Supporting Indigenous Business in Queensland

Leesa Watego joins the Aboriginal and Torres Striat Islander Business and Innovation Reference Group.

It is well known that Indigenous businesses are more likely to employee Indigenous people. Thus supporting the growth of Indigenous businesses is an important strategy in community development.

Happy Indigenous Business Month 2016!

Iscariot Media are proud sponsors of Indigenous Business Month

We’re excited and proud to again be supporting Indigenous Business Month. Indigenous Business Month came out of discussions we’d had as the Murra Indigenous Business Masterclass of 2015.

Learning to Fish – Which Way for Computers Workshops for Young People

Iscariot Media is running computer STEM workshop for Indigenous Young People in New South Wales in conjunction with ATSIMA.

This year we are excited to be working with Dr Chris Matthews and the ATSIMA team as part of a series of STEM workshops for Indigenous students throughout New South Wales. We will be running our new Which Way for Computers workshop where we will work with Indigenous young people to show them how to take old computers and get them up and running again.

Supply Nation 2016: Innovation for Impact

Innovation for Impact | Iscariot Media - Indigenous Creative Agency.

This weekend the Iscariot Media team are off to Supply Nation for the Connect 16 event in Sydney. Supply Nation is the national Indigenous supply and procurement body in Australia. It seeks to bring together (kind of like a dating agency) independent Indigenous businesses (the suppliers) and corporations and governments (the members). In addition to a

Responses to Vernon’s work in Istanbul

Brutalities by Vernon Ah Kee | Iscariot Media - Indigenous and Creative Agency

Vernon returned this month from Istanbul where he was part of the 2015 Istanbul Biennial. He recently posted on the Biennial in response to Adrian Serle’s article in the Guardian.

Leesa to present at 2nd FNAWN National Workshop

Social Media is Building Relationships | iscariot Media - Indigenous and Creative Agency

Following on from Leesa’s 2013 Blogging for Beginners presentation to the First Nations Australia Writers Network National Workshop, today Leesa returned for the 2nd National Workshop talking about using social media to build stronger relationships with your audience.

Look at the view out of my office window today

Today we’re in Cairns working at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. We (Iscariot Media) are representing proppaNOW, and selling artwork and tshirts. It’s a funny thing, thinking about where the business has come from over the past two decades. I would never have imagined myself speaking confidently about the artists and their works. It’s easy with the proppaNOW group though,  as their work is clear in it’s intention and I know their bodies of work so well.

I’m looking forward to the next three days. It’s a completely self-funded event, so fingers crossed, Cairns will love (and then buy) our shirts.

NAIDOC and Blak History Month

July is crazy.

In addition to the Blog Carnival Deadly Bloggers is hosting, we worked last week at Teneriffe Markets for twelve hours, which I posted about on my Iscariot Media blog.

We are also launching Dark and Disturbing in two days at Musgrave Park. HOLY!!!!!

I’m also writing for Blak History Month and I haven’t even started!!! (Sunday I promise) Follow it on Facebook or on Twitter to get your Great Moments in Blakistory Fact Sheets each day.

I also have a bunch of SEQICC duties, including meetings, social media-ing, and attending two corporate function.

I’ve done no exercise for the past two months and I’m beginning to feel it. Anita Heiss is currently training for a half-marathon, and she manages to do that and train. She’s getting up before dark, in winter, in Sydney. Surely, I could find time to walk around the park once a day?? I wish I was addicted to exercise and movement. I love it when I do it, but when I stop, I’m completely stationary.

That’s it. It’s all I can afford right now. I have a report to finish before I get to bed, and tomorrow is bump-in for Musgrave, and a couple of meetings, and a corporate gig and art exhibition in the evening. *le sigh*

Come and say hello if you’re going to Musgrave. I think we’re in tent 106. See you there!!

Cheers, Leesa

Marketing the Arts: Reflections after a suburban outdoor festival

Marketing Indigenous Art

It’s the morning after arriving home from 12 hours straight (at least 11 of those hours were on my feet) at Teneriffe Festival. Selling proppaNOW tshirts and books, we barely made $100 (taking into consideration cost of goods sold and festival expenses). But, being me, I refuse to use this as anything but a learning experience. I realised while watching thousands of well-ish heeled inner-city-suburban types walk past, that we have a big job to do. There is a point to this story, so please bare with me. I need to do a quick back-track to last October.

Media Mention: Artlink

Deadly Bloggers received a brief media mention today from Carly Lane, an Aboriginal curator based in Western Australia.

WIPC:E is over for 2014

It’s 8.50pm on Sunday in Hawai’i, and here I am blogging for the first time in how many days?!?!? I can’t believe it. I had intended to write each day but I’m afraid, each night this week I had either ran out of internet connection, energy or reliable cords, so it just didn’t happen.

Deadly Bloggers at WIPC:E

This week Leesa was proud and humbled to be presenting at the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education (2014) in Hawai’i. The WIPC:E conference was born in Canada in 1987. Every three years a new host nation takes responsibility for it. Conferences have been held in Aeotearoa, Hilo, Albuquerque, Woollongong, Calgary, Melbourne.

I see deadly people

i-see-deadly-people2014 will see the launch of our tshirt brand Dark and Disturbing. This project will be curated and directed by Vernon. In preparation for the launch, we decided to add one of our collection to Redbubble for people to order now. It’s called i see deadly people, and those of you who know Vernon’s work, will recognise the design style.

We will be launching Dark and Disturbing properly in the second half of the year, but til then, i see deadly people.

If you would like to purchase a Dark and Disturbing design from Redbubble, click here:

Introducing the WhichWay for Business

In some quarters I’ve accidentally fallen into the role of a bit of a social media expert. I’m not sure how it happened. I guess it’s because I’ve been learning and doing – creating, responding, and talkin’ it up – for four years now. I’ve been an off-the-wall (ie. via email) guide/advisor to many people who are now kickin’ it in social media and online spaces.

So people think I have a clue. It’s all very humbling and a little scary, but those who know me know that I’m always up for getting out of the comfort zone.

I’ve had in my mind the “WhichWay for Business”. I bought the domain a few years ago and have been thinking about what shape it will take. And over the past few months, I’ve been thinking that simple, straightforward, Murri-speak social media / social web e-courses is the way to go.

In the next month or so I’ll be running some face to face workshops for the Kuril Dhagun mob at The Edge at State Library of Queensland as well as the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

Both series of workshops will be similar, however the SLQ workshops will also include tools that mob can use to record and share their family histories, while the SEQICC workshops will be focused on Personal/Professional branding, business focus and publishing.

At Iscariot Media, our focus on always been on ways to show mob how to access, store, and share information and knowledge, as well as how to share knowledge and ideas. That’s how Deadly Bloggers was born.

It will be a very exciting time for Iscariot Media. We will start building the website within the month and begin trialling materials over the next few months.

We’ll keep you posted.

Cheers, Leesa

“WhichWay” in Murri-speak means knowledge, smarts, feeling good or right the way. It can also be used as a greeting to acknowledge how another person is feeling.  

Talking about blogging at #FNAWW

Leesa was invited to present at the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network Workshop event at the State Library of Queensland in May. The event was very inspirational and there was quite a bit of “star-struckness” as the who’s who of Australian Indigenous literature turned out to be there.

Kim Scott, Herb Wharton, Melissa Lucashenko and Anita Heiss.

Here is a link to Leesa’s presentation, posted on Deadly Bloggers

Vernon Ah Kee heads to Canada for Sakahan


Iscariot’s Vernon Ah Kee left Brisbane today for a month in Canada and the United States.

He arrives in time for the installation and opening of Sakahan at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottowa. Sakahan is an exciting major long-term project for the NGC featuring over 80 Indigenous artists from all over the world. The exhibition runs from 17 May to 2 September,

Following the opening of Sakahan, Vernon will then head to New York for the Peripheral Visions: Contemporary Art from Australia at Garis & Hahn Gallery (May 8 – June 15). This exhibition is a showcase of contemporary Australian art and was curated by Marissa Bateman.

Follow Vernon on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. You can also follow #sakahan on Twitter.

Update: If you’re interested in more images of Sakahan and other exhibitions Vernon has attended, check out his Facebook Albums –


New Websites, New Themes

As I mentioned previously, we’re gradually taking the leap from Blogger to WordPress for all our blogs. This month, Deadly Bloggers and The Critical Classroom will both be migrated. Unfortunately, the migrations are taking a bit longer than I anticipated. Note-to-self: never underestimate the time it takes to create a website.

In my opinion and experience Blogger really is a great place to try out ideas – it’s easy and it’s inexpensive. You can use Blogger to explore a concept and allow that idea to keep evolving. But, depending on what you want your site to do, you will more than likely move to a self-hosted site, like a WordPress one – there is way more functionality and control.

After much to-and-froing, I’ve decided to stick with the Twenty-Twelve theme. I want to keep this site simple and functional, with all our energies going into our project spaces. I have to say, I was really tempted to get out and try one of the new one page responsive themes. I was up very late (early in the morning) exploring ThemeForest. The one page responsive themes are perfect for portfolio sites – lots of gorgeous and eye-catching images. I’m looking forward to one day developing new sites using this style.

If you’re not sure of the one-page responses designers, have a look at Nicole Jensen‘s revamped site (which I love) and I noticed the other day that Carbon Media is also using this style. The blue on black, and the big bold circles, looks great and really suit their brand.

New site coming soon!

We are excited to announce we will have a new site soon. It won’t be anything fancy. Just a simple site that we can use to build as much great content as possible.  We’re finally growing out of Blogger and into the self-hosted WordPress world. Wish me luck. I will be a CSS Champion before you know it.

Thanks, Leesa

February 2013 Update: We’re just finishing off a new website & design for a client, so we’ve put building our new Iscariot Media website on hold. We will focus first on the migration of The Critical Classroom and Deadly Bloggers to WordPress before we worry about our home page. That said, I have made a few changes and a little tweaking to get past the limitations of Blogger. I will try to write up a post about what I’ve done, but we now have a static-ish Home Page ( as well as an Iscariot Media blog ( Can you work out how I created it?

July 2013 Update: Well we’re here, a self-hosted WordPress site. We’ve stuck with the Twenty-Thirteen theme for simplicity. Lots more work to do, including adding a Portfolio. That will all come soon.

Want to link to this post?

The Critical Classroom establishes new outposts

The Critical Classroom has been running for a few years now and it’s a bit simplistic to describe it simply as a blog (something I frequently do – sadly). What I’m trying to do is to create a space where teachers can find information, ideas and resources for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into their classroom practice. This bigger picture is about developing content, some of which our audience can consume freely and some they can purchase.

Part of the job of establishing The Critical Classroom is establishing our outposts in order to drive traffic back to the main blog site. And today, I’m happy to announce that I’ve moved one step closer by creating a Google Plus brand page, on top of our existing Facebook page and Twitter account.

One of the reasons it has taken me so long to create outposts is my reluctance to start something that I wouldn’t be able to finish or maintain. My on-going challenge is to continue to develop original and quality content and not spend disproportionate amounts of time working at the outposts (this is a danger zone for me).

A few of the tools that I’ve used that you might find useful include:

Networked Blogs – this enables me to syndicate my blog posts straight to Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have to manually post – it does it for me. The drawback of Networked Blogs is that if your audience subscribes to a number of different blogs using this application, they can get bunched together as Facebook automatically groups them. Also, Networked blogs doesn’t feed to Google Plus (yet). I’ll be super grateful when they do.

GPlusPic – there are ways of creating the banner style images in PhotoShop. Given that I don’t know how to use PhotoShop, GPlusPic is a must have tool for creating a banner for you Google Plus Brand Page.

An Extras blog – I think one of the reasons I post so infrequently on the main blog is that I want to create articles that are evergreen (that won’t date). The problem of course is that where do I put all the other great content I want to share? I decided to create another blog with a similar look and feel to the main one, but I’ve called it The Critical Classroom Extras (like the Extras/Bonus section of a DVD you buy). This means I still control the space, but I can schedule blogposts as far ahead as I like and have them automatically syndicated using Networked Blogs.

The next outpost I want to establish is video. But that will take a lot of thinking and preparation.

Have you seen our outposts yet? What do you reckon? What outposts have you created or are hoping to create? What tools do you use?

Cheers, Leesa

Update: May 2014 I’m going back and having a look at some of my old posts, fixing them up and updating them. I’m going to leave this post as is despite the fact that I use NONE of the tools/strategies I’ve suggested. I think it’s interesting, that tools are fleeting and change is inevitable.  

Guest Lecturing at QUT Creative Industries

Thumbnails of some of the work Michael Gilsenan and I have created over the past few years under the Blacklines’ banner

Yes. It might be Sunday. But apparently there’s no rest for the wicked – or the learning. Today I spent 90 minutes with Masters of Creative Industries students at QUT. This is the third lecture in previous semesters I’ve done in this course convened by Michael Doneman.

This time though I took Michael Gilsenan with me and we applied some the ideas of the lecture to indstury practice in the design industry. I reckon there’s a conference paper or two (and maybe a thesis) in some of the stuff we talked about today. Something to ponder ….

Cheers, Leesa