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Written by Simon

Small Giants is looking for a Bookkeeper!

As we grow and take on new projects, we are finding ourselves in need of a bookkeeper to help make our dreams happen! If the thought of trawling through excel spreadsheets and bank reconciliations still has you keen to join our team, then keep reading!

 

Contract: 2 days/week or equivalent (0.4)

Wage: $50,000 pa (pro rata $20,000) + super

Start: Immediately

The Job:

Small Giants requires a bookkeeper based out of our St Kilda headquarters to support the CFO in accounts processing and administration across several Small Giants companies. The key responsibilities of this role include:

  • Accounts Payable/Receivable (weekly)
  • Bank Reconciliations (ongoing and monthly)
  • Accounts maintenance and filing (ongoing)
  • BAS preparation and lodgement (monthly and quarterly)
  • Payroll management and processing (monthly)
  • Staff expense reimbursements

 

This role will also work closely with the CFO on tasks such as cash flow management, budgeting and Month/Year End Reporting. Small Giants uses Xero to manage its accounts, so experience with Xero, or another cloud based accounting system, or a willingness to try new things is a must!

Our dream bookkeeper will be:

  • Determined to be the best in their field
  • Detail oriented
  • Mature minded
  • A skilled multi-tasker
  • Comfortable with new technologies
  • In love with Excel
  • A clear communicator with a high EQ

 

Please send applications to [email protected] with ‘Job Application’ in the subject line.

Baking for Nepal (and Snow Leopards)

This holiday season one of our friends here at the White House (Stu from DesignFlow) is heading to Nepal with his family. This weekend he and his kids will be holding a bake sale, raising money to buy some English books for a primary school in Langtang Valley and to donate to a World Wildlife fund for the protection of Snow Leopards in Nepal!

We feel that this is not only a brilliant cause, but a fantastic way for Stu to make a tangible connection between fundraising and it’s real effects in the developing world! And I am yet to pass up an opportunity to bake!

So if you feel like getting into the kitchen, baked goods are welcomed, and if you are in Hawthorn this Sunday pop down to show your support for Nepal and your sweet tooth!

Details:

WHEN: Sunday 25th November, 10am to 12pm

WHERE: Stu’s lane way, off Roche St, Hawthorn (see map below)

Download the flyer here


View Larger Map

Bee Report: The first hive inspection of the season!

I was walking through our beautiful garden on this amazing spring day, and decided that today would be the day we would get on the roof and visit our lovely bees! The hives on the roof (managed by Rooftop Honey) are left alone during winter, as it is too cold to open them up, but now spring is upon us we must start monitoring them to make sure they grow responsibly. This also means we get to connect with our bee friends almost weekly from now till the end of summer!

We gathered in the courtyard after lunch, with the SG team and the Dumbo team. Mele-Ane was the first to put her hand up so she got suited up and wing-beekeeper-ed (?) me on the roof, with the rest of the team watching on. The bees were on such good behavior we were able to get everyone up close to have a look, explaining the behavior of the bees at this time of year. We were even lucky enough to find the Queen! The result was that our lovely bees are looking really healthy after an up and down winter, their populations are strong and we expect it only to be a matter of weeks before we can harvest some honey from the White House roof!

– Simon

PS. Click on the header image to see some photos from the day, courtesy of Dumbo’s Deputy Editor – Livia!

Baking Report: RSPCA Cupcake Day 2012

It has been weeks since our last baking related event at the White House, so we were all excited when RSPCA’s annual Cupcake Day came up on the calendar! Normally we don’t need a reason to share baked goods, but given this was for charity, we had to step it up a level. With the help of my fiance Sarah I was able to bring some Cookie Monster and Mr Koala cupcakes to share, Kaj brought some delicious friands (almost cupcakes), and Amy (TOM Organic) brought some gorgeous gingerbread men (again, not cupcakes, but very delicious!).

Over the day we were able to raise $200 to go to RSPCA, and most importantly, we got to recreate a scene from Sesame Street using cupcakes!

-Simon

PS. Click the header image to see pictures from the day!

Dumbo Feather Conversations presents an evening with Marion Potts

Malthouse Theatre uses high-octane performance and entertainment as its currency. It tackles public subjects and themes that energise our thinking, quicken our emotion, and allow us to participate more wholeheartedly in the questions that affect our lives. It’s a theatre that uses its vast expressive range as an engine for change. “ – Marion Potts

Marion Potts is the Artistic Director of Malthouse Theatre – Melbourne’s home of contemporary theatre and groundbreaking new performance – and arguably Australia’s most significant space in which both established and emerging artists are given the tools and room to expand, develop and present.

Marion is our fourth guest in the Dumbo Feather Conversations series, and will be chatting with you and Dumbo’s editor, Berry Liberman about Marion’s vision, her artistic practice, the contemporary arts in Australia and beyond – as well as giving us some precious insight into the soon-to-be-launched 2013 Malthouse Theatre program.

This is a truly exclusive event –  a rare opportunity to talk about big things in an intimate and informal setting, with one of Australia’s most prominent, practicing cultural leaders.

WHAT: Dumbo Feather Conversations with Malthouse Theatre’s AD, Marion Potts

WHERE: Dumbo Feather HQ: 11 Princes Street, St. Kilda

WHEN: Tuesday 11th September, 2012 :: 6-8pm

Click Here to book now for an evening of great, like-minded company, soaring conversation, gorgeous gourmet nibbles and delicious wine, beer and cider. Tickets are limited.

The Small Giants Bake Off!

Last week Klara hosted a bake off of epic proportions! The rules were simple, make something amazing, bonus points for gluten free and vegan entries (Klara is gf…). We were all incredibly excited and the showing was pretty sectacular. The lineup included some stunning baklava from Dan, a beautifully presented lavendar cake from Kaj, some delicious jam buiscuits from Amber (TOM Organic), and an intense chocolate cake from yours truly.

Judging was tense, think the Olympics were tough? Nothing compared to the competition in our ballroom! After the judging concluded Klara collated the scores and presented the winner…

Aimee’s Gluten Free Orange & Carrot Cake!

Click the photo to see a gallery from the bake off:

Bake Off

Our next baking event will be next Monday when we host our first annual RSPCA Cupcake Day! Get in on the action here, or stay tuned for updates!

Dumbo Feather Conversations presents SBS TV’s Dr. David Corlett

Thursday, 23 August 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Melbourne) – Click Here to Book

Dr. David Corlett is the host of the multi award winning (and social media storm creating) SBS documentary series, Go Back to Where You Came From.

Dr. David Corlett

Here at Dumbo Feather we are beside ourselves with excitement to have the opportunity to talk with Dr. Corlett about the second instalment of the series (coming up on SBS ONE from the 28-30th August), and his work in human rights for asylum seekers as a caseworker, academic, researcher and advisor.

At this very special Dumbo Feather Conversations event, former DF editor, Patrick Pittman will join Dr. David Corlett in an intimate and informal interview, and we’d love you to join us for what will be a unique, insightful and no-doubt very moving evening.

We’ll be hosted by the beautiful Manchester Press in Melbourne’s CBD – seating will be limited *, so we advise booking as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Manchester Press

* Please note: due to limited venue space, approximately 10% of tickets may be allocated as standing. If you wish to ensure a seated place, please arrive at 6pm sharp and bags yourself somewhere to park your bum!

The Great Obsolescence Debate

This morning I had one of those moments (fairly frequent in this office) that remind me that I have the best job, and the best colleagues that anyone could ask for. It went something like this:

In between meetings in the stair well, outside Danny & Berry’s offices, Dan was telling us about a documentary he had seen called The Light Bulb Conspiracy (see below). The basic point of the documentary, as explained by Dan, was that products were initially designed to last lifetimes, now they are designed to be replaced at regular intervals. The classic example of this is mobile phones (which was the subject that sparked the debate), which are replaced like clockwork when your contract expires. Dan argued that there are obvious benefits to a light bulb that lasts for 100 years, but that it was a conscious decision by manufacturers to create inferior products in order to maintain revenues. This argument is backed up by the fact that our planet is consuming non renewable resources faster than ever, and are consuming many renewable resources faster than they can be consumed, we are essentially out-consuming the planet. This argument is particularly important to one of our investments, Beehive Digital Manufacturing, who are working to create quality and truly sustainable cradle to cradle products in Sydney.

Klara then stepped in to play devil’s advocate, posing the counter-argument that in a world where populations are growing faster than economies we need to consume more than we did 100 years ago (when the 100 year old light bulb was invented) in order to sustain our populations. There is obviously a middle ground there (or at least, we believe there is), where we can consume at a sustainable rate whilst supporting our population, but this debate gives rise to the arguement of growth…

Why is growth the holy grail of our economy? We always see politicians and business people on the news proclaiming that we need to improve productivity to drive growth, and behind those buzz words we are basically asking people to do more with less, so we as a society can get more. What if, instead of working longer hours, or doing more work in the same amount of time, we stopped growing? We enjoyed the amount of wealth we have and more importantly the amount of time we have with our loved ones.  This would no doubt be impossible in the current economic system, and there are many complex issues with this which will not be discussed here, but it is a question with asking. To put it another way, where is the point where our Gross Domestic Product, and our Gross Domestic Happiness meet?

We think it was time this impromptu debate moved beyond out stair well and into the community. Tell us this: what does growth mean to you? How would you measure it? And what would you measure? Send us your thoughts, ideas, or any articles, videos, or anything that helps you define what growth is or should be. Let’s start the conversation.

Simon

PS. The 100 year old lightbulb actually exists, it have been burning bright, without stopping for over 100 years and you can watch it online here!

PPS. You can list your thoughts on growth below, or email them to [email protected]

The Light Bulb Conspiracy:

On The Road – Part 5 (Skoll Debrief)

If you’ve been faithfully following this series of blog posts (like I know you all have) you would know that the main reason for coming to the UK was to visit the Skoll Word Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. Well it is now Sunday night after the forum concluded and I am sitting in my hotel after spending two days digesting everything that has happened over the lat few days! I would like to say I have a clear vision of the forum to communicate, however there was simply so much happening that my aim is just to try to communicate the important points and try not to miss anything!

Dan & I arrived Tuesday afternoon from London and settled in to our accommodation at Wadham College. Wednesday was registration, in the morning then I went on a walking tour of Oxford, from this point I could count on one hand how many times I would see Dan before the end of the forum, it seems to be an event that will do that to you! By the close of Wednesday I had done one tour, three networking events, had 25 conversations, and lost my voice! Dinner on Wednesday night was split across some of the colleges in Oxford and conveniently mine was at Wadham College! These dinners were a fantastic equaliser, as they were drawn randomly, so there was no control over who sat with who. On my table I had a Middle Eastern Princess, Head of CSR at Unilever, a British Lawyer, I pharmaceuticals employee going through a crisis of conscience, an MBA student and two American fund managers.

Thursday morning was the opening of the Forum by it’s namesake Jeff Skoll (eBay billionaire turned story teller). This was followed by an always entertaining Hans Rosling who, after educating us on the direction of population growth (it will level out at 10bn), provided us the quote of the forum: “I would like to coin a new name for the developing world, I would like to call it ‘The World'”. That may not make sense on it’s own, but I urge you to watch the presentation, it was a wonderful mix of data visualisation, important messages, and how to use toilet paper as an effective prop.

Watch the Opening Plenary Here

My first session was ‘From Farm to Plate: Financing Change, Changing Finance’, which provided some great examples of what was happening in agriculture finance, but failed to explore the future of the industry, and what innovations might be needed. I did hear great comments about the session ‘Beyond GDP’, in the same time slot, from a number of people.

After lunch I attended a great session hosted by Pamela Hartigan called ‘David and Goliath Revisited: Partnerships Between Social Entrepreneurs and Big Business’, which presented two completely different, but innovative approaches to social businesses & NGOs working with big multinationals. Whilst the partnership between HP and mothers2mothers was interesting, especially how HP was using this CSR to foster it’s RnD fro the next generation, it was the partnership between Embrace and Novartis Pharmaceuticals that really caught my attention. Embrace, which is an NGO that manufactures and sells low cost incubators to developing areas, engaged (pun intended) in a distribution agreement with Novartis, which was putting salespeople on the ground in these areas. The arrangement was completely commercial, with Novartis making a cut, along with goodwill, and Embrace getting access to a distribution network far beyond their means. Win win, and a commercially sustainable arrangement. This is what I was here to see.

Before the Skoll Awards Dan & I were able to meet up with a group of Impact Investors and interested parties, which, whilst sounding serious, was just a great chat with great people. I had a long chat with two Lithuanians who have started a start-up incubator integrated with a KickStarter type website: http://www.bkcentras.lt/bures/ and I met the guys from Matternet, a start-up hoping to apply drone technology to transport medical supplies where road transport isn’t an option. The Skoll Awards were an Oscar like presentations to some fantastic NGOs that are doing amazing things. I was a little disappointed that none of the awardees were sustainable businesses, but I soon forgot that when Annie Lennox come to the stage and blew us all away with a performance that will stay with me forever. Watch it here. The night closed with a wonderful reception at the Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford’s premier museum. Great conversation was had, and it always feels a little naughty drinking wine in a museum!

Friday morning started with a lively session called ‘Transforming Markets to Save Forests’ which challenged a rather aggressive Greenpeace panelist in how to tackle corporations. I was told however that the standout session for this time slot was ‘Catastrophic Risk and Threats to the Global Commons’, in Dan’s words: this was what the conference was about.

My next session was ‘Story Telling for Impact’ and despite being interrupted by a fire alarm, it was great to understand the importance of how your story is communicated, something easy to forget when you;re the finance guy!

The conference was closed by a panel including Gidon Bromberg and Ariana Huffington, and was a nice close to a few amazing days. Watch it here. I will never forget these few days in Oxford, I met more amazing people in a few days than you could hope to meet in a lifetime, and had more incredibly interesting conversations than I could imagine. The next few weeks will be a rush of emails, ensuring as many relationships as possible are maintained, but no matter what happens, I will be better for having experienced these few days in Oxford.

The whole list of sessions, including audio and video, can be found here.

On The Road – Part 4

Written on 28th March 2012

It’s the first day of The SKOLL World Forum here in Oxford and I am sitting in the sunshine between networking sessions reflecting in the last few days Dan & I had in London. I arrived there on Sunday afternoon after flying from Hanoi to Paris then catching the train to London; whilst this sounds like a round-a -bout route, it was nothing like the delays experienced by Dan who finally arrived Monday morning!

Off the plane Dan & I were straight into meetings, with our first being a stop at a charming family office near Harrods. The meeting was wonderful, but the real kicker came at the end, after Dan had given our host a copy of Dumbo Feather and some TOM samples at the beginning of the meeting, we were generously given two samples of tomato sauce from our host (the sauce was his primary business). Without descending in to too much toilet humour, we had to laugh at the irony of the exchange.

We followed this meeting with a visit to Hub Westminster, an new hub location which whilst being young was a very ambitious enterprise. We were impressed by how established this venue was, with a great vibe and location. Great to see hubs around the world expanding like our home favourite Melbourne! Our day of meetings concluded with a very special (and personally exciting) lunch with Alain de Botton and the team from the School of Life. Alain was an interviewee in the latest Dumbo, and the author of some of my favourite books. It was an honour and a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.

Yesterday consisted of some informal meetings followed by a bit of tourism at the Royal Mews, where the Queen’s horses, carriages, and cars are kept. We had a fascinating tour of the operating facility, constantly amazed by how impractical (but impressive) tradition can be! We boarded a train to Oxford that afternoon and took up residence in out College Dorms, which whilst being basic, were incredibly apt for our surroundings, and we finished the night at the house of a friend Dan met at last year’s SKOLL for a very enjoyable and delicious home cooked meal.

Stay tuned for my experiences at the SKOLL World Forum, but if you somply can’t wait, you can see videos from the event posted here.

Cheers,

Simon

PS. Click on the header image for more photos…