There are also bus services from Sydney (and probably Melbourne). Not our recommendation, but Greyhound have some services (not a very helpful website, but you may eventually find something):
Rail service is not the best, and you might have to change by bus at Yass. For possibilities see:
Liversidge Court Apartments and University House are both very convenient to the conference venue, and are nice places to stay at.
Other sites you might try:
There is actually a lot to do in and around Canberra, from bushwalking to vintage rail tours on some weekends (if you’re lucky). There is enough of interest to spend a couple of days there. Take a look at the following website: