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Construction Law Conference…Best Enjoyed in 2030

The 7th Society of Construction Law Annual National Conference was appropriately called Best Enjoyed in 2030…The Future of the Construction Professions only for the fact that the August conference was held in one of Australia’s finest regional wonderlands: the beautiful Hunter Valley.

The conference was an opportunity for attendees to understand how the construction industry is changing, how to keep up and – specifically around that theme – the future of artificial intelligence (AI).

The 2018 conference focus on AI and other technological developments shaping the construction industry encouraged new ways of thinking and embracing change to improve industry outcomes. It was an opportunity for all construction-minded leaders to look forward and “bravely face the future”.

Highly regarded keynote speaker Tim Urban from Wait But Why (counted among his readers is Elon Musk) kept attendees engaged with his knowledge on AI. With over 600,000 subscribers and a monthly average of one million visitors Urban has produced dozens of viral articles on a wide range of topics from AI to social anxiety to humans becoming multi-planetary species! Civilex Commercial Manager Sandra Costanzo said, “Urban was fascinating to listen to – [he] had immense knowledge about the future of Artificial Intelligence.”

Common questions the conference addressed were:
• What challenges do we face?
• Can the industry survive during an AI revolution?
• Are we safer to stick to the methods of the past or should we embrace future tech?
• How can the future maintain a balance between its vantage history while embracing new world principles?

Another highlight was guest speaker John Sharkey – an independent arbitrator and mediator practicing in the field of major commercial disputes in the construction, engineering and energy sectors. In 2006 John was made a member of the Order of Australia and in 2010 was the inaugural winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Lawyers’ Weekly.
Sandra was honoured to attend John’s seminar as John was her Master’s lecturer who she fondly calls the Godfather of Construction Law. John spoke at the conference about his paper titled Australian Rules: A Survey of the High Court of Australia on Construction Law 1965-2016.

There were many other inspiring speakers including the Honourable Robert Brooking AO SC and Honourable Peter Vickery QC. The conference concluded with a Gala Dinner at Two Chef Hat Restaurant Muse where attendees and speakers enjoyed the very best array of wine tannins the Hunter Valley had to offer.

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