What’s this all about?

This is a mini-conference, aimed at practitioners who are working with Lean, Agile, or Systems Thinking techniques. The primary audience is the practitioner communities in Melbourne and other cities, although you’re also welcome if you are from out of town. The event will be participatory, and collaborative. Workshops, activities, and discussions are favoured ahead of one person speaking at the front of the room in front of a slide deck.

The event is run by practitioners from the Australian agile community. 2017 will be the sixth edition of the Melbourne version, the second time for Sydney, and the first time the event will be held in Brisbane.

Our Principles

Our guiding principles are:

  • To increase knowledge, understanding and capability of lean, agile and systems thinking principles and practices in our community of practitioners in Melbourne (and in other cities).
  • We believe that the best way to achieve this is to involve as many local community members as possible, as session leaders (speakers, facilitators), content curators and Local Organisers.


LAST stands for “Lean, Agile, Systems Thinking”.

Our day is inspired by the Agile Tour, the inaugural Australian instance was held in December 2011, in Sydney. The organisers of LAST, felt that the Melbourne community could really benefit from something similar, and so LAST Conference was born. Here’s Ed’s writeup of that event. He also explains “Why I started LAST Conference”.

With the naming of the event, we wanted to provide a broad remit, so that the full scope of practice could potentially be covered.

Who should come?

The event is not aimed at beginners, but rather for people who have worked in the field, and want to extend their knowledge, and share their experiences with other practitioners in a collaborative and interactive environment.

This may include but is not limited to: Developers, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Product Owners, Designers, UX Designers, Iteration Managers, Testers, Scrum Masters, CTOs, Project Managers, Trainers and Coaches. Technical and non-technical practitioners are welcome.

Should I come if I’m a beginner?

If you are starting out, there may be some things that go over your head, but you may also find the day useful. So come along if you want to, it’s up to you. Don’t be afraid to ask and learn from others.

What is the structure?

We will start announcing the sessions for the day in May (we think). We want to encourage activities and workshops, as well as talks, about real world experiences (both positive and problematic).

We will build the schedule iteratively, adding sessions if great new ideas come in or if there is a gap that needs to be filled. Session leaders are also free to alter their session in the lead up to the event, if they need to.

Will there be stress balls/t-shirts/bags/schwag/tchotchke?

Not really. Our view is that there is too much tchotchke at a typical conference, so we aren’t having very much, if any. We want to focus on communication, interactions and value rather than schwag.

We do however, have a conference t-shirt available for purchase via Redbubble. The artwork for 2017 is by Bruce Taylor AKA @rooosterboy. Also, you will find that some of the Supporters of the event will be in attendance with some freebies.

If you have a lanyard holder from a previous event (and we bet that you’ve got a few), please bring it. Otherwise, your name badge is self-adhesive, so stick it on your shirt! Similarly, you’ll probably have your own bag, so you don’t need another one, right?

Don’t worry, we still love you though, and have thought about all of your really important needs.

Will there be food?

You’ll be adequately fed and watered at lunch, and morning and afternoon breaks.

We always have a post-event gathering, with sponsored drinks (we hope). Make sure you allow time to stick around and engage in stimulating follow up conversations about the day!

What is the submission process?

LAST Conference is a place where the community of Practitioners can gather and exchange ideas and experiences. We encourage people who haven’t “spoken” at many/any events to contribute a session idea. You will be able to receive support on our Slack channel and through some other initiatives that are planned in the lead up to the event.

We will be opening up the submission process at the start of April until mid-May, with the schedule being released at the end May.

Can I come from interstate or overseas? Will you pay my travel costs?

As we are focused on the local community, we don’t expect people to travel from interstate or overseas to participate, although you are welcome if you choose to come. As LAST is an event with low registration prices, we need to keep overheads low. Therefore, we generally do not reimburse travel and accomodation, or pay a fee to session leaders/speakers.

When will Registration open?

Registration will open in late April. In previous years, the event has sold out weeks before the date, so it’s best to get in quick. Once full, please join the waiting list, and if there are any spots become available, they will be released to the waiting list first.

Can I send someone else or get a refund?

Find out about substitutes and refunds on the Registration FAQ page.

What is ConfEngine?

Since its inception, LAST Conference used Lanyrd. This service used to provide everything that we needed for speaker and session details. However, it suffered from a lack of attention after being acquired and started to become unreliable. So unfortunately we had to stop using it.

For the first time in 2017, we are using ConfEngine for session submissions, and schedule and speaker details. It can be used it to track sessions and speakers, and find follow up coverage. The service is run by Naresh, the organiser of Agile India, and is being used by several conferences around the world.

Who’s organising it?

LAST grew from the Agile and Lean community in Melbourne that holds regular evening user group events throughout the year. Ed Wong and Craig Brown, co-organisers of the Melbourne Agile and Scrum group, the Agile Business Analysts group, and experienced practitioners, decided to make it happen.

Ed and Craig are also founding members of the Tabar, who are the organising supporters of LAST. Tabar is a group of agile practitioners who provide coaching, training and consulting services…and events!

In Sydney and Brisbane, local organisers are leading the organisation , with Ed and Craig assisting.