Help Us Launch A Godless Congregation in Brisbane

Help Us Launch A Godless Congregation in Brisbane

As I posted back in May, Chrissy and I are keen to get a Sunday Assembly up and running in Brisbane.

If you haven’t heard of Sunday Assembly yet, here’s the official description from their website:

The Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation that meets on the first Sunday of every month to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life. It’s a service for anyone who wants to live better, help often and wonder more.

Watch this video about Sunday Assembly in Melbourne, recently shown on Channel Ten’s “The Project”, or this video by the founders of SA, Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones:

So we’ve now got a half dozen people on our organising committee and we’re having regular meetings on Sunday evenings at 5pm, meeting at Archive Books in the city (thanks to Hamish and Dawn!). We’ve also got a Facebook group for updates. We are also taking registrations for our first event which is going to be (hopefully) held in November to coincide with a global tour by Pippa and Sanderson. If you’re interested in attending a fun event and hanging out with other secular people who want to live better, help often and wonder more, then register for the first Sunday Assembly Brisbane event here. And do think about coming along to one of our Sunday afternoon meetups if you want to learn more and help us get this thing off the ground!


Help Us Launch A Godless Congregation in Brisbane

Starting Sunday Assembly In Brisbane

UPDATE 2013-11-20 – Sunday Assembly Brisbane is launching at the Brisbane Powerhouse THIS FRIDAY! Check out our new website for details.

UPDATE 2013-08-28 – We are well on our way to launching Sunday Assembly Brisbane in November! If you are interested in learning more about Sunday Assembly, join our Facebook group or email me


For years Chrissy and I have been talking about how we would love to be part of a non-religious community that meets to talk about their secular philosophy of life and join together to do “good works” in the community. Something that takes the good parts of religions (a sense of community, a sharing of ideas, getting together to help out each other and the needy in the community) and leaves out the bad parts (dogma, fear, bigotry, mythology).

So when we heard about Sunday Assembly a couple of months ago, we thought it sounded perfect and volunteered to start one in Brisbane. Last Saturday we had a chance to meet one of the founders, Pippa Evans, and she gave us more information on how it’s working in London and how she thinks we should start locally. The current plan is to put together a few people to join the organising committee with a view to kicking the whole thing off in a few months.

If you haven’t heard of Sunday Assembly yet, here’s the official description from their website:

The Sunday Assembly is a godless congregation that meets on the first Sunday of every month to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life. It’s a service for anyone who wants to live better, help often and wonder more.

Watch this video by the founders, Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones:

We have set up a Google Group where interested people can register themselves. So if you’re interested in being part of something like that, let us know via the Group and we’ll be in touch soon!

My New Project – Motherlode

My New Project – Motherlode

My latest project is Motherlode (Brisbane’s hardest working marketing agency).


 Motherlode (Brisbane’s hardest working marketing agency)

The two main guys behind Motherlode are myself and an old mate of mine from Melbourne who worked with me at Ozemail and Microsoft in the 90s and 2000s, then worked as the Marketing Director at Data#3 (one of the largest IT companies in QLD) for years. Between the two of us, we have decades of experience in marketing, sales and digital strategy.

What makes Motherlode different from your typical agency, though, is that we are virtual. We have a team of specialists that we have worked with over the years – graphic designers, database admins, web designers, copywriters, SEO specialists, etc – some are based in Brisbane, some are in other parts of Australia and some are global. It shouldn’t matter where people live. We all have Skype, email, FaceTime and Dropbox. Why be limited by your geography or by the talent in your office? We want to work with the best people around the world.

We also want to work with global clients who are looking for help with their marketing strategy – digital and traditional. You may not have a full-time marketing team working with you or perhaps you do have one but they need some external firepower.

If you want a chat, email me [email protected]. I’ll be blogging lots of stuff about marketing and digital strategy, so you can follow the new Twitter feed or blog feed.

What Happened To The Education Revolution?

I was just thinking tonight about St Michael’s Grammar School in St Kilda. I remember back in my Ozemail days, around 1996 or 97. We – along with Microsoft and, I think, Cisco and Compaq – had set-up St Michael’s as a pilot school for all of our latest technology. The classrooms were all networked, there were laptops everywhere, it was all quite exciting. If you had told me then that fifteen years later, many schools would still be lacking a basic internet understanding, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Last week my kids attended interviews at the high school in Brisbane they will be attending next year. Their mother and I went along. The interviews went well – I was quite proud of my youngsters asking very grown up questions about the school and curriculum during the course of the interview – and as they drew to a close I asked the teacher whether or not the boys’ curriculum would be available on the school’s website.

“Ah no,” she replied.

“Well I like to be keep abreast of what they are working on,” I said. “How will I find out what the curriculum is?”

“You’ll have to email the teachers,” she replied.

“Each of them individually?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Are their email addresses up on the website?” I inquired.

“Ah no,” she replied.

“Well how do I get their email addresses?” I asked.

“Well they should hand them out to the kids on their first day,” she replied. “Otherwise, you can ask them when you have the first Parent-Teacher meetings a couple of months into the year.

WOW. Seriously?

The primary school my kids currently attend love to send paper notes home with the kids. Of course, these usually end up buried in school bags and we don’t find out about them until it’s way too late. Why aren’t they emailing us with information we need to know? I understand that not every parent has access to the internet, even in 2012, but surely the schools can take the same approach as most of the utility companies now and ask me if I want to receive notifications by email or paper? Wouldn’t that save schools significant dollars each year in printing costs?

Another example – my kids are on their Year 7 school trip to Sydney and Canberra this week. What system did the school put into place for notifying parents that the kids have arrived and are okay? Well it works like this. First, one of the teachers on the trip sends a text message to TWO parents. Then the rest of the parents are supposed to text THOSE parents asking for updates. I kid you not. Even the kids’ soccer team sends out weekly text blasts to all of the parents advising updates to this weekend’s game. It isn’t rocket science.

I haven’t had anything to do with school IT for many, many years, but I can’t believe it is 2012 and we still don’t have laptops (or, better still, iPads) in the hands of every school child; that every classroom isn’t connected by wifi; that a year’s worth of lesson plans aren’t posted on the school’s website for students and parents to peruse in advance; and that all schools aren’t using blogs, email, Twitter and text messages to update parents about stuff they need to know.

I just scanned through the ALP’s education policy document and it doesn’t seem to mention much about investing in internet infrastructure.

Am I being unreasonable?

Dear Melbourne IT Leadership Group

Dear Melbourne IT Leadership Group,

I would like to send my sincere commendations to a member of your hosting support team by the name of “Sank”.

In the last week, I have been screwed around ROYALLY by several of your staff. Sank was the only one who seems to know what he’s doing.

On 30 November, I received an email regarding one of our domain names ‘’. The email advised “The following account has been deleted and is no longer accessible.” This is, I might add, a completely useless email. It tells me nothing about the situation. So I rang your support line and spoke to a gent (whose name I unfortunately didn’t write down) who advised me that our domain name was registered through to 2019 and that this email was only regarding our hosting service. I asked if allowing this hosting service to expire would affect our MX records on the domain, as they were pointing to Google Apps. He assured me that letting the hosting expire would not affect our MX records in any way. So we let it expire.

A week later, our email for this domain (which we use to run several businesses I might add) stopped working.

So I rang again last night (8 Dec) and spoke with someone else who told me the same thing as the gent on 30 Nov. I explained that our email had stopped working but he assured me it had nothing to do with the MelbourneIT side of our service.

After scratching my head for another 15 minutes, I rang back AGAIN and this time spoke with a gent called “Niz” who explained that everything I’d told had been incorrect and that I did, in fact, need your hosting service to re-direct our MX records to Google Apps. He offered to set up this service for me – at a cost of $219 p.a.! I asked him if there wasn’t another way to change the MX records – after all, every other domain name registration service we use has this functionality built into the domain service – but he assured me that there was no other option. So I agreed to proceed with setting up the new hosting service. He sent me an email with the new login for the service a few minutes later. However when I tried to login to the DNS section, I was asked for the login a second time but it wouldn’t work.

So I rang your support line for the THIRD time that day and spoke to a young lady who assured me that the DNS login was the same as the Hosting login and worked on her side. She advised me to send an email to the support department with the details of the MX records we needed changed and that they would do it for us. This was about 6pm Brisbane time last night.

This morning, around 9am Brisbane time, I rang Niz again to see if the MX records had been changed. He put me through to Sank.

Sank advised me that what Niz told me about needing the Hosting service was INCORRECT. He said there is a way to change the MX records on the backend of the domain. He then proceeded to walk me through how to set it up. He then put me back through to Niz to cancel the hosting service.

SO……. it took me FOUR calls to your technical support department before I actually got hold of someone who knew what they were talking about.

What kind of operation are you running in there?