The Carpentries in Australia: Community Discussion Summary

A summary of our community call on Carpentries activities in Australia

To coincide with the recent announcement of an official Regional Coordinator for Australia, we held an online community discussion last month.

There was a great turnout for the discussion (15+ people) with participants describing a wide variety of Carpentries activities happening around the country. While traditional two-day workshops are still very common, Carpentries lessons and approaches are being adapted for use in longer courses such as the CSIRO Data School as well as shorter offerings from not-for-profits (e.g. Intersect) and university departments (e.g. Research Platform Services) that provide training for researchers on a regular basis. Carpentries workshops are also being incorporated into Research Bazaar events around Australia, which are multi-day on-campus festivals promoting digital literacy.

In terms of future growth in Australia, we now have more than half-a-dozen qualified instructor trainers. A number of our member organisations are running instructor training events over the next few months (CSIRO, Curtin University and Macquarie University), however our instructor trainers indicated that they’d like more opportunities to train-up new people. It was also identified that while it’s exciting that Carpentries materials are now being used in many different contexts/settings, shorter offerings (e.g. half-day workshops) represent a challenge in terms of both quality control (participants don’t learn all the core Carpentries skills) and workshop recording in our database.

In terms of specific action items, as Regional Coordinator for Australia I’ll be doing the following over the coming months:

  • Circulating a call for people interested in joining an expanded team of regional coordinators for Australia
  • Organising a community call for the qualified instructor trainers around the country (with The Carpentries staff responsible for coordinating instructor training)
  • Exploring the idea of a CarpentryConnect event in Australia, possibly with support from the Australian Research Data Commons
  • Providing more regular communication/updates (perhaps via a newsletter) on the AU-NZ mailing list

If you’d like to be a part of the discussion going forward, make sure to sign up to the AU-NZ mailing list as well as the au-nz channel on Slack. You can also get in touch with me directly at admin-au@carpentries.org.

Dialogue & Discussion