Professional Pathways

Across the next few years ALIA is undertaking its boldly ambitious initiative to strengthen the profession, increase diversity and help create a future-ready workforce named 'Professional Pathways'.

The Professional Pathways initiative will secure the future for current and next generation LIS professionals. It will be supported by an employer-driven framework that will include meaningful and affordable qualifications and ongoing learning. 

To ensure this future, ALIA undertook took a comprehensive process to understand the needs and concerns of the sector it serves. The Professional Pathways plan was developed from this process, from the insights of our valued members and stakeholders offered through surveys, discussion papers and conversations, and culminating in an intensive three-month online consultative process with hundreds of people from across the sector.

The outcome of this final process, the 2021 Professional Pathways consultation report, is now available. The report sums up the key themes that emerged during the consultations and stands as a record of the time, effort and thought that the sector contributed to this process. This report will strengthen the project moving forward.

To introduce the Pathways initiative, below is a special message from our President Viv Barton and presentation from Kate Bunker, ALIA’s former Director of Learning, whose joint inspiration and work launched the initiative. There are also messages of support from leaders in school, public, special and academic libraries and a page that addresses many questions that we anticipate will arise out of this plan.



A message from Viv Barton, ALIA President 2020-2021

At its core, ALIA exists to support the library and information profession. It’s why the Association exists. One of the critical factors in being a profession is that you have an accepted body of learning and qualifications. We’ve known for some time that our professional education needed attention and when I became President, I took the Future of LIS Education as my theme.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen this initiative evolve, developed hand-in-hand with our members and with major employers and I would like to thank every one of the 500 or so people who have helped us reach the point.

What you’re seeing today is the outline plan, but there’s still a lot of detail to work through. We would love your help with this.

Please join us and help us shape the future of the library and information profession in Australia.

Select the above image to watch the video message from Viv Barton, ALIA president.

Introduction to Professional Pathways

This 10-minute presentation from Kate Bunker,  former ALIA Director of Learning, summarises the Professional Pathways initiative, outlining the background leading up to this point, explaining its key elements, and the steps that will follow in the coming years.

Further background documents that delineate the long process that culminates in this report, including the draft of the original plan and the discussion paper can be read here.

We continue to welcome feedback and questions - please direct them to


Professional Pathways Board 

ALIA is pleased to announce the final composition of the Professional Pathways Board.  With representatives from across the library sector, the Board will provide strategic oversight and leadership to ensure the successful development and implementation of Professional Pathways.  


Representational capacity

Vicki Edmunds

ALIA President – Chair of the Board

Kirsten Thorpe

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Representative

Kylie Poulton

AGLIN (Australian Government Library and Information Network)

Sandra Ryan

ALIA Schools

Beatriz Aroche


Viv Barton

APLA (Australian Public Library Alliance)

Robyn Murfet

APLA (Australian Public Library Alliance)

Philip Kent

CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)

Chelsea Harper

CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)

Diane Velasquez

Higher Education Educators

Ann Ritchie

HLA (Health Libraries Australia)

Sara Altmann

NGAC (New Generation Advisory Committee)

Vicki McDonald (SLQ)

NSLA (National and State Libraries Australia)

Geoff Strempel (SLSA)

NSLA (National and State Libraries Australia)

Caitlin Wallace

SNGG (Students and New Graduates Group)

Julie Barkman

VET Educators


ALIA thanks all the Board members for contributing their time and talents, and we are looking forward to working with you to deliver a diverse, skilled, valued and supported workforce delivering quality library and information services that anticipate and meet the needs of the population.

The Professional Pathway board meets four times a year. You can find the take-home messages from each meeting below:


This page is accurate as of 14 July 2021 and will be updated as needed.