Countdown to #Skepticamp Australia

Skepticamp Australia

The very first Skepticamp Australia event is this Saturday: Skepticamp Sydney 2011!

What is Skepticamp?

Skepticamp is an unconference, where the attendees are also the presenters! It’s a free event (even the food is free!), and everyone who comes is invited to contribute a short presentation. It’s open, collaborative and fun!

Based on the very successful BarCamp unconferences, Skepticamps don’t have expensive guest presenters, but we make our own conference collaboratively. Turn up, pick a timeslot and a room and scribble your name and topic on the whiteboard. Then choose which sessions of others you fancy seeing throughout the day!

Where and when is Skepticamp Sydney 2011?

UTS Sydney, Saturday 30th April, 11 am.

UTS, venue for Skepticamp Sydney 2011

UTS, venue for Skepticamp Sydney 2011


  • University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Broadway, near Central Station.
  • Registration is at Room 2:4:10, just to the Western side of the main entrance.
  • The Skepticamp starts at 11 am. Come early to make sure you register in time!
  • The event will run until the early evening and be followed by aftercamp drinks at the Clare hotel opposite.

What should I do before Saturday?

  • Register your attendance at the Skepticamp Sydney EventBrite page. This will help the Unorganisers plan. You won’t be turned away if you don’t register, but we’d appreciate it.
  • Add your speech to the Skepticamp Sydney 2011 speakers list. This will whet everyone’s appetite, help planning and avoid too many talks on the same topic! Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to talk about yet, or even if you aren’t sure you want to! Do think about it though.
  • Bake cupcakes! Skepticamp Sydney will be running a CupcakeCamp on the day! Everyone’s invited to bake a batch of cupcakes to share with everyone, and there will be prizes for the best!
  • Tell your friends! Retweet and Like this blog post (there are handy Twitter and Facebook buttons at the bottom). Write your own blog post! Link to the Skepticamp Australia site!

What else should I know?

Each session is about 15 minutes long, with roughly 10 minutes of presentation and 5 minutes of questions!

Your topic can be anything but the most successful will be of at least tangential interest to the skeptical community.

Don’t be afraid of presenting! The collaborative nature of Skepticamp means we’re all in this together. Most speakers will not be experienced presenters. You may find the Toastmasters 10 tips for public speaking will help.

How did Skepticamp Australia come about?

The BarCamp unconferences from the tech community provided the template, and several years ago, Reed Esau and others experimented with adapting the format to the skeptical community. Skepticamp was born!

Dave singing at #bcc2011

I perform at BarCamp Canberra 2011

Here in Australia there have been a number of excellent BarCamp events (which, by the way, I recommend to everyone). The idea of putting on a Skepticamp in Australia had been discussed by e-mail for many months, kickstarted by a presentation by Dr Martin Bridgstock at a skeptical convention in 2009.

When Jason Brown later took part in a panel discussion on skeptical activism and was asked what he would do if he was handed a budget, he nominated bringing Skepticamp to Australia. With that, donations appeared and our ideas came together. For a few months, Jason and I with an increasing number of volunteers have planned the venue, catering, marketing, funding and merchandise. But the rest… is up to us.

Notable help has come from Kate at UTS Atheists for helping us to organise the venue, and Western Sydney Freethinkers organised an excellent Zombie Jesus fundraising film and games night to raise funds.

Skepticamp wouldn’t be Skepticamp without the financial support of sponsors Token Skeptic Podcast, Australian Skeptics, NeeDeepInDesign, and Western Sydney Freethinkers. I am also sponsoring the event.

The money raised through fundraising and sponsorship means the event is entirely free to participate in. Even lunch is catered, with veg*ns and coeliacs not forgotten. With a bit of luck there may even be a free drink or two at the aftercamp drinks at the Clare hotel!

Thanks to everyone for the awesome support so far. Now lets make the first ever Skepticamp Australia go boom!

I have a question!

You’re welcome to ask in the comments below. Subscribe to the comments with the link below the comment entry box and an unorganiser will reply soon!


  1. mochuck
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 18:47 | Permalink

    I was thinking if we had some spare time we could show these 2 videos from youtube. They are a nice take on racism

  2. Posted April 26, 2011 at 21:36 | Permalink

    We’ll certainly bookmark them, but I reckon we’ll get the most fun and benefit from the day with as many real-life presenters as we can shoe-horn in. From the look of it, there won’t be much spare time!

  3. Posted April 27, 2011 at 02:05 | Permalink

    I’d add to Dave’s comment that the richness of these open events arrives from the opportunities for interaction they offer. Watching video risks detracting from that experience. Consider instead putting together a talk (or facilitating a discussion) on the ideas and content in the video.

  4. Posted April 27, 2011 at 10:18 | Permalink

    Thanks, Reed. Good points!

  5. Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:16 | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this great article, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!

  6. Posted October 23, 2014 at 13:19 | Permalink

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  7. Posted August 2, 2015 at 10:16 | Permalink

    I could nnot refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

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  1. [...] the full event details for Skepticamp Sydney 2011, and top tips for Skepticamp presenters from my recent posts, but here’s the tl;dr: UTS, [...]

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