#4good brekky is happening nationwide as part of Changemakers Festival 2013!

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I’m excited to announce that #4good brekky, a social gathering for people who work, volunteer or study for social good, is happening across Australia this November as part of Changemakers Festival 2013!

What is #4good brekky?

#4good brekky combines a bunch of good things – breakfast, great coffee, and conversation with people who are working to make the world a better place. Start your day with coffee and inspiring conversation!

When and Where?

5 November Sydney  7.30am, Coffee Paramount, 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills.
Hosted by @stringstory from @THETWOCHAIRS.

6 NovemberMelbourne 7.45am, Journal Cafe, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Hosted by @stokely, founder of @4goodgroup.

7 November – Mullumbimby 9am-11am, The Empire Cafe, 20 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby.Hosted by @nickkovaleski of @addmoregreen.

8 NovemberAdelaide 7.45am, Big Table, Central Markets, Adelaide.
Hosted by @mishwrites.
Want to host #4good brekky in your city?

If you live somewhere else in Australia and would like to host a #4good brekky during Changemakers Festival (1-10 November) then get in touch via Twitter (@stokely).

Make sure you follow @4goodgroup for updates as more cities add events!

Tell me more about #4good brekky!

#4good aims to bring together people who work face to face helping people, along with people who might be designing social good programs, or are studying in order to go out and change the world in the future! We’ve had social innovation program designers, social work students, youth outreach workers, and drug and alcohol counsellers, and non-profit communications people at #4good brekky.

If you are the kind of person with your “hands in the dirt” doing stuff to make social change happen and  want to connect to other people like that, #4good brekky is definitely for you. So please, help me spread this invitation online and offline to people who are doing good stuff in Sydney.

If this sounds appealing, pleas come along for a coffee or brekky before work!

Want to stay in touch with #4good? Follow @stokely and @4goodgroup on Twitter.

So who is behind #4good brekky?

That would be me, Sarah @stokely. I work using communications, community building and campaigning skills to create and support social change. I’ve worked with Council on the Ageing Victoria, Plan International (Australia), The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and many other social change initiatives.

I started #4good brekky started in Adelaide in 2011, and was inspired by my work at TACSI – seeing the great conversations, ideas and work that can happen when you bring people from different disciplines together to solve social problems!

You can hire me – in fact I’m looking to pick up 2 days work a week over the summer. Why not get in touch?

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#4good brekky returns to Melbourne on 25 September

#4good – a place for changemakers to meet!

If you work, volunteer or are studying for social good, you are warmly invited to Melbourne’s second #4good brekky  on Wednesday, 25 September from 7.45am  at STREAT cafe, 5 McKillop St, Melbourne.

#4good brekky combines a bunch of good things – breakfast, great coffee, and conversation with people who are working to make the world a better place.

#4good aims to bring together people who work face to face helping people, along with people who might be designing social good programs, or are studying in order to go out and change the world in the future! We’ve had social innovation program designers, social work students, youth outreach workers, and drug and alcohol counsellers, and non-profit communications people at #4good brekky.

#4good brekky started in Adelaide in 2011, and was inspired by my work at TACSI – seeing the great conversations, ideas and work that can happen when you bring people from different disciplines together to solve social problems!

If you are the kind of person with your “hands in the dirt” doing stuff to make social change happen and  want to connect to other people like that, #4good brekky is definitely for you. So please, help me spread this invitation online and offline to people who are doing good stuff in Melbourne.

Inspired by the wonderful community building of Kate Kendall who started #socialmelb brekky in Melbourne, #4good brekky will happen before work on Wednesday morning. For many of us, meetups during work hours just aren’t doable – and swapping ideas when you’re freshly caffeinated in the morning can be a really inspiring start to the day!

If this sounds appealing, pleas come along for a coffee or brekky before work!

#4good brekky is happening on Wednesday, 25 September from 7.45am at STREAT cafe, 5 McKillop St, Melbourne.

Want to stay in touch with #4good? Follow @stokely and @4goodgroup on Twitter.

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#4good brekky is coming to Sydney – a place for changemakers to meet

If you work, volunteer or are studying for social good, you are warmly invited to Sydney’s first #4good brekky  on Thursday, 19 September from 8am at Single Origin Cafe, 60 Reservoir St, Surry Hills.

#4good brekky combines a bunch of good things – breakfast, great coffee, and conversation with people who are working to make the world a better place.

#4good aims to bring together people who work face to face helping people, along with people who might be designing social good programs, or are studying in order to go out and change the world in the future! We’ve had social innovation program designers, social work students, youth outreach workers, and drug and alcohol counsellers, and non-profit communications people at #4good brekky.

#4good brekky started in Adelaide in 2011, and was inspired by my work at TACSI – seeing the great conversations, ideas and work that can happen when you bring people from different disciplines together to solve social problems!

If you are the kind of person with your “hands in the dirt” doing stuff to make social change happen and  want to connect to other people like that, #4good brekky is definitely for you. So please, help me spread this invitation online and offline to people who are doing good stuff in Sydney.

Inspired by the wonderful community building of Kate Kendall who started #socialmelb brekky in Melbourne, #4good brekky will happen before work on Thursday morning. For many of us, meetups during work hours just aren’t doable – and swapping ideas when you’re freshly caffeinated in the morning can be a really inspiring start to the day!

If this sounds appealing, pleas come along for a coffee or brekky before work!

Sydney’s first #4good brekky will be on Thursday, 19 September from 8am at Single Origin Cafe, 60 Reservoir St, Surry Hills.

Want to stay in touch with #4good? Follow @stokely and @4goodgroup on Twitter.

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Petition: Take back our online and political discussion from jerks and bullies

Something is really wrong with our political and online level of discussion when people think it’s ok to greet the news that our Prime Minister’s father has passed away, by making really vile and hateful statements on Facebook and Twitter.

I am not an Labor party supporter, but I am a supporter of acting like a decent human being online and offline, and I’d like to ask that if you feel the same way, you join with me in saying enough is enough.

This problem is bigger than just politics too. We’ve seen some pretty rough examples of online harrassment and bullying recently, such as what happened to Charlotte Dawson. Part of the reason extreme situations like that happen, is that we tolerate bad behaviour online everyday. We need to stop doing that.

If our political conversations in Parliament House, in question time, or just on social media between every day people are a reflection of who we are as a nation, I really want us to do better.
I’d like to ask you to sign my online petition, and pass it along, but I’d also like to ask you to do more:

  • Check your own behaviour. Don’t participate in hostility, abuse or bullying online.
  • If you see people you know (friends, family, members of your online community) being abusive jerks online, tell them it’s not on. You’d tell them if they’d had too many drinks and were acting like a jerk at a party. It’s ok to tell them online too.
  • Get in touch with your MP, and let them know that you’d like them, their party and all politicians to help lead by example by making a commitment to lifting the tone of our political and online debate to a more civil level. (Here’s how to find your MP’s details)

Want to get more involved?

I am starting to contact politicians, journalists and community leaders to inform them of this campaign and to ask for their support. If you’d like to get involved, please contact me via Twitter (@stokely) or leave a comment here.

Thank you for your support!

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Announcing @weMelbourne, a Twitter account sharing a new Melburnian each week

Hi Melbourne friends and tweeters, I wanted to let you know I’ve hopped on the city and country-curating bandwagon and started @weMelbourne,  a Twitter account sharing tweets from a different Melburnian each week.

Inspired by @sweden, @newzealand, and of course local accounts @WeAreAustralia and @IndigenousX, I really wanted to see a local version. Melbourne is a town so in love with itself, how could we not take this opportunity to share the things we love (and hate) about our city? 🙂

I’ll be selecting people with an eye for diversity – and once you have the keys to the account, it’s all yours for the week. If you want to come out as an instant coffee drinker or Collingwood supporter, you won’t be censored. I just ask that you make sure you tweet at least once a day to make sure the account keeps ticking over.

If you’d like to volunteer for @WeMelbourne, please send a tweet to that account, or leave a comment here with your Twitter name. I would also really love it if you’d make a suggestion of the Melbourne people you’d like to see tweeting from @WeMelbourne. Thanks!

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$10 million per medal? Let’s invest for equity, participation and less medal-shopping

So Australia’s Olympic medal tally has cost us ten million dollars per medal.

Now, I believe sporting activities and achievements, like all cultural pursuits, do give benefits back to society. Having winning athletes brings attention to sport and encourages people, especially young people, to play. In my case, watching the amazing US women’s gymnastics team – Mary Lou Retton and Julianne (“Julianne truly can!”) McNamara at the 1984 summer Olympics got me into gym classes when I was a kid.

I don’t have stats to back this up, but after Pat Cash’s 1987 Australian Open and Wimbledon victories, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see an increase in kids playing. His Wimbledon victory was the first by an Australian man in 16 years, since John Newcombe in 1971. (Of course, Evonne Goolagong Cawley had won in 1980).

I have to admit that given Australia’s sports mad reputation, I was a bit surprised to read in Crikey on 6 August poll results that:

When provided with the numbers on spending on elite Olympic sports, 58% of voters think we spend too much, and only 19% think it’s “about right”. Even voters who believe it is important that we win gold medals thought we spent too much: 49% versus 25% who thought current levels were “about right”. (Essential: We’re relaxed about the Olympics)

But I’m not seeking to just be anti-sport and say, we’re spending too much on sport. What I would like to see is more equity and less medal-shopping in our spending, and way more of an emphasis on everyday participation in sport and active recreation.

I would also note  that in the same Crikey report, Greens voters were reported to be the least interested in the Olympics:

30% of Greens voters say they have no interest in the Olympics compared to 14% of all voters, and 37% of Greens voters think winning gold medals is “not at all important” compared to 17% of all voters.

So perhaps the suggestions I’m making here might be relevant to Greens policy on sports and recreation funding.

What I would like you to consider is:

 1. Invest more in the participation of the 99%, not the elite 1%

Investing in young people’s participation in sport (and active recreation, eg orienteering) across the board, not just those who have Olympic potential. Let’s reallocate some of the money we currently use to train our elite Olympic athletes back into schools, and aim to increases more sporting participation across the board, and especially in a way that would encourage and enable female participation.

 

2. More equity in the funding of elite sport, less determined by chances of medals

Go look at the funding chart in The Age article linked to at the start of this post (seriously, go look) and tell me why swimming should be so grossly overfunded compared to the rest? If you were any athlete outside of swimming, wouldn’t you feel disheartened?

The Australian Institute of Sport made a call about 2 years ago that their current girls gymnastics cohort weren’t Olympics chances so they defunded their program and the girls who’d moved to Canberra, whose families had shifted their whole lives around to accommodate their girls’ sporting training, were chucked out and had to try to find places in other gymnastics programs in order to try to keep training. How is that fair? Call me crazy, but can’t we invest more evenly, and just field our best athletes in each sport, rather than defunding the ones who might not be medals chances, because we want to ensure we get a swag of gold medals in the pool?

3. Female participation

It drives me nuts that Australia is so devoted to sports which exclude women and pays relatively little attention to female-dominated sports even when we excel. One of the reasons tennis was my chosen sport (apart from the fact that I loved it and was reasonably good at it) was that mens, womens and mixed games are part of all elite tennis competitions. It seemed much more inclusive, although I know that inequality of prize purses has been an ongoing bone of contention for women in the game.

AFL is perhaps Australia’s favourite male dominated sports, and it does provide a female participation pathway for mixed and single sex participation for girls. I note they recommend that after 14, girls move into girls-only competitions.

I wasn’t even aware that AFL excludes girls, until I read a letter to the editor in the weekend paper in Melbourne a few years ago in which a mum said how crushed her daughter had been when she reached the cut-off age and couldn’t play with her (presumably mixed, maybe Auskick?) team anymore. It’s just not right. 🙁

(I note that a little research shows me that there is a modified Women’s Australian Rules Football game. Have you ever heard or it or seen it on telly? I certainly hadn’t, but I’m not a footy fan.

3. Legislation to ensure more equal opportunity and funding for girls sport in school and uni

Let’s consider the way the US has addressed female participation in sport – through the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act law (commonly known as Title IX), which mandates that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”.

When introducing Title IX in 1972, President Nixon spoke mostly about how it would stop racial segregation on buses, which was still happening (!) but it seems to have had its most public and most ongoing impact on school and college sport. Wikipedia tell us:

One study, completed in 2006, pointed to a large increase in the number of women participating in athletics at both the high school and college level. The number of women in high school sports had increased by a factor of nine, while the number of women in college sports had increased by more than 450% (Unfortunately the citation leads to a dead link in Wikipedia).

An amusing sidenote for the feminists in the audience: I learned of the existence of Title IX last year through a recent episode of a TV show (I believe it was the Matt Perry comedy Mr Sunshine) in which an elite basketballer or footballer pisses off the female protagonist he’s on a date with by bellyaching about how Title IX has taken money away from real (men’s) sport.

So anyway, that’s a lot more than I thought I’d have to say about sport and the Olympics. I admit that I don’t follow any sport anymore, and I would welcome being corrected on any factual errors or assumptions I’ve made in the above. But the overall point I’d like to leave you with is this: If I have a daughter, I want her to be able to play any sport she wants, whether for fun or to excel. I’d love to see our funding, support and participation in sport to reflect this goal. 🙂

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Presentation: Social Media for Freelancers – Business of Freelancing Conference

Here are the slides from the presentation I gave today on Social Media for Freelancers at the  Business of Freelancing Conference here in Melbourne. It is the annual Freelancer Convention held for freelance journalists by the Walkley Foundation and Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).
I tried to avoid the bog standard “here’s why you should use social media” and instead tried to focus on how freelance journalists can find work, get their work read, and use social media as a source of ideas.
I write slides to share information, not look pretty – so they should be useful to you even if you weren’t able to see the presentation.
View more presentations from stokely.

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Social media policy for grown ups

When drafting a social media policy, how do you give your smart, passionate and opinionated team the freedom to manage their own affairs on social media sites, while also ensuring you’ve signalled your expectations about behaviour to them, so they (and the organisation) can be clear on what’s ok and what’s not ok? It may sound wanky, but the fact is if something goes wrong, you don’t want to be in the position where policy vagueness leave your company or your employee vulnerable to censure either internally or externally.

Here’s the draft social media policy I’m working on at the moment. It’s part of a larger communications policy. I’d welcome your thoughts on whether this frames the organisation and its team’s rights and responsibilities clearly enough.

The use of social media by [organisation] and its projects is supported by [organisation], and any official [organisation] or project presence on social media is subject to this communications policy.

Personal social media accounts of our staff are not bound by this policy. We respect the privacy and maturity of our staff, and trust they’ll reciprocate by ensuring that if they talk about [organisation] and its projects in any public forum (including social media) they’ll do so in a professional manner.

Comments or examples of ways to do this better would be welcome!

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#4good brekky – a place for Adelaide changemakers to meet

Update: Thanks everyone who came along to the second #4good brekky! The next one will be held from 8am on Friday, 30 September at Big Table in the Adelaide Central Markets on Gouger Street. Hope to see you there!

If you’ve ever chatted to me, or read my blog, you probably know that I love to connect people. I do it in my work as TACSI‘s Connector/Communicator… I do it in my volunteer work, I do it for fun (like when I was online matchmaking through 100 dates!).

So it’s no surprise that my latest idea is a new way for people who do good stuff to meet each other. #4good brekky will combine a bunch of my favourite things – breakfast, great coffee, and conversation with people who have great ideas & are working to put them into action!

There are a lot of great meetups already happening in Adelaide, (hello NetSquared! hello Socadl!) but I’m hoping this meetup won’t just be technology/social media people (much though I love them and certainly identify as one of them!). When chatting over this idea, Katy from Connecting Up commented to me that she really needs to spend time with her “hands in the dirt” doing stuff to make social change happen and she wants to connect to other people like that, and I totally agree. So please, help me spread this invitation online and offline to people who are doing good stuff in Adelaide. Renew Adelaide, I’m looking at you! Radelaide, I’m looking at you! Format, I’m looking at you!

Inspired by the wonderful community building of Kate Kendall who started #socialmelb brekky in Melbourne, #4good brekky will happen before work on a Friday morning. For many of us, meetups during work hours just aren’t doable – and swapping ideas when you’re freshly caffeinated in the morning can be a really inspiring start to the day!

If this sounds appealing, pleas come along for a coffee or brekky before work! The first #4good brekky will be on Friday, 5 August from 8am at Big Table at the Central Markets.

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Why Google should allow anonymous/pseudonymous names on Google+

Here’s some feedback I just submitted to Google about its seeming decision to enforce a “real name” policy on Google+.

Hi there,via a couple of friends of mine who are using Google+, I understand that Google is starting to enforce a “real name” policy for Google+. I’m really disappointed if this is the case.

Many people online choose to use pseudonyms to keep their professional life separate from their personal life or hobbies. Or they are trying to protect themselves from abuse. As a woman who’s written about feminism online and received anonymous hatemail and death threats for doing so, I would like to preserve my right to post under a pseudonym to keep myself safe in the real world and if I choose, so I’m not identified as a woman online in places where it might not be safe to do so. I don’t believe that getting rid of anonymity online will stop bad behaviour like the abuse and death threats I’ve received. I do think that getting rid of anonymity and pseudonymity online will make it easier for people like myself to become targets of abuse and potentially put us in danger.

Quoting from the Geek Feminism blog post on Pseudonymity:

“Persistent pseudonyms (those used over many years and perhaps across multiple sites) can accrue social capital and respect just as “real” names can, and be subject to the same social pressures towards civil behaviour if the community has a strong culture of respect. Without a culture of respect, real names won’t help. With it, real names won’t matter.”

Thank you for listening to my feedback, I hope you will change your policy and allow anonymous and pseudonymous accounts on Google+ (which. by the way, I’m loving so far). Cheers!Sarah Stokely (my real name!)

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