Pathfinders 2010 conference probes policy in countdown to election

Leading politicians, Indigenous representatives, public servants and academics meeting at the Pathfinders 2010: Challenge and Change conference at the Alice Springs Convention Centre on May 26–28 will probe federal government and opposition policy on areas including health.

Speakers this year at Australia’s main annual innovation conference include Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery. Northern Territory Education and Training Minister Chris Burns and Australian Council of Social Service CEO and former NT chief minister, Clare Martin, will also address the conference, organised by the Cooperative Research Centres Association. Among other speakers will be Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Barney Glover, Harold Furber, Chair of the Desert People’s Centre, and John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

World Toilet Organization founder and development campaigner Jack Sim will address the conference on sanitation in developing countries. The WTO was set up by the plain talking Singaporean businessman, named “hero of the environment” by Time Magazine in 2008, to curb diseases caused by poor sanitation. It now operates in 56 countries.

Meanwhile, some of Australia’s top young scientists will release their latest research findings, including:

  • a study showing that children are good channels for getting fire safety messages into homes
  • research showing that more muscular beef cattle can more consistently deliver better meat
  • a study showing that disunity is weakening the war on feral animals
  • the discovery of salt-tolerant bacteria that could be used in heavy metal extraction
  • research mixing virtual and real worlds for creative collaboration
  • the use of ultrasound to clean up DDT residues in agricultural soils

The CRCA represents Australia’s 50 CRCs operating under a federal government program to drive public/private sector research.

See the conference program at

What: Pathfinders 2010 Challenge and Change: Sourcing evidence to tackle the real issues

When: Wednesday, 26 May 2010 until Friday, 28 May 2010

Where: Alice Springs Convention Centre

Information: [email protected] Ph: 0419 250 815

Laurelle Halford (Alice Springs Convention Centre, May 26–28) Ph: 0417 222 211