Commons based solutions build on and improve social relations and attitudes towards our environment, honouring local knowledge and community values towards the collective management and development of our resources.

On the move

April 3rd, 2011

Most of our clients are now on the move. Apart from a couple of database glitches that saw this site offline a couple of days, we say a fond farewell to 2XX FM, AIDWATCH, Pacific Media Watch, Mr Mo and the Rowville-Lysterfield History Project. is closing

January 10th, 2011

Thirteen years ago was created to continue the work of the pre-internet pioneer, Pegasus Networks, providing specialized hosting and online consultancy services to community groups, NGOs and many of our friends and colleagues. had also taken on membership of the Association for Progressive Communications that Pegasus had been a co-founder of and was providing financial management to Secession Records and Toy Satellite, both of which are no longer part of the family.

This brings me to the reason for this posting.

Grant and I have decided to close In the past couple of years we’ve provided a competitive hosting environment and brought over many improvements, but we’ve not increased our income to support any ongoing work. This includes not having the money to upgrade old software such as The WOK content management system.

And to be honest, we’re both exhausted from running an enterprise we’d both inherited and we’re wanting to spend our time on other projects. We did well to do what we did with, but it’s time to move on. We’ve been online well over 22 years now. It’s a big chunk of our lives. We’re literally calling it a day.

Where will we find Grant and Andrew?

Grant’s following his dream… you’ll find him flying hot-air balloons by day and podcasting about all things aerodynamic by night. He’s also getting to spend a whole lot more time with his family and they’re wrapped about that.

Andrew’s working with EngageMedia, producing short-format documentaries and playing guitar as artist in residence at the Dunmoochin Foundation, an artists-run property in the Victorian bush. Often on the road, he’s been nomadic and weaning himself off and Toy Satellite since 2007. This has been a long-time coming.

We’re both easily found online, but we’re more comfortable with our back-packs, laptops or guitars on the road or in the air.

Any questions?

Our guess is you’ll have plenty of questions. Read our FAQ, email or phone us at any time.

It’s been great… it’s not over yet, but it really has been a privilege to work with you all these years.

Andrew & Grant

Remembering Kelsau Naan

October 19th, 2010

Three years ago, a Penan headman disappeared.

In memory of Kelesau Naan grab our video and embed it onto your blog or website. Let us not forget people like Kelesau who fought to protect his people and their customary right to land in Sarawak. Get the embed code and other info here:

20 years on

May 4th, 2010

It was 20 years ago today that the Association for Progressive Communications was founded.

Finding like minds online during the early days, as APC was forming, was a source of both inspiration and motivation. Those pioneering days were the result of a small hand-full of people, some who have remained within APC and others who remain close, as friends, but have moved on.

I first met APC colleagues face to face for the first time at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992, Rio de Janerio. The generosity, enthusiasm and passion shared amongst ourselves often over-rode many other projects I had been involved with… and finding that many of these people had once been musicians, poets, intellectuals, journalists… creative people with a penchant for social justice that was unshakable.

Another personal APC milestone was sharing a preliminary report on the extent of computer networking in Asia (the first Pan Asia Report) to APC colleagues and members of the fledgling Internet Society at the Internet Society conference in Prague, 1994. It was ground-breaking research at the time, both in how it was conducted and what it revealed. APC, in the very early 1990′s, had more countries net-connected (through advocacy movements and organisations), than the Internet.

20 years on I am still involved with the APC, writing at this very moment from Quiet Mountain, Hekpoort, South Africa, at an APC Board meeting. It has been a privilege and an honour.

Sarawak Gone – and open video project

February 22nd, 2010

Bengoh Dam construction site, Upper Bengoh, Sarawak

In 1999 we co-produced and began to host the excellent indigenous news service, Rengah Sarawak. In the intervening years we continued to support the project, more recently getting behind the open video and micro-docs series, Sarawak Gone.

Sarawak Gone is a micro-docs series dealing with two of some of the last forest communities of Sarawak, the Bidayuh and the Penan. Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, north-west of Australia.

The series is being released online over the coming months. Two episodes are already online, another five in post-production.

The series and associated resources are licensed for re-use and re-distribution at no cost with the only condition being that the producers, Toy Satellite and Andrew Garton, are acknowledged at all times.

For more information about these micro-docs, or if you’re keen to watch them, head out to

Open Policy and Procedures Initiative

November 18th, 2009

In collaboration with EngageMedia, we are seeking to initiate a new open documents project that would seed policy and procedure templates for new and emergent organisations, associations and collectives.

Project outline

Every new organisation, no matter in which country they are incorporated, will undergo the process of developing a set of policies and standard operating procedures. It is a wheel that in general need not be re-invented.

EngageMedia is one such organisation. It wishes to learn from the efforts of others, to improve on them and share the results back to the NGO sector. However, in this instance, there are few resources, if any, of value to EngageMedia. In short, EngageMedia has yet to locate any organisation that shares their policies and procedures under an open and acceptable re-use license.

Thus, EngageMedia proposes to undertake the drafting and gradual publication of an open set of policy documents that can be retro-fitted to any similar organisation.

The Open Policies & Procedures Initiative (OPPI) would be an open documents project developed in much the same manner as any piece of open source software.

Scope for OPPI to assist small and emergent organisations without access to such resources, let alone the skills to draft such documents, is not only extensive, it is invaluable.


If you’re interested in participating, contact Andrew Garton. We are particularly interested to work with organisations who have policies and procedures they are open to sharing from which we can build our templates base from.

Secession is 11

September 23rd, 2009

On the 22nd of Sept 1998, at a former Smith St location in Collingwood, a warm evening saw the launch of Secession Records. Every day ought be celebrated… no less so 11 years of music making, performing and producing.

Visit and purchase one of our beautiful CDs.

Micro-docs workshop

September 10th, 2009 is conducting a five day workshop in October to improve the production skills for online content, in particular video, at the Malaysian based, Star Online.

This will include an overview of production work-flows, tools and online distribution. The end result will see the production of five micro-documentaries utilising, where applicable, Creative Commons licensed content. The workshop is based on Andrew’s micro-docs – made with anything, any where, for everyone.

Dunmoochin residency

September 10th, 2009

Andrew has been awarded a one year residency in the studio of late Australian painter, Clifton Pugh. This will see us establishing a short-term studio to complete work on Garton’s fusion cabaret, Tong Tana.

Tong Tana is largely inspired by our micro-docs series, Sarawak Gone, and the results of a collaboration with South African free-jazz trio, Benguela, and visualist Andrew Parker.

Plane Crazy Down Under Podcast

September 10th, 2009

Grant is working with a mate of his to produce Plane Crazy Down Under an aviation podcast that focuses on the Asia/Pacific area. Featuring discussions about recent news items, interviews with aviation personalities and special guests, the podcast is released under a Creative Commons Australia non-commercial by-attribution license and is available from the website, on iTunes and from other podcatcher websites.

Plane Crazy Down Under has a growing audience from around the world and is already providing opportunities to link’s online advisory knowledge with the aviation world, including Grant’s appearance on a Social Media Networks and Aviation panel held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit 2009 conference in Sydney.