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MudCon22: Learn. Connect. Inspire.

Smiling Mudbath executive team panel presenting at MudCon22 image description

At Mudbath, we are determined to apply the power of cross-functional teams, to design, engineer and ship digital products. To really bring this to life Mudbath held its first annual conference, MudCon22!

Drawing on the knowledge and experience of all our people, clients and Industry, MudCon22 featured a jam-packed agenda of connection and learning over two days at Mudbath HQ in Newcastle.

Day One

Kicking it all off!

As MudCon22 swung into action, over 100 Mudbath staff came from near and far, many meeting each other face- to- face for the first time. The offices in Newcastle were buzzing with hellos, hugs and high fives.

Our CEO Josh Doolan kicked off proceedings with a warm welcome and a preview of what was going to unfold for the next two days. Our Experience Design, Product, Engineering and Production department lead the kick off, with a presentation of their department's purpose and how each works cross-functionally with the other areas of the business.

Working so closely on projects, it's important our teams understand the ‘why’ behind what we all do. Great digital products are not delivered by one department alone but the sum of them all working together. These presentations gave everyone a chance to view the other departments and deeply understand how they operate and their purpose.

The Panel

Following the department streams, we launched straight into our Industry panel during which we delved into the minds of some truly ambitious leaders, including;

  • Natalie Ashes, Chief Digital Officer at Grays 
  • Troy McDonald, Managing Director and CEO at PPM/ Founder of Torqn 
  • Trent McClenahan, Head of Digital and Emerging Businesses Delivery at nib 
  • Lloyd Smith, Co-Founder and Director at Scrypt 
  • Jo-Anne Falconer Global Director, IT and Digital Transformation at Scenic Cruises

During this session our people gained valuable insights into the wonderful world of tech leaders, discussing a vast array of topics from cloud transformation, ecommerce, platform thinking, the importance of data to leadership, collaboration and gender diversity in tech. 

The panel shared fantastic and inspirational insights into their roadmaps and stories, which lead to our team asking some very poignant questions. A personal favourite, “What's open in your tabs right this minute?”

Game time!

With inspired minds, our Mudbath attendees  then headed off to a departmental team activity for the evening, designed to get them back together having fun and connecting with each other like the old days :) (pre covid)

Development team at Go Karting
Development team at Go Karting
CAPS team painting at Pinot & Picasso
CAPS team painting at Pinot & Picasso
Product team at Shrek The Musical
Product team at Shrek The Musical
Experience Design team at Chill Axe Throwing
Experience Design team at Chill Axe Throwing
Finance and Admin at Escape Reality escape room
Finance and Admin at Escape Reality escape room

Day Two

The Keynote

After the fun and frivolity of the night before (and no injuries), the company gathered at Rydges the next morning to hear from our Keynote Speaker, John Lancken.

With an exceptional career in the music and engineering businesses, John,  the head of D+I Newcastle,  joined us to take us through his inspirational history, from music and engineering to winning a Sci-tech oscar at the Academy awards. John’s 25 years of experience in technology left us all on the edge of our seats, and learning about the products that D+I are working on in the medical industry left us wanting more. We learned valuable lessons from his illustrious career such as the importance of asking great questions, the need to always push ahead of the technology curve and to always, always follow your passion. We also heard all about why the band, ‘The Police’ broke up!

"It was such a thrill and an honour to be invited to speak at Mudcon22. The team at Mudbath are world class and this event underscores a commitment by its leadership team to share the business vision and reinforce its core values."
- John Lancken, Head of D+I Newcastle

Skills improvement

After the lineup of people asking John about his career had subsided, the Mudbath crew was invited to select from a variety of  workshops to improve the skills they  may not get to practise every day, but are important in the delivery of great digital strategies and products.

How to draw toast: Our Head of Strategy, Que Jephcott, used drawing toast as an activity to discuss systems thinking.

How to draw toast
How to draw toast

Agile delivery: Our CTO, Chris Metz, used a penny game to prove the theories of agile concepts and batching.

Penny flip - agile methodologies
Penny flip - agile methodologies

Application security: We were lucky to have Cole Cornford, Director of Galah Cyber, talk to us about classifying risk, and approaches to accept, avoid and reduce risk for cyber security incidents

Application security
Application security

Communicating with passion and purpose: Joe Johnson’s presentation was all about communicating effectively to build better relationships with those you work with and the people for whom you build product, as well as how the different forms of communication all have a purpose in their own right – truly insightful!

Communicating with passion and purpose
Communicating with passion and purpose

Infinity Loop workshop: Time to get our geek on and participate in a VR game where teams of eight worked to solve a puzzle in the VR and real world. It was a complex game for which the art of working together was key  – something to get the brains on fire and teams working together. It was extremely competitive to say the least!

Pitch time!

At Mudbath, we encourage everyone to contribute to new initiatives that can help the company or the world to become a better place. The Mudshift pitch session was a chance for people who work with us to pitch an idea to better our process, better our clients, better Australia or themselves. 

We had five entrants who entered the Mudtank (a bit like Shark Tank but kinder :)) to pitch their ideas in the hope of turning their concept into a product.

The presentations were excellent, embedded with strategic thinking and inspiring ideas. We thank the people that had the courage to get up and have a go.

Open Q&A with the executive team

Throughout the conference, a live platform was available for everyone to post anonymous questions of  the executive that would later be answered  in a Q&A panel. 

We understand sometimes there are burning questions people want to ask or ideas they want to understand, but they don't get the chance to ask the executive. 

This session allowed for open discussion around topics the whole company wanted to understand and that the executive team could address right then and there. It was another great session!

The finale

What lies ahead? There was no better way to deliver the future of Mudbath than to have  CEO, Josh Doolan, present the company FY23 strategy.

This was an opportunity to share the position of the organisation, its newly evolved vision, mission, underpinned by the core values that guide all of us and our leadership team’s unwavering commitment to always delivering on them.

 Josh guided the company through the strategic framework, what data drives our strategy and the values which permeate our every day. He also announced a few key initiatives that will lead the company to new heights in the coming year – it was definitely something that left us all excited  and looking forward to the year ahead.

We had a ball...

Quite literally, after finishing up with a huge bang, our people got ready for a Disco versus Rock ball hosted at Babylon in Newcastle.

Throughout the event we had a canvas for people to sign and contribute what Mudbath and MudCon means to them and create a physical memory of the very first conference… we think it came up beautifully… 

Needless to say the night was a blast – our teams were excited to be together and we know that it will only strengthen the close  relationships we already have with each other.

Some comments from the Mudlegends who attended

Finley, Account Service Team: “Mudcon allowed us to all connect in person in a world that has become so dispersed. Amazing to be a part of the first event where we were able to communicate vision, be inspired and have some fun together. Can't wait for the next one!”

Simon, Office Admin and fun guy: "MudCon was next level. Two days spent with some brilliant and beautiful minds, sharing knowledge and laughs. Inspiring in so many ways!"

Nadia, Experience Design Team: "Our value of 'being better together' is fundamental to who we are. MudCon was all about getting together, getting connected and learning together.” 

Adam, Product Team: “A good chance to connect with colleagues, to learn from our customers and leadership, and to find the inspiration to do our best for ourselves and Mudbath into the future.”

Jack, Product Team: "MudCon lived up to its promise of offering connection, learning and inspiration for all attendees – and next year will be even more exciting!"

Darcy, Engineering team: ”Not only was it a good opportunity to learn more about the Mudbath organisation, there was brilliant time spent learning about the people who make up Mudbath at all levels and sharing meaningful connections with these people!”


Where to from here?

It was a jam-packed two days of so many wonderful learnings, connections and things to take away and apply to our every day. It has us thinking and plotting already for what next year will bring … maybe next year you will be joining in :) 

If you would like to join our amazing team, please feel free to send us your details at [email protected]