The Festival of the Web is launched

15 November, 2016

Launch - Bill Marmion and Curtin DVC-R Chris Moran
Above: Minister for Innovation Bill Marmion with Curtin DVC-R Chris Moran at the launch of the Festival of the Web.
Below: The Festival of the Web will include a focus on Web 3D and VR technologies, examples of which were on display at Curtin University’s HIVE facility.
Curtin HIVE facility - Bill Marmion and Chris Moran

Official Launch Event for Perth’s First Ever Festival of the Web

This week long celebration of the Web, technology and innovation in April 2017 will include the prestigious 26th International World Wide Web Conference – coming to Perth for the first time

15 November 2016:  The Honourable Bill Marmion, WA State Minister for Innovation, today participated in the launch of Perth’s first ever Festival of the Web, highlighting the positive impact that hosting the Festival will have on the newly announced Western Australian Innovation Strategy. The eight day long Festival will feature more than a dozen conferences and special events, including the prestigious 26th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2017), being held in Perth for the first time in the event’s 26-year history. All the events will take place in and around the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 2-9 April 2017.

The launch event, held at Curtin University’s Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (The HIVE), included representatives from Western Australia’s four public universities (Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia) who are sponsoring the Festival and WWW2017 conference. Professor Chris Moran, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Curtin University spoke at the event, referencing the importance of strengthening the ties between academia and industry to advance research innovation in WA and around the world.

News shared at the launch included program information about the range of international and locally-sourced conferences and events being planned for the Festival of the Web, further details about how hosting the Festival and WWW2017 events in Perth will attract international technology experts to WA as speakers and delegates, and the positive impact this is projected to have on the WA economy.

Event registrations for the Festival of the Web and WWW2017 are now open, and sponsorship opportunities are still available. 

Download video of the presentations from the Festival of the Web launch event:

Launch overview and highlights [200mb]

Speech by the Minister for Innovation, Bill Marmion [820mb]

Speech by Curtin University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Professor Chris Moran [650mb]

Speech by Rick Barrett, Co-Chair of WWW2017 and Director, Festival of the Web [1.45gb]


[Edited] Text of the speech given by Rick Barrett, Co-Chair, WWW2017 and Director, Festival of the Web


I’m Rick Barrett, Co-Chair of WWW2017 and one of the organisers for the Festival of the Web

Well – what is the Festival of the Web? The Festival of the Web will be the ‘must attend’ event for the web/ tech/ IT & innovation community in Australia in 2017

The Eyes of the tech world will be on Perth for 8 days at the start of April for this event

The Festival of the Web is a suite of established international conferences brought together with many local conferences and events – some of which are being held for the first time. At the heart of the Festival of the Web is WWW2017, the International World Wide Web conference. Expected to attract up to 1500 delegates from Australia and across the world, this conference is a world-leading high-profile conference that advances the science and practice of the Web.

WWW2017 attracts academics, students, web scientists and professionals. Started by the inventor of the Web Sir Tim-Berners Lee, Perth is hosting the 26th WWW conference. In Brisbane in 1998 – the only other time this conference has been held in Australia – two young researchers presented a paper proposing a new approach to Web Search – that they called Google. The rest is history.

WWW2017 will host technical tracks on topics including:

  • Computational Health
  • Social Network analysis
  • Search
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Web mining and content analysis
  • Internet monetisation and online markets
  • Digital Learning, and much more.

There are 15 major tracks, along with an industry track, workshops, tutorials, posters, demos and a PhD Symposium. Check the WWW2017 website for details of the full program –

Along with WWW2017, we are hosting related conferences covering Web Accessibility – W4A2017; Web Governance, Privacy & Security – Bytes & Rights; Big Data – BIG2017, Serious Games and Applications in Health – SEGAH2017; and The Internet of Things in Mining, Oil and Gas – DeepSensor – to name just a few.

These are detailed in your handout, and on our website – Many of the organisers of these events are present and are happy to discuss their event with you. These additional events we hope will attract a further 1500 delegates to the Festival of the Web from a broad range of innovation and tech fields. With so many events co-located, there are several themes we have that run across the 8 days of the Festival

  • Big Data: it’s management and challenges. Pertinent for WA with the construction of the SKA underway
  • The Internet of Things, connected devices, their uses and benefits,  and the security problems they bring
  • Web3D, virtual reality, immersive environments and wearable technologies. One of our major Keynote speakers. Mark Pesce, is a co-inventor of VRML and a pioneer of this technology
  • Digital Learning, serious games, remote operations and management – important across education, healthcare and the resources industry
  • Communications, accessible workplaces, web disruption and the future of work in the digital age.

But.. with any Festival, you need to host events and activities that will interest a wide range of people. So, the Festival of the Web will also include:

    • Keynote speeches, invited talks and expert panel sessions
    • Open discussion sessions on current issues and ‘Hypothetical-style’ deconstructions of controversial topics
    • Industry and Entrepreneur tracks and sessions to engage the business community
    • Workshops, tutorials and sundowners where you can learn, engage and participate
    • Data hacks, competitions and hands-on developer activities in a variety of disciplines
    • Events aimed at students interested in engaging in STEM subjects and a future career in the tech and IT industry
    • A major Technical Expo with a hands-on internet of things display, sponsor and partner booths, live game developers on display building their creations and themed food, drink and relaxation zones to showcase the fresh produce of WA.


We have a set of large social events planned for all to enjoy, and we want to showcase the best of Perth and WA as well. So we intend to offer additional activities for delegates to enjoy their time in Perth. We are still planning some of these, but our ideas include:

    • A late-night web comedy festival in small bars – yes, expect cat videos!
    • Digital art, in the Convention Centre and out on the streets
    • Fun games and interactions throughout the city – including a daily high-score challenge on some retro favourites – think Space Invaders
    • Movies, music, restaurant specials, a Kings Park Indigenous Experience, and for the brave, early morning swims at City Beach – with an official lifesaver in attendance of course.

So that’s our Festival – although there are still some surprises in store that we will announce over the coming few months.

Where will it be? In the heart of the city at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Finally – Who’s behind all of this?

There is a large group of dedicated volunteers, many who have been part of the team since we prepared our bid to host WWW2017 and travelled to Korea to win it for Perth, who have contributed their time, their ideas, and their enthusiasm to WWW2017 and the suite of co-located events running in the Festival of the Web.

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this team – whatever they contributed. The outcome of all of this work is what I have outlined today.

On behalf of the team, I thank the four public universities of WA for their support throughout the bid process, and their sponsorship of the event. These universities: Curtin, Murdoch, ECU and UWA, all partner with the Perth Convention Bureau in working to bring to Perth conferences and events that people from WA and the rest of Australia can attend. WWW2017 is one of these successes.

In addition, I want to thank our long-standing partners: the Australian Computer Society, The Australian Web Industry Association, Media Access Australia, and WebKeyIT. Representatives from these organisations have been part of our team from the start.

On behalf of the WWW2017 Local Organising Committee and its supporting committees – thanks for coming. It’s going to be a lot of fun.