Conquest (multifandom convention)
Conquest is the annual science fiction media convention held in Brisbane, Australia. It regularly features celebrity guests and is fan-run, organised first by members of the local Queensland "Star Trek" club, Quest, and in subsequent years by an elected, independent committee. The original procedure was for profits to be passed onto the next year's committee, with excess funds donated to the charity, Red Cross. Usually held in September, in its early days the convention often coincided with the city's Warana Spring Festival.
Conquest conventions tend to take on a theme each year, depending on the invited celebrity guest. The first was heavily "Star Trek" in focus and the second showcased "Doctor Who". 1992's Conquest, also known as Robocon, featured a robot makeup demonstration and fan panels about androids, robots, cyborgs and AI. 1994's convention had a "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Borg theme. One convention had a time travel theme, commencing with the Closing Ceremony and ending with a welcoming address. Local actor Katy Manning ("Doctor Who" Companion, Jo Grant) became a friend of the convention after her first stint as a Guest of Honor and was often an unannounced visitor on banquet night. Paramount Studios' Star Trek Archivist, Richard Arnold, was a popular, semi-regular guest in the 90s, bringing Star Trek news and slideshows, plus rare collectibles for the charity auctions. Peter Budd, Ian McLean and Scott Driscoll have been regular Masters of Ceremonies.
At this first convention, representatives of interstate Australian fan clubs attended a think tank to brainstorm procedures for instigating an annual, rotating National Science Fiction Media Convention (Natcon) that could host Australian Science Fiction Media Awards. Minutes were distributed to all Australian clubs, and several committee meetings followed. This venture was deemed a success, and voting for national events soon began to be scheduled.
While a Doctor Who Guest of Honor was rumored for this event, none could be secured. The convention still reflected a "Doctor Who" theme and a Sydney fan, Gary Armstrong, was elevated to guest status when he arrived with his life-size, remote-control facsimile of the robot companion, K-9.
Gary Armstrong, robot maker, 1983
Following up on the previous year's think tank, this convention declared itself the first Australian Science Fiction Media Convention. Another meeting was held for interested representatives of interstate and local clubs to formalise guidelines for how future Natcons and Awards could be administered.
GoH George Takei during his Australian trip, 1984
Janet Fielding addresses convention attendees, Brisbane, 1985. Photo by John Tipper.
Committee members with GoH Richard Arnold (front row, left), 1988.
Guests of Honor were actor Katy Manning (Doctor Who's Jo Grant), Australian TV host, David Lyle of "The Golden Years of Television", and Star Trek Archivist, Richard Arnold. Actor DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek) participated in a live-via-satellite phone call from the USA. Fan Guests of Honour were Lewis Morley & Marilyn Pride. Master of Ceremonies was Ian McLean.
Quartercon, aka Conquest (1991)
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Star Trek". Guests of Honor were James Doohan (Star Trek's Montgomery Scott), John de Lancie (Q) of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Paramount Studios' Star Trek Archivist, Richard Arnold. Master of Ceremonies was Peter Budd. Karen Irving and Ian McLean were MCs of the Saturday evening banquet and masquerade.
GoH James Doohan greets Conquest attendees, 1991. (Photo by Jan Toohey.)
GoH James Doohan enjoyed exploring Australia's interstate trains as part of his visit, 1991
Robocon, aka Conquest (1992)
Guest of Honor was Gene Roddenberry's assistant, Susan Sackett. Chairperson was Maria Letters. Fan Guest of Honor was Ian McLean. Special guests were professional model makers, Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride.
Fan GoH Ian McLean (left) demonstrates how to create a half-man/half-robot during his opening speech, 1992
"SBS Sports Machine Robot" by Lewis Morley, 1992. (Poster on the wall shows pics from the previous convention.)
Model maker Lewis Morley with his robot creation for SBS TV, 1992. (Photo by Jan Toohey.)
Guests of Honor were John de Lancie (Q) & his wife, Marnie Mosiman (Harmony / Balance), both of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and former Paramount Studios' Star Trek Archivist, Richard Arnold. Actor Ed Bishop (Colonel Ed Straker of UFO) participated via satellite from the USA. Master of Ceremonies was Peter Budd.
GoH John de Lancie's Q & A, 1993
Marnie Mosiman sings at the banquet, 1993
Ed Bishop phones in his performance, 1993
The Borg Are Coming, promotional T-shirt [back], 1994
Loquacious of Borg T-shirt, worn in the Opening Ceremony, 1994
GoH Jerry Hardin and his wife, Diane, at the convention banquet, 1995. (Photo by Jan Toohey.)
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Star Trek". Guests of Honor were actors Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (Number One, Christine Chapel, Lwaxana Troi) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation). Also featured was Star Trek Consultant, Richard Arnold. Master of Ceremonies was Peter Budd.
GoH Richard Hatch's Q & A session, 1999
GoH Virginia Hey speaks to con goers, 2000
GoH Marjean Holden in front of the Conquest pennant, 2001
Guests of Honor were actor Katy Manning (Doctor Who's Jo Grant), stunt performer and actor Marjean Holden (Crusade's Dr. Sarah Chambers) and Steve Bisley of BeastMaster. Also featured was Star Trek Consultant, Richard Arnold.
GoH Katy Manning, 2005
Conquest25, aka Conquest (2006)
Celebrating "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the 25th Conquest. Guests of Honor were actors Gary Lockwood (Star Trek's Gary Mitchell & 2001's Frank Poole) and 2001 & 2010's Keir Dullea (David Bowman). A surprise guest interviewer of the "2001" sessions was Katy Manning (Jo Grant of Doctor Who). Star Trek Consultant Richard Arnold and author Sonny Whitelaw were also featured. Chairperson was Jan Toohey.
Sydney's Ian McLean was asked to host a screening of a US fan film, Starship Exeter: The Savage Empire (2002), during breaks in the evening banquet. Ian had a cameo in the episode as Senator Therin of the Andorian Planetary Council. From his speech at the banquet: I'd just started working in a new school, and then "The Savage Empire" premiered on the Internet in the Australian December/January school holidays. When Term 1, 2003, started back, one teacher (who had previously worked out that I was an avid "Star Trek" fan) raced up to me and exclaimed, "Did you see the 'Sydney Morning Herald' article about some wacky American 'Star Trek' fans? They spent over $20,000 of their own money to make a 'Star Trek' episode - they wrote it, acted in it, made their own costumes, special effects - everything - then they put it up on the Internet. It was so popular it crashed the Mac web server for several days!'
'Yeah, I know,' I said with a smirk. 'I'm in it.' 
GoH David Hewlett takes to the stage, 2008
GoH Peter Franklin's astronomy presentation, 2009. (Photo by Jan Toohey.)
Star Trek Consultant Richard Arnold answers attendees questions, 2009. (Photo by Jan Toohey.)
Guest of Honor was actor, Daniel Davis (Star Trek: The Next Generation's Professor James Moriarty & The Nanny's Niles). Also attending were novelists Marianne de Pierres (many fantasy/science fiction titles) and Paula Weston (Rephaim series).
Guests of Honour included novelists Marianne de Pierres, Damien Fegan, Josie Montana & Rob McLachlan, Emma Randall & Mungo McKay, Jeanette O'Hagan and Trent Jamieson. Master of Ceremonies was Scott Driscoll.
This proposed convention had to be cancelled. Intended Guests of Honor were to be Sarah Mitich (Star Trek: Discovery's Airium) and John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise's Dr Phlox). A smaller event was scheduled for later that year, with author guest, Marianne de Pierres.
Conquest37, aka Conquest (2019)
The 37th annual Conquest event was held on the weekend of the 20th and 21st July and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing "and all things luna". Con attendees visited the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium for a special presentation about Apollo 11 by its staff. Actor Michael Forest (Apollo from Star Trek's "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and the Star Trek Continues fan film sequel, "Pilgrim of Eternity") participated via a Skype interview by con chairperson, Peter Budd. Ian McLean conducted a live fan commentary for the movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture in its 40th year, using the Director's Edition. Master of Ceremonies was Scott Driscoll.
Michael Forest (Apollo from Star Trek) Skypes in his attendance, 2019
Conquest 2020: Judgment Day
This was to have been held on the weekend of the 29th and 30th August, to coincide with the date of "Judgment Day" from "The Terminator" movie franchise, but the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and state border lockouts postponed the convention. Rescheduled to 10th and 19th October, with "Zoom" activities for interstate fans no longer able to attend in person.
- Conquest Sci/Fi Club Facebook group
- Starship Exeter: The Savage Empire Down Under, 30 September, 2006 ("Have Phaser, Will Travel", Accessed 21 May 2019)
- Conquest 37 Facebook page