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Interviews

Curator Year in Review 2012: Kat in Melbourne

With 2013 just around the corner, we continue our update from our beloved city curators. Last but not least, Kat Loughrey in Melbourne, aka @KatLoughrey, highlights some of her most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.

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Best event for meeting people?
The best thing about Melbourne is that I have found it incredibly easy to meet people at every event I’ve attended. I think that comes down to the fact the people who choose to attend these events, go with the right attitude and an open mind. That said, I think I always walk away with a few more contacts after attending the monthly Silicon Beach Drinks. Great atmosphere and a very open environment for networking and making new friends.

Best event for content shared and learnings?
I’ve been on a journey of discovery in 2012 since joining The Fetch and have been suitably impressed with the digital, creative and startup scenes in Melbourne – namely everyone’s desire to learn, share and grow individually and collectively. I really like the WeTeachMe Speed Teaching events and the Social Media Club Melbourne nights, plus I think if you’re in the non-profit arena, then NetSquared is the place to be.

The Socialmelb Unconference earlier this year was memorable and a great introduction to this exciting world of learning and networking that’s happening in Melbourne – and that I fear that too many Melbournians just aren’t well aware of yet. That’s where The Fetch steps in.

All in all, we’re spoiled for choice in Melbourne – and if you can take away just one learning from each meetup you attend, then I think you’ve succeeded.

Personal event style preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?
I love the more informal vibe and atmosphere of the smaller meetups, over a large-scale conference. It provides a better chance to meet people and have more meaningful conversations. I also think they fit in better with our busy time-poor schedules. I’ve still learnt a lot from some of the big conferences I’ve attended such as iStrategy though. You just need to approach a large-scale conference with a different mindset.

Favourite source of local community news?
Without a doubt – Twitter – and utilising the list functionality to (try to) stay across as much as possible happening in Melbourne. Facebook comes in a close second, with LinkedIn increasingly becoming a relevant source for community news as well.

Favourite coworking space?
Definitely a throw up between Inspire9, York Butter Factory and Hub Melbourne. All fabulous spaces that if I wasn’t working in a full time job, would aspire to do coworking at.

Favourite cafe with wifi?
I can’t go past 1000 Pound Bend, where the Social Melbourne breakfasts are held. The State Library of Victoria and its café, Mr Tulk, are also worthy of an inclusion. Now if only I could take my coffee into the library to work/read, that’d be perfect!

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?
The inaugural dinner for The Fetch we had at TrunkTown in September. Stimulating conversation and great people. That was brilliant to be a part of and I can’t wait for us to do another one.

Low point? There hasn’t really been one, though attending the iStrategy conference still sick with a chest infection and a fever wasn’t exactly how I had pictured myself feeling when I was networking – but yet I still took 15 pages of notes and met some lovely people!

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?
In the short time I’ve been involved with The Fetch, a lot of my work has been behind the scenes, so getting out from behind the desk, attending industry meetups that were new to me and spreading the word of The Fetch with our slick business cards has been the most enjoyable aspects. As mentioned before, The Fetch Dinner was also a serious highlight.

I love the adventure of unearthing new events and happenings, as well as being inspired and motivated by the determination of others that I’ve met across a diverse range of roles and industries.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?
That’s easy – attending more events and happenings, and taking The Fetch to a wider audience!

I am also really looking forward to working with the Community Ambassadors further to develop more content for The Fetch and make more contacts (and friends!).

In regards to events – seeing the arrival of The School of Life to Melbourne.

I’m also excited to see the current meetup groups and conferences evolve grow further, as well as the further development of General Assembly and TEDxMelbourne.

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Interviews

Interview: Melbourne Local, David Hood


Name: David Hood

Website: doingsomethinggood.com.au

Twitter handle: @davidahood

Works at: Doing Something Good as a free agent, and host of Collaboratory Melbourne and Gathering Unconference

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

Tough to narrow down to one industry – I’m learning so much from, and inspired by, so many colleagues who tend to work in a range of industries and across sectors (diversity FTW!). I am a big fan of the guys at Collabforge. Expect to see real innovation in open collaboration coming out of their office in 2012. I’m keeping an eye out for what’s next from Google, as they steadily upgrade all their free online collaboration tools and integrate Google + in to more products – becoming the social collaboration network.

What was your first job?

I think I was about 11 years old when I started delivering newspapers around Vermont in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs. There was a family run carnation farm on my route. I’d always drop in on the way home, give the guy his Saturday paper, and pick up a lovely bunch of flowers for Mum. It was the 80s. :)

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?

Knowing when to quit. I started working at Crown Casino as a dealer (croupier) when it first opened. Two years later I was a VIP Gaming Supervisor – a pretty cruisey job that paid incredibly well. I soon realised though, that it wasn’t the job for me. Even though I seemingly had a promising future there, had no alternative job to go to, or even any clue what I wanted to do, I quit and went traveling – against the advice of colleagues and a few in management. It was the first time I really followed my intuition. Have been in similarly tough situations over the years, I always find that following my gut feeling pays dividends.

How has the social web facilitated collaboration across communities?

Wow, the answer to that could fill a whole book. Putting it simply: by making it easy for people to connect, share, learn and build. It’s now much easier for me to discover you, transcend barriers of distance and time, and even work on something together in real time, as long as we both have a web-enabled device and internet access. And with Google Translate, you don’t even need to speak the same language! :) Favourite online tools for collaboration: SkypeGoogle DocsBasecampTungle, and of course Twitter.

What is social good?

Generally speaking, actions or activities that have a positive social (or environmental) impact. With Doing Something Good I’ve worked with not-for-profits, social enterprises and community organisations to use social media and strategic communications to build community, extend their reach and increase the impact of the work they do. With the Collaboratory Melbourne, we’re developing a program, like an open incubator, to support the development of projects with positive social and environmental impact, and enable more people to take action collaboratively (across sectors) on the issues that are important to them – to build better futures for all, together.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?

In addition to our Collaboratory Melbourne Meetups, when I can get to them I always enjoy the events put on by the Creative Performance Exchange (CPX). Celebrating a great launch year I’d be getting along to the Hub Melbourne Christmas Party 8 December, and check out what’s on over at The Wheeler Centre. And sign up to Plancast.

What’s next?

We’re currently developing the business model for Collaboratory Melbourne (as a cooperative community enterprise) and hope to launch that in the new year with a prototype program for Ideas for Melbourne. Gathering ’12: Transforming Systems to Build Better Futures, 29 March – 1 April 2012, is also on its way. And very much looking forward to the Christmas break with some time away from my laptop and a good book or two to dive into. :)

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