Monday, 2 April 2018

What I have been doing this week

This past week was spent writing stories for a US-based non-profit, the Urban Land Institute. This is the third time they have asked me to cover an event in Sydney. The first time was in November, when I went to a forum for young leaders they organised. Then in December they had another event which I attended but the sound quality wasn’t good enough to do a transcript, so that gig fell through. This time, they organised the event at a different venue and the sound was crystal clear because they had lapel mics attached to the shirts of each of the panelists.

The event was on Wednesday and I took home about two hours of voice recordings to transcribe, which took me a few days. I wrote three stories based on the transcripts as well as offering the organisation a fourth piece, which is an edited transcript of one of the presenters’ deliveries.

The organisation focuses on property development, which at first blush sounds like a pretty dry subject but in fact it is very diverse in scope. The longest story I wrote, which has been submitted before being loaded to their website, is about Sydney’s transport troubles. The delegates heard from experts who have been involved in urban development for many years, so the discussions were very engaging and thought-provoking.

The event brought together people from different countries, too, and part of the schedule was a welcome to country conducted by a man named Clarence Slockee, an Indigenous Australian. What struck me is how his delivery to the gathering was understood and appreciated by the delegates to the event, a dinner on the night before the forum took place in the CBD. There is an appetite for this kind of cultural material in the international community, and people are primed by such events to listen to what they are told in such sessions.

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