COMM12016 Citizen Blog 4 – Mackay Big Boys Toys Expo

Figure 1: The Facebook banner Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

On Saturday, 17th of September I visited the Big Boys Toys weekend event in Mackay, held in the local showgrounds. The event was dedicated to showing off many of the ‘toys’ that men generally like.

A large number of both old-fashioned cars and contemporary styled cars were on display, with visitors being allowed to touch and enter some to experience being inside of them.

Figure 2: A lineup of older cars Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

There was a competition called the JCB Excavator Skills Challenge, where competitors dug into the ground with machinery to win beer.

Figure 3: An excavating machine Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Boast and fishing gear was also prevalent.

Figure 4: A boat Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Technical and artistic hobbies such as model helicopters and planes and art printing were also put on display by enthusiasts, along with other people showcasing desirable items like spas.

Some people cosplayed as iconic characters from media like Stormtroopers from Star Wars.

Inflatable rides were also present for the little kids to enjoy.

Figure 5: An inflatable ride Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

At the back of the Showgrounds was an area dedicated to motorcyclists performing stunts for the crowd, which was held by the Make A Wish foundation.

The Big Boys Toys group also maintains a Facebook page where they advertise the event and share photos and videos of the event (Big Boys Toys 2016). Facebook is a social networking site that connects individuals and organisations together (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p.75). Groups like the Big Boys Toys organisers use Facebook to both advertise their event and connect with their customers.

Figure 6: A Facebook post discussing the events, reminding people about the tickets and prizes Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Attendees are encouraged to visit the Facebook page and like the various posts and the page to go into the draw to win special prizes. Ticket holders who win are able to claim these prizes if they present their tickets.

Figure 7: Tickets from the events Source: Big Boys Toys 2016


Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Big Boys Toys, Mackay Big Boys Toys Expo 2016, viewed 16th September 2016,


COMM12016 Citizen Blog 3 – The Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

Figure 1: A display of orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

On Saturday, 17th of September I went to the Mackay Orchid Extravaganza, held at Queen’s Park and showcasing an incredibly wide variety of beautiful flowers. This year was the fourth time the event was held since it began in 2012 (Mackay Regional Council 2016). Hundreds of species of orchids were displayed at the event, both to admire and to purchase. The displays were created by council workers, local orchid societies and orchid enthusiasts.

Orchids, or Orchidaceae, are a large and varied family of colourful flowers that are widely grown. There are both natural and artificial hybrid types of orchids (Magrath 2015).

Figure 2: An orchid. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

The Orchid House, a great hall filled with orchid flowers was one of the main attractions. A gold coin donation was required for entry.

Figure 3: Inside the Orchid House. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Inside the house was a number of beautiful displays and card sheets carrying information on the various types of orchids.

Figure 4: An information card on orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

Outside of the Orchid House was numerous market stalls with many orchids for sale along with other flowers, produce and gardening- related items. Tables, chairs and drinks were also available for people to relax and admire the orchids.

There were a number of workshops, information sessions and live demonstrations for audiences to inform them on how to properly grow and maintain their own orchids in Queensland and in general conditions.

Figure 5: The area where workshop demonstrations take place. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Finally, there was also an auction held for a variety of orchids and other types of flowers, with the items contributed by the organisers and volunteers.

The event was also an opportunity for people interested in horticulture to mingle and share ideas, a gathering that was part of the broader Mackay’s publicsphere. Chatting casually and putting up physical displays and signs are methods of communication in the publicsphere, rather than the mediasphere of the internet, radio and so on (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p. 13).

It was very enjoyable overall.


Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Mackay Regional Council 2016, Mackay’s Orchid Extravaganza, viewed 15 September 2016,

Magrath, L, 2015, ‘Orchids‘, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science

COMM12016 Citizen Blog 2 – The Sarina Coconut Festival


Figure 1: A banner celebrating the event. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

On Saturday, 3rd of September I attended the inaugural Sarina Beach Coconut Festival, held at Sarina Beach, with a number of activities dedicated to coconuts and showing some of the talented people in the Sarina area. Coconuts aren’t really a staple of Australian diets unfortunately but the trees they grow on are appreciated for their aesthetic value (Foale 2011, p. 30).

The event featured performances from musicians Will Anderson and Tia Gostelow. There was also live demonstrations of cooking, basket weaving, oyster shucking and other coconut-related activities.

Figure 2: Signpost directing attendees to the various activities. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Market and food stalls were set up along the beach front, along with some artistic displays, such as this sand sculpture of a dragon, which had its nostrils lit aflame by the creator.

Figure 3: Sand sculpture of a dragon. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

There was also a small train carrying excited children and their parents along the beachfront so they could see the whole festival.

On the beach were a number of fun activities that attendees were able to enjoy.

Kite flying. The huge number of fishlike kites flying in the air was particularly impressive in person.

Figure 4: Kites flying on the beach. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Camel riding. Three camels were giving rides to a large number of people.

Blow-kart racing. There was a section of the beach dedicated to the karts where people could ride around freely.

Figure 5: A blow-kart. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

The event was primarily advertised on the radio and its own official website, as well as the local council’s websites (Schofield 2016). The hashtag #MackayPride was also used to promote this event as well as a Facebook page. The increased used of advertising in the mediasphere to draw in attendees is a sign of how influential media advertising is now in growing communities (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan, p. 13). What would normally spread through word of mouth is now advertised on the internet.

Figure 6: Pamphlet for the event. Note the hashtage #MackayPride. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Overall, it was a very enjoyable event.


Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Foale, M 2011, ‘The coconut palm – its place and potential in Australia’, Agriculture Science, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 29-34

Schofield, S 2016, Sarina Beach Coconut Festival, viewed 1st September 2016,

COMM12016 Citizen Blog 1 – The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience at Mackay


Figure 1: Poppy memorial wall Source: Australian Government 2016

On Thursday 28 July I was able to attend the Centenary Experience hosted at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre. Tickets are pre-booked and free for everyone. The Experience is a travelling exhibition that started in September 2015 and is going through 23 major cities and regional towns, showcasing a collection of artefacts, short films and memorials devoted to the ANZAC soldiers who fought in World War 1 and other Australian soldiers (Australian Government 2016).

The ANZACs (The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) are a well renowned and admired element of Australian culture. Many Australians are proud of the legacy of the soldiers who fought during the first World War and Gallipoli is a popular tourist spot and memorial in remembrance of the infamous Gallipoli campaign (Donoghue & Trenter, 2015). The Centenary Experience take visitors through a timeline of Australia pre-World War 1 through to the present day, with sections dedicated to;

  • Pre World War Life

  • Recruitment

    Figure 2: A map on the wall showing various country’s interactions Source: Australian Government 2016
  • Egypt and training

    Figure 3: Camera showing a photograph of soldiers sitting on an Egyptian pyramid Source: Australian Government 2016
  • Gallipoli and trench warfare

    Figure 4: Model of a soldier sitting on a battlefield Source: Australian Government 2016
  • Nurses and hospitals

    Figure 5: A mannequin wearing an old nurse outfit Source: Australian Government 2016
  • Life at home

    Figure 6: Text plate describing the Australian political division regarding conscription in the World War 1 Source: Australian Government 2016
  • Life and recovery after war

  • A touching memorial to fallen soldiers, with special attention to soldiers who were local to the region

  • Present day Australian soldiers and a timeline of Australian involvement in other conflicts

The Centenary Experience makes use of a variety of special effects and digital tools to enhance the tour and make it a memorable event. Each visitor is provided with a handheld touch device with headphones that plays narration and audio into the wearer’s ears.

Figure 7: The re-purposed phone and headphones used on the tour Source: Australian Government 2016

Narrator and Voice Actors read scripts assigned to each section of the tour, changing as the visitor walks through the Experience.

Figure 8: The devices playing audio narration Source: Australian Government 2016

In addition, there are many displays that have a small red button attached to them.

Figure 9: A display with a red button Source: Australian Government 2016

Touching the device to one of these buttons will send an article of information related to the display to an email that the user specifies at the beginning of the tour, although I have yet to receive any emails.

Figure 10: A device receiving an item from a button Source: Australian Government 2016

There are also lighting effects and projected film to create an interesting atmosphere for the tour. Preserved artefacts and documents are also on display for visitors to observe.

The Centenary Experience also made use of social media services for attendees to engage with the experience online. On the webservice Twitter, the hashtag #spiritofanzac is used by both the organisers and customers to share messages and photos. Twitter is a website where users can share short messsages and images and has come to be used in a wide variety of ways, particularly by organisations looking to promote their service (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p. 77).

Figure 11: A poster for the Centenary Experience showing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram advertisements Source: Australian Government 2016

An ‘app’ is also in place for customers to use during and after the Experience. Apps are computer programs designed to run on mobile devices and are a fairly new concept in social networking (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p. 496)

Figure 12: A poster advertising the Centenary Experience App Source: Australian Government

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience was one of the most fascinating and memorable tours I have ever attended thanks to the unique special effects, use of digital technology and impressive collection of artefacts.


Australian Government 2016, The spirit of Anzac centenary experience, viewed 27th July 2016,

Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Donoghue, J, Tranter, B 2015, ‘The Anzacs: military influences on Australian identity’, Journal of Sociology, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 449-463.


Here are three reviews of other blogs and links to the posts.

Hey Jacob

Nice blog post. Everything is straight to the point and easy to understand. Giving examples of the soft skills and their effects is helpful and informative. One criticism I have is that you don’t really explain how soft skills are used in business communications or why employers find them desirable.  You touch on it with employees being more ‘likeable’, but you could also mention why this is useful, such as team efficiency or coordination. The task question has been answered satisfactorily but a bit more detail would show a greater understanding of the topic. Grammar and spelling seem mostly fine, but the last two paragraphs seem a bit awkward. Maybe look over it again.

Your blog looks great and is very easy to read. Paragraphs are well spaced  and the font is readable and professional. The banner image does a good job of explaining what the blog is about.

Kind regards,


Hey Shannon

Something that sticks out about your post is the grammar. I think you need to read the post aloud and adjust some of awkward sentences and phrasing. I understand what you are talking about but the delivery is very rough. The writing and presentation standard has its own section on the criteria sheet, which can improve marks easily. Also, the second paragraph does not flow well into the new topic of interpersonal difficulties. Maybe start off by saying that because new technology is replacing traditional communication, people are becoming less skilled. Some good points are the range of communication types covered and the detailed personal example you gave at the end. It helps explain how much influence modern technology has on our lives. Also, the animation you used is very charming and interesting.

The blog itself is very pleasant and relaxing to look at. Everything is easy to read and navigate.

Kind regards,


Hey Mitchell

In your post, you start off with some really awkward grammar. You should say who the people are and that they definitely argue for that particular statement. The second sentence reads weirdly and doesn’t flow well with the prior sentence. Obviously some of the paragraphs are missing. Make sure to meet the minimum word limit for your posts and also include some of the ‘communication media’ detailed on the assignment page. Don’t forget to have at least two references and use them in your posts.

The blog itself is aesthetically pleasing with the colours and fonts used. The banner image is very charming and informative.

Kind regards,


What makes a good public speaker?

This is the two-minute self-recorded audio element posted on SoundCloud. The topic is what makes a good public speaker. A transcript and references can be found below.

Link to the post:


Something that I and many others struggle with is public speaking. The thought of getting up in front of a crowd and delivering a speech is frightening to a lot of people. Experienced speakers (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015 p. 376) who have written on the topic agree that public speaking is a skill and it can only be acquired through practice and experience. Even with frequent practice, there is no definite formula for success, as what makes a speech effective largely depends on the audience. Still, preparing a plan and careful delivery of the speech are vital aspects of public speaking that can be practiced.

It is important to know that the effort and planning involved in a speech will change drastically depending on the context and audience. The target audience will dictate the style of the presentation (Cenere et al. 2015, p. 346). Before you start planning your speech, you should have a clear message to focus on during the speech. The goal can be anything, but good speakers present a simple and memorable message that the audience will remember afterwards (Cenere et al. 2015, p. 347). Good speeches generally follow a certain structure. They introduce with a ‘hook’, something to draw the audience’s interest. The body of a speech should be presented in a logical sequence, with key points emphasised (Cenere et al. 2015, pp. 347-8). Finally, the speech should end with a powerful conclusion. Typically this is a ‘call to action’, asking the audience to think or act in a certain way.

Even with a potentially effective speech, people can struggle. What is it that makes people good at the speaking part? Something good public speakers do is engage with their audience, making them listen and believe that the speaker cares. This is done primarily through non-verbal communication (Cenere et al. 2015, p. 353). Eye contact, a clear and well projected voice and emphatic movements demonstrate confidence and knowledge of what is said. Consistency between the words spoken and the message communicated non-verbally is essential. The disconnect between the messages communicated can completely break a speech. Finally, a talking speed of about 100-125 words per minute allows the audience to keep up without boring them.

Being concise is also an important quality, so I will quit around here. Hopefully you know more about what makes someone a good public speaker.


Baccarani, C Bonfanti, A 2015, ‘Effective public speaking: a conceptual framework in the corporate-communication field’, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 375-390.

Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C & Lewis, M 2015, ‘Communication skills for business professionals’, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic

Exercising Emotional Intelligence

Describe what exercising emotional intelligence means.

First of all, what is emotional intelligence and why it is important. Emotional intelligence (EI) can be understood as being aware of and understanding your own emotional state and the emotional state of others and the way it affects the situation.

Those who are able to use EI to their own advantage can benefit greatly. Some benefits are:

  • Knowing when to work and be extra productive
  • Adjusting your behaviour to be more compatible with someone you are negotiating with
  • Being able to motivate yourself by adjusting thoughts and overall mood

It is cited by Choi et al. (2015, p. 48) that there are two types of EI. Intrapersonal EI and Interpersonal EI. Intrapersonal EI refers to a person’s understanding and influence over their own emotional state and mood. The other type, Interpersonal EI refers to a person’s awareness and understanding of other people’s emotions and thoughts and adjusting their behaviour accordingly. People with a high EI are typically more empathetic and understand themselves and others easier (Choi et al., 2015, p. 49).

Figure 1: Tree diagram about emotional intelligence Source: Perspect (2011)

The ‘gold standard’ of EI testing according to Cenere et al. (2015, p. 208) is the Mayer, Salovey and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Developed in the 1990s, there are four described abilities in the test:

  1. Recognise: accurately identify our own emotions and those of others

  2. Use: use emotions to help us think and generate different emotions to help solve problems

  3. Understand: understand the causes and how emotions change

  4. Manage: strategies to help us manage our emotions and those of others

Figure 2: A graph about emotional intelligence Source: Toh (2016)

Being able to use these abilities to more successfully interact with others and monitor your own emotional well being is exercising your emotional intelligence.


Cenere, P, Gill, R, Lawson, C & Lewis, M 2015, ‘Communication skills for business professionals’, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Vic

Choi, J, Chung, G, Sung, S, Butt, N, Soliman, M & Chang, J 2015, ‘Does emotional intelligence matter in interpersonal processes? The mediating role of emotion management’, Seoul Journal of Business, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 45-70.

Perspect 2011, What is emotional intelligence, image, viewed 14 May 2016, <;

Toh, K G 2016, Emotional intelligence business diagram management strategy concept chart illustration, image, viewed 14 May 2016, <;