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Tag: small-business

Disrupting aged care for good

Business and Enterprise

Posted on May 24, 2019

5 min read

Natasha Chadwick, Telstra’s Business Woman of the Year 2019, wants to change the way the world looks at aged care.

As we age, the need for respectful and individualised care becomes paramount. But as aged care became industrialised, the needs of the individual were potentially overlooked in the pursuit of large-scale care. That’s why we founded NewDirection Care at Bellmere.

At NewDirection Care, my team and I are on a mission to flip the script on aged care for the better, and forever. Our work at Bellmere has been positive, and now we’re eager to expand our model of care internationally.

It takes a village

NewDirection Care’s philosophy is simple: rather than filling a large building with many residents to provide care, a small residential township is built to deliver care that focuses on the individual in a community setting. 17 domestic-style homes are created, which can house seven residents each. The community at NewDirection Care at Bellmere, Queensland is the first of what we call a “microtown™”.

Developed especially for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs, the microtown™ community model gives back freedom to residents and is just like any small suburban town.

It has 17 homes, plenty of outdoor space, BBQ areas, a retail precinct with shops, a café, cinema, wellness centre, barbers, beauty salon and much more. Residents are encouraged to pursue hobbies and passions in the community and socialise with other residents.

Traditional aged care facilities are built around a regimented structure. Meal times, activity hours and sleeping periods are often mandated for residents in large scale care facilities. We saw an opportunity to flip this model around: instead of regimented schedules, NewDirection Care supports the autonomy of its residents.

Residents decide when they get up in the morning, when they go to bed in the evening, when they eat and when they socialise so as not to oppose personal autonomy. Use of outdoor spaces is encouraged, and freedom of movement for residents is paramount to NewDirection Care’s success as an individualised care community.

Residents are supported in their homes by personal carers called House Companions™ who provide relationship-based support and personalised care for each individual’s needs. Pets are also welcomed into the community and embraced as great companions.

Focus on the individual

The NewDirection Care model recognises that each resident is an individual with wants and needs that go beyond a simple diagnosis. The microtown™ model is built around respecting the individual and allowing them to flourish, rather than segmenting and segregating them inside a rigid, diagnosis-based structure. Residents are encouraged to lead an independent life and contribute to their community, which in turn supports them.

This focus on the individual is key to success. I believe that prioritising the needs of the individual in all of our business interactions increases the inclusivity of our business overall.

Some of my greatest mentors also prioritise the importance of the individual and I’ve had some amazing mentors in my journey. My business partner Arthur Brotherhood always championed me as a woman. Even though we were equal partners, people would come to him with questions and for answers. Instead of answering, he would always refer them back to me and honour the fact that we were partners.

From the microtown™ to the world

The theme for this year’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards program was literally about ‘undoing business’ – taking traditional mindsets and turning them upside down. Each of us has to look at our own industries, to not settle for the status quo, and instead step out of the shadows and spearhead the world that we want to see, so that present and future generations benefit from what we have to offer.

I believe that’s exactly what I’ve done with NewDirection Care. We’ve taken a traditional sector, a whole industry, and demonstrated that you can actually turn it upside down to change the way we provide aged care to people living in our communities. It can be much better than what it currently is.

I’ve got a very clear vision and goal of what we want to achieve, and we’ve always had that. Certainly, having to articulate what we want to achieve through the Telstra Business Women’s Awards process has made it even clearer. I now have the validation that we’re on the right track, and the extra encouragement to take NewDirection Care to the next level.

My role now as founder and CEO of NewDirection Care is to grow it into a national and international aged care brand. Through partnerships and licensing that ensure that NewDirection Care MicroTowns are built across Australia and around the world, allowing ageing people and those living with dementia, brain diseases or injuries both here at home and around the world to live a much better life.

I have proven with our new model of care that everyone can have a life of freedoms, not restrictions, no matter what their diagnosis. At NewDirection Care, we offer a life of equality, of respect, compassion and empathy, with every individual continuing to be a part of our communities, not shut away.

It’s so much more than a business for me – you can probably tell it’s my passion, and it’s my mission. I’m absolutely thrilled that winning this award will now shine a spotlight on my mission at NewDirection Care for radical change across the aged care industry, not only in Australia but around the world.

Introducing the 2019 Telstra Business Woman of the Year

Business and Enterprise

Posted on May 17, 2019

4 min read

The 2019 Telstra Business Woman of the Year is Natasha Chadwick, CEO of Queensland aged care facility, NewDirection Care at Bellmere. She was awarded the honour at a gala event in Sydney overnight.

I had the absolute honour of being on the judging panel and hosting the 2019 Telstra Business Awards last night, and what an incredible evening it was! Everyone was buzzing with excitement and in awe of our amazing finalists from around the country who are the best in business. 

Telstra Business Women of the Year winners are known for challenging the status quo and achieving success in business by forging their own path, and Natasha Chadwick is no different. Her tireless efforts to improve access to quality aged care for older Australians cannot be understated.

The rise in cases of dementia is a global crisis and one that touches many of us, whether in our own family or with someone we know. And Natasha has been pioneering a new approach for residents over the past seven years by creating a first-of-its-kind microtown™ residential community that brings together residents with a range of care needs and similar values and lifestyle preferences to live together.

Natasha developed her radical new take on aged care because she believed there was an opportunity to improve the traditional way of delivering care. Developed especially for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, she pioneered the microtown™ community model that gives back freedom to residents.

This model allows residents to have control over their lives while residing in an environment that is both familiar and safe. Residents in the community are treated as individuals, and are not bound to a set schedule of meals and care. The focus of microtown is all about establishing a sense of community. 

Upon reflecting on our winner and this year’s theme of celebrating women who are ‘undoing business’, I feel whole-heartedly that this is exactly what Natasha has done. She has been challenging traditional mindsets and turning them upside down, approached a whole industry with a view to improve it and demonstrated that you can actually change the way we provide aged care for the better.

Natasha joins a renowned group of Telstra Business Women’s Awards alumni, who for years have been sharing wisdom and advice with winners to help them take their businesses or not-for-profit organisations to the next level.

TBWA 2019 - Emerging Leader Award - Genevieve Clay-Smith
TBWA 2019 – Emerging Leader Award – Genevieve Clay-Smith
TBWA 2019 - For Purpose & Social Enterprise Award - Dushyanthi Thangiah
TBWA 2019 – For Purpose & Social Enterprise Award – Dushyanthi Thangiah
TBWA 2019 - Public Sector and Academia Award - Debbie Platz
TBWA 2019 – Public Sector and Academia Award – Debbie Platz

Now in its 24th year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards shine a light on women who have challenged the status quo, done things their own way, and achieved success in business. The program empowers Australia’s most successful women from small, medium and large businesses, for-purpose organisations and social enterprises, academia and the public sector.

TBWA 2019 - Small Business Award Winner - Jodie Silvester
TBWA 2019 – Small Business Award Winner – Jodie Silvester

The national winners were awarded following a rigorous judging process, which involved in-depth interviews with a panel of high-profile judges, including Melanie Silva, Managing Director of Google Australia & New Zealand, Stevan Premutico, Founder of Dimmi, and Tracey Spicer, journalist, author and founder of Outspoken Women.

TBWA 2019 - Noni Vassos and Mikayla Lynch
TBWA 2019 – Noni Vassos and Mikayla Lynch

The full list of the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards national winners are:

  • Small Business Award: Jodie Silvester, Managing Director and Founder, KAS Accounting Solutions (WA)
  • Public Sector and Academia Award: Debbie Platz, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Federal Police (QLD)
  • For Purpose & Social Enterprise Award: Dushyanthi Thangiah, Chief Executive Officer, Yumba-Meta Housing Association (QLD)
  • Emerging Leader Award: Genevieve Clay-Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bus Stop Films (NSW)
  • Business Woman of the Year Award and Medium & Large Business Award: Natasha Chadwick, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NewDirection Care at Bellmere (QLD)

We congratulate Natasha on her win, as well as all the category winners and the nominees in this year’s national awards – all of whom are doing their utmost to make Australia and the world a better place.

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.

We are always learning from our customers

Small Business

Posted on December 10, 2018

4 min read


As each day passes we see more disruption for Australian businesses created by technology innovation. We see more acceleration in digitally-enabled business models. We see new possibilities to grow and scale, often at very low cost.

How you feel about this disruption largely depends on how well your business is prepared for it – it can be exciting, frightening or even bewildering – in truth it is all of these things.

Through this whirlwind of change there is always one single source of truth and clarity I rely on – customers.

Customers will always know your business better than you do; know what works and know what does not, what adds value to their lives and businesses and what is just marketing hype.

That is why I love hitting the road and meeting customers across the country. Their passion for their businesses, their customers and their communities is unmistakable. For me, they provide the inspiration for what more we at Telstra can do to enrich lives, help businesses grow and communities prosper.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with Nic Gulino and Francesca Pavone from Dann Event Hire in Melbourne. They run a very impressive events company and this year were the winners of the 2018 Medium & Making Waves Award at the Victorian Telstra Business Awards.

Technology plays a big part in their business, keeping their teams connected on site at events, when travelling, when doing deliveries, presenting to clients and giving their teams the flexibility to work from home when they need.

The insight Nic and Francesca provided was how important flexibility is in business and how it enables them to go after opportunities, knowing they can scale up and down as required and deliver the best outcomes for their customers.

In Wollongong today to meet with customers, not-for-profits, government leaders and our employees from across the Illawarra region, I shared the next phase of our T22 strategy, and how we are taking our support for Australian small business to a new level.

Our new approach is built around three things – flexibility to enable businesses to scale and choose what is right for them, greater cost certainty and value, and expert service and advice – all critical elements for success in today’s fast-paced business environment.

There is a lot to our new suite of solutions for small businesses so I would encourage you to read more here. Here is a summary of what is included:

  • Business Choice mobile plan: Small business customers can now get a new mobile or tablet plan with a no lock-in contract and no excess data charges in Australia.
  • Unlimited broadband data: as standard on Business Bundle plans starting from $100.
  • Telstra Platinum® for Business: a new 24/7 tech advice and support service for business owners to take the pressure off having to employ, or in most cases, be their own IT experts.
  • More dedicated service and support for small businesses:
    • We have tripled the number of small business specialists in our 350 retail stores around the country to 3,000.
    • In early 2019, we will launch a new national premium ICT channel for small business customers with more complex technology needs.
    • We have also introduced a Concierge Tech Support™ service that provides small business customers calling with an nbn or fixed line service issue with one dedicated expert to help solve their problem fast.

In an increasingly connected world, businesses will be defined by how they respond in changing times – this is true for Telstra, true for small business, true for every business.

Just as we have done for the past century, Telstra will be there to help you with that. And I am sure that just as they have always done, our customers will keep us focussed on what matters most – them. And I am incredibly thankful for that.

2018 Telstra Cyber Security Report

Cyber Security

Posted on April 11, 2018

3 min read

It has been a notable year for security across the globe. With events such as the WannaCry ransomware, NotPetya malware, the Equifax breach, and the leaking of hacking tools by a group called the Shadow Brokers, the past year has seen large-scale cyber security events dominate the headlines.

This month, we released the 2018 Telstra Security Report , which is more comprehensive than ever before. We interviewed over 1250 professionals for matters of security from 13 countries including Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK.

Some of the findings are encouraging. Others, surprising. The insights about ransomware, however, are ringing alarm bells. Ransomware is on the rise and is becoming increasingly targeted. Our respondents reported more ransomware attacks in this year’s survey than any previous year.

Cyber security is ever more important in an interconnected world

Attacks are inevitable

31 percent of Australian respondents whose business had been interrupted due to a security breach in the past year are experiencing ransomware attacks on a weekly or monthly basis, the highest among all countries surveyed.

  • In the APAC and European region, this figure was only 22 percent.
  • The UK figure is 25 percent, second to Belgium at 29 percent for the European markets.

Over the course of 2017, Australia had the highest rate of ransomware attacks at 76 percent, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific, both at 74 percent. Respondents reported more ransomware attacks in this years’ survey than previous years.

Around half of the business victims paid the ransom

47 percent of Australian businesses who found themselves victims of ransomware paid the ransom, which was consistent across APAC.

  • Some 60 percent of ransomware victims in New Zealand, and
  • 55 percent in Indonesia paid the ransom, making it the highest for Asia.
  • In Europe, 41 percent of respondent ransomware victims paid up.

Most are able to retrieve data after payment

86 percent of Australian businesses who paid a ransom were able to retrieve their data after the payment. In Asia, this figure was slightly higher at 87 percent and slightly lower for Europe at 82 percent.

Our research suggests that ransomware that specifically targets businesses tends to be more sophisticated, with attackers having the ability to release files, typically through central command and control systems, once the amount has been paid.

Many would pay again

In Australia, 83 percent of respondents would pay the ransom again if there were no backup files available. Across Asia, 76 percent would also consider paying again as would 80 percent of European businesses.

It should be noted that an increased number of ransomware variants will attempt to attack some files, such as backup systems, as a first priority. This is often in an effort to increase the price of the ransom.

Cyber Security - Ransomware Recommendations 2018

In the next blog post of this cyber security series, we’ll take a deeper look at how often breaches occur, and how we compare to the rest of the world in detecting these attacks.

Read the full report.