Lending a hand to Illawarra business and creativity

One lesson I have really re-learned and embraced is giving to Illawarra business and creativity. Years ago, I ran projects like Swap Creative, a barter project swapping my freelance skills for access to small business products. I also ran My Redfern Rocks, a Twitter and Facebook-based social media outreach project designed to bust myths about Redfern and give a shout out to local businesses and creativity as it happened.

A bunch of logos are featured in four panels to signify that the A to Z of Wollongong podcast, Freelance Jungle, Get your Gong on and Coal Coast magazine support Illawarra business with Rebekah Lambert's helpThose experiences have been invaluable during COVID. I’ve used the same sort of template to launch Get your Gong on, a barter project designed to help Illawarra business over the pain of COVID through local Illawarra freelance assistance. And it’s also taught me how using local voices to shine a light on local creativity and business can change the game.

That’s why I am focussing on Illawarra business and creativity via the A to Z of Wollongong podcast.

I am producing an A to Z of Wollongong podcast that shines a light on the creativity and curiosities that make them unique. I am doing this with my musician partner, Richard Berndt.

This is a podcast that lets you explore the Illawarra to find new discoveries in culture, food, music and more. We’re championing the beauty of the various Illawarra communities with an auditory exploration of the cultural aspects that make them so appealing.

The idea is that under COVID, we don’t get to explore as much as we would like. So, why not let our ears whet the appetite for the time when we can once again go exploring?

What is the A to Z of Wollongong podcast about?

I got interviewed by Melinda from the breakfast show of ABC Illawarra for the A to Z of Wollongong podcast. It’s about the 10-minute mark.

Maybe you heard it?

If not, have a listen. There’s an explanation of the project, a shout out to OCP for helping make the project happen- and a few things Rich and I would bloody love to cover!


This is for Wollongong, by Wollongong.

Why do I care so much about Wollongong?

Wollongong is a place that (as my oldest sister puts it) “always feels like coming home.”

My family roots on my mother’s side go back a fair way via my mother’s Great Grandfather (I guess that’s my Great, Great Grandfather?). The Davies family were Welsh immigrants who worked in the mines in the Illawarra.

The Lambert family was created here. My parents met, fell in love, married, had my older sisters and started their working careers here. And all three of the Lambert girls (that’s my sisters and I) have gone to Wollongong University at one time or another. Many of my family including most of my grandparents are buried here. My Dad did his apprenticeship in the Steelworks. His father (my grandfather) died suddenly at Port Kembla.

So, our history in the area goes back quiet a long way!

And my affinity with Wollongong is inescapable. Seeing businesses hurt under COVID, watching people struggle who were already on the poverty line, wondering what was next for a city that had reinvented itself away from steel and coal to find other opportunities that were being skittled left and right, it hurt me, too.

I had to do something. Even if was a small something.

So, I committed to bringing Illawarra businesses together with freelancers under Get your Gong on. I offered to write articles for Coal Coast magazine pro-bono to highlight the local area. And I decided to further this by running the A to Z of Wollongong podcast. By using such an intimate media, I hope to highlight the stories, creativity, kindness and business skills of so many wonderful Illawarra businesses, creators, advocates, local heroes and more.

How you can get involved in the A to Z of Wollongong podcast

I am looking for the following sorts of things:

  1. a) Suburbs in profile. What do you love about some suburbs that you think you can’t get anywhere else?
  2. b) What are the scenes you love? From creativity to innovation, I want to know about it!
  3. c) What makes where you live so special? Has the Illawarra captured your heart since childhood? Is it the place you’ve discovered through uni or later in life?

Want to tell your story? Share it via this link.


This project has been made possible by the generous souls at Culturebank Wollongong. https://culturebankwollongong.org.au/

Amplifying voices who support illawarra business and creativity 

Podcasters in the Illawarra, I have successfully pitched an article on who is making cool podcasts in the local area to Coal Coast magazine. I figure this is another way to amplify the Illawarra business scene, tap into creativity and support those who are shining a light on local moves.

How awesome is that?

Anyone in here keen to give themselves or a buddy a shout out so I know where to start my research?

Please note: Creator must be local to Illawarra. Content doesn’t matter so much. But points for it being locally based (in some ways) too.

Hit me up with your wonderful Wollongong podcasts via the CONTACT page.

Get your Gong on will return

Such was the success of bringing the Illawarra business scene to meet Wollongong and South Coast based freelancers that I will be repeating and expanding Get your Gong on in 2021.

I would love a Wollongong or Shellharbour space to hold a really special gallery style event. So, any venues out there that can give me a free room, hit me up because I would love to bring you local freelancers and businesses in a very special event I have planned. I promise I will bring the eyeballs and the people!

The Freelance Jungle events will return

Don’t despair Illawarra freelancers and sole operators. I will be bringing the low sales, high support Illawarra business networking events the Freelance Jungle is famous for back in 2021. Looks like February, COVID permitting. I look forward to catching up with you all for a coffee and a catch up! Stay close to the Facebook group for updates.

If you’re an Illawarra business or ideas person who wants to get involved in any of these ideas, get in touch via the contact page. I’d love to hear from you.

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