Seeking service/person to manage small Discourse forum in Australia [PAID] - data must be hosted in Australia


We are an Australian NFP and run a Discourse forum to offer peer support. We have about 850 members and 10k page views/month.

We are a teeny team with a combined time fraction of < 6 FTE and a long way off from having any internal IT support.

The company who used to host and provide support on our Discourse forum is no longer available and the other IT consultants we use are not familiar with Discourse.

We have received advice that the next update will crash our forum and have had issues with being offline a few times.

We require our data to be hosted in Australia.

Does anyone know someone in Australia who offers a service to manage a small Discourse forum?

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Hi @Natnatnat

I’m not based in Australia (I’m from India) but I have experience in running and managing discourse sites. I can help with your requirements. I’m sending you a DM.


You have two separate requirements.

One is hosting the system within your country.

The other is managing the system, serving as one of the Discourse administrators. (I recommend having more than one, with one designated as the senior administrator, though Discourse itself makes no such distinction.)

You may not need someone in your country to do that, it can be managed remotely from nearly anywhere. The remote manager might need some occasional assistance from the host site managers.

You may want some kind of group that deals with setting site policy to be implemented by the administrators, possibly also serving as an appeals body for disciplinary issues.

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If there is a requirement to host a site in your specific country, then there is very likely another requirement that there may not be any kind of admin access from outside of the country. The combination of not allowing hosting outside of the country but allowing administration outside of the country is very unusual and likely not according to whatever regulation you’re trying to adhere to.


I require admin to be based in Australia, also

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Is an Australian citizen based in NZ close enough?

@angus - any thoughts?


Data needs to be in Australia

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Hey @Natnatnat, welcome!

I’m Australian (from Perth), but currently based in Europe, so I don’t meet your criteria. That said, it sounds like you already have the forum up and running, and I’m assuming the data is already hosted in Australia? Which hosting provider are you currently with?

As an aside, as well as being involved in Discourse, I’m also an ex-(Australian)-lawyer and someone interested in data regulation so also curious about the requirement of the data being hosted in Australia and the admin being based in Australia?

I’m sure you have your reasons, and I don’t mean to pry if they’re confidential, I’m more curious to learn the current thinking on this in the Australian regulatory environment (I’ve been more focused on Europe in the past few years).


Hi @angus
Thanks for your welcome.
I don’t usually loiter in tech forums - this is a first for me.
We receive government funding and our service agreements state that we must get prior consent of the funder before transferring personal information outside of Australia. This is likely to be convoluted. It is also a case of ‘worse case scenario.’ What if we did have a data breach and our data was held in a different jurisdiction under different legislation and we were asked why we didn’t just keep our data in our Australia if that was an option? We received legal advice to this effect.
We are a charity and people are sharing personal stories on our Discourse community.
Thanks, Nat


Thanks for explaining Nat, I thought that might be the case, and that makes sense.

Do you know who your current Australian hosting provider is? Did the previous company you were using for support give you any details on which service was being used for hosting?

Given your charitable status, I’d be happy to give you some free advice in a personal capacity on how to tackle this. I’m not based in Australia, but I can help to point you in the right direction perhaps. You can send me a private message here on with more details if you like.

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I’d be very grateful for your advice, Angus. I’ll take you up on that and message you on Monday. This overstretched charity CEO needs to get her head out of IT forums but thank you veru much.


Sent you a PM @Natnatnat

For any other Aussies wanting someone local to help them out with Discourse, please get in touch:

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