Buchanan is the creative designer for the Wellington conference which is being held from January 18 to 23. Apart from the conference website, every other graphic used in the conference has been created by her.
"The creative design is something that has had a lot of input from the team from the beginning," she told iTWire in an interview. "I didn't design the website, but pretty much any other graphic associated with the conference was designed by me."
The conference T-shirts generally long outlive any LCA - delegates will thus have Buchanan's designs with them long after the conference is over.
Buchanan is also organising the partners' programme - activities for the better halves of the conference delegates. There are two things in which New Zealand beats Australia - holiday locations and rugby - hence she is likely to have a full quota of people to look after.
Organising the partners' programme initially involved investigating all the attractions that Wellington offers.
Then came the process of "narrowing the list down to what was practical for an all-ages group and could keep within a certain price range – some activities were very pricey," Buchanan said.
"Some of the activities we hadn't been to before had to be checked out personally, and timings and logistics for the programme have to be worked out as well."
Buchanan is married to Andrew McMillan, one of New Zealand's senior geeks, and had her first exposure to the LCA in 2006 when it was held in Dunedin. This her first stint on the organising committee.
"I haven't really had a single person guiding me in my roles," she said in response to a query. "It's been a lot of input and help from various people, with Andrew being my most constant sounding-board. I had some very early advice from Joan Benjamin, which helped when thinking about the partners' programme in general." (Joan is the mother of Donna Benjamin who organised a very successul LCA in Melbourne in 2008).
"The creative design role has meant bouts of intense learning from various sources such as books and the internet. I would say by the end of the conference I would have learnt a heck of a lot."
Buchanan was born in Wellington's Hutt Valley and did her primary schooling in Otaki. "I was, and still am, a voracious reader, and as a result I was singled out as an oddity. I guess being an introvert didn't help," she says.
"In those days, everyone expected that if you had a career as a woman, it would be as a teacher or a nurse. My mother was a nurse, and I had seen teachers at work, so I knew I didn't want to be either of those! But I had no idea what. At secondary school at Taita College, I did very well in the Arts (English, History, Art, etc), and I was the first girl to do Technical Drawing, which was a subject I also enjoyed.
As the eldest of three girls her parents did not expect her to attend university. But her will prevailed. "I was expected to go out to work. I got my way, and completed a BA (Hons) in English Language and Linguistics."