A commission

I am very pleased to be have been commissioned by a new South Africa-based entrepreneurs’ website to produce a series of articles on various aspects of IT likely to be of interest to their audience. I’ll publish a link to the site as soon as I am allowed.


Culture shock

My head is starting to clear after the shock to the system brought on by the move from Durban in South Africa, my former home, to Brisbane, my new one. I really did think that I would arrive and start work immediately, but it has taken time to adjust to my new circumstances.

In many ways, Brisbane is similar enough to Durban to make it feel eerily familiar. Both are on the east coasts of their respective continents, both were founded in the same year, 1824, and were settled and built by the same sorts of people. They enjoy similar weather patterns, the inhabitants have laid-back lifestyles, and they are important gateways to their respective regions.

Similar, yes, but there are also differences that are taking this immigrant some time to get used to. There is different terminology and pronunciation to get used to as well as new approaches and ways of doing things to be learned. One of the most important things I missed was the critical importance of correctly structuring applications for contract and permanent positions.

Many organisations, including many State government departments, have been advertising for media and/or communications staff for permanent posts or, quite often, on short to medium-term contract. I know myself to be an extremely good communicator but, in spite of those skills and all my experience, I wasn’t even getting to the interview stage. I was feeling pretty low about things but thankfully, after input from Frances Cahill of Emerald Writing & Training, I now know why.

It’s not enough to point to jobs I’ve done and work I’ve produced and expect employers on this side of the water, to be impressed. And so, from here on in, it’s a change of tack and my best foot forward.



I was aware right from the start of my move to Brisbane in February that I would have to get out and start networking. I almost immediately found a great group of former South Africans called the SAbona Business Network, which conducts a number of monthly meetings around the country, including one at Northlakes and one in Cleveland in Brisbane.

I have now been to both and met many new people. There is the added benefit that they have all experienced moving to a new country where they are unknown, and have also had to restart their careers from scratch. I’m looking forward to networking with them in future and assisting them where I can.


Au revoir FishNet

My last post marked the end of FishNet for the time being, at least. I will soon be on my way to a new land, to join family, and I wouldn’t have been able to keep the column up while I pack on this side of the water, and get settled on that.

I have been writing FishNet every week, more or less without a break, since July 2006. I’ll certainly miss doing it, but I have to admit that a rest from the relentless weekly deadlines will be most welcome

Why not say au revoir by leaving a comment below?


Quick viewer

A new version of one of my favourite free imaging program has just been released.

The program, FastStone Image Viewer, has been mentioned in these columns before and is available from the website FastStone.org. I use it every day even though I own copies of Photoshop and Lightroom, because it is the quickest way I know to look through a lot of digital pictures.


Read moreQuick viewer


Get off of my (Joli) cloud

This is going to be a bit of a weird column, some might say they all are, because I haven’t got anything to write about.

Most columnists get to this point sooner or later, and usually plug the gap by writing a column about how they got into that situation. It’s a noble tradition and whom am I to change it.

The thing is that I had been planning to install and review a free new operating system, Jolicloud, but when I sat down at the usual time of the week to do this column, Jolicloud stubbornly refused to start.

Read moreGet off of my (Joli) cloud