I am currently in Australia, and I'm rapidly falling in love with it. The country is beautiful, and the people are great. In a way, it feels like Australia combines the best of Europe and the best of the United States. And oh yeah ... Aussies know how to have fun. Within 24 hours of setting foot in Australia, they had me converted in Crocodile "Dries" Dundee, or "Drundee" for short. Crocodile teeth included.

Drupal Downunder, the Drupal conference in Brisbane that I attended and the main reason for my trip, was a great event. A lot of people flew out from other parts of Australia and New Zealand to attend so it was very much a national event. There was a great vibe that reminded me of early Drupal events. It is clear that Australians are passionate about Drupal, and that Drupal is getting a lot of traction. At the same time, based on the size of the Drupal shops, the size of projects being launched on Drupal, and the developer centric audience at the conference, it felt like Australia is a few years behind in terms of Drupal adoption. That makes for a great opportunity because based on what I saw, there is no doubt that Drupal will see a lot of growth in Australia.

Notable was also that quite a few people that I have talked to feel somewhat disconnected from what is happening with Drupal in Europe and the US. No surprise given the time zone differences and Australia's geographical remoteness. It was clear that improving our documentation and our communication would help them get more involved. As we grow Drupal, we need to over-invest in communication and maintain high-quality documentation. That is hard, because as we grow, we also tend to get more busy and more fragmented.

All in all, I had a great time in Brisbane! I'm in Melbourne now for meetings (and writing this blog post in between two meetings), and later this week I'll be in Sydney too. All meetings combined, it should give me a good take on the state of Drupal in Oz. I'll keep you posted.

Drupal downunder conference
Drupal downunder conference


sime (not verified):

A great conference by the Brisbane team. It was a buzz to have Dries, Allie Micka, Josh Waihu and Josh Koenig attend - took it to the next level. I agree, the Drupal market in Oz is a bit behind but that makes the future exciting. Thanks for the wrap-up Dries!

Andrew (not verified):

I'm looking at trying out Drupal this year. I've been using WP for so long that I've neglected to look at others, so with the release of Drupal 7, I think it is a good opportunity to look outside of WordPress.

Anonymous (not verified):

How many people went to Drupal Down Under? I heard there were somewhere around 165 attendees.

Jeff and Sheree (not verified):

We LOVED having you at DrupalDownunder and hope to see you again next year at DrupalDownunder in Melbourne! ;)

Thanks for taking the time out to come — we hope that you're having a blast in Melbourne and Sydney.

Travel safe!

Jeff and Sheree

Bevan (not verified):


I find it interesting that you think "Australia is a few years behind in terms of Drupal adoption". I wonder if this is perhaps more to do with the size of the web industry in Australia relative to the US and Europe, rather than the rate of adoption.

What do you think?

And thanks for coming all of this way to hang out in this part of the world. New Zealand next time eh!?


sime (not verified):

I tend to agree with Dries. My view is based on the conversation I have with clients - the sophistication of their requirements, the awareness of Drupal in the CMS market (the knowledge that there is a CMS market!), the perception of web technologies, the processes they go through. Totally subjective though!


Here is one example of why I think Australia is a few years behind. In the United States we have a lot of Drupal Camps, but we also have more focused Drupal events like the "Drupal Business Summit" (for IT decision makers), Design for Drupal (for Drupal themers), etc. Each of these events pull in more attendees than Drupal Downunder, and they are more specialized and much more local than Drupal Downunder.