From the Regional Engagement Manager: awards and presentations in Melbourne

I’ve been in Naarm, on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Eastern Kulin Nation this week. Whilst here, I was fortunate to attend the ALIA Victoria Group’s ‘On the Subject of Headings’ panel discussion on Sunday and assist ALIA President Jane Cowell with the presentations of pins and awards. 

Silver Pins 

Six silver pins were awarded to recognise five terms on an ALIA Group or a significant contribution the Association, considered to be the equivalent of a five-year commitment.

Photo left (L to R): silver pin recipients Iurgi Urrutia, Michael Barry, Ellen Coates, Jade Koekoe (with young Liliana), Timothy Gillis-Jones and James Baker.

James Baker – ALIA Silver Pin

James has been a librarian at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library, has worked as technical support for the Koha integrated library management system, and is a teacher in the Library Diploma courses at Victoria University and Swinburne. He was on the NLS9 committee and has been on the ALIA Vic committee since 2017 and a co-convenor since 2018. He was also a co-founder of ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics and has been its secretary since its official recognition as an ALIA special interest group in 2020.


Michael Barry – ALIA Silver Pin

Michael joined the ALIA VIC Group in late 2017 and has acted as the group’s secretary for nearly 6 years. As a member of ALIA VIC, Michael has helped to develop, and deliver professional development and social events for library workers in Victoria. During the lockdowns in 2020, Michael took a lead role in developing and running weekly online trivia nights to support social connections during the long periods of isolation.

Ellen Coates – ALIA Silver Pin

Ellen is the Collections Librarian and Volunteer Coordinator at the PMI Victorian History Library. She was on the committee of NLS9 and has been on the ALIAVic committee since 2017 and a co-convener since 2018.

Timothy Gillis-Jones – ALIA Silver Pin

Timothy is the Library Technologies Team Leader at Monash Public Library Service. They have been part of the ALIAVic committee since 2018, and currently serve as Treasurer.

Jade Koekoe – ALIA Silver Pin

Jade has been involved with ALIA since Volunteering at ALIA's 2014 National Conference. Since then she has been on five ALIA Committees and was part of the team organising NLS9, a conference aimed at new librarians that has also influenced her library career and shaped the connections she has made in the industry.

Iurgi Urrutia – ALIA Silver Pin

Iurgi Urrutia is a librarian at Kingston Libraries with a background in teaching and media studies. A keen advocate for comics, graphic novels and manga in libraries and education, he co-founded ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics and has been its convenor since it was formed in February 2020, with a very active and passionate team that regularly shares resources and interviews with Australian comic book creators through a blog, podcast and YouTube in order to raise the profile of comics in libraries in and of Australian creators and titles in particular.

Photos above (L to R): Pin recipient Karyn Siegmann with ALIA President Jane Cowell; ALIA Fellow Laurie Atkinson with ALIA President Jane Cowell.

Karyn Siegmann – ALIA 25 Year Membership pin

This pin was awarded in recognition of 25 Years of ALIA Membership. Karyn Siegmann has been involved in the public library industry for over 40 years. Over the years Karyn participated in many Victorian statewide committees and was the instigator for the internationally recognised strategic framework, Victorian Public Libraries 2030.

With over 10 years on the Public Libraries Victoria executive committee, she has been influential in the future of libraries, speaking at many conferences Karyn has shared her learnings, particularly on marketing and technology.Karyn was Manager of Bayside Library for over 20 years and since leaving in late 2019 has been consulting to libraries and taking on short term senior roles. In her spare time Karyn is also a registered celebrant!

Laurie Atkinson – ALIA Fellowship

In recognition of her contribution to government, law and special libraries, and in shaping library services at a national level, Laurie Atkinson was awarded this ALIA Fellowship in 2021. However, the Pandemic meant that Laurie never received this award at a public event – this was the first opportunity to publicly celebrate her achievement.

Laurie Atkinson works as the Director of the Law Library of Victoria and Supreme Court Librarian. Throughout her career, Laurie has been a strong advocate for library services, particularly in the special library sector.

Laurie joined the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee at a pivotal time as libraries across Australia were shifting from managing print collections to digital collecting and service delivery. Laurie offered many insights from her extensive experience across government, law and special libraries and her constructive advice helped ensure the interests of smaller libraries were not overlooked as digital services took centre stage. Laurie also advised the National Library on how to transition effectively from Libraries Australia to Trove Collaborative Services.

In 2019, Laurie agreed to chair the inaugural Trove Strategic Advisory Committee (TSAC). As Chair, Laurie is an effective and inclusive leader, despite the many challenges of running a cross-jurisdictional committee entirely virtually.

Based in Victoria, Laurie experienced the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns very directly but never failed to work with the National Library and lead the committee through a range of strategic issues over this period.

Laurie embodies the values of ALIA and achieved a level of professional expertise and respect that is worthy of the distinction of Fellow.

Congratulations all! I am writing a Blog to showcase more of my regional engagement in Melbourne. Stay tuned.


Emily Wilson
Regional Engagement Manager