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Bringing businesses the technology they need to succeed

Small Business

Posted on March 4, 2019

3 min read

We’re opening the first of our 28 brand new Business Technology Centres around Australia in Townsville, the economic gateway to North Queensland. Our new Business Technology Centres will cater to small and medium business operators, giving them guidance and advice on the best technology solutions for their specific needs.

In 2019, a small business needs more than just a mobile phone plan and a website if it wants to excel. These days, it’s all about cloud storage and software as a service, data networks and IP phones, and high-quality hardware and software built for business.

We’re making these specialised services available to a wider range of businesses with the launch of our Telstra Business Technology Centres across Australia. We’re introducing a new way of interacting with our small business customers, too – we’re here to offer our advice and expertise in business, not just to sell you more, and to help you build relationships with our own partners in world-class technology – providers like Microsoft and Cisco.

A Telstra Business Technology Centre is set up to be a one-stop shop for our small and medium business customers – bringing together a team of highly trained staff with expertise in small business and our leading range of small business technology solutions – everything from website and e-commerce platforms to fixed broadband, nbn and mobile services. More complex technology needs require more complex service and support, and we understand that in an increasingly digital world your business’s connectivity and reliability are paramount.

We chose Townsville as the home of our first Business Technology Centre in recognition of its importance as a major economic gateway for the North Queensland region. It has varied industries and more than 2000 businesses of all sizes – but despite being a major regional centre, there are limited choices for small and medium businesses when it comes to accessing new technology. We’ll now be making the most advanced software and technology business solutions available to businesses of all sizes as we open new Business Technology Centres across the country.

The rollout of Telstra Business Technology Centres across the country is part of our T22 strategy to simplify our offerings for customers and to reduce unnecessary complexity. Recently, we announced a major revamp to our plans for businesses bringing many much-demanded features like dedicated service and support for business customers, unlimited data on selected Business Bundle mobile plans, and Platinum for Business 24/7 tech support.

It takes a village to stamp out bullying

Telstra Foundation

Posted on March 16, 2018

4 min read

Today is Australia’s national day of action against bullying and across the country, schools will come together to imagine a world free from bullying.

We’re totally on board. We think that there are things that we can all do, every day, to help prevent bullying and help build resilience and leadership skills in young people.

With the help of a couple of our partners, we’ve pulled together our top tips and resources from our partners to help stop bullying inside and outside the classroom.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation share our love of community learning spaces and together we are equipping public libraries and connecting library users with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

We’ve partnered with Alannah & Madeline Foundation to provide free cyber-safety training to 1500 public libraries to keep these community digital hubs smart safe and responsible when it comes to tech. 75 percent of Australian libraries are now on their eSmart journey.

We’re also supporters of Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s eSmart Digital Licence, an online cyber safety program teaching children critical digital skills to be smart, safe and responsible when online. This online learning resource includes interactive cyber-safety quizzes and is curriculum aligned and suitable for school-aged children aged 8 and above, with both Primary and Secondary versions available.

PROJECT ROCKIT believes in a world where kindness and respect thrive over bullying, hate and prejudice and so do we.

Schools across Australia can sign up for face to face strength-based PROJECT ROCKIT workshops, and if you’re in Southern Queensland or Western Sydney, keep an eye out for the Telstra backed tours running over the next couple of months. We are also working with PROJECT ROCKIT on a new interactive sports-based program, showcasing the power of teams to stamp out bullying. Look out for more info soon.

National Day Against Bullying 2018

We’ve also funded ‘PROJECT ROCKIT Online,’ Australia’s brand new curriculum of cool anti-bullying and cyber safety development for students in years 7-9. Consisting of three online workshops that tackle (cyber) bullying by building empathy and leadership, PROJECT ROCKIT Online guides students through a fun, practical and engaging online learning journey that incites reflection and encourages positive change.

And finally, PROJECT ROCKIT TV is a series that’s helping to create conversations about the stuff that doesn’t get discussed at school. You can explore topics like cyberbullying, belonging, gender and reputation.

ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people. It offers practical support, tools and tips to help young people get through difficult times.

ReachOut’s research found that more than 50 percent of young people head online for help when they’re dealing with something heavy. ReachOut provides targeted information and practical tools to help Australian youth with things like bullying, relationships, peer pressure and stress.

ReachOut’s research also confirmed that cyberbullying remains a key worry for parents so to help navigate this issue, the team created the ReachOut parents portal to provide tips and advice for parents supporting their teenagers through everyday issues and tough times. Parents can search by topic, join discussion boards and download resource sheets.

And if you’re curious about building resilience check out Gaming for good! ReachOut Orb is a curriculum-mapped serious game designed for Year 9-10 students to build positivity and resilience. The Orb is backed by positive psychology and has been built by education experts. It’s free for schools to use, comes with a swag of teacher resources and was built thanks to a grant from the Telstra Foundation.

Our challenge to you on this day of action is to share these resources – whether it be with a young person, parent, teacher, principal or community leader. Remember, it takes a village to stamp out bullying.

Achieving gender equality: our bias for action


Posted on March 7, 2018

6 min read

International Women's Day 2018: Achieving gender equality - our bias for action

As organisations move away from traditional command-and-control structures, a diverse and inclusive culture makes a fundamental difference in attracting and retaining the best talent to accelerate cultural change.

There is no single way to embrace diversity and encourage greater participation of under-represented groups, particularly for a business of our size and scope. Instead, real change is the cumulative effect of both developing a deep understanding of the entrenched practices that prevent participation and finding different ways to address barriers.

A major focus for our business is gender equality, an area where we continue to develop and roll out different ways to introduce true change – some big, some small. Here are five ways we’re addressing this challenge.

  1. Knowing what we’re reaching for

We can’t achieve greater gender equality without knowing the objectives we need to meet – especially in an organisation with a large proportion of traditionally male-dominated roles.

Our Board sets clear targets for gender representation as part of our broader commitment to diversity and inclusion.  We have a goal to reach a female representation level of 32 per cent across our business by 30 June 2018. Our overall gender balance last financial year was a little over 30 percent female, so we still have more to do.

Gender pay equity continues to be another key area of focus and we remain vigilant about how we administer and apply policy to avoid any bias in performance assessment and remuneration decisions. When we compare pay on like-for-like roles, the gender gap as at 30 June 2017 is two percent Being transparent about this with our employees and publicly is critical if we want to make sure we are living up to our values and commitment to gender equity.

To work towards gender pay equity, we examine our remuneration data across all business units every year to identify any pay disparities that can’t be explained by factors such as levels of performance or role type. Each business unit has a dedicated budget for correcting disparities and we closely monitor the application of this budget to ensure funds are distributed in line with our core principles. Gender equality and pay equity are separate yet connected issues – improvements in one will lead to improvements in the other.

  1. Shifting the balance through focused action

While all recruitment and promotion decisions are based on selecting the best person for the role, strengthening our female talent pipeline is imperative.

In March last year, we were proud to mark International Women’s Day by introducing a Global Recruitment Equality Procedure, a requirement that recruitment and interview shortlists include at least 50 per cent female representation.

Nearly a year later, we are seeing strong results. As at January 2018, women represent around 50 per cent of interview shortlists compared to 35.5 per cent prior to implementation; this includes those roles with a 25 per cent target given the recognised shortages in the supply for some of roles – something we need to change too! The more gender balanced shortlists are translating into an increase in female hires. A simple approach is making a real difference.

  1. Finding new ways to support women at different stages of their careers

We have other targets to meet, including 40 per cent female non-executive directors and female promotion rates greater than female representation in our business by 2020. We need new ways of making this happen; we need to address some of the challenges women can face during their careers, such as taking time out to be a primary care giver or to pursue other interests.

One way forward is a new program we have developed to specifically help talented and experienced senior people to return to the workforce after a period of at least two years away.

Participants will have the opportunity to join our business in a valued and challenging role, with additional support and guidance to make a smooth transition back into corporate life. We’re currently working on placing 14 successful candidates in the pilot program in one of our major business units; if successful, it’s a model we hope to roll out throughout the business. The passion and calibre of the applicants was amazing with many shared stories of the significant challenges of trying to re-enter the workforce after an extended period away.

  1. Encouraging different generations to bridge the technical skills gap

Like most organisations, we have a clear gender imbalance in some areas of our business: bringing more women into roles where there is a known significant gender imbalance in the job market is an ongoing challenge.

We’re taking a number of approaches – both short and long-term – to drive applications and target active female job seekers right now, to reach women at early stages in their careers or at a university level, and to invest in generational programs to encourage more women to choose a technology-focused career path.

Investing in education initiatives like ‘code clubs’ for girls in schools and digital making parties focused on building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and digital citizenship skills in grassroots communities, classrooms and public libraries across Australia makes a difference.

  1. Actively seeking different thinking

Innovation and the ideas to disrupt the status quo to drive diversity and inclusion can come from anywhere in the organisation – top down from the leadership team, bottom up from the front line, and everywhere in between. The challenge is to bring the great ideas to light.

One way we’re nurturing different ways of thinking about gender equality is through Brilliant Connected Women, a vibrant and active network of almost 3,000 Telstra women and men who champion gender diversity and equality.

Part of Telstra’s Diversity and Inclusion program, the network is open to all employees and connects women at all levels through networking, mentoring, educational forums and events, and a focus on transforming our environment to further the inclusion of women.

None of these actions will bring about gender equality on their own – and nor do we intend stopping here. In the same way digital technologies are revolutionising our world, there is a need to search relentlessly for better solutions to support diversity and inclusion.

In a world where change comes from a bias for action and bold ideas, one thing we cannot do is get comfortable.

Building cyber-safe communities through libraries

Telstra Foundation

Posted on March 5, 2018

3 min read

A library is a community institution, a place almost all of us would have visited at some time in our lives. Increasingly, these vibrant knowledge centres are playing a key role to bridge the digital divide, by connecting communities to the online world. Over the past six years, this transition has been supported through eSmart Libraries, a unique and ambitious partnership between the Telstra Foundation and the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

The partnership is an acknowledgement of the key role libraries play to bridge the digital divide, by connecting young people and communities to the online world safely, smartly and responsibly. As well as promoting safe behaviour online, it improves digital literacy and teaches skills around social media and digital copyright.

The eSmart framework was designed to equip staff and visitors with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of digital technology. The Telstra Foundation has committed $8 million to the project and aims to improve online safety through the 1500 public libraries in Australia.

Seventy percent of libraries are now participating in the program, which was developed from a holistic and evidence-based approach, to look at how the library and community can develop smart, safe and responsible digital behaviours.

Jenny Musty is a librarian at a rural eSmart Library and says the program has enabled staff to offer help and advice to parents whose children are victims of cyberbullying.

“Recently we had an incident where we knew a child was communicating with someone they shouldn’t have been via computer. They were skipping school and our staff felt confident in dealing with that situation by contacting the school, making sure they were aware of what was happening and following up on that and making sure the child was safe.

“That was a really good outcome and I believe that child had a better outcome because of us picking up that situation and being more aware and confident,” Ms. Musty said.

A recent evaluation shows it to be one of the most highly-rated programs ever undertaken in Australian libraries, with 100 percent of surveyed library managers recommending the program. 93 percent of library staff reported improved knowledge on how to assist community members to stay safe online.

“eSmart has helped to reinforce the library staff role, it is about technology and supporting people and making sure everyone is comfortable.

“I think libraries have played a key role in assisting people to use technology, right through from when email was first thought of – and we’re in an excellent position to provide education and support in all facets, including all the downsides and the pitfalls of technology,” Ms. Musty said.

In the 21st century, it is clear that librarians’ roles are evolving, from not just assisting individual customers but to tackling wider societal problems. The success of eSmart Libraries comes down librarians having the skills and the technology available to them to solve problems.

Silent line privacy fees removed

Tech and Innovation

Posted on February 20, 2018

2 min read

Technology is fundamentally changing the way we communicate at home, in the office and socially.

Update, Tuesday 20 February 2018:

We’ve now made the changes to our Silent Line product for home phone services.

  • Customers will no longer be charged a monthly fee to keep their details out of the White Pages and online directories.
  • All Telstra customers can now manage their Directory Listing and Caller ID (whether their number is displayed to other callers) preferences through the Telstra 24×7 app or My Account.
  • We’re also contacting existing Silent Line customers to reassure them their details remain private and what to expect on their bill.

At Telstra we’re investing in new technology and digitising our processes to transform not just the way we do business with our customers, but also our products and services.

Our original article follows:

With new technologies we’ll be looking to make changes to some of our traditional products, and the first of these is the Silent Line service.

Protecting our customers’ privacy is paramount to Telstra and providing tools to protect telephone numbers and addresses is part of what we do to help. We understand privacy is important to all our customers, and that some Australians choose a Silent Line for a multitude of reasons including for personal safety.

Currently, customers who want to keep their details out of the White Pages and online directories can request a Silent Line and pay a monthly fee of $2.93.

We are about to change that, and we will be removing the monthly charge to make privacy with Telstra more accessible to our customers.

We are also pleased to announce that we are making it easier for our customers to manage whether their number is visible to people they call and be able to control this – and their current White Pages listing – online, through the Telstra 24/7 app or My Account.

These changes will apply from 18 February 2018.

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