Meet Joan Westenberg
I am a Sydney, Australia based writer, PR and communications lead, content creator and a proud transgender woman. I have been published in Junkee, Inc.com, the SF Chronicle, The Saturday Paper, The Big Smoke, Crikey and over 40 other publications. I am the author of an open source transgender inclusion policy in use by multiple technology companies, and the founder of both Tiny Spells, a self-care community and newsletter, and Alt-Arcade, a curated collection of non-violent video games.
✨ My pronouns are She/Her ✨
✨🔮 Tiny Spells 🔮✨
Tiny Spells is a daily email with just three simple tasks to improve your wellbeing every day. It's a growing community with hundreds of members.
Some of my career highlights include working as the head of content, communications and PR for a variety of technology companies, startups and agencies. I have helmed content, storytelling and campaigns across written publications, video, podcasts and mainstream media and tech press features.
I have worked as the Marketing Mentor in the APAC Microsoft for Startups Accelerator and as an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Catalysr tech program.
In 2017, I won the platinum Hermes Advertising Awards trophy for a digital content campaign, in 2018, I was named 5th in the SmartCompany list of the top 20 business thinkers in Australia, and in 2019 I was named on the Startup Smart 30 under 30.
Oh, and I weirdly have Assistant Director credits on some death metal music videos and production credits on a multi-platinum hip hop record. No biggie.
Games don't cause violence. But for some of us, violent games can trigger a traumatic response, from PTSD or our past experiences or anxiety. Which makes gaming a heck of a lot less fun! Alt-arcade is a monthly curation of just 4 non-violent games that can let you grab a controller while still looking after your emotional and mental wellbeing. ✨
As a freelance writer, I have a long list of credits. I am writing for Crikey, The Big Smoke, Primer, The SF Chronicle, The New York Observer, Archer, The Saturday Paper, ReadThink, Business Insider, Inc.com, The Australian Financial Review and Junkee. I’ve written about technology, business, politics and queer rights, and I’ve done so with passion and a keen eye for a story.
“From ‘Euphoria’ To ‘Sabrina’, Trans Teens Are Finally Having Their Moment On TV”
The Saturday Paper
“New birth certificate laws spark anti-trans campaign”
“Stone & Chalk’s $8m SA payday”
“Qld Sqhub targets creative startups”
“Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price on Defence tech”
“State space race gathers pace”
The Big Smoke
“Scott Morrison is sorting out where I pee”
“It’s not me - it’s you.”
You can find my most prolific work on my blog, Pizza Party, where I cover creativity, writing, technology, gaming and more.
I started Pizza Party as a way to keep my writing current, keep it honest, and keep it growing as much as I can. Pizza Party updates most weekdays. 🍕
An Open Source Transgender Inclusion Policy
For many transgender and non-binary people, the workplace is one of the biggest obstacles to their transition. Finding the support in their professional sphere to embrace their true and authentic selves can be life changing. Technology companies and startups today are an amazing home for trans people - because their forward thinking approach to changing the world makes them a welcoming place for people who are not always accepted elsewhere. This is why I have created an open source transgender inclusion policy for Aussie startups, to encourage founders, VCs and employees to make trans inclusion scalable.