How we’re helping bridge the gap with online learning
By Michael Ebeid AMApril 7, 2020
With the reality of social distancing setting in, schools across the country are doing a tremendous amount of work to provide online education resources for students and parents. But what happens to those who can’t afford, or don’t have access to digital technology?
As we know from the 2019 Australian Digital Inclusion Index, for many in our community, these technological and digital advancements can remain out of reach whether it is due to a lack of access, affordability or digital ability.
We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to bridge the gap by providing 20,000 students and teachers across the country with internet access to educational content to support their online learning through the Department of Education and Catholic Education. The Department of Education and Training in Victoria is one of the first to take up Telstra’s offer and will be ready to go at the start of Term 2.
Just as technology is enabling businesses to keep running during this period, it also has the potential to empower our kids to continue learning, even if they’re not even physically in a classroom.
We’ve been working with national, state and territory education leaders to roll out equipment, connectivity and digital platforms, such as Cisco WebEx or Microsoft Teams, to enable virtual classrooms. Combined, they can allow students to access their teachers’ online learning resources, from worksheets to webinars from home.
In South Australia we’re working closely with the Education Department as they roll-out Cisco WebEx for remote learning. The service allows teachers to create their own individual online learning space to deliver live video lessons and learning content for their class and is an expansion of the State Government’s partnership with Telstra to deliver high-speed internet to every government school across South Australia.
Telstra is also working closely with several universities to increase their network capacity and global wide area network access so students in Australia and overseas can continue with their studies.
Michael Ebeid joined Telstra in October 2018 as Group Executive, Enterprise. In this role, he is responsible for revenues in excess of $8bn and manages a growing business that delivers connectivity, platforms, applications and tailored industry solutions to Telstra’s enterprise and government customers. He is also responsible for Enterprise’s international operations, with approximately 3,500 people in 20 countries and the largest subsea cable network in the Asia Pacific region.
Michael joined Telstra from SBS where he has been the CEO and Managing Director since 2011. In this role, he significantly evolved the public broadcaster's portfolio with four distinctive TV channels, an extensive in-language radio offering and new market-leading digital services like SBS On Demand which now has over five million registered users with high audience engagement.
Michael is a strategically focused leader with a 30-year career across the Technology, Telecommunications and Media sectors. He has a successful track record in leading organisational change and transformations and is passionate about workplace culture, leadership and diversity. In 2017, Michael was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to Broadcast Media and Multicultural Affairs and named CEO of the Year at the CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards.
Introducing a new generation to STEM in the real world
By Tim WhiteheadNovember 25, 2019
This month our 2019 Graduates hosted a tour of our Customer Insight Centre (CIC) and the Telstra Labs for Year 4 students from St. James Primary School in Brighton, Victoria. The graduates gave the students a memorable introduction to our technology and how we use STEM skills in our industry.
Our graduates gave a presentation on Telstra’s technology portfolio and the many ways in which our people use a range of STEM skills in their roles – from drones, IoT, 5G and robotics, to AR/VR and 3D printing. They also answered a multitude of questions – including some tricky ones. The kids were totally spellbound and genuinely awestruck.
This school is one of 16 partnerships supported by our teams taking part in the CSIRO ‘STEM Professionals in Schools’ program, which gives us opportunities to meet with young STEM students to show them how the skills they’re learning can translate into future roles within Australia’s high-tech industries.
These partnerships also create a direct relationship between school teachers and our industry professionals, bringing real-world applications of STEM skills into classrooms and into students’ lives. It’s our hope that we can help encourage and engage these students to further develop those skills and potentially enter a STEM career in the future – maybe even one with us! We’re also working with St. James Primary to establish a smart farm using our Track and Monitor wireless sensor technology so students can see a practical application for STEM skills, while also teaching them about sustainability at the same time.
Our graduates have been tireless in working with schools through the program and sharing their enthusiasm for STEM, and we look forward to encouraging more students to develop important STEM skills and prepare them for an exciting future technology career.
Tim Whitehead is an Education Lead at Telstra, who helps our Education clients provide engaging learning experiences to students through technology. As the co-lead of the Telstra Education Community of Interest Network, he is passionate about facilitating discussions on experiential learning, student wellbeing & virtual learning.
Connecting a high-speed future for South Australian students
By John IeraciDecember 13, 2018
As part of a landmark partnership between Telstra and the South Australian government, we will connect almost every government school in the state to a high-speed fibre optic network, delivering speeds up to a thousand times faster than before.
The massive undertaking will see 514 government schools across the state of South Australia connected to a high-speed fibre optic network capable of speeds of 1Gbps and beyond, improving some schools’ internet access speeds by up to a thousand times.
The agreement will also enable thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables to be leveraged throughout the state – running past the front doors of small businesses, hospitals, independent schools and other public sector agencies, making high-speed internet connection a viable reality for almost every town across South Australia.
“Fast, reliable internet connectivity is critical in the modern world, and our students will now benefit from this landmark network expansion that will help deliver a world class education system,” said South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall.
“The expanded fibre optic network will not only provide high speed internet to our public schools, it also puts a fibre optic connection within reach of thousands of small businesses, public agencies and independent schools.”
We’re proud to be working with the South Australian government to deliver the new network for students and teachers across the state, allowing educators more seamless access to curriculum resources and professional development and helping students experience new ways of learning.
We are excited to help level the technological playing field for public school students in regional and remote locations as well as open the doors for new digital education methods. It will now be possible for almost every public school student across the state to have access to educational collaboration tools as well as emerging virtual and augmented reality solutions.
Demand for connectivity is growing exponentially in Australia and around the world, which makes fast and equitable internet access crucial not only for the students of South Australia, but for the future competitiveness of the state.
We expect this network expansion will be completed over the next 18 months, with 98.8% of SA schools connected to fibre by the middle of 2020. We’re also working with the SA Department for Education to provide alternative fast internet solutions to schools that are too remote to connect to the expanded fibre network.
John Ieraci is the Chief Customer Officer for Telstra Enterprise in Australia responsible for Sales and Service for 14,000 largest Enterprise and Government Accounts.
John leads the sales and service management activities for these accounts and is responsible for the end-to-end customer experience. John’s goal is to further develop Telstra's strategic relationship with these customers through technology and service innovation.
Most recently John established Telstra’s Security Services Practice. Prior to this role John was the director of Telstra’s IP&Data Product portfolio.
John lives in Melbourne and has been part of the Telstra Executive Team since 2007.
‘We are both iconic brands in Australia. Everyone in Australia thinks they own a piece of us. What we do matters to them and has influence.’ – Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ.
This comment resonates with me as it highlights the important role that Telstra and ANZ play in the community.
Recently, Telstra and ANZ joined forces to hold a cross-industry development day for graduates, and I was lucky to be one of them.
The summit gave us the opportunity to network not only internally with Telstra graduates, but also externally with ANZ graduates, in tandem with access and exposure to a myriad of senior leaders.
We were fortunate to hear from ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott and Group Executive, Institutional – Mark Whelan. We also heard from Telstra EnterpriseGroup Executive, Brendon Riley.
It was great to get such senior support from leaders at both companies, affirming not only the importance of the relationship between Telstra and ANZ, but also in graduate development.
Three key themes emerged from the graduate summit were community, culture and digital. It also helped with our understanding of:
The roles telecommunication/technology and financial institutions can play in the community in which they operate;
The importance and relevance of cultivating a positive corporate culture and its impact on our organisation’s success.
The opportunities and risks posed by a changing digital landscape, and how large organisations like Telstra and ANZ can respond.
Here’s what I learnt:
A company’s reputation is always important, but the standard of what customers expect has gone to a whole new level. Mark Whelan, Group Executive, Institutional ANZ says, ”I’ve seen so much change in the last 3 years, compared to the last 27 years. It’s picking up pace and going to continue this way. It’s inevitable that companies will make mistakes, but it’s how they respond that matters.” He emphasised that companies “need to listen more than they talk.” To complement this insight, Brendon Riley, Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise mentioned that “a common thread that connects us all together is trust – at the end of the day trust is your brand.”
ANZ and Telstra need to change in order to successfully deliver outcomes to customers. This can be seen through the adoption of ANZ’s ‘New Ways of Working’ and Telstra’s ‘FWOW’ (Future Ways of Working). Kath Bray, Agile Transformation Lead ANZ says , it is a new way to work, not another strategy- it’s simply bringing to life the strategy, and aids in operating collectively. Kath says we need to eliminate micro management from the top down, as there is no space for this in the future. She added that disruption to the traditional understanding of career paths will occur, as this cultural shift will erode layers and hierarchy. Furthermore, Ben Burge, Executive Director, Telstra Energy passionately sold the premise of bringing your whole self to work, and questioned why our Monday face was different to our weekend face, and the importance of fully embracing your colleagues for all that they are Monday to Friday.
Alan Huse, Head of Transaction Banking Australia and Pacifc ANZ discussed how the channel experience is evolving, through the likes of concepts such as Apple Pay. Suggesting that the plastic card will become secondary in the future, as paying with a device will be primary. Michelle Bendschneider, Executive Director, Global Products, Telstra Enterprise discussed that many organisations outsourced a lot of capabilities such as IT over the last 15 years, as it wasn’t deemed to be strategic. Businesses are now rebuilding their muscle, to re-architect their businesses for the digital era.
Here’s what graduates thought of the day
“The thing that I got out of today was surrounding partnerships. It was something that all of the speakers talked about. With partnerships, and working together there are lots of things that we individually do really well as businesses, and if we work together we can capitalise on that.” – Andy Dixon, 2017 Telstra Graduate.
“The highlight of the day for me was getting to meet some of the Telstra graduates. It was really good to expand that network, and get a better understanding of what Telstra gets up to.” – Hugh Bailey, 2017 ANZ Graduate.
In addition to gaining an insight on the three key themes, the most common feedback received at the end of the day was regarding how similar our two organisations are, despite operating in different industries.
As graduates, to be exposed to such senior leaders, in an intimate setting- was an enriching experience we feel fortunate to have been a part of.
2017 Telstra Graduate -
Employment Brand and Marketing
Isabelle began her career at Telstra in 2012, as a Customer Advisor in the Retail division. After completing her studies at Monash Unversity she was accepted into the Telstra Graduate Program, hired as a ‘2017 Telstra Enterprise (TE) Graduate’. As a Graduate, Isabelle will complete three, sixth month rotations to get a taste of different divisions around Telstra, before finding her niche. Isabelle’s first rotation was in CSU- Strategic Accounts, and she is now completing her second rotation in Employment Brand and Marketing. Isabelle thrives off Telstra’s distinct culture, has a passion for people, and is excited to see where her journey at Telstra takes her!