Serendipity with Paul Wallbank

It all began with a broken computer.
―Paul Wallbank

You never know where one serendipitous situation will lead you. Not only did a broken computer lead business commentator and speaker, Paul Wallbank, into a new career, it set him on a path has twisted and turned year after year.


As a well-known public speaker on the topic of business, innovation and technology, Paul’s career has spanned the hands-on world of computer repairs, computer training and writing, (if you’ve ever read a PCs for Dummies book, then you’ve read Paul’s work), project management, policy advice and journalism. But it’s not just the depth of experience that makes Paul an entertaining speaker – it is his willingness to tell the underlying stories complete with a cast of characters drawn larger than life.

Taking a deep breath, Paul would launch into a story, explaining how an event triggered a chance meeting. Or opportunity. At the next breath, his voice would change and he’d lean forward, leering at the audience. This wasn’t just a recounting of a story. It was a performance. A one-man show.

Skipping through decades of entrepreneurial ups-and-downs, Paul left no stone unturned. There was the small business opportunity. The phase of unexpected growth. The double dealing and the collapse.

He touched on his time working with the State Government and planning out the Digital Sydney initiative, bringing the topic of government policy to life with classic Australian characterisations. Sweeping his arm from left to right, he showcased not the Vibewire Common Room coworking space, but the vast expanse of Sydney Harbour as seen from the top of Sydney’s towering MLC Centre.

The small crowd were at times mesmerised. Amused. Horrified. But always entertained.

And thankful for a compelling blast of serendipitous storytelling.

Serendipity is a storytelling series reflecting an entrepreneurial life and the chance encounters that change our lives for better or for worse. Serendipity happens each Wednesday evening from 6pm at the Vibewire Common Room. All are welcome.

Register for next week’s Serendipity with Cafe Dave.

Lucy Wire

Conceived in the Valley of Hunters, Lucy dragged all her belongings to Sydney in 2007, wanting to take a hungry bite out of Australia's Big Red Apple... and so began her passionate love affair with Vibewire Youth Inc.

The non-profit youth org saw Lucy take a swing at every curve ball, including Communications, Human Resources, Editing, Design and Business Development. In the last year she has settled down as one of Vibewire's Online Community Managers, loving the close contact she has with Vibewire's supporters on Facebook (link).

Academically, Lucy has dabbled in a variety of fields, including Literature, History, Arts and finally finding her place in a degree of Media and Communications at Sydney University.

When she isn't rolling with the Communications Team at Vibewire, you'll find her pointing her SLR at beautiful landscapes, break-dancing in her living room, and wine-tasting at her birthplace.