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KOALA (Conference on Optics, Atoms and Laser Applications) is an annual conference held in Australia or New Zealand that is organised for students, by students, and brings together a large group of Honours, PhD and Masters students in any field of optics.. KOALA is also a part of the IONS (International OSA Network of Students) project that is run by student members of the OSA (The Optical Society). The main goal of KOALA is to facilitate discussion and networking between students in different research fields of optics who otherwise would be unlikely to meet. This gives students a fresh perspective, as well as the opportunity to learn about research beyond their own field in optics. Participants also learn the essential skill of how to communicate their research to people who are not experts in their field.  Registration fees are kept as low as possible, in keeping with KOALA’s aim of providing an open, relaxed environment for students to present and discuss their research.