Some Exciting News!

Stick in sand with footsteps sunk in sandYou may have noticed that my blog posts have been sporadic of late. This is because my life has been in turmoil.

I am writing this on the day that I am leaving Australia for Singapore. Hubble has a great new IT job and I am very happy to move to a new place and new cultures while still doing what I do online. An international move is complicated enough but then an unexpected thing happened.

The paper I delivered to the Australian Historical Association conference in Brisbane was received very well. Unexpectedly I have now landed myself the task of writing a book.

This all happened in the last month we were to be in Australia. So in the midst getting rid of a heap of stuff from our house via Gumtree, visiting four states to catch up with family and deliver stuff and more, I have been working out how to manage the research and writing of an Australian history. Continue reading

Pause, Reflect and Share – September 2013

History week banners

History Week banners along Macqurie Street in Sydney.

The last month has been about doing what I do, but differently.  For the first time I have participated in the annual NSW History Week, participated in a panel discussion at a symposium and used programming to aid my historical research.

History Week had many great events both for historians and for the general public.  I attended six events in four days.  Over the last month I have written about some of these events such as the discussion held at the Australian National Maritime Museum about sharing historic photos online and the History Walk in North Sydney.  There are two other History Week events that I want to briefly share with you here, the History and Media Symposium and the NSW Premier’s History Awards. I will finish with a quick introduction to the uses of programming in historical research. Continue reading

Pause, Reflect and Share: Frenetic July!


The day after THATCamp #OzHA2013 I walked around the harbour near the centre of Wollongong. This beach is just a couple of minutes walk from the harbour. Wollongong has a population of around 200,000 people yet there is no-one to be seen on this beach.

In last month’s ‘Pause, Reflect and Share’ I warned of a ‘frantic July’ coming up.  That sounds like I was rather anxious about July, but I wasn’t.  A better word for it is ‘frenetic’.  It was madly busy, but fulfilling.  I have now been spat out on the other side of frenetic July giving me a chance to pause, reflect and share. Continue reading

Pause, Reflect and Share: June 2013

3 sisters, Blue Mountains with valley shrouded in fog.

June wasn’t all about work. One day we took some friends from London up to the Blue Mountains to catch the sunrise.

I have decided that it is a good practice to periodically pause, reflect and share with readers of this blog what I have been doing.  I realised back in April that you may be interested in hearing about the things I do which don’t normally appear in my blog posts.  It is also a good practice for me to stop and reflect on the past month and ensure that I remain properly focussed.

My biggest achievement this month has been to finish my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.  Now I am a qualified workplace or VET trainer in Australia.  The course was more work than I expected, so I decided to drop other activities and concentrate on completing it as quickly as possible.  However, I did it thoroughly.  I not only did the course work in class and at home, but applied it by designing and delivering a CPD session for the Professional Historians Association of NSW and providing coaching in twitter to someone working in public relations. One of the participants has written about the CPD session, Social Media for the Cautious Historian, on the blog of the Professional Historians Association of NSW.

During the course I delivered two sessions drawing on the course, BSBITU401A ‘Design and Develop Complex Text Documents’. We had an eclectic class – people from banking, telecommunications, health, advertising and legal sectors etc.  I did not have access to a computer laboratory to conduct the training, so the participants brought in their laptops.  I had to deliver the training to people who ranged in ability from struggling with basic computer skills to the very competent.  The class was split nearly 50/50 between those using Windows or Mac operating systems.  Delivering the training in these conditions was challenging, but there was a lot of enthusiasm from the participants to learn and I was delighted to hear that some of them had immediately applied their newly learned skills at work.  This is a good sign that the training I delivered achieved its goals.

Now I can combine my skills, experience and qualifications in research, IT, public relations and training to get work in a variety of fields.  Over the next few weeks I will be connecting with my network in order to secure a full-time position.

June wasn’t only about gaining a qualification.  Just a few days ago Reconciliation Australia awarded my blog post, Reflecting on Reconciliation Week 2013, a prize in their Reconciliation Week social media competition.  This occurred on the day of the change of Prime Minister.  Judging by the hits this post received on that momentous day I gather some people were glad for some non-political news! Continue reading

Pause, Reflect and Share: A Busy April

DSCN3147 Front classroom Blackboard wiped CIt is important to take time to regularly pause and reflect, however when we are busy we sometimes overlook this.  Over the last month I lurched from deadline to deadline and forgot to take a step back periodically to assess how I was going.  I hadn’t realised that I was becoming rather stressed, focussing on tasks I had not completed rather than what I had achieved. Then I decided to share with you what I have done over the last few weeks and in doing so regained my perspective.

In March I started a course at TAFE, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which will lead me to become a qualified workplace trainer.  I have plenty of experience doing workplace training as part of various jobs over the years but increasingly employers are wanting people to be qualified.  It was time to do the course in order to back up the experience.

At the same time I was asked to conduct a workshop for historians for the Professional Historians Association of NSW which is scheduled for 18th May.  It is titled Social Media for the Cautious Historian – the Basics.  Someone working in public relations asked me to provide them individual coaching to help them learn how to use twitter effectively for their work.  I am also now one of the tweeters Professional Historians Association of NSW (@pha_nsw) and look after the content management system for their website. Continue reading