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Outer Space Open for Business (Print Version)


Rachel Worsley


Outer space enthusiasts have set up a new space entrepreneurship group in Sydney, saying it’s time Australia blaze the way for the new commercial industry of the future.


The group, Orbit Oz, was founded early this year and is the brainchild of UTS computer science lecturer and entrepreneur Brian Lim.


According to him, the idea that it’s impossible to commercialise space is a myth.


“People keep forgetting that the weather report relies on satellite data, and certain medical practices also use techniques that were developed by the space industry. So the group is about bridging the gap of what’s the public perception of space, which is quite difficult and hard to go there, versus what it actually is, which is quite approachable,” said Mr Lim.


Orbit Oz’s first meeting was held in late February and attracted over 60 participants, including  entrepreneurs, space engineers and those interested in space.


Dr Jason Held is an entrepreneur who founded aerospace engineering company Saber Astronautics. His company was the first to create a commercially successful space consumer product, Vostok Space Beer, that could be drunk in zero gravity conditions.


He says the commercial success is proof the space industry can connect with potential consumers.


“Having a beer is something most people in Australia can connect with, and having people buy it allows us to access a revenue stream to develop further products,” said Dr Held.


Tim Parsons, a digital media consultant and former aerospace engineer, was inspired to re-enter the space industry with the creation of Orbit Oz.


However, he says that Australia needs to work on marketing its space technologies.


“High tech is not packaged very well, it’s not well branded, we don’t tell a very good story. So even though we have great academic rigour, and our universities produce highly trained people, we suck at selling high tech.”


“We also have to get better at pitching high tech Australian businesses to investors around the world, and demonstrate we can do it better, smarter and cheaper than everyone else,” said Mr Parsons.


UTS physics major Kiri Simon attended Orbit Oz out of a lifelong interest in space. She says commercialising space represents an exciting opportunity in human history.


“It gives a look at the future where humanity can expand together, we don’t have to destroy the environment to do it…to me, that’s immensely positive,” she said.


Mr Lim said Orbit Oz will alternate between networking and guest speakers on a bi-monthly schedule throughout the year.

John Mateer on ‘Unbelievers, or The Moor’

Poetry has the power to take us to imaginary places, but often those rooted in the geography and history of past civilisations. And that’s what South-African born Australian poet John Mateer aims to achieve in his latest collection of poetry called Unbelievers, or The Moor. This collection aims to trace the influential but invisible histories of the Moorish state Al-Andalus, where the present day Spain and Portugal lie.

But there’s no mistaking the politics of apartheid, or the war on terror that has torn apart the Islamic and Western worlds. Nor can you mistake the startling similarities between Mateer’s adopted home of Western Australia and his ancestors’ hometown of Cape Town, South Africa. By drawing together these histories in parallel, Mateer succeeds in asking us: just how do the histories of civilisations survive the information age?

Here, in conversation with Rachel Worsley, he begins a reading of one of his poems from the collection.

Legally Student: Ada Lee

Tonight on Legally Student, we bring you someone who didn’t fall in love with law because of To Kill A Mockingbird, or Atticus Finch. That person is Ada Lee, a third year law and media student at the University of Sydney. Instead she aspires to be a globetrotting lawyer, immersed in the field of human rights law around the world. She chats to reporter Rachel Worsley about what inspired her to study her law degree.

Broadcast on 20 March 2014 for Radio Atticus.

Outer Space Open for Business

Fancy a space beer with a meat pie? Or lounging in a hotel in outer space? There’s a bunch of people in Sydney waiting for that to happen.

Orbit Oz is a new group set up in Sydney to jumpstart the space industry in Australia. Packed with engineers, entrepreneurs and those who just love space, these future business builders are hoping to inspire a new generation of industry focused on using technology in outer space.

Rachel Worsley reports.

Broadcast March 5th 2014 on Razors Edge.


Legally Student: Vail Bromberger

Fierce debater and aspiring lawyer Vail Bromberger     ( BROHM- BERGER)   is only in her second year of a straight law degree at the University of Technology Sydney.

But she’s not afraid to voice her views.

Reporter Rachel Worsley speaks to her about her law school life, and for her,  how the worlds of fiction and reality collide…. in the legal profession.

Coworking goes suburban

For many workers, coworking is a great escape from the usual office drudgery, where independent professionals gather in a shared collaborative space to carry out their businesses. According to the most recent Global Coworking Survey, there are at least 72 coworking spaces based in Australia, with the majority based in large cities such as Sydney. Across the world, many people report increased levels of creativity, focus and quality of work as a result of moving into coworking spaces.

But not everyone is a fan of making the trip to the city. In the last year alone, at least three new coworking spaces have sprung up in the northern suburbs of Sydney. These small business owners say that they value the interactivity and shared space of the coworking arena, but yearn to be much closer to home. Reporter Rachel Worsley spoke to Bruce Perry, the founder of HeadOfficeHub, about why he decided to open a new coworking space in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Broadcast 24 February 2014 for ‘On The Money’ and ‘Razors Edge’.

Legally Student: Karina Marlow

It may be a cliché to say that most law students are inspired by Atticus Finch, the quintessential lawyer in Harper Lee’s famous classic ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’ But for Karina Marlow, a third year law and media student at Macquarie University, it has been a guiding path to the way she envisions the practice of law. She speaks to Rachel Worsley about the law school experience.

Legally Student: Virat Nehru

Virat Nehru calls himself a jack of all trades, as he juggles his media and law studies at the University of Sydney with writing his first novel and interviewing lawyers about their experience. He speaks to reporter Rachel Worsley about the interplay between the law and morality in the criminal law, the ever difficult questions of lawyer’s ethics and why he likes about the law, even if it wasn’t always his first choice.

Aired 30th January 2014 on Radio Atticus for 2ser 107.3FM

Study Success Pt 2: The Rise of Online Motivation Pages

It is that dreaded time for all University Students, End of Semester Exams! If you are studying for your final exams, you might be wondering, after such a gruelling semester, if there is anything left in your tank to keep you going.

Last week, here on Razor’s Edge, we brought you the first part of a two part special on student motivation. We talked about feel-good motivational Facebook pages, and looked into whether they’re effective motivators for study.

In this final part, we look at online motivational websites used by students for motivation.

Rachel Worsley investigates.