

ARATA has also published the first online AT Funding Map of its kind in Australia. Read on to hear how you can support and expand this valuable information source.   


The countdown is on for the AATC 2018 Conference which will be held on Wednesday 14th November to Friday 16th November 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Please tell your colleagues about the conference. Please follow and share the ARATA twitter and Facebook feeds with your networks. For a successful conference we would love your support.

A reminder of key dates

  • Registration NOW OPEN.
  • Catch the Early Bird rate and register by Friday 24th August 2018
  • Nominate for AATC 2018 Engineers Australia Better Technology Awards - nominations close Sunday 28th October 2018
  • Conference dates - Wednesday 14th November to Friday 16th November 2018
  • Abstract submissions - closed 

Individual and group conference registrations can be made via

Sponsorship and Exhibition

Exhibition spaces almost fully booked. Book now to secure one of the remaining spaces.

We now only have a very small number of sponsorship and exhibition options remaining for AATC2018.

For a live update of exhibitor bookings, and the sponsorship and exhibition prospectus, go to




Conference venue

AATC 2018 will be held in a new “state of the art” venue.

Our aim to ensure that the venue offers maximum accessibility at AATC 2018. 

On Monday 23/7/18 the ARATA President and AATC 2018 co-convenors will be meeting with All Occasions Group at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to tour the recently opened extension of the Centre, where AATC 2018 will be held.

We look forward to feeding back to ARATA members after this visit.


Keynote and invited speakers

Expert and industry leaders are found in our keynote and invited speakers for AATC 2018.

Most are listed on the AATC 2018 website but a few more announcements will be made in the following weeks.

Keep up to date via

Day One Welcome Drinks

A conference welcome and networking event with complimentary canapes and drinks will be held at MCEC  at the close of Day One of AATC 2018.

All delegates are invited to attend. More details will follow as part of the program release.


Day Two Breakfast Session

Please join us to make your contribution to another ARATA seminal piece of work!

ARATA has collaborated with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and OT Australia to co-host a breakfast meeting from 7.30am-9am on Day Two of AATC 2018.

Delegates registered for Day Two of AATC 2018 are invited to attend this event at no extra charge.

There will be a low cost registration option for OT Australia and AFDO members if they are unable to attend AATC 2018 but would like to join the breakfast session.

This breakfast session will harness the collective wisdom of attendees to make an evidenced set of outcome tools available for AT users in order to document the impacts of AT.

The output from this session will be made freely available via the ARATA website as past breakfast session outputs have been. Natasha Layton (ARATA President), Ross Joyce (AFDO CEO) and Anita Volkert (National Standards Manager, OT Australia) are leading the planning of this event.


ARATA Annual General Meeting

The ARATA Annual General Meeting will be held at the close of Day Two of AATC 2018, with ARATA hosting this important meeting.

All conference delegates are welcome to attend the ARATA AGM and more details will be provided by the ARATA Board in the coming months.


Conference Awards

There will be a range of awards available for conference awards available for presenters.

The AATC 2018 Engineers Australia Better Technology Awards nomination is now open (see details above).

Other awards and nomination processes will be announced in the coming weeks.


Conference attendance and support for people with disability

We are awaiting DSS advice on ARATA’s success in securing a DSS Disability Conference Initiative grant to assist with meeting attendance and support costs for people with disability. 

The AATC 2018 conference committee will be back in touch as details of the outcome of this grant round come to hand.

In the meantime, we are preparing a plan for volunteering support for conference delegates who would like additional way-finding or attendance support at AATC 2018. More details will follow soon.

Abstract submissions and program planning

We had a brilliant (and large!) response to the call for conference abstracts, and the Conference Program Committee are now finishing abstract reviews. 

We look forward to bringing together an educative and inspiring program for AATC 2018 attendees. 

The draft program will be released in mid-August 2018 (prior to early bird registration cut-off date of 24/8/18) after the successful abstract submissions are confirmed.

A big thank you to our fantastic AATC 2028 Program Committee (listed in alphabetical order) who have volunteered their time to review abstracts and assist with program design:

Dianne Chambers,  Fraser Clarke,  Desleigh De Jonge,  Pamela Ellis,  David Harraway,  Jacki Liddle,  Sue Lord,  Rachael McDonald,  Elvira McSwain,  Trina Phuah, Emily Steel, Wendy Stevens, Fiona Still, Carolyn Unsworth, Michele Verdonck , Valerie Watchorn 

ARATA operates via the volunteering of our Board and members, and we appreciate the input offered by ARATees to the AATC 2018 program design and conference delivery.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or would like to give feedback as we progress AATC 2018 planning.

We look forward to seeing you at AATC 2018 in Melbourne.

Libby Callaway and Tracey Bode,
AATC 2018 co-convenors


AT Funding Map

ARATA has published the first online AT Funding Map of its kind in Australia. This graphic is supported by an extensive and growing database of contact and site information for various funding options. The Map itself has been uploaded as a first stage, and thanks go to ARATA member Scott Gordon for his work on this. A keen volunteer (or two) is needed to finalise the database and support regular updates – contact us via if you can give ARATA a small and ongoing commitment of time to provide this important information service. You will be supported to come up to speed with this project, and will become extremely familiar with Australia’s AT policy and funding context!


National Assistive Technology Alliance (NATA)

The National Assistive Technology Alliance  continues to strengthen, with Dr Natasha Layton of ARATA nominated as Independent Chair. A recognition of our profile is the invitation to attend the recently formed NDIS Industry Reference Group  on behalf of ARATA and NATA. Meeting three times annually, this group complements other NDIA engagement and consultation mechanisms including the Independent Advisory Council, the CEO Forum, the National Mental Health Reference Group, the Carer Reform Working Group and the Participant Reference Group. The meetings are chaired by Antonia Albanese, Head of NDIA Markets, Provider and Sector Development. ARATA members are invited to provide input on NDIS into this group via