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From analogue to digital – how to ride the tech wave in your career

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on July 31, 2017

3 min read

I’ve always loved the contagious optimism you often find in the technology sector – interesting humans who have a fearlessness to try, test and learn new ways of doing digital things.

I first found myself among these folks in the late ‘90s, when I lived in a tech accelerator in San Francisco during the “dot com boom”.

More than anything, this hardwired me to the potential technology has to scale change and gave me an understanding of the different types of roles in the sector – both techie and non-techie.

I’m not a software developer or systems engineer and while I was analogue at birth, I’d say I’ve become digital by design.  I am passionate about working with skilled people to solve social challenges with tech, and during my career I have focused on building my skill set to enable this.

My lucky break came when I joined Telstra to lead our philanthropic foundation.

My team and I have incredible opportunities to work on tech for good initiatives that connect our social innovation strategy with Telstra’s digital agenda.

It’s exciting because one of our areas of focus is education, to help to bridge the gender skills gap in the technology sector.

We are investing in initiatives like “code clubs” for girls in schools and digital making parties focussed on building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and digital citizenship skills in grassroots communities, classrooms and public libraries across Australia.

These initiatives are about reaching women at early stages in their careers or at university level, and to invest in generational programs.

This longer-term approach is vital, but there are also those of us who are having to develop new skills part way through our careers.

My number one piece of advice to keep up with the fast pace of tech is: whether you have traditional “techie” skills or not, focus on building these skills: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.

These are important 21st century skills – it’s not just about what you do but how you do it.  Don’t overlook them because nowadays its less a case of you breaking into the tech sector and more a case of tech breaking into whatever you find yourself doing!  You will need these skills to ride that digital wave with confidence.

Want to find out where a career in technology can take you? Visit the Telstra booth at this year’s Vogue Codes LIVE events in Melbourne.

Learn more about where a career at Telstra could take you.

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In pictures: Picasso’s Weeping Woman comes to life at the NGV

Technology For Kids

Posted on October 6, 2016

2 min read

Picasso’s Weeping Woman winking? Why not. A new art education program at the National Gallery of the Victoria (NGV) will see primary school students using computer code to animate the gallery’s famous Picasso, bringing the melancholy subject to life.

Developed in partnership with Telstra – the NGV Digital Creatives program fuses art with tech.

NGV educators worked with our expert Telstra Foundation partner, Code Club Australia, to design a series of workshops in which students create computer-generated works of abstract art and build their own digital paint palette. The program is all about driving a greater focus on science, technologies, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) in education, by using visual arts as a platform to develop students’ digital literacy skills.

In the above slideshow, you can view a few pictures from the program’s launch with students from Melbourne’s Princes Hill Primary School.

Photographer credit: Wayne Taylor


Telstra and the NGV Partnership

Through digital and technology-based initiatives, Telstra’s ongoing partnership with the NGV aims to enhance the visitor experience and unlock the potential ways in which visitors can engage with art at the NGV. Focussing on education and digital literacy, the partnership has bolstered NGV Education with the tools, knowledge and capacity to develop and implement the current program of digital and code-based workshops.

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Twitterific: Seven top Imaginarium tweets


Posted on August 16, 2016

1 min read

Ever wondered what would happen if you spent six full days learning about new ways to innovate?

We call it a digital bootcamp and we know 40 people who can tell you all about it – in less than 140 characters. Here’s seven top-tweets from the non profit sector leaders who took part our Imaginarium for Non Profits this month.

The Telstra Imaginarium for Non Profits continues its journey with a Sydney workshop this month. Driven by the Telstra Foundation, the bootcamps aim to bolster digital skills within non profits who have a thirst to innovate.

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Technology changing the future for non profits


Posted on June 27, 2016

3 min read

Can technology change the world? YES, was the resounding response from 40 leaders attending Telstra’s Imaginarium for Non Profits in Melbourne recently as Jackie Coates discovered.

The Imaginarium – a six-day long digital bootcamp designed to build-up innovation skills in Australia’s hard-working non profit sector. From Design Thinking to Affinity Mapping, attendees went on an intense digital expedition. Here’s what seven of them thought of the ride.

Jeremy Little, SANE Australia

Where to begin: “Everything starts with your audience. The first thing I learnt at the Imaginarium for Non Profits was probably the most important. Knowing, thoroughly knowing, who your audience is, who you are creating something for, and whether or not it meet their needs, is central for a successful digital project.”

Yasmin McKenzie, Lord Somers Camp and Power House

Together is better:Digital is the enabler for us to do our jobs better. The most important part of this digital journey has been working with other non-profits and looking at how digital capabilities can help us have a greater impact as a sector.”

Carolyn Finis, Summer Foundation 

Going for it: “There is a perception that perhaps the innovation space is daunting, expensive and also risky. That hasn’t been our experience at the Summer Foundation and I think we are all seeing from the Imaginarium that you can just get in and give it a go – start small, build from there.”

Damien Matthews, Berry Street 

Putting the “co” in collaboration: “The creative, collaborative space at the Telstra Imaginarium for Non Profits and was ideal for discovering concepts such as co-design. Co-design is about bringing all parties into the creation process and drawing a range of ideas into development. I’ve learnt just how much you can create in a short amount of time with open mind and being empathetic.”  

Anyaak Abiel, Drummond Street Services 

Digital design tools: “There was so many great digital design tools and methods to be learnt. Not just how they can be used for digital projects but in their broader sense.  The prototyping process for example is really important when working on any given project that includes design or invention – not just digital.”

Viviana Rosas, Merri Health 

How this is different: I love Design Thinking. What’s exciting is that I can see how I can apply it to my organisation. Design Thinking is all about approaching issues in a more creative way and looking at things differently. It’s about not just coming up with a solution for a problem that we think we might have – but rather fully understanding a problem and working backwards to find a solution.”

Melissah Charlton, Anglicare Victoria 

Corporate-non profit sharing: “It’s all about sharing expertise. We’ve discovered a new range of tools that we can use in our jobs – and tools that are not necessarily used in the non profit sector at the moment. We came to the Imaginarium for Non Profits so that we can be more dynamic and more creative – and ultimately I think these tools will allow us to do that and provide a more holistic service.”

The Telstra Imaginarium for Non Profits will continue its journey with innovation workshops happening in Brisbane and Sydney in coming months. Driven by the Telstra Foundation, the bootcamps aim to bolster digital skills within non profits who have a thirst to innovate.


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Reducing anxiety and stress


Posted on July 3, 2015

3 min read

Telstra Foundation partner ReachOut Australia has launched two new apps to help young Australians reduce anxiety and stress through their smartphones.

ReachOut WorryTime and ReachOut Breathe are free apps that enable young people to use familiar technologies to independently manage anxiety and stress.

The new mobile apps are part of a growing suite of online evidence-based tools and information developed by ReachOut Australia, which launched as the world’s first online mental health service more than 15 years ago and is now accessed by millions of people each year.

In Australia, one in six people aged 16–24 years are currently experiencing an anxiety condition. This means that affected young people are constantly worrying, unable to relax, and have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating on things like work and study.

Jono Nicholas, CEO of ReachOut Australia, said, “Young people today are more connected and digitally savvy than ever before, with technology vital to their everyday lives.

“Digital self-help tools like these apps are simple, practical solutions that can be taken anywhere to help young people understand what’s worrying them, reducing symptoms of anxiety and making it easier to manage.”

ReachOut Australia was born digital and has developed some great digital resources such as these two new apps to help young people manage stress and anxiety.

ReachOut Breathe

ReachOut Breathe is one of the world’s first wellbeing apps specifically designed for Apple Watch, and is also available for iPhone. Using simple visuals, the app helps young people reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by slowing down their heart rate to increase feelings of calmness in the body. The iPhone version also uses biofeedback to measure heart rate so that users can track changes in real-time.

ReachOut WorryTime

ReachOut WorryTime, which is available for iPhone and Android mobile devices, helps users control anxiety by scheduling worry so that it is confined to a specific time each day. Learning to capture and then postpone worry makes it less intrusive and can bring about a greater sense of control.

ReachOut Breathe for iOS and Apple Watch is now available and can be downloaded directly from the iTunes Store.

ReachOut WorryTime for iOS and Android is now available and can be downloaded directly from the iTunes Store or Google Play.

The Telstra Foundation has partnered with ReachOut to develop an app and classroom resources currently in testing with students and teachers. The app – titled The Orb – is an online interactive game for teenagers to deal more effectively with the life stressors that we know can lead to more serious mental health problems. Find out more about the Telstra Foundation here.

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