Meet New Zealand born Brad, also known as DJ Bread, our sunny Community & Operations Coordinator at Stone & Chalk Sydney. Discover what he says are the biggest differences between Australia and New Zealand, the one thing he wishes Australia had, music he’s vibing, and what a typical day looks like in the buzzing hub.
Brad joined Stone & Chalk in April earlier this year with his observations over the past 4 months, “It’s a whole lot bigger and busier than where I’m from in New Zealand. It’s pretty exciting though, and that’s what I love about it. You feel like there’s something happening every day, different things going on.”
Speaking about his role here at Stone & Chalk, “I guess, no day looks the same for me. It’s really about engaging with residents, and that makes up a big part of my job. Understanding their needs and how we can better their experience here, and what we can offer them as well. Also, understanding their stage, just where they’re at, and tailoring our approach to meet each startup.”
“It’s all about making a really personal community feel,” says Brad.
So, why’s community so important at Stone & Chalk? Brad explains, “It’s the point of difference really. We really believe in people here, it basically feels like a family. It’s super encouraging.”
“Even though Stone & Chalk has grown a lot since 2015, it’s still managed to keep that family feel to it.”
Describing the culture at Stone & Chalk, “Everyone here just gets it done. I think in some places, things can take a really long time. Here it’s just, bang! It’s been really good getting to know all the Stone & Chalk startups and how they all work.”
Brad recommends that the best way to get your head around fintech is to get amongst it, “You pick it up as you go. I’ve found taking my own time to research what’s going on has been the best way to keep up.”
Brad describes the banter, “Everyone’s like *clicks fingers* straight back at you. You know, you’ll say something, and people tear you to shreds here. The chat is really good here.”
“I think in Australia, everyone’s a little bit more open to take the mickey out of things. Everyone’s just around for a laugh. Everyone’s so quick here and nobody lets you stop hearing about being a Kiwi,” he says.
Talking about the moment he heard the news of his first full-time permanent job, “I was actually walking out from Dad’s house in Christchurch, turned the car engine on and my phone started ringing with an Australian number. And yeah, I got the job! Almost threw my phone out the window.”
Lugging two full suitcases and a few pairs of shoes Brad says the hardest thing part about living in Australia was leaving everyone behind and having to start over in a way.
“I just brought heaps of clothes over, and as it turns out, I don’t even need to use half of them because it’s too hot here,” he explains.
Something you might not know about Brad is that he used to host a radio show where he reckons a total of two people listened to it. He also claims the show is nowhere to be found online; challenge accepted.
Since then, DJ Bread expanded his skills after finding university DJ’s skills underwhelming.
“It’s funny how it started, there was a big act lined up (at university) and they cancelled and so they just asked us to do it real last minute. So, I went from there. I used to do the student bar, like once a month, with anywhere between 300-600 people,” he says.
Brad describes his mixes as a combo of House, Trap and Hip Hop, “kind of thang” with heavy inspiration from Diplo.
Demystifying his alter ego, Bread, “That nickname came from when I was in India when someone asked me what my name was and I said Brad, and they completely took the mickey out of me and said ‘BREAD?! No one’s called Bread, we eat that.”
Check out DJ Bread’s playlist Bump on Spotify.
The one thing he wishes Australia had that NZ has, “Keri’s Orange Juice. I miss that sooo much, and you can’t get it anywhere. It’s still mass-produced, but it just tastes so good. I don’t know what it is, it just is amazing. You don’t know how many orange juices I’ve tried.”
If you’d like to find out more about the Community and Operations at Stone & Chalk, feel free reach out to Brad.