Posted on August 26, 2020 by Noon van der Silk | Back to recent posts

Branefreeze! - Braneshop is closing down ...

Tags: thoughts, announcements

Well! It’s with some sadness that I officially announce a Branefreeze1: Braneshop is closing down.

In no small part it’s due to covid: Like everyone, we’ve found it hard to do business in this time; and in particular in the high-tech skills education space — peoples focus now is on their health, mental health and ability to function in their job and life. Paying for an online course to learn new skills is a big ask, and something that I don’t feel comfortable (or able!) to continue to pursue at this point.

For those who are currently on or have previously completed our online workshop; your content will remain online idefinitely, at this point.

I’ll also leave the blog posts and showreel online; but I won’t continue to update anything.

Our focus on diversity

I’m pleased to say that I believe our focus on diversity has gone pretty well. We had an explicit agenda to get more diverse people into the AI field; in particular those people who self-identified as facing specific barriers.

This approach: self-identification of barriers came about during discussions with Lana Woolf from Edge Effect whose guidance was, roughly, in order to support diverse groups of people, you shouldn’t pre-suppose what issues they’ve faced, or pre-categorise them. By letting people express their own experiences, you can understand more about what they need, and hence support them. This is especially important in her environment where things change quite a lot, but also in ours, where over time we expect different experiences and backgrounds to be excluded or included; and we want to capture that dynamically.

In terms of statistics, of all the people we trained, people who identified as he/him were less than half2. We also gave away ~AUD$10,000 in scholarships. I’m very proud of this, and I hope others in the industry can take up a similar practice.


Of course I owe thanks to many people. Naturally, without Gala it would’ve been impossible for me to launch this business. She’s supported me in many ways; not least financially, personally, professionally, pedagogically and technically.

Secondly, the people I’ve worked with, Esmeralda and Ruth! I’m so glad you’ve both found new and better jobs, and I’m so glad to have worked with you. In particular I really learned a lot working with Esmeralda and forming and working through the “Living Business” ideas together, and with Ruth I enjoyed teaching the workshops together and wouldn’t’ve got the first workshop going without your help :)

I’m also going to thank my Mum for helping with book-keeping and just generally believing in me to do whatever I wanted to do :)

Thanks also to everyone else who has been very supportive to us over the years. I’m sure I’ve told you I appreciate it :)

Finally, thanks of course to all the students who’ve come along and attended our courses! I’m sure you know we’ve had a lot of fun working with you, and we hope you got something out of your experience :)

Thanks :)

Gala Camacho Ferrari Marianne Hundling Esmeralda Garmar Ruth Pearson Noon van der Silk

For me

For me personally, I’m moving on to another very exciting job (and actually I’m incredibly privileged to have gotten any job in this time!), so feel free to connect or catch up with me on LinkedIn, or just send me an email, if you’re interested in staying in contact :)

  1. Thanks to Chuan for this pun. I wasn’t sure if I should use this one, or the more involved joke I had thought of: “Braneshop manifold proven topologically closed”. Feel free to enjoy whichever one you would’ve preferred (or both!).

  2. This isn’t a perfect measure of diversity, but it’s the best I came up with based on the data we captured. Very happy to hear thoughts about better ways to quantify this!