Are you a business or startup in the Illawarra? Are you finding COVID-19 and the changes difficult to manage? Need help making changes with your business?

We want to hear from you.

The Freelance Jungle is looking for Illawarra businesses to participate in “Get your Gong On!”. It’s a virtual program designed to introduce local businesses to freelance talent. Think of it as a speed dating event for you to find the right local freelancer to help you. The aim is to get you advice and support while also demonstrating what the Illawarra business community can do when we help each other out! Plus, we’re scooping out the knowledge local freelancers have to share, too.

What’s involved for participating Illawarra businesses and startups?

We know everyone is busy scrambling at this point in time, so we’re keeping it simple.

  • Check your diary to make sure you can be available July 23rd 2020 at 6pm for our virtual networking event. It’ll be held on Zoom
  • Fill in the survey for businesses – tell us what’s been going on
  • Answer our email or our call when we get in touch to invite you along


We’re not sure how many Illawarra businesses and startups will apply. We can only take a set number to make this work. BUT every business registered will be given access to the event as a live or recorded session. And you’ll also be given links to specialist virtual learning classes that result.

Please note: our primary focus will be those hardest hit by COVID-19.

What do the participating Illawarra businesses receive?

We want to help Illawarra small businesses, startups and more thrive instead of simply survive in these tough times.

If you’re selected for the virtual event, you’ll get the opportunity to:

  1. Get some real time advice on what you can do for your business in front of a virtual audience from professional freelancers
  2. Ask for direct help from 1 or more freelancers on a probono basis after the event
  3. Meet a bunch of quality freelancers that you could work with after the event, cutting down the legwork often associated with Google
  4. Promotion for your business as a willing participant in the program that values the Illawarra business scene and wants to support local talent
  5. Once coronavirus restrictions ease, we’re going to invite you along to meet other business owners and freelancers in the Illawarra.

This is different to traditional networking events as we’re looking directly as the pain you’re in at the moment and seeing what we can do to help.

Why are Wollongong freelancers doing this?

The Freelance Jungle is a national freelancing group. But we have chapters all around the country. Our one in Wollongong is particularly strong as that’s where the founder, Rebekah Lambert, lives.

As a resident of Windang whose parents grew up, met, and married in the Gong, Rebekah has seen a massive transformation in the area.

Recession has thumped the Illawarra on occasion. Yet Wollongong and the surrounding area has always shown spirit and courage under pressure. The Illawarra has revitalised itself through a focus on hospitality, tourism, artisan culture, entertainment, small bars, education, and small business. Innovation is a part of what the area does well. And that innovation is usually driven by community. Whether it’s rebuilding suburbs like Port Kembla or creating scenes and movements like the small bar scene, the music scene, sharing economy, sustainability and more, the Illawarra should be proud of it’s ability to knuckle down and get stuck into change when it’s required.

To watch so many businesses scramble, pivot and innovate quickly has been truly breathtaking.

But we know there is still more to come as the economic impact unfolds and the world waits for a vaccine.

Wollongong freelancers are a part of that. Our impacts are not as visible. Coronavirus has hurt a lot of local freelancers as our client work dried up. Contracts have been cancelled, budgets slashed and work, hard to find.

But at the same time, many of us could see what local Illawarra small businesses were going through. We saw how many places had to pop up websites for the first time. Or turn to Instagram and other social media. We saw you fighting to keep our beloved bars, cafes, creative spots, funeral homes, venues and more alive.

That’s why we want to help.

(PS: If you are a Wollongong freelancer that wants to help, register now!) 

We want to help business get back on your feet with giving you the opportunity to meet freelancers via a virtual networking event where they dig in and give advice directly about your issues.   We also want to promote local freelancers as a viable, local, and enthusiastic talent that is a big part of the Illawarra business scene. We want a strong, hyperlocal scene that helps the Illawarra thrive (instead of survive) under pressure.

Let’s meet, make a vibrant scene, and show the rest of the country what the Illawarra can do.

By responding to this survey, you’re saying you’d love some advice and/or direct support from a local freelancer (or two).  You also agree to participate in a virtual networking event with local businesses.

Thank you!

For direct questions in relation to the coordination of the project and/or usage of your information, please email Rebekah Lambert

This project has been made possible via the Quick Response Grant program by Wollongong City Council.

The Freelance Jungle has a Facebook community, virtual catch-ups for stress reduction and networking, and a commitment to education via podcasts, blogs, and online learning.



Mailing Address:
The Freelance Jungle
PO Box 68
NSW 2528