The short FAQ






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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How did Drupal Downunder begin?

Drupal Downunder was run for the first time in 2011 by a committed Brisbane Team headed by Jeff and Sheree from Marmalade Soul.  They decided to step up and organise an event following the phenomenal success of Drupal South in 2010 which took place immediately after linux.conf.au in Wellington. Australians regularly trek to Europe and North America to attend DrupalCon - but it's a long way, and very expensive, so most of the local community just don't get the chance to learn and share their knowledge.  So it was felt the time had come that we needed a local event to help the community grow.

What is Drupal Downunder?

Drupal Downunder is an Australian-run, non-profit conference for the people who write, use and support the Drupal Content Management System. It is an excellent environment to learn from peers and get involved in the local Drupal community. Drupal Downunder focusses on all aspects of Drupal, from code to design, to business and user stories.

What will attendees get out of attending Drupal Downunder?

Drupal Downunder is a great place to learn more about Drupal. Too often people find themselves too busy solving tasks in the now, to learn better solutions for tomorrow. Drupal Downunder helps to overcome that by helping people learn about new tools, tricks and practices that will help them be more efficient. In meeting other Drupal people, we hope that attendees will develop a bigger network of skilled friends and professionals.

Who is the target audience of the conference?

This is a conference designed for the whole Drupal community. You might like to review the program from DDU2011 - http://2011.drupaldownunder.org/schedule Talks vary from introductory level through to the deeply technical, as well as a few talks on broader issues affecting web developers, designers and users.

Where is the conference?

Drupal Downunder 2012 will be held in Melbourne at the Jasper Hotel

489 Elizabeth Street


For more details, and a map please see the VENUE page

When is the conference?

A day of workshops and tutorials will run on Friday 13 January between 9am and 5pm.

The main conference will run from Saturday 14th - Sunday 15th January 2012. Registrations will open at 8am on Friday and Saturday and at 8:30am on Sunday. The conference will start at 9am on all three days. Friday workshops will finish at 5pm. The Saturday sessions will end at 6:00pm and Sunday sessions will end at 5:00pm.  Code sprints and BoFs may be scheduled outside these times, depending on venue availability and demand.

How can I get to the conference?

The Jasper Hotel is easy to access by Public Transport. 

Melbourne Central is the nearest train station and is located at the corner of Elizabeth and La Trobe Streets.

The number 19, 57 and 59 trams run down Elizabeth Street. 

For more details see our info on GETTING THERE

Can I drive to the conference?

Yes, however there is no free parking. For more details see our info on GETTING THERE


How can I get to Melbourne?

Melbourne is well serviced by both interstate and intrastate trains. It also has two airports serving the following domestic airlines.

A full list of international airlines that operate at Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) is also available. For more details see our info on GETTING THERE

How can I get from the airport to the city?

Melbourne has two airports. All international flights and many domestic flights to Melbourne land at the Tullamarine airport. Some domestic flights land instead at Avalon airport. For more details see our info on GETTING THERE

Are there any visa tricks or traps for Australia?

The Australian government has no visa waiver program except for citizens of New Zealand. Thus if you are intending to visit the conference from outside of Australia you will be required to obtain a visa.

In many countries you can obtain a Business (Short Stay) visa at the same time you purchase your airline ticket. For more information visit the Short Business Visits to Australia site.

You can find more information on the Tourist/Business/Electronic visas page.

What sort of accommodation is available nearby and what is the approximate cost?

The Jasper Hotel is offering attendees of Drupal Downunder a special room rate of $150 - just use conference code CONR2 when booking your room.

However, there are plenty of other places to stay nearby during Drupal Downunder, so we've found a few different options on where to SLEEP

What kind of of social events are you holding during the conference?

The conference will provide plenty of times to meet other attendees. Morning and afternoon teas, as well as lunch will be provided each day in a large room to encourage mingling.

Participants will be able to arrange informal sessions typically called BOFs (Birds of a Feather) throughout the event.  These encourage like-minded people to get together and work together, discuss or focus on a particular topic and are usually interactive.

Where can we all go to dinner?

Melbourne has hundreds of restaurants covering many different cultures.

See our page on where to EAT for some ideas on where to go.

What's there to do in your area?

Melbourne was recently awarded "World's most liveable city" - and it's a very popular tourist destinaton for locals and international visitors. There is always something happening, somewhere in the city.

We've got a whole page about awesome stuff in MELBOURNE

Is there a code of conduct?


Drupal Downunder aims to be a fun, welcoming and professional event for the Drupal community to get together to learn from each other and be inspired. The organisers are committed to the ideals expressed in the Drupal code of conduct, and ask all our speakers, volunteers, attendees and guests to adopt these principles.

This is a diverse community. Sometimes this means we need to work harder to ensure we're creating an environment of trust and respect where all who come to participate feel comfortable and included.

We value your attendance and appreciate your help in realising this goal.

Read the full code of conduct here: http://drupaldownunder.org/code-conduct

Speaker Questions

What is a session proposal?

A session "proposal" is a short summary of what you'd like to talk about. It doesn't have to be exactly what you end up talking about, but it should be close.

What is an abstract?

An "abstract" is a short summary of what you're actually talking about. If you don't provide one, it'll be the same as your proposal.

What is a presentation?

A presentation or talk is a 30 or 60 minute session where in you talk about your chosen topic. The session time also includes set-up and take down time, and time for audience questions; thus you won't actually be speaking for a full 30 or 60 minutes.

What is a lightning talk?

A lightning talk is a 7 minute talk. It's enough time to talk about one topic in brief. Lightning talks are a great place for those who have never spoken at a conference before to have a go. No matter what your chosen topic, it's very hard to go wrong when you've only got 7 minutes. Lightning talks don't require slides, but you're welcome to create them if you wish.

The lightning talks will be presented in blocks throughout the conference. To sign up for a lightning talk, just add your talk title and name up on the board during the conference.

What is a tutorial?

A tutorial is a half or full day session where you teach a topic to your class. This may include having worked examples and group exercises. Class sizes for tutorials are unknown at this stage, but it may be reasonable to assume you'll have a class size of 6-10 people.

What is a BOF (Birds of a Feather)?

A BOF is a 1-2 hour, typically informal, interactive session for interested people to work together on something. As a few examples, there may be a key-signing BOF where those who use public key encryption can get together, meet each other and offer to sign each other's keys. There may be a networking BOF where people are encouraged to meet each other and exchange business details. Another BOF may enable a number of people who are involved in project or subscribed to a mailing list, to get together and meet each other face to face.

BOFs are usually organised in the week before the conference or at the conference. If you'd like to offer to run one, please contact us

What kind of talks can I give?

There are three kinds of sessions: Standard, Lightning talks and BoFs

Lightning talks are 3-5 minutes and designed to cover a single topic or idea in brief. These may be amusing, informative or both. Lightning talks will typically be attended by the entire conference audience. They are a great place for a beginner speaker to start. Sign up at the conference.

Standard sessions are designed to give you sufficient time to cover a number of related topics in some depth. Under most situations we'd encourage you to pick a Standard length session.

BoFs are informal, and arranged in the weeks prior to, or at the conference, amongst those already registered to attend the event.

Standard sessions will typically get approximately 1/3 - 1/5 of the audience; or a maximum of 60-100 people. Most sessions are presented as a lecture with slides, with questions left to the end. If you wish to give a demonstration please talk to us to make sure that we can ensure we'll have sufficient technology to make it visible to the entire audience. If you'd like to run a Question and Answer session, we'd encourage you to consider running a BOF instead.

If you're uncertain of what is the best kind of talk for you to give, please contact us.

Does my talk have to be about Drupal?

We welcome talks about Drupal and related web technologies, techniques, processes and strategies around the following topics


  • Building Sites and Systems
  • Code, Core and Contrib
  • Government, Education & NFPs
  • Stories and Case Studies
  • Theming and Design
  • The Business of Drupal

For a description of these topics check out the full CALL FOR SESSIONS

Who will be my audience?

Your audience may include developers, designers, sitebuilders, themers, content specialists and managers. Their level of experience in your particular field may vary. Please select your strand, and experience level when submitting your session proposal.

What technology will be available to me?

All presentation rooms will be equipped with a data projector with a standard VGA connector. We expect presenters will use their own laptops and VGA adapter.  

Should I show code on my slides?

Yes, please do. However, be aware that code is harder to read than normal words, so please use a big font, and limit the amount of code on each slide. Highlight the relevant portions if applicable.

What if I can't make the deadlines?

If you are having difficulties with a deadline, please let us know as soon as possible - this will make it much easier for us to work with you to find a solution.

Similarly, if you find that you have to pull out of presenting, again, please let us know as soon as possible. Telling us the week before makes the conference scheduling very very tricky.

If my talk is accepted, will I still need to pay the admission fee for attendees?

Yes, to keep the conference registration as low as possible speakers also need to pay to attend. However they may pay the early bird rate, even after the early bird period closes.

If my talk is accepted, will you cover travel and/or accommodation expenses? Will you cover international travel?

Unfortunately we do not have the funds to cover any speaker expenses. If you can only make it to the conference if your costs are subsidised, please let us know. It may be possible for us to encourage one of our excellent sponsors to help cover these costs, but we can make no guarantees.

If my talk is accepted, will I receive any payment above expenses?

Unfortunately we do not have the funds to provide payment to conference speakers.

What do I need to do once my session is accepted?

Rejoice! And help us spread the word about the conference and help encourage people to attend. We'll provide badges to put on your website. We'd love you to write about your session in the lead up to the event, blog, tweet, facebook, linkedin - wherever!  Please prepare your talk well in advance and practice your presentation. If you are new to presenting ask a friend or colleague to watch you practice and refine your presentation based on feedback.  There are some great resources online on how to give effective presentations - we encourage all speakers to treat this opportunity with respect and enthusiasm so we can create a great conference experience for everyone.

Attendee Questions

How much will the conference cost for attendees?

This year we have a number of pricing options, please note that "Conference Ticket" refers to the 2-day programme (14th - 15th January 2012). Attendance at the tutorial(s) on the 13th of January may have an additional charge.

Price Option
$220 Earlybird Conference Ticket
$275 (Full price) Conference Ticket
$121 Student price Conference Ticket

Register now

Can I get any kind of discount for being a student, unemployed, young, old etc?

The student ticket price offers a significant discount for conference attendance. To be eligible for this discount, you will need to show your student card when registering at Drupal Downunder. If you don't provide proof of your student status, you will be asked to pay the difference before being admitted to the conference.

Can I volunteer to help out in return for cheap or free admission?

This may be possible. If you really want to do this, please contact us.

Are there any sources of funding for attendees?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer any funding for attendees. This conference is as low-cost as we can make it.