Australian Citizenship

June 8th, 2021

Not every day you become a citizen of a country! In fact for most folks this is once in a lifetime event. But for me, after spending 11 years in Australia living, studying, working, Australian citizenship was finally no longer a dream, but a completed life goal.

Latvia allow’s its citizen to have dual citizenship, so naturally I opted for that.

But there was more thing I wanted to do before I got my Australian passport: change my legal name. My name is Russian language is: Vadim Brodsky, but in Latvia its Vadims Brodskis, because thats how the Latvian language works, all masculine words must have an –s at the end of them. And that has been the reality of my life since I was born. I can not change it in Latvia. But I can change it in Australia!

So I applied for a name change with the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages and it got approved. So my name legally in Australia is now Vadim Brodsky. No ‘s’s at the end anymore. And that is what it says on my Australian passport. However I can not change my Latvian passport. Thus I am stuck in a reality where I have 2 passports with 2 different names. I’m sure that wont cause any problems to me whatsoever, right?…

Wedding Planning

January 23rd, 2021

There are so many parts to planning a wedding, we were quick to realise that. But that didn’t deter us, as we decided to do 2 weddings: 1 in Sydney and 1 in Nagoya. This way we can have my friends attend the Sydney one, and have us legally be married in Australia first, and then have a reception in Nagoya for Kotone’s family and friends to attend there.

We decided early on that the wedding ceremony and receptions we wanted to focus on our family. The priority was to get our family to both of them, as we are so far from both our families for long periods of time. Also since we are doing 2 receptions, we figured the one in Sydney would be the western style one and for the one in Nagoya we would go full out traditional Japanese style.

We through about when to have these 2 celebrations, and thought that spacing them out would be inconvenient for my parents who need to fly from Europe, so we went with both being on the same week. But then which week, we needed to pick one. Summer and Winter seasons were ruled out quite quickly, as going from a winter Latvia to a summer Sydney then to a winter Nagoya would not be pleasant at all (same for the inverse). So it was spring or autumn. Since we started planning in Summer 2020, doing it in autumn was impossible, and spring was quite hard, so we went with Autumn 2020. And the day we chose for the ceremony was 4/4/22 (yes I love my repeating dates). Which was a Monday. And the Japanese reception would be the same week on the Saturday, 9th of April 2022.

Focusing on the western | japanese style as a theme, we started looking at the Sydney venue first. The venue needed to be easy to get to for my Sydney friends, but intimate enough that we wouldn’t be on display for the world to see. It needed to be an older style building, more from the 1900s or 1800s with a space for a ceremony, and a large hall to fit our guests. We estimated that we would have around 50-60 guests at the wedding, cause if we went any larger, we wouldn’t have time to spend with everyone on our special day. It also needed to be uniquely Australian, be it with a view of the harbour, a winery, near a beach, something that both my European parents and Kotone’s Japanese parts would love and we could remember forever.

After a bit of research and visiting the place, we settled on the Gunners Barracks in Mosman. It was perfect. It met all of the conditions and the hiring price for the date we chose was very reasonable as well.

Then for Sydney we needed to decide on all the other things: flowers and decorations, photographer, cake, music, transport, etc. But for Japan, it was a little bit more simpler.

In Japan you don’t pick all the things separately from different vendors, you chose the venue and then the venue provides you will all the other vendors based on the package type you chose. There are different packages that suite different budgets, but all filled by folks who work in collaboration with the venue of chose. The venue also designates a wedding planner for our event specifically who would be our contact person for all the matters.

For the Nagoya venue we went with Gajouen Nagoya. It has a great vibe, is very traditional, a high quality venue, does traditional catering, has kimono rental, and is in a rather convenient location only 15 minute train trip from Nagoya Station.

So with the dates and venues decided, it was time to give all of our friends as “Save the Date” card for the date. And we came up with the best idea for that – a floppy disk. Its used as a “save” icon on a lot of modern day apps, and it’s a lot more unique than a simple card. It was a great idea and everyone loved it. We also hid a file on the floppy disk itself, for those of our friends who happen to have a floppy disk reader available to them.


UPDATE Oct 2021: Due to COVID restrictions on flying to Australia and Japan not lifting, and there being no plans in place to lift them by April 2022, Kotone and I have decided to postpone our wedding to 2023, so that our parents can come to celebrate with us. The new dates are 04/04/2023 and 08/04/2023. Hopefully we don’t need to postpone again!

The Proposal

November 11th, 2020

9 months we spent apart, and the whole time we were trying to figure out how to get you back to Sydney. But finally in October 2020 you made it back, and after 2 weeks in quarantine we were finally reunited on the 7th of November 2020.

With so much time spent apart, I knew we had to spend as much time together as possible, so I took 2 weeks off work and booked us a camping trip across the norther coast of NSW. But that was not the only thing I planned.

I was also ready to ask you to spend the rest of your life with them. I bought a ring, and thought of where and how I will propose. It was going to be on the 11th of November 2020 (11/11/2020) at sunrise at the national park we are camping in.

The stage was set the time was right and that is exactly what I did. We woke up at 5am to watch and take photos of the sunrise, but then when we got to the beach to see the sunrise, I started playing our song – Wherever you are by One Ok Rock. It was a special cut down version which plays for 1 minute or so, basically cutting off when the lead singer says: “I promise you forever right now”. So when that line of the song was sung, I bent down on one knee and asked you whether you would marry me.

I was extremely nervous these whole couple of weeks (or months) preparing for this one moment, and in the moment my knees were weak, arms were heavy, but I did it – I asked the question. And the answer you gave me was: “YES”. You said you knew it was coming, but didn’t expect it to happen at that time at that place. But you were overjoyed and crying, and so was I.

Well whats next?

We already told all of our family and friends, getting plenty of congratulations all around. So now it’s time to start planning our wedding!  Where will we have it? what will we do? what will your dress look like? Are all things I’m really looking forward to answering with you during 2021.


May 11th, 2020

It is now May 2020 and the whole world has been in shutdown for 2 months now. Who would’ve imagined that our normal lives would come to such an abrupt stop in March 2020.

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc to countries and their health systems, and without a clear solution form anyone, we are all just stuck in our homes – in lockdown.

Some governments acted faster and better than others, and have managed to protect and save more of their people from this deadly virus, but everyone had to implement drastic measures to achieve even the smallest of results.

Australia has surprisingly come out on top in terms of its response and how well we managed to contain the spread and flatten the curve. Other advanced 1st world countries (looking at you USA and UK), were not so fortunate to have leaders who care about their people and their livelihoods.

We are all doing our part – staying home, social distancing, isolating ourselves from the world. Thats what each and every one of us can do, and should do, until there is a clear end in sight. Whether it be a vaccine or total eradication of the virus, either way we all need to just accept that our lives will not be returning to normal anytime soon.

This situation has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives – with events canceled, travel banned, and any kind of future plans postponed. I had some big things planned for 2020 and 2021, but unfortunately they will have to take a step back until life gets back to normal (a new normal).

Stay home, stay safe, stop the spread.


May 25th, 2017

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away


2006 vs 2016

December 21st, 2016

So this year there is this thing going around: me in 2006 vs me in 2016. So I decided to get on this bandwagon and combine it with my yearly retrospective post.

In 2006 my family had our annual trip to a new country – Australia. We visited Sydney, Uluru, Alice Springs, and Cairns during the 2 weeks that we were here. I was a small boy, exploring the world, one country at a time, trying to not get eaten alive by flies (as you can see by the photo).

Now, 10 years later, I am once again in Australia, more specifically Sydney, living my life here as a uni graduate and a software developer. Could I have imagined that I would be here right now 10 years ago? Probably not, but I am sure glad as to what I have achieved and how much I have grown.

So what actually happened this year? (And last year kinda, cause I never did a 2015 retrospective, and 2014 was still in Japan )

  • I got a proper job in IT in 2015, working as a software developer at WiseTech Global and I am really loving it! Still there, going strong, working on some really cool stuff.
  • I gave little Ringo-chan an uplift in February by redesigning this whole site.
  • Alex and  I moved to a new apartment in Mascot, now 10 minutes away from work in Alexandria.
  • Went to Singapore and Malaysia with my parents in March.
  • At around this time as well, I started doing sunrise and milky way photography with my coworker Anton. Even though I have been taking photos since 2006 (what a coincidence!), but now I believe I can truly explore this hobby more without having to travel somewhere far. Check out my photos on Flickr.
  • You know what a NAS is? what PLEX is? Well neither did I until I got a NAS and installed PLEX on it and now I have my whole media collection available to me anywhere.
  • June = Pokemon GO! came out allowing us to catch Pokemon everywhere! “A new region to explore, a whole new bunch of Pokemon to catch!”  – Vadim 2014
  • Then pretty much since July I didn’t blog as much and didnt do as much, was just focusing on work and getting my visa situation sorted out. Now I have a 4 year temporary working visa (457), so then in about 2, I can apply for permanent residency!)
  • In October, my parents came to visit me for my graduation! Thats right I am done with uni, no more classes, no more lectures…. no more fun times with my friends from the anime club… No not really, I am forever their we(e)bmaster.
  • Oh and of course we went to Middle Earth and visited Hobbiton. That was amazing. Wish the weather was a bit better, but hey, what can you do.
  • And now I find myself spending Christmas and New Years with my friends, and looking forward to a great 2017.

Hope you all had a good year, and see you all in the future!


I ‘member UTS

December 5th, 2016

I ‘member the good old time, you ‘member? – South Park

It’s been almost 6 months since I completed my almost 6 year degree in UTS. And now thinking back, I kinda miss being a student. Of course doing what a love at an amazing job that I got is great, however that feeling of going to university to learn, and socialise is something that I started to miss over the past few months. Of course I can say that I’ve had the best time of my life while at university and that I owe this to the amazing people that made that time so… well… amazing! However I am still involved in anime@UTS and to some extent JASS, so I can’t say that I’ve left campus life for good.

The reason for this reminiscing post is because I stumbled upon an article written by UTS International Office – about me! I did an interview with them and got them to take my photo, but never actually saw it used anywhere, but then today I did a Google search for my name (Vadims Brodskis) I came across this article. Isn’t it cool! Hopefully this stays on the site for ever, or at least a long long time, then I can say that I have made history! And with such a quote:

With the knowledge UTS has given me, I’m confident I can enter the job market, show them that I’m amazing and make then hire me.

Now, how many of you have your own university page?

Muza Birthday

Happy Birthday Muzaffar!

November 6th, 2016

Some people go to dinner, others just chill at home, what does Muza do? He organises a place at Jervis Bay for the night and gets together a gang of Russians (Uzbek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Kazak Russians) and takes us all to the beautiful beaches. Early wakeup on Saturday followed by a 2.5h drive out to Jervis Bay resulted in us getting some good sun, a few dips in the cold water and a hike through the national park. In the evening, as per tradition, we have shashlik (skewered meat) on the grill and some drinks, while chatting into the night.

All I wanna say is a big thank you to Muza, for organising, cooking and well being such a great guy! Happy Birthday my friend, wish you health and happiness, and of course all the best with work and your personal life.

Photos from our outing are right here:



I’ve Graduated

October 23rd, 2016

What a long, strange trip its been… I came to Australia in 2010, when I was only 17 years of age. I stayed with a homestay family and studied a foundation course in UTS:Insearch. Then after a year of that, I was accepted into UTS to start my 5 year double degree of IT and International Studies (Japan Major). Then just 5 years later I find myself graduated with distinction, with a full time job, living in a great apartment with an amazing housemate and surrounded by people who are made me who I am today.

Of course I would like to thank everyone for helping me with this long journey. First and foremost – my parents. Without them, I wouldn’t be here; without them, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or the skills to get me where I am now; without their support I would not have been able to 6 years of studies, work and life. So thank you mom, thank you dad. I hope I did good, I hope I made you proud, and that your investment in me will not be in vain.

Then my friends. Starting with the first even friend in UTS – Ruben, my weebmate – Tac, my housemate – Alex, my potato – Seb, my Eastern-European friend – Mad, my artsy-friend Amy, everyone else and ending with the new anime@UTS exec team for 2017. Thank you everyone for your support, for telling me off when I was acting stupid, for giving me a pat on the back when I did something good, and overall making my campus life as rose coloured as it could have ever been.

So after 6 long years I have finally graduated from UTS! *throws hat into the sky*

However, now it is time to embark on a new journey – I must change the world, one line of code at a time. And I hope that all these great people I have met in university will still be there by my side throughout my adult life.

Photos are right here, on my:


Why I Make

June 21st, 2016

Adam Savage, one of the hosts of Mythbusters is in Sydney at the moment, so I looked through his tweets and found this video he stared in. Adam starts off by saying that making, is creating something that didn’t exist in this world. That is right, we as humans have an incredible ability to, literally, make anything possible. We can be all artsy and draw a painting, shoot a movie, compose a music piece, or we could be scientific and discover an element, calculate a physical value, compute code, etc…

I would like to say why I make. I make because I want to change the world. As corny as it sounds, I want to leave the world a better place then I found it. I want to use my skills to make peoples lives better. My skills are primarily focused around technology, but I believe that I have the ability to improve on things that most people would not care about, mainly UI and UX. There are designers out there that create great user experiences, but a lot of our interactions with technology are clunky, rough and just annoying at times. So I think it is important for people, that stop and think about the little things to exist, so that the people that don’t, have a much smoother experience and continue doing what they are best at.

As Apple said in their 2013 WWDC video:

If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice…

I think is where I started to feel like I can make a difference if only I slowed down and looked around at what is around me.

I wish that everyone would continue making, would continue creating, would continue doing what they can to make this world better for everyone.