Photo by matt.davis used under a Creative Commons license

Settling in and making Aussie contacts

So, I have made it to Melbourne! The trip was fine, if long, and I was lucky enough to be met at the airport by a family friend, Deborah, who drove me to my temporary accommodation and handed me a very welcome care package of fruit and stuff. Helped when the jet-lag munchies hit in the middle of the night. Since then, the focus has been on sorting everything out at the university and finding somewhere to live. I’m enrolled in my courses for this semester and already have the assignments for the Critical and Creative Thinking course. My timetable will mean I am in seminars all day Tuesday and half of Friday. It’s going to be an adjustment after more than 20 years of getting up and going to work 5 days a week! At the moment it feels a bit like a holiday, but once the university stuff kicks in next week (Freshers Week! known as O-week here) I’m sure I’ll start getting my head round the fact that I am here for 18 months.

Twitter has proved its usefulness here as much as in the UK in connecting with interesting people. There seems to be a strong social media scene here, with people doing some real thinking about the issues around its use, including in a public sector context. Craig Thomler of Delib (whose UK arm managed our online debate for the Citizens’ Dialogue, as it happens) did this presentation on record-keeping of social media, an issue which I think generally needs more consideration in the digital age. What are future historians going to use as material for understanding the 21st century if everything is either locked away in defunct technology or lost in the ether? This image from Craig’s presentation says it all.

Retention of recordsThey also have a project where they highlight best practice from public bodies on Twitter: GreatOzGovTweet. Wonder what would get picked up if we did that in Europe?

By the way, if you’re interested in the more personal aspects of my time in Melbourne, then take a look at Euonym’s bits and pieces on Tumblr.

Thanks to matt.davis on Flickr for the feature photo, which is used under a Creative Commons license.

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