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news 07.07.2017 Words:Stir Crew

Season Three Wrap Up

Another year of Stir comes to a close.
This was our biggest, most intense year to date. We began our activities last August, with an event and workshop held at GAMMACON, CBR’s own pop culture convention, and continued with an initiative we dubbed the Summer of Stir.


Summer of Stir: Supporting Canberra’s Creative Festival Season

This consists of a series of smaller grants targeting specific creative communities. The Summer of Stir ran between November 2016 and February 2017, and with the support of Bendigo Bank, we were able to provide 3 $500 grants through the awesome Impact Comics Festival, Piece by Piece (UC Design Graduate Exhibition), and even a small grant in Wollongong through Devika Learning. During the Summer of Stir, one of the members of the Stir Crew shared the story of Stir in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, and we also attended PauseFest in Melbourne, our first interstate festival!
We received over 20 projects and around 600 votes. It was a great way to engage people with Stir, and allowed us to create lot of excitement in the lead up to our Season Three Grants Round.

The Stir Blog

We also launched our Stir Blog, now with over 30 posts and a number of contributors (shoutouts to Catherine Tran, Awais Bhattee and especially Peldon Tenzin, the person behind the content management system ensuring that the posts look great and are up in a timely manner). We are always looking for cool and inspiring stories to share, so if you would like to contribute to our blog, send an email to


Stir in Schools

Another initiative we piloted this year was the Stir in Schools program, aimed at encouraging creative school students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and use our platform to structure their projects. Two schools, Lyneham High School and Orana Steiner School took part in the program, as well as the STEM Sells extracurricular program aimed at engaging young girls with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We ran 4 workshops for over 80 students, and received close to a dozen projects from that age group. This was possible thanks to the support of AISACT and the University of Canberra.


Season Three

Season Three launched on the 6th of April 2017 at the You Are Here Festival with more sponsorship support than any previous year. In addition to our past sponsors Bendigo Bank and Inspiring the ACT, the Association of Independent Schools, CIT Student Association and the University of Canberra joined us in our mission to support local creatives to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. Most importantly, the CBR Innovation Network, through the leadership of Dr Sarah Pearson and current CEO Petr Adamek, expressed their desire to see emerging creatives take part in Canberra’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem. We are eternally grateful for these institutions who have all put their trust in our platform. We hope that in this next year, many more will join them. If you are one of these organisations, get in touch through and help us Create. Local. Support!

The season itself was massive. We had more people upload projects than in any of our previous years, bringing us to over 140 projects created on the Stir platform. Over 6000 people signed up to the website, many of whom voted more than once, allowing us to break the 10000 vote mark between November and June, more than all previous seasons combined! Most excitingly, between the Summer of Stir and Season Three, close to 80000 people from all over the world viewed the site. It was truly epic and has allowed us to increase the exposure of many of the talented creatives that are present in Australia’s capital.


The StirXP

For our final experiment of the season, we hosted our first StirXP: an event to share, learn and celebrate the achievements of the Stir community over the past three years. It was a day of market stalls, speaker panels, performances and an awards ceremony. The event focused on helping past participants to transition from project creators to “older siblings”: those who can share their experience with the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. It was an exciting (although slightly hectic) day, with close to 300 people going through the doors and over 100 at the final ceremony.

This year we were able to hand out more grants than the last, including four grants for school students (thanks AISACT and UC!), and one for CIT (thanks CITSA!). This, added to our 10 Season Three grants (thanks Bendigo Bank and Inspiring the ACT!), allowed us to hand out grants to 15 awesome projects. This season’s grant recipients were:

Stir in Schools Grants:

PO-Tential: Unseal It (7 votes)
Infinity Necklace  (61 votes)
BeaniBot & Hoodibot (88 votes)
Solar Charger (119 votes)

Stir x CITSA Grant:

Industrial Jam (90 votes)

Stir Season Three Grants:

Shane: Barber for Women (397 votes!!!)
Jessica Dencio SFX (347 votes)
Foxes: The Musical (277 votes)
w a c o m 4 s t o r i e s (263 votes)
Tributary Projects Gallery Refurb (258 votes)
Tanemaki (257 votes)
Codename: Astronut (246 votes)
Creative Beasts (237 votes)
The ANU Observer (236 votes)
Strait-Laced Media (232 votes).

We’d also like to mention CanDev, an amazing initiative supporting the local game design industry that came very close to receiving a grant. It makes us wish we had more grants to give out! You can see some of their awesome work at their Pizza & Pixels meetups.

Another mention is that this year, the overwhelming majority of projects were led by women of all ages, far surpassing the national average participation in entrepreneurship programs (22% as reported by StartUp Muster 2016). Awesome.

What’s next?

Stir will be taking a rest. We’ll still be sharing through our social media, and the platform is still open for projects. Use it freely. We will be announcing new activities soon. In the meantime, check out InnovationACT, an awesome program to help continue growing your projects. It will be launching in Canberra mid-August.


There are so many people and communities to thank for all their support throughout the year, we don’t know where to begin! Some very special ones are:

Adelaide Rief and Rochelle Whyte of Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres and the You Are Here Festival
Alison Barracluff of Piece by Piece and Oxide Interactive
Amy Ferreira for the awesome tunes
Anne-Marie Perret of Capital Angels
Awais Bhattee of Meepleman
Braden Short and Andrew Scotford of CITSA
Brennan Hatton of Equal Reality
Bryden Campbell, Britt Nichols and Sam “The Don” Draper of the CBRIN Marketing team (#oneteam)
Buchule Flepisi and Johnsons Sangah of Asili
Caitlin Bledin and Mark Usherwood of the City Activation Unit
Chris Nailer of the ANU Research School of Management, mentor and friend
Clare Fitzgerald of Peanut Productions for the support at PauseFest
Coco Ho for her help setting up the StirXP
Connor Kirk of CINRA Inc. for hosting us at MTRL Kyoto
Corey Le Mesurier of Vivarium
Craig Davis of The Griffin Accelerator and First Wednesday Connect
David Caffery of Dionysus
Deb Ward for her continuous support and awesome sewing skills
Emma Lee of Iceberg Agency
Erica Hediger of The Creative Element and STEM Sells
George Hedon of PauseFest
Hugh Chalmers for his legal advice
Ingrid McCarthy of Inspiring the ACT
Isaac Dugdale of Wind It Up Canberra
James Ansell of GAMMACON
James Houlcroft of Lyneham High School
Jarrod Farquhar-Nicol of Games Plus
Jayden Castillo and Irene Zhen of Magic Beans
Jazida Productions for coordinating the awesome PG burlesque performances
Jemimah June of Overpass Mag
Jennie Curtis of Bungendore Connect
Jirana Boontanjai and Tom Carruthers for their Science Communications Workshop
Joanne Garrisson of AISACT
Josh Sellick for his photographic skills
Kieran Lawton, Robert Holgate, Brent Chick and Cornelius Weber of the ACT Government
Linda Baird of Orana Steiner School
Liz Kobold-Grames of the CBRIN Small Business Support program
Mal Briggs of Impact Comics
Megumi Yoshida of co-ba Shibuya
Natalija Nikolic of Vacant Space and Eleni Notaras for the StirXP venue
Neale Guthrie, Dean Goulder, Chloe Heath and Damien McNamara of Bendigo Bank
Ollie Maselos for lending us her sewing machine
Owen Innes and Tom Robinson of E29
Petr Adamek (the fearless leader) and Sharyn Smith (the peerless operator) of CBRIN
Sancho Kokomo Murphy of The Dirty Laundry and LoBrow Gallery
Sean Finn and Rozie Yesberg of Brindabella Print
Simon France of the Department of Industry
The Green Shed for lending us the furniture and rugs
Tim McNevin of the Innovation Community Forum and Galilee School
Vicki Stanley of InnovationACT
Victor Pantano and Eoghan O’Byrne of the University of Canberra
Yudai Takigawa of Genius Table in Kyoto
Ziggy Smith for putting our project creation system to the test
…And many, many (many) others.

The biggest shout outs however must go to the members of the Stir Crew who have worked countless hours for little reward and made it all possible. If you see them around town, show them your love:

Alyssa Ng, intern extraordinaire
Clare Nacion for her graphics
Catherine Tran for her inspiring blogposts
Guillermo Fuentes the backend coder
Juan Pablo Contreras the wizard of WordPress
Peldon Pelga Tenzin for her marketing and social media work
Ric Lavers for the extensive event experience and professional DJ beat-drops
Vincent Ward the brand boss and general manager of all things Stir
(and Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman who’s writing these words and feels a bit weird about including himself in the acknowledgements)

Finally, an enormous thank you to all of the people who voted and showed their support for the next generation of creative entrepreneurs!

Stir Season Three is officially over.

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