Visit Canberra – Human brochure project

Visit Canberra – Human brochure project


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things to do in canberra
Photos: Christina Pfeiffer

I was recently invited to participate in Visit Canberra’s 101 Local Humans, which is an initiative that was launched on Canberra’s 101st birthday on 12 March 2014. The 101 Local Humans project is the second chapter of the Human Brochure campaign. The Visit Canberra – Human Brochure project was an ambitious undertaking by Visit Canberra and partners to host 500 social media savvy Australians in Canberra over two weekends in 2012 and 2013. They project stirred up 4952 images on Instagram, 7782 tweets and 1843 Facebook posts.

Visit Canberra – Human Brochure

101 Local Humans is a progression of the initial idea. 101 social media savvy Canberrans were recruited and are being upskilled to be online ambassadors for their home city.

Between May and October, there is a series of training programmes and activities designed to inspire and increase the team’s tourism knowledge of their own backyard. The 101 Local Humans will be inviting friends or relatives from interstate to visit for a weekend in October.


It’s certainly a smart move by Visit Canberra, as a large proportion of Canberra’s visitors travel to the capital to visit family and friends.

Organising a team of local ambassadors to spread the word, is a brave step in the world of New Media.

It seems the idea was embraced enthusiastically and thousands applied. 101 people were chosen to participate in a series of 30 discovery events, such as a behind-the-scenes tour at the National Portrait Gallery, a chance to meet the National Photography Portrait Prize winner or a chance to sip cool climate wines and nibble on truffle-infused Brie from a local farm.

Tweets, blogs, Facebook posts and other social media content are streamed onto the Human Brochure website.

To kick off the project, I was invited, along with Kerry Heaney, Chief Taster of popular Brisbane food blog Eat, drink+beKerry, ranked number seven on Australia’s Top 100 Food Twitterers list, to be a speaker and panelist for their first training event.

The event was held on a Sunday morning in the National Gallery (an impressive venue, I might add).

Our brief was to inspire the 101ers with insights on how we work, provide them with ideas on how to produce good content and tips on how to use social media effectively.

things to do in canberra

Visit Canberra

Travel2next is active on Twitter, Faceboook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Online video is the hot topic at the moment and as a video blogger for for the last 18 months, I have gathered insights into what works and what doesn’t.

There is a learning curve involved in producing online video (which requires a completely different approach to a traditional professional production). But there are also a few tricks you can employ to get up and running quickly.

I decided the best way to teach was to show rather than tell.

I arrived two days ahead and co-ordinated with the Visit Canberra team to choose one of the participants to spend the day with me.

The group was asked to send in a short audition video and the winner was choreographer and dance artist, Jamie Winbank.

Jamie also works for QL2 Dance as the Health Promotions Officer and assistant to the Artistic Director.

Jamie learnt about the 101 Local Humans project through a Facebook advertisement. After watching a short video about the project, he decided to apply.

“I thought it was a great way to check out the city I was living in,” he said. Of the four categories – adventure, family fun, food and wine and arts and culture – Jamie chose to join the adventure category because he wanted to get out and experience more of the exciting things Canberra had to offer.

We met for the first time on a Friday morning and after a short chat in the lobby of my hotel (the funky Hotel Hotel in the New Acton district), we headed off to explore Jamie’s favourite spots.

The rules were, Jamie could take me anywhere he chose. My only request was he had to dance in each destination.

Our first stop was the National Arboretum, a 250-ha area filled with Australian native trees and plants and a giant sculpture Wide Brown Land.

The impressive sculpture is a tribute to Dorothea Mackellar’s poem. The three words used in the sculpture are from the second verse of her poem ‘My Country’, which was written about Australia when she was 19 years old.

Within the National Arboretum, we spent some time at the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia (NBPCA), home to miniature trees produced by Australian bonsai and penjing artists. Jamie did a great job of discovering little-known facts about bonsai. Watch this video to find out more.

Mount Stromlo Observatory is a place Jamie likes to escape to for solitude, a calming view and a coffee at Scope Café.

Since the site was damaged in the 2003 Canberra bushfires, there are no longer working research telescopes here.

We found a great spot for Jamie to dance, an old burnt-out building often used as an open-air function area.

At the end of the day, we joined a Segway tour around Lake Burley Griffin and Canberra’s museum district.

After a brief training session, we were off and rolling. If you’ve never been on a Segway, I can highly recommend trying it for the first time around Canberra’s smooth pathways. It’s a great way to navigate around the lake and through the museum district past the High Court, National Court and National Gallery.

I wanted to show the 101 Local Humans an easy way to make a video. Two days later, as part of my presentation in the National Gallery, I showed the 101 Local Human group this video, which was filmed and edited entirely on my iPhone 5 and uploaded to my YouTube channel at the end of that day.

You can see some differences between the videos filmed with a high-end video camera and the last one, which was filmed on iPhone5. But overall, for a quick and easy capture, the iPhone 5 video is very presentable.


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