The Freelance Jungle began with a survey of freelancer challenges in 2011. It has grown into a brimming Facebook group, virtual catchups for stress reduction and networking, and a commitment to freelancer education via podcasts, blogs and online learning.
Our efforts in freelance mental health and stress reduction have not gone unnoticed. We were honoured as the 2019 NSW WayAhead Mental Health Matters Workplace Wellbeing winner.
During these unprecedented times with navigating COVID-19 and economic downturn, we’re demonstrating our commitment to Australian and New Zealand freelancers, sole operators and creative practitioners by:
1) Building community and creating connection. We believe that while we may have to be physically isolated, we don’t have to be socially siloed or feel alone at this critical time
2) Raising the knowledge bar for Australian freelancers (and our adopted Kiwi cousins) through information sharing and strength building as an industry
3) Reminding freelancers that stress has a productivity cost- and to give practical strategies to combat the stress, mental health issues and suicidality within self-employment
4) Unifying our industry voice and campaigning for rights and recognition. We want to end the stigma and offer freelancers, creators, remote workers and innovators as the solution now and in the future.
In December 2020, we were also awarded a grant through a joint partnership between NGO Good 2 Give and Facebook Australia. The aim of the grant is to develop a program to help people made redundant in relation to COVID-19 and bushfire impacts transition to working for themselves. This is a program by freelancers for freelancers. Its aim is to normalise freelancing as a viable choice for employment in Australia while also highlighting our community and what we can do for each other if given the chance.
The Freelance Jungle services 6500+ freelancers in Australia and New Zealand.
Come and meet us in the following places:
Meet the team
Rebekah Lambert is a content marketing freelancer and community and culture specialist by trade and a freelance advocate in her (somewhat mythical) spare time.
As founder of Unashamedly Creative, Rebekah helps businesses large and small create communities of adoring customers through great communication and well-designed culture. As the founder of The Freelance Jungle, she spreads a message of community support and stress reduction through focusing on ending the isolation inherent in sole employment, raising the knowledge bar, and sharing support.
Rebekah believes stress has a productivity cost for freelancers and businesses alike. Using product design skills, writing and teaching, she’s currently working on improving the support and educational levels for freelancers through a variety of courses including “how to keep working when you’re dying on the inside”, general client communication seminars and the upcoming course, “the accidental community manager”, a course designed to help people with Facebook groups and other forms of forums avoid burn out while translating their communities into successful ventures of the creative, community and financial kind.
When she’s not talking business and stress reduction, she’s exploring the wonders of Wollongong and the Illawarra. You can follow Rebekah’s adventures via Unashamedly Creative and via the official Freelance Jungle Facebook group. Or catch up for a chat at a Wollongong event.
After watching The Year of Living Dangerously, Nicole’s youthful ambition was to work as a freelance writer and editor, travelling the world, reporting on conflicts. Over time, she realised the hard truth that she was not made of the necessary stuff and was more of a five-star resort person, than a haven’t-had-a-hot-shower-in-days reporter.
Instead, she is a popular Adelaide-based copywriter with extensive experience in business reports, tender documents, SEO web content and more. She works under the name Black Coffee Communications.
She lends her talents to the Freelance Jungle as content curator and Facebook group administrator. She’s also Rebekah’s sounding board for ideas large and small. Oh, and the thought of sinking her teeth into freelance advocacy is totally the thing that keeps Nicole coming back for more.
Based in Cairns, Hayley is a freelance motion designer, animator and editor. She runs Curl Co. Productions. She has been working in video production since 2009 as a one-man band video producer and often use this wide-ranging experience to production manage and direct on projects as well as the post-production side of things. She usually work with medium-to-large companies, organisations and agencies to produce works for marketing and advertising, research and communications purposes.
Hayley brings a level head, a lot of youthful insight and some of the best giflish the Freelance Jungle has ever seen with her admin role.
In terms of team tasks, Hayley trains new admins on the ropes as they are recruited. In 2021, she’s looking after accountability pods in the Jungle. If you’re in Cairns, Hayley is also the friendly face that welcomes you to our events.
Self-proclaimed pixel-pushing nerd Jinny Coyle believes that good design is honest, unobtrusive and long-lasting.
Jinny was already an accomplished designer when, back in the ’80s, she recognised the potential of the computer as a tool to help streamline the design process. She has run her boutique design studio for 2 decades & is currently developing design and marketing courses for corporate refugees and business newbies.
Jinny is privileged to fill the role of the jungles design lead, also referring to herself as admin number 4 bringing a special quirky happiness to discussions and ideas throughout the jungle and the admin duties.
She guides the creative direction of Rebekah and Jessica to make minkey magic.
Visual storyteller, outside-the-box thinker, strategic brand builder, Jess is obsessed with designing good looking things, her mission is to rid the world of design that burns the eyeballs.
Freelancing in different forms for 20+ years, Six Onions was created in 2012. Six Onions – because each project’s like an onion with many layers, through idea, concept, construction, development and use – and there’s an onion for each creative service in the soup.
Six Onions has grown through advice and support from The Freelance Jungle community, so it’s a great pleasure to help support the jungle with Six Onions creative services.
Jessica makes the magic of Rebekah’s story telling and vision come alive with fullsome strokes of her creative culture loving, Muppet-inspired pens.
FREELANCE JUNGLE EVENTS
As far as Australian freelance events go, we’re a little different. You won’t be subjected to limp pitches and equally limp sales pitches. Nor will you have to duck business cards as they are flung like ninja stars in the vague hope the sales patter sticks.
The Freelance Jungle began with bringing people together.
After realising the challenge facing freelancers was disconnection and fragmentation, the aim was simple.
Bring freelancers and the self-employed together in a friendly environment.
We have quarterly events in Sydney, Wollongong, The Central Coast, Newcastle, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. These usually centre around dinner or lunch and some light networking and discussion. These are currently run online due to coronavirus.
Online virtual stress-downs happen every month and are a great way to share your highs and lows with our supportive Australian freelance community.
We also have a range of digital education events and fun mixer activities running to meet the needs of our currently online world.
We focus on self-care, education and connection for Australian freelancers, creative practitioners and sole traders.
MEET OUR EVENTS CAPTAINS
Joh Kohler is a website copywriter and brand voice guide who lives in Adelaide’s beautiful bayside (but dreams of 5 acres in the hills). She’s been freelancing since 2016 and wishes she’d discovered it years earlier. Joh loves catching up with fellow freelancers to share stories and spark ideas. (And FJ events are a welcome change of scene from the usual triangle of the home office, kids’ school and local supermarket.)
Angela (Ang) is Creative Director at Nudge Media, creating content, communications and media – mostly for the human services industry. She’s been freelancing since 2011, spent two years working remotely and eating her way around the world, was the body model for the Mona Lisa in Madame Tussauds and can do a passable pigeon impersonation. When she’s not ‘Nudging’ she can be found covered in sawdust making furniture.
Cynthia ‘Cyn’ Colli is a freelancer, and founder of CYNCO Your Creative Concierge. Cyn creates websites, graphics and copy for busy people from around the world.
Cyn’s a stickler for workplace health, after a previous hectic career that led to burnout. Now, CYNCO OH&S involves lots of sunshine on your face, setting clear boundaries, doing work you like, and not reading emails on Friday afternoons.
Cyn geeks out over wildlife, bold colours, design thinking, and reducing single-use plastic. Her “hard no’s” are anything beige, unethical practice and setting up other people’s email systems. She delights in people who make the world a kinder, healthier and smarter place…and loves doing that, too.
Jump in and get in touch.