The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Curator Year In Review 2012: Beck in Brisbane — December 9, 2012

Curator Year In Review 2012: Beck in Brisbane

As the end of 2012 approaches, we thought it’d be nice to have an update from our beloved city curators.  This time Rebekah Waite in Brisbane highlights some of her most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.


Picture by @saboskirt

Best event for meeting people?

The crowd at Cafe Scientifique, hosted by as part of National Science Week, was my pick for meeting people in 2012. Hardly your typical professional event, the 200 or so people clasping cocktails at the Queensland Museum were all there to learn something new. Attracting scientists from every conceivable background, the forum was ripe with potential collaborators and professionals more than ready to find a new challenge to apply their skills to.

Best event for content shared and learnings?

The ArtWrite series, hosted by QUT Art Museum and Eyeline magazine was a generous forum for emerging practitioners. Full of media professionals this monthly event was a perfect opportunity to ask all those questions everyone has always assumed you know the answers to. It was also a rare opportunity to take advantage of decades of experience (wins and loses) to be found in the panellists. I’d be keeping an eye on what’s happening in the 2013 calendar.

Personal event stye preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?

As a morning person (yes, they do exist), I love a good breakfast event. Best way to get a head start on the day!

Favourite source of local community news?

For a glimpse into the nerd side, Stuff and Things (locally produced podcast) is about as good as it gets. For your creative curiousities, The Native Press is a one stop shop. But I have to say, nothing beats a carefully curated Facebook feed (this Brisbane list by Amy Grey is a pretty great start).

Favourite coworking space?

The Edge* (*yes, I am more than a little biased here, but, come on, the city views alone are to die for!).

Favourite cafe with wifi?

Hands down Lady Marmalade in Stones Corner, where the haloumi slices are thicker than the bread and the wifi is free. Only challenge here is to concentrate on the task at hand with some much good food to be had…

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?

It’s been fantastic to have such varied and challenging things to look forward to in my calendar throughout the whole year, from starting a Masters and getting to know The Fetch community, through to the wonders of my day job (I’m still trying to understand how someone considers it ‘work’ to be involved with mad scientist tea parties and zombie apocalypses). The downside of all of that? I didn’t quite get as much sleep as I had become accustom to!

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?

It’s been a privilege getting to know more of the good folks in Brisbane, from the ambassador team (and our delicious fortnightly catch-ups), to the curious minds who attend events throughout town and the amazing, dedicated people who run them.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

More adventures.

Interview: Brisbane Local, Beck Waite — February 12, 2012

Interview: Brisbane Local, Beck Waite

Brisbane curator Lani Pauli interviews Beck Waite from The Edge, SLQ.

Tell us more about how you ended up at The Edge…
In truth I was aiming for GoMA… but towards the end of my time at uni I was offered a six week, part time gig with State Library doing some project support work for a new digital culture centre they were launching. At this stage the building was still a construction site and the team that would open the doors was still to be hired. Even so, the vision that State Library held for this space was compelling and the six weeks turned into three months, which turned into six months and suddenly I had forgotten about my original intentions and found myself happily working at The Edge!

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

There is no end to the cool stuff that is happening in our industries. For me, working a lot with creativity in the context of public institutions, I get excited about projects like Fayetteville Free Library’s maker space (a concept that we are working on for The Edge), which turns a place of learning into a place of creating. I love it when people decide to use digital for good and not evil, like the Code Year project that is running in 2012 and I love that creativity can be used as an excuse to hang algae from the ceilings!

What was your first job?

Cleaning schools. I used to get up of a morning and work out creative ways to get PVA glue out of carpets, permanent marker off whiteboards and that rotten apple smell out of bag racks. I learnt how to make windows shiny and streak free, I learnt how to manoeuvre four scrap-filled wheelie bins up and down hills in tandem and I learned that if I started work at 4am I could cram a lot more into my day!

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

Learning the language of nerd. Each quarter we change our theme at The Edge, from Gaming, to DIY Tech and Bioscience. These were unchartered territory for me. Languages like Python, C+ and Processing weren’t on my radar, I didn’t know to get excited when a RepRap turned up on our desk and if you had of asked me if ‘Arduino’ was a proper noun I would have looked at you in confusion. Nowdays, I still spend a lot of time confused, but I love talking to those people that know this stuff inside out and enjoy the process of getting my head around it too.

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Brisbane to become a truly “Creative City”?

The biggest challenge and opportunity are one and the same for me: learning to recognise and celebrate creativity outside of traditional ‘creative industries’. It is very easy to confine a discussion of Brisbane as a creative city by focusing on our ability to be entrepreneurial in business or push the boundaries in the arts. But I think that a truly exciting, creative city is one that applauds innovative and progressive practice across all sectors, from health and science right through to the likes of education, agriculture, transport and mining.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?

The Edge’s second birthday bash – 50 free workshops in 5 hours! The Seven w/ Another exhibition upcoming at Josephmark, and a fun exhibition, Goodbye Helvetica by Dominique Falla.

What’s next?

For me? I delight in not knowing! I’ve always enjoyed taking life as it comes and having the freedom to go where the opportunities take me.

You can follow Beck on Twitter here.

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