Group photo of the attendees of the KOALA 2022 conference, standing on the steps of a building at the Adelaide University. An Optica banner for the University of Adelaide Student Chapter is held at the front by two attendees


The KOALA Conference series began in the year 2008 to support under-represented students to exhibit and discuss their research at a Conference with peers, and hosted by students at various universities across Australia and New Zealand. In 2022, the Conference ran after a two-year break at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Previous KOALAs were run as part of the IONS (International OSA/Optica Network of Students) series. In 2022, KOALA has changed to be affiliated with Optica (formerly OSA). This year, SPIE is also a joint affiliate of KOALA 2023, an exciting first for the KOALA series.

Proudly affiliated with:

The Optica transitional logo, with white text on a black background. The logo text reads "OPTICA Formerly OSA"
The SPIE logo, black text on a white background with a red full stop. The text reads "SPIE."


KOALA 2023 is organised by the combined Optica and SPIE ANU Student Chapters, with support from postgraduate students within the Research School of Physics at the Australian National University.

Photo of Neuton Li

Co-Chair (He/Him)

Photo of Sarah Dean

Co-Chair (She/They)

Photo of Joshua Jordaan

Treasurer (He/Him)

Photo of Marcus Cai

Committee Member (He/Him)

Photo of Jack Lang

Committee Member (He/Him)

Photo of Shridhar Manjunath

Committee Member (He/Him)

Photo of Fedor Kovalev

Committee Member (He/Him)

Photo of Robin Hu

Committee Member (She/Her)

Photograph of the new Research School of Physic building at the Australian National University. The image is taken at sunset on a cloudy evening, causing the whole bulding to be dimly lit in purple. The image is taken from a low angle for dramatic effect.


The Conference is being held at the Research School of Physics (RSPhys), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. RSPhys is home to world eminent Physics and Engineering faculty members, including Nobel Laureate (in Physics) Prof. Brian Schmidt as Vice-Chancellor. 

The Conference proper will take place in the newly built, state-of-the-art physics facility overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. Speakers will be presenting live from the spacious auditorium, with advanced acoustic and display systems, offering unmatched clarity. 

In addition, refreshments will be provided in a vitalising environment, giving a great opportunity to develop engaging discussions and collaborations. Meeting rooms are also available as a private space, and attendees will have access to a nearby dedicated parent room.

Photo of the inside of the auditorium of the new Physics Building. Shown are theatre-style seating with seats coloured a random distribution of greens anf yellow


Accommodation will be provided at the Canberra Accommodation Centre in the nearby suburb of Braddon. 

Conference attendees will be provided with transportation to the conference venue, but may make their own way to campus via public transport or a 3.3 km walk.

Cost for accommodation and breakfast is included in the registration fee. Check-in and -out details to be added closer to the conference.

An image of the entrance driveway to the Canberra Accomodation Centre. The multi-storey accomodation building is shown in the background