27 August 2015

Promoting your work using social media - focus on relationship building

Two years ago I presented Blogging for Beginners at the First Nations Australia Writers National Workshop at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane. This year I've been invited back to talk about how writers can use social media to promote their work.

I've been thinking a lot about how to approach the talk as I've done a couple of 'how to use social media' presentations this year - most of them have focused on the what and how. In this presentation though I would like to bring the conversation to building relationships.

I wrote recently about how the networking is about forming relationships. Just as we create, build and foster real-life/face-to-face relationships, as authors, writers and storytellers we can create and build relationships with our audiences. Using social media tools can facilitate this relationship building.

What a good relationship looks like will vary from person to person. But there are some common elements - good listening, sharing, regular communication, interesting interactions. These four elements can be easily replicated online. Making posts that are interesting, replying when your audience comments, posting regularly and sharing stories about yourself are all aspects of that regardless of which platform you might be on.

You can see my workshop notes on Slideshare.

24 August 2015

Getting ready to make the leap ... to Wordpress

Okay folks. My few loyal readers. I think it's time that I made the leap from Blogger to Wordpress. I have a fondness for Blogger. It's reliable, loyal, and always will be my choice for the beginner.

But like many hopeful bloggers before me, I have visions of grander things. And self-hosted Wordpress is the option of the future.

I'm going to try to keep  the name - notquitecooked.com. There will be technical difficulties with this as I signed up with Google and have to work out how to unravel this arrangement.

Other changes may include an incorporation of some of my Critical Classroom work here. I spent many years dividing up my interests (iscariot = business, critical classroom = indigenous stuff, deadly bloggers = social media + indigenous voice. not quite cooked/leesawatego = the rest), but perhaps this discombobulated me isn't right.

Anyhoo. I'll keep you posted. Let's see what the future holds ... the joy of exporting & importing is that you can can go backwards & forwards relatively simple.

Blogger - you're forever in my heart. ;-)

ps. i'm not sure how long this will take. could be month! keep you posted.

23 August 2015

Reflections on business building

So much of what we do at Iscariot Media has been ad hoc, and/or incremental so over time we have taken on opportunities that have been outside our original goals. We started in 1994, delivering and creating Indigenous educational resources, and now in 2015, we’re working with clients in graphic design, building websites, business and communication strategy consultation, and art project management, as well as continuing to create Indigenous education resources. My 1994 business and my 2015 business are very different. 

Not being anywhere as ‘cooked’ as I’d like the business to be, I wanted to reflect two decades on some of the challenges of growing and expanding. 

1. While we’re never bored, and constantly challenged as we stretch outside our existing skills set, we’re also distracted from our core business. 

It’s not easy, when you’re a very small business that is reliant on sub-contractors (ie. no full-time staff), to run increasing numbers of projects and increasing numbers of clients. Maintaining focus on our core business (developing Indigenous educational resources) has been difficult at times. The reality is that the Critical Classroom is our own brand, and the development of this brand is an internal pressure. Our client work on the other hand, is an external pressure. It’s much easier to push back deadlines for your internal projects in favour of external deadlines. 

2. Because we’re adding new services all the time, we don’t necessarily have time to build systems around those services. 

All successful businesses owners make the transition from working "in the business" to working "on the business" by creating systems. It takes time to develop systems. Because in many cases I’ve reacted to opportunities (a good example of this is social media services), I’ve found that there is lag time between when you start doing something new and the realisation that you’ve just add a new service that you can now offer. It takes time to incorporate new tasks and the wins/losses that accompany them, in order to adapt them into systems that make product delivery efficient.

3. Letting yourself grow. 

I had no idea when I started way back in 1994, that I would be working with clients from all around Australia on their own businesses. It’s frustrating that I’ve moved myself away from developing Indigenous education resources (and every now and then, you’ll find me happily back there), but it’s also exciting. Over twenty years of being in business I guess I’ve learned a few things that I can give to others who are just starting out. But for me personally, it’s been a slow-cooker realisation that I know a thing or two and that I’m valuable to others. 

4. Understanding that as we expand our networks, new opportunities arise. 

From an objective angle, my career has not been super stellar career. I’m not one of the super-stars of my generation and that's really fine with me. My CV is full of pot-holes, hard left turns and the odd u-turn. This is due partly because I inherited my father's shot attention span, my own inherent curiosity, but also because since the age of 24 have been the primary carer for my four children. I've always worked. I was back at Nyumba weeks after Eddie was born, and I started working at Griffith Uni exactly 3 weeks after Gavin was born. I've done tutoring and sessional lecturing while babies have napped, and have breastfed babies while running tutes. Despite consistently working, by my own choice, I've more or less let my career take fifth place with my work life revolving around children and within Brisbane only. However, now that my youngest child is in her mid-teens, this year I’ve experienced the freedom to work, travel and network more than ever before. This has meant I've seen my network gradually expand. And  I'm beginning to realise that ‘networking’ in this sense is really just being able to meet new people and form stronger and deeper relationships. One sistah recently said to me "ah.. social capital.. network, network, network". These relationships are beginning to mean further expansion of our business opportunities. 

Whether you’re at the beginning of your business journey or in the middle of it, I say welcome to the club. It’s scary and exciting. It's also tiring. You may not realise it yet, but you’ve swapped the 9 - 5, for 52/24/7 (yes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year). There is ALWAYS something to be done.

But hopefully, it’s a world of your own making. You’re responsible for it. There’s power in being owner. 

21 August 2015

Everton Park Business Breakfast 2015

Many in my inner circle say that I'm stretched too thin. Some days I'm inclined to believe them. But I'm drawn to new things and new opportunities. As a result of this crazy crazy approach to life, I found myself Chair of the Everton Park State High School P&C - Family and Community Engagement sub-committee. I seriously have no time to do this, but I'm doing it anyway. 

What the FACE is and what it does is still unclear. There are four of us parents who each month meet to create innovative ways to promote Everton Park State High School with a view to altering the perception many in the local community have of it. 

One of the activities I've driven is a business breakfast. It's my belief that by increasing the standing of EPSHS within  the local business community we're better placed to influence the way that families see it. 

So last month the first connections breakfast was held. I've created a Facebook page (because clearly being admin for 18 other pages isn't enough!). 

It was an excellent morning. Cameron Reilly from Motherlode Marketing was a fantastic keynote speaker.

I'm looking forward to many more breakfast events. You can keep track of the Everton Park Business group here: www.facebook.com/evertonparkbusiness.

19 August 2015

Welcome to Brisbane. You are on Aboriginal Land.

Coming down the escalator at Brisbane International Airport this morning. I saw this sign. Under the 2 it says "You are on ..."

In my head, all I could think was "You are on .... "

"You are on Aboriginal land."

How cool would it be if that's what the sign really said!

27 July 2015

In the middle of the blacklash

I've been thinking recently about when I read Susan Faludi's Backlash decades (OMG!! Decades!?!?!) ago and it made sense. The tl;dr version of course is the more they react and the more they kick and scream, the bigger the change underway. (For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?)

That's how I have to think about Reclaim, Bolt, Devine, Ackerman, Henderson, IPA et al. They keep yelling and fighting, kicking and screaming every millimetre of the way. And they will continue to do that until their last breath. Some of their children will even take over their righteous war.



I have to live in hope. Hope that they are on the wrong side of history. That eventually the majority will look at them and laugh at their conservatism, their ethnocentrism, their insularity and their dream of a world of a different time.

I have to continue to live in hope. What other option is there?

25 June 2015

Resources for NAIDOC Week

A little bit of shameless self-promotion in today's blog post. We made these for The Critical Classroom (www.criticalclassroom.com). They're for sale. The little bit we make from sales all helps to support the work we do. Would love if you shared it around. 

Much appreciated. 

24 June 2015

Thank you Murra!

I've hardly posted. And it's not because I didn't have anything to say. I just had NO time. I arrived home from Melbourne on Sunday night after four nights down there at the Melbourne Business School. 

I intend writing on the Murra program in more depth on the Iscariot Media blog, but let me just say that it was great - both the content and the opportunity to meet other business owners.

Some highlights from this Melbourne trip, 

Wandering down to Fed Square and seeing an opera performance by a young Koori performer. 

Catching up with PVC Professor Bronwyn Fredericks and having a love dinner at Shark Finn House.

Finding out you can be too over-dressed for a night-club. 

There were many other highlights that will come back as I find some time to go through my photo library. 

Let's see if I can complete this last #blogJine stretch. 

17 June 2015

Dinner in Melbourne tonight

I've arrived in Melbourne today for the final instalment of the Murra Indigenous Business Masterclass at the Melbourne Business School. 

After arriving at the MBS, I headed down to Federation Square to get a new charger for my computer. Once there I stopped to listen to a deadly Koori Opera singer performing (will post a link to a little video I captured when I'm at my desktop). After a few tweets from the street I found out that a friend was in town.

So rather than grab a quick bite and head back to my room, I ended up at Shark Fin House on Little Bourke Street with Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Bronwyn Fredericks. We had an excellent meal with great conversation with lots of yarning about social media. Bronwyn has discovered a real talent for Twitter and is a wonderful representative of CQ University. If you're not following her, I thoroughly recommend it. 

La Boîte Theatre Company's Medea is a must see

Tonight I went with a sistah to La Boite's production of Medea.

I have to say I know little about the story and did very minor Wikipedia research while waiting for my ride this evening. Part of me wants to chase down the tale, while the rest of me wants to savour this interpretation by Suzie Miller. I do not know how close this version is to the original, but right now I don't really care.

Christen O'Leary was absolutely wonderful tonight as Medea. She was strong and powerful, her performance was passionate and utterly convincing. Helen Christinson played three roles (the Nurse, the Princess and Narrator) and owned each and every role. Beside these two powerful performance Damien Cassidy's Jason was weak and underwhelming. I do wonder what on earth did Medea see in him?

The set was fantastic. I would love to have got down onto the stage and inspected all the elements.

The other "characters" in the production were four vocalists whose work was mesmerising. (I don't to say more about the vocal work in case I spoil it for you).

I didn't know what to expect tonight, and I left the theatre 100% satisfied.

Well done La Boîte, and all the players involved.

The production runs until the 20th of June, if you can get along I recommend you do.

16 June 2015

A Snapchat captured day

I knew from the outset what today's post would be. I decided to capture aspects of my day in Snapchat. 

Snapchat now allows for the creation of "stories", and these stories can be downloaded. I've downloaded today's story (they only last 24 hours and then disappear forever) and then uploaded to YouTube. I would have embedded the video, however I'm not at my desktop and it turns out you can't grab embedding code when you're only using a mobile. 

So here is the link: http://youtu.be/tE0hnHrYJyI. Tomorrow I will embed the .57second video. 

Til tomorrow. 

Postcript: Just realise I've missed my 12am deadline so this technically isn't a 15th of June post. I got distracted by work and ended up staying up too late. 

14 June 2015

New pic and playing with Photoshop

Two years ago I took a leap and invested in a Certificate IV in Design at TAFE. It was fantastic. I often felt waaaayyy out of my comfort zone, but I learned so much about Creative Suite. I've used that knowledge EVERY day since. 

Creative Suite is/was Adobe's suite of design products (now it's referred to as Creative Cloud). It includes Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and a bunch of other programs that I don't use. But I can't imagine the last two years without the skills I learned from the course. 

I'll never be a great designer. I'm pedestrian at best. But I'm able to create the majority of social/digital items that I need to run my business.

Today I created a new professional image that will get me through the next few months. And thanks to Photoshop it doesn't look anything like the "in-my-daughter's-bedroom-pj-wearing-dull" original photo. 

The Cert IV was two and a half days per week for two semesters and there were times I thought I was crazy trying to run the business while doing the course during the day. But it was all worth it in the end. 

13 June 2015

An evening with Dr Cornell West in Brisbane

Last Thursday evening we had the pleasure of seeing visiting African-American scholar Dr Cornell West in conversation with Nazeem Hussain at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Dr West is touring the capital cities at whirlwind pace. 

Before the start of the event, Dr West made a point of visiting the Brisbane Sovereign Embassy at Musgrave Park. He also gave the stage up for Wayne Wharton and Bo Spearim to speak from the stage before he and Nazeem came on. Aunty Jean Phillips (during question time) and Wayne Wharton both said to the audience that few of the people who attended would ever attend an Aboriginal event. 

I guess that's one of the things to note, Australia doesn't really have a tradition where a thinker like Dr West could flourish and make a career. He's a public speaker as well as an academic. He's also a published author and has recorded spoken word albums. When you watch him, he has a way of speaking that's like performance or spoken word, or rap. 

His insights into race relations were a little too sophisticated for QandA earlier that week, and are a little too sophisticated for Australia generally.

It was a worthwhile event, and I'm glad that Indigenous Australia was recognised by Dr West throughout his answers. He continuously referenced our context and didn't just refer to the U.S. 

I hope the organisers have met their criteria for a successful tour and it happens again. It would be good to see more events like this, including ones a little less "blokey". I'm surprised there were no books for sale before and after. I'm sure the organisers would have made a few extra dollars. 

11 June 2015

Inspiring educators

Today I had the privilege of spending the day with a group of amazing Murri early childhood educators. All women, and from all over Queensland, they came together to grow their knowledge of early childhood but also to explore and extend their understanding of bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing to their learning spaces. 

By the end I came away inspired by these little acknowledged workers - quite often they're jobs are very ordinary, their wages are not that great, they'll probably never win awards or any accolades. An yet they do some of the most important work in our communities. Their work now (today), will help to shape future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander generations. 

I go to bed inspired all of them. 

10 June 2015

View from Logan's Lookout

Intair baal burro yen Ugarapul yuan-gin Pumjargin
We welcome you to Mount French as a friend of the Ugarapul people

Today I headed south west to Kalbar just near Boonah to do filming for a project I'm involved with. We headed to Logan's Lookout and saw the expanse of some of the Great Dividing Range.

Not sure these pics do the place justice. I hope to return their again with a better camera and hiking boots.

09 June 2015

Soup, pump and getting things done

After a massive weekend I fell asleep early last night (around 10pm which is incredibly early for me). Clearly I needed the sleep! But it meant this morning I was actually up and about. Usually when I get up early, I end up running late because I do things I don't normally do, like fold a few clothes, or have breakfast etc. Surprisingly however this morning - and today - I've been pretty productive.

I started the day by filling the crockpot with onion, garlic, some celery from the back of the fridge, potato, some frozen chicken stock, and a whole chook. Chicken soup anyone?

I also headed to a pump class at the gym with my sisters. It was a bit of a killer. I'm writing this post at 6pm, and I'm feeling very much worse for wear unfortunately. Even had to take a Panadol I'm so sore. But tomorrow I will try to drag my sorry bum back to the gym. Though I'll not be hurrying for a a pump class though.

Once I got back to the office at 10.30, I ended up working on three client projects, two of which I think I've moved forward significantly. And tonight, I'm off to a P&C meeting.

Quite productive. Perhaps I should go to bed early more often? 

08 June 2015

Fury Road and the cinema machines

Very soon the cinema will be run totally by machines?

Remember how yesterday I said I was really busy? Well today it was just as busy though with slightly less intensity. Despite feel totally wrecked, I dragged the family off to see Fury Road. It was a great road movie that I'd thoroughly recommend. 

We're a bit of a movie family. Some families go fishing, others hiking. We are more a movie family - it's what we do. 

I was telling my bunji today how G & M are gradually working their way through the back catalogue of Western cinema. G is focused squarely on Monty Python, and is now on his way to exploring Mel Brooks. While I think M is focused on just watching anything he can get his hands on and has time to watch. It's cool, watching them gradually get where the 'references' that are littered throughout popular culture today come from. 

On our way out of the cinema I spied the above machine. What the hell!?!?!?!? It's a little scary thinking that the movies will be pretty much run by machines. If we have ticket machines for the tickets, there's no reason to suppose that vending machines for the food will be far off. Make the tickets magnetic (or smart or whatever) and then it will be just like going through the turnstile at the train station. Cinemas will just need a cleaner and a supervisor. No more need for humans? 

A little scary to imagine the coming world particularly for people who relied on this kind of work for their livelihood. What will they do now? 

07 June 2015

Missing posts and busy days

Well bugger. A post a day and by day seven I've already missed two days. 

I reckon I have a good excuse though. Friday was consumed with party preparations for Mum's 70th birthday party, finishing of my lecture notes in the afternoon, and then creating a little slideshow/film in the evening (til about 2am). Then Saturday, I was up early and off to Mt Gravatt were I ran a three hour marketing workshop, then zipped back home and off to Mum's 70th birthday party in the evening (til about 1am).

There has been no chance to stop and write a post even though I've had plenty to write about. 

And today (day seven), has been filled with recovering from the mild-hangover and then off to Sandgate for our nieces 16th birthday party. 

I'm hoping to clear my phone of photos tomorrow afternoon. In the morning, it's one last morning tea, and a photo session taking pics of all the grandkids together. 

Thanks Goodness it's a long weekend! 

04 June 2015

Stolen wages built the state of Queensland

This morning I went along to the Brisbane stolen wages consultation at the Queensland Council of Trade Unions. I went with SistahG. During the Beattie years, the government decided to put aside $56 million as a compensation payment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. All but $21 million of that amount was distributed. The remainder amount was put aside into a foundation for an education scholarship program. This decision was made by cabinet without the consultation with the Aboriginal community. One of the Palaszczuk government's election promises was creation of a task force led by the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to make recommendations to distribute the remainder of the $21 million. 

Today was a reminder of the pain and trauma of how stolen wages, as well as a reminder at how inadequate the original $56 million arrangement was. It's my believe that the figure should be more around $500 million.

I will write later in more detail about the details of stolen wages. But for today, just reflecting on the multigenerational impact of stolen wages, I feel angry and hopeless. While $21 million seems like a lot of money. After all the decisions are made, each claimant will be lucky to get more than $3000 each. $3000 for the decades of lost opportunity is unjust to say the least.

03 June 2015

What's Blog June?

For the oddest reason, I seem to fail at my own Deadly Bloggers 52 Week Blogging Challenge (1 post each week for 52 weeks), but #blogJUNE (1 post per day for 30 days) seems possible. Don't ask me. I'm just odd.

What's #blogJune? 

02 June 2015

Keeping track

In the past hour or so the realisation has just hit me that I'm at the start of at least three specific writing/research projects and quite a few "empty" days in my calendar.

I will need good chunks of those days dedicated to wrapping my head around each project, and moving each one forward to the next milestone. The projects aren't HUGE. They're average but labour intensive.

When I look at my diary, I see gaps, and what I need to do is make sure I don't inadvertently fill those gaps with meetings and busy-ness. I have an awful habit of keeping myself busy. I fear what will happen is, come July, I'm going to have deadlines and nothing finished. 

I wonder if I should use my calendar to mark out "Projects" so that what is left is actual time available. As it is right now, it looks as if I've got heaps of time available, as all our projects are in-production.

I'm not really sure what strategy I'm going to take. But at least I'm now conscious of what I've got to do. 

#blogJune is on again and I'm going to try to post something new each day of this month. Wish me luck! 

Arguing with old friends on Facebook

A very odd day today. That's what happens when you post a seemingly uncontroversial link and within days you've been de-friended and block by an old school mate.

I think I've said before (maybe here) how I sometimes forget that not all the people I know have the kind of conversations we have each day. And then I get surprised when people just "don't get it".

You see most days, topics like racism, sexism, Australian politics, art politics, literature, etc, end up coming up. It's been years since we became exposed to the term White Race Privilege. Analysis of what's going on the world - either through gender, class or race lenses - is what we talk about. When I say we, I mean our families, our friends, our colleagues.

So today, when old-school-friend dismissed an analysis of racism (an analysis shared by the commentator in the video & most of the Murri women who commented), she was challenged. She argued that it wasn't racism, it's just cause she stood her ground (the video was of police brutality of a pregnant African American woman). I suspect old-school-friend had finally had enough of me seeing racism in everything.For hours, literally hours, the conversation/debate continued, finally ending when she de-friended and blocked me.

A couple of take-aways for me:

1) I was not angry during any of the interaction. In addition, I actually bear her no ill will. I read tonight the definition of mindfulness (will link when at desktop). It felt really good to be able to engage with no anger - very good for the blood pressure

2) I was a little patronising at one point, mostly due to frustration as she wasn't actually listening. I wondered why, but then it occurred to me that FB is a completely different context to say a classroom. In a classroom I would have unpacked the issue thoroughly, but I also imagine in a classroom, she may have actually listened.

3) Some White People think when you call them racist, you're saying their bad people (almost as bad as paedophiles). They can freak out and then can't hear anything you say. For the record, I never said she was racist, she thought we did.

4) What White People think racism is, and what we know racism to be, are very different. Many White People think racism is  saying ABC (abo-boong-coon) on a train, it's much more insidious than that. Often hidden and covert.

5) Some White People will listen to other White People before they will listen to Black People. (White voices are more authoritative)

6) Some White people don't allow Black people to get exasperated, annoyed, frustrated, bored etc, with them, because White People are doing you a favour with their support and Blacks should be grateful. Never mind how exasperating, annoyed, frustrated, boring said White Person is.

7) Black people are not allowed to be angry. Ever.

 8) Black People should be grateful that their educations were/are paid for by "the tax payer" and should demonstrate their gratitude by not being angry. (Cause apparently White People's education isn't tax payer funded? And tax payers = white people?)

9) If black people have ever received any "benefits" they are exempt from the right to be angry or ever to criticise White People.

10) If you went to school with Black kids and were their friends at school, you're not racist. And you're allowed to use their names as proof that you're not racist.

11) If you work with Black people today, it's further evidence that you're a good person. You're also issued with a lifetime money-back guaranteed shield of protection from any criticism of racism. Ever.

12) More work to do in getting the concept of White Race Privilege to the masses.

An interesting day. Surprising. I wish her well. Maybe I'll see her at a school reunion one day if I ever bother going to one. I hope she does take a few of the things we said and maybe reflect on herself and her biases.

As always, I live in hope.

A big shout out to my deadly cousin CB, who really kicked the whole debate off.

25 May 2015

A middle of the night post

Yes. This is what I wore last week. I was cold. I had no meetings. I just needed to get warm. It's 1.30am.

I'm in the middle of a afternoon-nanna-nap induced sleeplessness.

Probably doesn't help that I've only just finished working. Am not too stressed though because now my 9am meeting is ready to go.

Life is a little up & down - lots of work to do, thinking hard about cash-flow (an ever present topic for the self-employed), and post-Murra constantly strategising about growth and scale.

I do wonder if we've moved into the righty field - the agency work.

It's not easy. While the overheads are fairly low, I've not found the consistency with products that I'd like. What makes it hard though, is that I actually enjoy the bulk of the work - so it's hard to say no.

I have to keep thinking about this. I reckon if I'm still it sure within 12 months, I'll have a serious rethink and maybe move on.

I've got a couple of contracts with two Unis.

For one I'm writing a unit and another I'm researching. It's made me want to go back to just focusing on educational resources.

I'm trying to remember how I got to this point. It was so gradual that I didn't realise what happened.

I think the trick will be to set a series of targets or milestones for both the agency work and the educational resource. See what it takes to hit them and compare.

It may mean have two jobs (or two businesses) for twelve months. But I don't really see a way around it.Am excited about getting into research and writing though.

I'm keeping a diary for the unit writing - what I'm thinking and why.

Shall yarn about that down the track.

Alright. Good night.

09 May 2015

Deadly Bloggers Challenge is a bit challenging for me....

Not that you can tell, but I'm supposed to be doing this challenge - the Deadly Bloggers 52 Week Challenge 2015.

You can't tell, because I'm not writing. And I've just realised, it's week 20. ALREADY!!

Where did this year go? Clearly this challenge is a bit too challenging.


08 May 2015

My first BCC

This week I finally went got be doctor about a spot. He immediately diagnosed it as a BCC - a basal cell carcinoma. Because it's on my nose he's referred me to a plastic surgeon who will do a biopsy and then surgery. It's not large. I have cream, Advantan that will hopefully attack it making surgery unnecessary. 

I have an appointment with the Melanoma Clinic in a few weeks. They can do a check on the rest of the body. 

I guess this is a mid-forties thing. Since I went to the doctor I've met a couple of other women who've both had BCCs and FCCs removed. Another reminder that the body is changing.  The message, don't neglect your gums your skin, and wear a hat!

15 April 2015

Reading that last post

It's a bit grey out there. 
It's been a while since I've posted. It took a bit of time to move on from where I was in that post. I'm not sure I've moved on, but I guess I'm ready to write again.

I think about writing (and I form the sentences in my head), more than I actually write. Perhaps if I were more disciplined, there wouldn't be such gaps in my output.

Anway, sorry for taking so long. I'm back again. Kinda.

02 April 2015

There is no hope

This post contains course language. I wrote this last night but didn't click publish. Publishing tonight because I guess it's where I'm at for better or worse. 

Tonight I read the story of the little Syrian girl who "surrendered" to a photographer whose long camera lense she mistook for a gun. That story came after a morning reading about accusations of young children being raped while held in Abu Ghraib. And of course there are the never ending stories of abuse of children and their parents held seemingly eternally in detention as well as the forced closure of Aboriginal communities. These last two strategies courtesy of various elected Federal governments. The icing on the cake is the news that this week the the 2015 death toll of Australian women (two of whom are Aboriginal) killed by domestic violence has reached 27.

Tonight, all this and more, has just knocked me six. What the hell is this world about? What the actual fuck are we? Where are we headed?

I don't think I'm in this complete downward spiral because I know bad shit happens in the world. Tsunamis wipe out thousands, they always have. Meteors have and will strike again. Earthquakes, landslides are ever present in the ever shifting planet. Living is amazing, surviving to old age is a fucking miracle.

I think my mind can process death and destruction from the shifting earth. Though I think it's crap that too many times it's the most impoverished that seem to be hit hardest.

But it's the human-caused death and destruction that is impossible to fathom. It's because we're supposed to know better aren't we? Shit happened in the "old days", but don't we know better now? Clearly we don't. Perhaps the tension arises because we believe we have power and self-determination over our lives when we actually don't. We're raised to believe that we can be anything we want if we work hard enough. This is an complete lie. We're raised in this country to believe that we can move governments through our votes. What a load of complete crap.

The older I get, the more confused I've become. On the one hand I grow more confident in my life, while at the same time I realise that I am nothing, I have no control, I have no power, I do not impact anything.

I don't understand this place anymore. I don't understand what I'm doing here.

No wonder people believe in God and fucking heaven. This place is shit. We are shit.


And yet I go on.  




Image: I took this photo on Sunday night. It's by Richard Bell. The work is owned by a private collector in Brisbane. On the left hand side on the black painting there is a quote by Vincent Lingiari saying "we can wait". The painting captures my headspace - there is no hope/we can wait. 

27 March 2015

What's going on in this Facebook ad? CCIQ marketing is mixing it up.

So my random Friday night Facebook-ing is well underway. Home Ice-cream "jelly tip" ice-cream in hand (yep, I'm having a dry March & April so it's ice-cream instead of red wine), kids are watching the Hobbit Part 100 and something or other, and scrolling down the stream, and I spy this advertisement on the right-hand side of my screen:

Um... okay. What's going on? 

CCIQ of course at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, so naturally you'd think a stock image of good-looking business suit types would be featured. But no, they're cleverly mixing it up and it's just begging to be clicked. 

The message "we get small business" combined with the children asleep in their car seats, is speaking to so many people in small business. Small business people are less the cool corporate types, and more often than not, ordinary mum and dad types trying to find and execute the balance between work and home. 

I really like this approach. It speaks to the heart of who small business people really are. 

I have to say the second part of the execution was less successful for me. I was expecting to see a post about work/home balance, but nope, it leads to what I would argue I doesn't fit with the lead message.  I'm not sure if it's because the voice is different? It goes from "We get small business" to "You sweat the small stuff". It may also be because the lead image is such an ordinary photo (I have photos of my own kids just like this one), but once you hit the site, everyone is a little too beautiful and professionally done.  I do feel like the disconnect is also in part because the link is basically straight to a membership form, rather than a piece of content (a post by someone I can related to perhaps?) telling me that you understand my challenges.  

Despite the inconsistency, I really like CCIQ's thinking here. 

And I'm definitely on the look out for more messaging that get small business. 

26 March 2015

Stop Forced Closures of Aboriginal Communities.

Last week we marched, and tomorrow we march again in solidarity with Aboriginal communities across Australia.