My first ever overseas conference was EDEN 1996, which took place at Futuroscope, in Poitiers, France. I travelled across to Paris and then caught the fast train down to Poitiers. I knew no-one in the field of distance education, and I was very new to the discipline, but somehow I managed to make friends at the conference that have lasted a life time.
When my time came to speak, I shared the stage with Gilly Salmon and Sally Reynolds. I have met up so many times with them since, in various parts of the world. I travelled back to Paris with Uli Bernath, again a great professional acquaintance. The EDEN conference launched my career, and now 25 years later, I can look back on so many wonderful EDEN events all across Europe, in Dublin, Helsinki, Oslo, Napoli, Budapest, Valencia, Oxford, Bruges, Barcelona and Lisbon, and reflect on a time well spent learning from others. My Senior Fellow award, given to me in Jonkoping, Sweden was one of the crowning achievements of my academic career.
I cannot thank the EDEN community enough for all of the wonderful opportunities you have given me. Long may you continue!