Our last class started with presentations, all the presentations were really interesting and everyone presented on topics that were really different. After the presentations we spent some time reflecting on the semester and the work that we had done. I found this really interesting to think about because I feel like throughout the semester I got a lot more comfortable with making speeches and it was good to look back and think about the work I had done. We finished class with Ciarra making waffles which was a really nice way to wrap up.
The source I used most for project 4 was the bikes for life website, I found they had a lot of information and they also gave specific examples of projects they were working on which was really helpful to me. Professor Hunt suggested that I try reaching out to them which I did but unfortunately I didn’t get a response. I also found a really useful news article from a local paper in Melbourne. It gave some background on the organisation itself but also went into detail about how they were beginning to develop a relationship with a rubbish dump to collect bikes and bike parts that have been thrown away.
I think that throughout this semester I’ve gotten more comfortable with making speeches in class. I still get nervous before presentations but it is a lot less than it was at the start of the semester. Although I am still relying on my notes at time I think I have gotten better at using them less in my speeches throughout the semester and now instead of having my entire speech written out on paper I’m learning how to make a presentation only having a few points written on my notes. I think one of the learning outcomes that I’ve learnt more about is audience. I had never put much thought into the ways we should address different audiences and how this has changed over time. Throughout the semester I’ve really enjoyed Malia’s presentations, she always presents on things that she is really passionate about and that makes her presentations really engaging to watch and listen to. I also really liked how in her final presentation she used a video to further explain what she was saying.
Today in class we got put into groups and began to look at different advocacy and activist organizations. Our group looked at different organizations and individuals who are doing work such as donating bikes to people in developing nations to help benefit them in their day to day life. I found this really interesting because I hadn’t ever thought about what a big impact bikes could have on the lives of people as they would be able to access water and get to school a lot more efficiently than they would if they were walking. We then made a powerpoint to present what we had found out. I found this really helpful as it gave me more of an idea of how to approach my next presentation.
Krista Schnell’s talk informed me a lot about visual data and the different ways it can be displayed. When thinking about data visualisation I have always thought about it in terms of simple graphs not necessarily in videos or interactive data on websites. I found Rebecca Solnit’s article “Men Explain Things to Me” really interesting because it is something that I have experienced but never thought much about. When Krista Schnell spoke about being asked to speak as a result of her gender it really stood out to me as I realised how common this is in both daily and professional situations.
After doing the Rendall reading for this week we talked about times that we thought we had given up something for a team. This made me think about when I was at boarding school, we didn’t have hot water so we all had to set aside time to chop wood to put in a fire for the boiler. I think it was something that everyone struggled to make themselves do because we were all exhausted a lot of the time and it wasn’t something that was monitored so it was something that you could get out of doing but everyone still made sure they contributed. I think this was because everyone wanted to do their share and knew that if they didn’t it would have a negative impact on the rest of the people in the dorm.
I decided to look at the organisation bikes for life Australia, which is similar in concept to 88bikes but they are a smaller organization. It was founded by Ebony Butler in 2010. Prior to starting bikes for life she had worked in film making, in 2009 she travelled to Uganda to work on a documentary about the lives of people living in poverty and the struggles they face on a daily basis. Seeing how difficult it was for people to get to school or get food and water as a result of having to walk everywhere was what inspired her to take action. According to their website the mission of bikes for life “is to collect, restore and provide bicycles to the most marginalised and impoverished communities around the world.” The organisation itself is completely volunteer based and has bases in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Here they train their volunteers teaching them both about the restoration of bikes but also about the communities they will be taking the bikes into. Each year they send about 1500 bikes out to places such as Uganda and Fiji, they have also tried to focus more on Aboriginal communities in Central and Northern Australia. An example of this is the work they have been doing in Alice Springs, they not only take bikes to the people but also offer workshops where they teach children, primarily ones who have dropped out of school, about bikes and the way they are engineered so they will be able to help with the maintenance. Bikes for life accept donations to go towards purchasing new bikes but also have a blog on their website, here they encourage people to post about events they are involved in to try and raise money for the organisation. They also accept donations and have drop off points for old bikes, to encourage people to donate bikes they are no longer using they have partnered up with bike sellers who offer a discount if you donate. Finally they have been in contact with rubbish dumps in Melbourne and are now working to collect bikes and bike parts that are thrown away to use. Overall, even though their work is done on a smaller scale than other organisations bikes for life are able to make a difference in the lives of many people across the world.
We looked at communities and thought about the different ones we were apart of and the categories they come under. We then paired up and told each other stories about communities we were apart of. When we were first asked to do this I struggled to think of one because it seemed like such a broad question, I ended up talking to Jordan about my last day of high school where my year group got dressed up and we went on a scavenger hunt around the city. She told me about her family and some of the holidays they’ve been on together which was really nice.
I found hearing Mark from jump bikes speak about both the business and public speaking in general really interesting. I found his approach to his work really inspiring, you could clearly tell that jump bikes was something he was really passionate about and he explained how important it was to be involved in things you enjoy and how he was able to make a career out of something he loved doing. He also spoke about how sometimes the clothing you wear can change the way people look at you in a business setting but addressed how this is continuing to change which I found really interesting. He pointed out that sometimes working with older people meant you had to dress and speak a certain way to gain their trust and respect but that this is changing and that he thinks in the future workplace attire may become more casual than it is now.
When first seeing the outline for this project I was worried because it offered so much more freedom than the first speech so I was unsure about where to go with it. Professor Hunt went over the different ways I could go about picking a topic. We talked about how I could either look at a documentary or expand on the evidence we had collected in class about people wearing helmets in the Panhandle and link that to the readings. I decided to go with looking at what we had done in class as I found that it was easier for me to understand data that I had been a part of collecting which allowed me to better link it to the readings we had looked at about the use of evidence.