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Tag: sustainability

International Women’s Day #BalanceForBetter


Posted on March 4, 2019

2 min read

International Women’s Day is being celebrated on 8 March and the theme is #BalanceForBetter.

The 8th of March is International Women’s Day, an annual global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We celebrate this progress while acknowledging that there is still a lot of work to be done if we are to achieve true gender equality.

The proportion of women in any workforce is only one aspect of gender balance. The true benefits for individuals, businesses and economies are only achieved when all people are able to access fair opportunities, rewards and resources regardless of their gender.

Telstra is proud to be widely acknowledged as a leading employer of women. Last week we were recognised for the fifth time as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

It takes commitment to achieve the citation. We’ve been monitoring, and closing, our gender pay gap for a number of years. It is well below the Australian national average. We have clear objectives to ensure that women are proportionately represented in management and executive roles, as well as our overall workforce.

Gender balance doesn’t only benefit women. True balance is achieved by giving everyone access to flexibility and leave to balance their working and caring roles.  Telstra enables flexibility through the use of technology, provides paid parental leave and carer’s leave and gives employees the option to purchase additional annual leave.

Kylie Fuller left receiving Telstra’s citation from Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

We also care about women in the community – from the Telstra Business Women’s Awards that celebrate and reward high achievers, to the Safe Connections program that supports women who are escaping domestic and family violence- we’re committed to making a positive difference.

Conserving water with IoT: our partnership with Busselton Water and Software AG

Business and Enterprise

Posted on February 26, 2019

2 min read

We’re trialing an innovative water management solution in collaboration with Software AG and Western Australia’s Busselton Water, using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and an analytics solution to monitor and manage water across the Busselton area of WA, saving water while simultaneously lowering operating costs.

Water is a scarce resource, and conserving it wherever possible is a constant process of research and development. New and innovative solutions like IoT, using our 3.5 million square kilometres of NB-IoT network coverage, makes intelligent sensing possible, with benefits for individual customers and water utilities – like detecting pressure drops from blockages or leaks in water infrastructure and more detailed usage and consumption information.

Our partnership with Software AG, starting with a proof-of-concept trial with Busselton Water in Western Australia, will use our IoT platform and Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT Solution Accelerator for Water Management to provide utilities companies a quick way to gain insights from meter data and help minimise the cost of water supply. Given that Busselton Water is already using radio frequency monitoring for its over 26,000 customers in the region, they are well placed to test this innovative water management system.

The solution collects available sensor data like pressure, consumption, and alerts such as pressure drops from a new generation of digital water meters managed via Telstra’s IoT platform and the Cumulocity IoT Accelerator running in the cloud. The solution offers off-the-shelf tools for monitoring and managing all this data, and dashboards provide users with near real-time full state-of-play at any given time.

Utilities can add customizable tools and water utility specific dashboards to monitor other data metrics such as aggregated consumption over time, min/max/average flow and trend analysis, as well as peak and non-peak consumption. We will offer the solution to water utilities around Australia either as a standalone product or as part of our IoT for Intelligent Utilities package.

We are very excited to use our deep expertise and relationships in the water industry and technology partnerships to build a solution that meets the specific requirements of water utilities. By adding insight to the data our utilities collect, our solutions will help save water and improve services for customers.

‘Being truthful and moving forward’: Telstra’s new Reconciliation Action Plan

Telstra News

Posted on January 16, 2019

3 min read

The Reconciliation Action Plan program provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement. With the release of its fourth RAP, Telstra is among just 21 other leading organisations with an ‘Elevate’ RAP pledging to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

As Chair of Telstra’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, I’m pleased to announce the release of Telstra’s 2018-2021 Reconciliation Action Plan.  

Telstra’s vision for reconciliation is an inclusive Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected and empowered to thrive, underpinned by the principles of understanding, cultural strength, focus, and growth. This vision will be achieved by harnessing the strengths of the organisation to build digital futures with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, providing employment and opportunities to lift economic participation, and creating a culturally responsive and engaged organisation. 

This 2018-2021 RAP focuses on three areas where Telstra can achieve the greatest outcomes and make the most sense for its business. Its commitments are underpinned by Reconciliation Australia’s pillars – Relationships, Respect and Opportunities, and reflect Telstra’s support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

CEO Andrew Penn says that recognising the past in all its facets is an important part of reconciliation.  

“Telstra in one form or another can, in fact, trace its technology origins back to the advent of the Overland Telegraph Line in the 1870s. 

“Its construction was not without incident and impact on Aboriginal peoples. For some, it was the start of an irreversible disruption to the traditional way of life. 

“For others, it brought violence and even death. It is important to acknowledge this history.” 

“We have a compelling responsibility and an important role to play as a facilitator for economic development and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, no matter where they are across the nation.” 

Telstra has come a long way since its very first Indigenous Action Plan in 2008, the same year it, in conjunction with the Northern Territory Government and Rio Tinto, delivered the Arnhem Land Fibre Project connecting nine Indigenous communities and the town of Nhulunbuy to the nation’s fibre optic backbone. Two years later Telstra introduced its first RAP. 

Today Telstra enjoys many positive relationships with Indigenous organisations, whether it’s through our investment in remote community infrastructure and digital capability programs, our long-term support of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, or our co-creation of the Indigenous Digital Excellence Roadmap. 

 Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia said, “Reconciliation Australia congratulates Telstra on its past successes and ongoing commitment to advancing reconciliation as it adopts its fourth RAP – its second to achieve Elevate status”. 

“The RAP program inspires social change in workplaces across Australia, generating economic and behavioural transformation with far-reaching, positive impacts. 

“By raising the bar of its RAP ambitions, Telstra continues to lead national reconciliation action in the telecommunications sector.” 

Download the 2018-2021 Telstra Reconciliation Action Plan.

Main image: Digital Mentor Karim pilots a drone at the recent inDigiMOB workshop in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) © First Nations Media.

Five Tech4Good charities we’re backing to reimagine social inclusion


Posted on October 18, 2018

6 min read

How many post-it notes does it take to shape a great social innovation? All jokes aside, social innovation is a serious business and through the Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good Challenge, 15 Australian non-profits have put some serious skin in the game to learn new ways of working.

Earlier this year we partnered with education campus Academy Xi to support 15 charities through weekly training courses in Sydney and Melbourne for five months.  We added some seed funding, amazing teachers, mentors and collaborators to guide the charities as they scoped digital ideas into business cases and early stage prototypes.

Throughout the process, each participant confirmed what can be achieved when you unleash creativity, experimentation and digital innovation in the non-profit sector – we believe this is a sector well placed to find innovative solutions to some of our most pressing social challenges.

At the end of the program, 15 Tech4Good proposals were pitched to the Telstra Foundation Board who had the unenviable task of selecting five charities to receive an additional $450,000 of funding and support over the next two years.

While all of our Tech4Good charities demonstrated they have a rightful place in Australia’s digital innovation ecosystem, the successful charities clearly showed that their ideas were “ready for next stage investment and had dug deep to articulate their product roadmaps, risk mediation and social potential” of their proposals.

From supporting young people with Autism to creating a greater appreciation of Indigenous culture, we’re excited to discover the impact these five non-profits will make to so many different parts of society as they start to build, test and evaluate their Tech4Good products with the young people they were designed for.

Autism CRC

In stage 1 of the Tech4Good Challenge, Autism CRC designed a digital solution, called MyWay Employability, to help school leavers on the spectrum identify their strengths and interests, set goals and track progress on their path to a successful career.

“Almost two-thirds of people on the spectrum are unemployed. Reaching young people with a tailored program while they are still in school is critical because receiving the right support to plan and prepare early can set them up for success.” says Autism CRC project co-leader, Cheryl Mangan.

“Our work over the next two years will involve a deep dive with the autistic community to ensure relevance and optimal engagement for autistic young people. We will partner and collaborate with autism service providers and education departments to ensure MyWay Employability delivers value in practice, working to support young people on the spectrum as part of a comprehensive school transition strategy.”


For the past eight years, Australia’s leading arts and social change organisation, BIG hART has been working closely with the Indigenous communities in Roebourne, the Aboriginal heart of the Pilbara region in Western Australia, developing a special digital work with substantial social impact.

Now, thanks to the Telstra Foundation, BIG hART has the opportunity to expand the reach of this digital resource to help build bridges of respect and understanding between the future generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia and assist teachers with their Indigenous history and culture cross-curriculum priorities.

“We’re extremely delighted and proud to make it through to stage 2 of the Tech4Good challenge – it’s a very exciting time for us as we continue our partnerships with the community and young Indigenous people of Roebourne. With the Telstra Foundation’s support we are going to take NEO-Learning to the next level,” says BIG hART Associate Artist Mark Leahy.


eOrygen, the digital division within Orygen which works to transform youth mental health care through science and technology, are developing a mobile app called Real, to transform therapy from a place young people go occasionally for support, to a 24/7 tool that proactively delivers real time help in the real life moment it’s needed.

Over half of all young people will experience a period of mental ill health, such as anxiety and depression, during their transition to adulthood. This has profound consequences for many young Australians – mental ill-health is the leading cause of disability and death among 15-24-year-olds.

“This additional funding gives us the opportunity to try something completely new in youth mental health care. This is a direction our team has been eager to take for some time, and we’re so excited to be able to embark on this project with the support and guidance of the Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good challenge” says eOrygen program co-ordinator Tamsyn Gilbertson.

Expression Australia

Expression Australia

Through the Tech4Good Challenge Expression Australia have been exploring opportunities to develop an app that will help remove the stigma and improve mainstream community attitudes towards deaf people.

Their digital solution – Auslan Anywhere – will provide key signs, sentences, poetry, stories and even songs in Auslan as well as best practice guidelines for how to address and communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“This additional funding and support from the Telstra Foundation will allow the Deaf Community the opportunity to share our language, Auslan, and culture through technology. The financial and expert support from Telstra and Academy Xi will be invaluable, just as it has been throughout the Tech4Good Challenge process. As a non-profit, it’s unlikely that Expression Australia would be able to self-fund a project of this magnitude and we look forward to the impact this will have,” says Expression Australia Manager Maxine Buxton.


Ask Izzy - Infoexchange - Tech4Good

Armed with data from more than one million searches on their Ask Izzy mobile website which provides information about support services for young people experiencing homelessness, the Infoxchange team are using the Tech4Good challenge to explore adding a voice activated digital assistant to the platform.

“Not only will a voice assistant help users access the information they need quickly, it will help disrupt the cycle of youth homelessness by providing a more conversational and personalised way for young people in need to connect to support and services,” says Infoxchange Senior Program Manager Lisa Fletcher.

“The voice assistant will also make it easier for people with English as a second language, low literacy, limited hand dexterity or vision impairment to find help. We’re really excited that we have the opportunity to bring this digital idea to life with another two years of support and funding from the Telstra Foundation.”

Visit The Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good hub to find out more about the Tech4Good Challenge and the 15 participating non-profits who took part in stage 1.

How tech is helping to balance the playing field for many young Australians


Posted on September 27, 2018

5 min read

We all remember that feeling of uncertainty in those final few months of high school: ‘will I do well in my exams, what career path will I take, will I get into the university of my choice, will I get the apprenticeship I want so badly’…?

For many young school leavers with autism or mental health issues, this transition phase can present additional challenges with limited career and further education opportunities available to suit their needs.

Through the Tech4Good challenge, three non-profits – Autism CRC, Raise Foundation and Top Blokes Foundation – are developing digital platforms to increase the accessibility of their support and mentoring services to reach more young people in need, and help them thrive.

Autism CRC

Autism CRC is the world’s first national, cooperative research effort focusing on autism across the lifespan of an individual. Their vision is to see autistic people empowered to discover and use their diverse strengths and interests.

In the Tech4Good Challenge, the Autism CRC team designed a digital solution to help school leavers on the spectrum identify their strengths and interests, set goals and track progress on their path to a successful career.

“Almost two-thirds of people on the spectrum are unemployed. Reaching young people with a tailored program while they are still in school is critical because receiving the right support to plan and prepare early can set them up for success.” says project co-leader, Cheryl Mangan.

Autism CRC sees a need and opportunity for their digital platform – MyWay Employability – and have engaged over 230 young people, parents, professionals, and educators to co-design the service.

“Unlike generic career information services, MyWay Employability is co-produced with the autistic community to help young people identify their strengths and interests matched to relevant careers and pathways,” says project co-leader Marina Ciccarelli.

MyWay Employability will be launched as a mobile-first web application and trialled with thousands of young people all over Australia.

“We are working with parents and educators to ensure MyWay Employability is there for the very first conversation a young person has about their future, to help them prepare for their first work experience, and for long-term success.” says Cheryl.

“Our long-term goal is to make MyWay Employability available to the 44,000 young people on the spectrum aged 14-to-25 in Australia today, and specifically the 29,000 who are unemployed and underemployed,” adds Marina.

“We want autistic young people to recognise the skills and strengths they have to offer, to confidently enter the workforce and achieve success in their chosen pathways and careers.”

Raise Foundation

The Raise Foundation was created in 2008 to help empower young people to become more resilient, more capable and more connected through best practice mentoring programs in secondary schools.

“We know the mentoring approach works – the power of having someone neutral to talk to, who really listens and actually hears you is extraordinary. We’ve seen firsthand how it builds confidence, self-esteem and creates a safe environment for young people to ask for help when they need it,” says Volunteer Engagement Director Cherelle Martin.

“However, over the last few years we’ve found it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain volunteers to mentor young Australians,” continues Cherelle.

Research conducted during the Tech4Good challenge revealed Raise volunteers were frustrated by the manual processes and systems, and many were unaware of the impact they were making in the community, and therefore didn’t always feel compelled to support Raise’s programs year after year.

“As a result, we’ve completely overhauled our onboarding process and developed a digital engagement platform to manage our large volunteer base in a more streamlined and cohesive manner, we’re calling it the Raise Digital Village,” says Cherelle.

“The digital portal provides program information, calendar functionality, onboarding tools to facilitate Youth Safe Checks with government agencies, as well as training and program selection interfaces for our volunteers.”

The Raise Digital Village will also help volunteers to realise the impact of their volunteering with young people, and over time will scale up to include more features to complete the mentoring experience.

“Looking further ahead, we’ll introduce individual feedback and performance improvement opportunities, partnerships with the government organisations to simplify the legislation that can make it really challenging for our volunteers,” says Cherelle.

“When our full roadmap is realised, we will have the capability to on-board 15,000 mentors annually – 15 times our current yearly intake – and extend our social impact to benefit the broader community.”

Top Blokes Foundation

Do you have a young person in your life who you care about?  Have they ever struggled with stress or a mental health issue?  Do you believe they have the ability to be so much more than the problems they currently face?

So does the Top Blokes Foundation.

Established in 2006, Top Blokes aims to foster the social inclusion and resilience of young men aged 16 to 24 by empowering them to employ positive ddecision-makingskills, become positive role models, adopt healthier lifestyle choices and develop personal qualities of integrity, character and respect for others.

“Research tells us that young men experiencing mental health issues are less likely to seek professional help than others, which is why we focus on addressing social issues and removing stigmas by starting a positive conversation through our programs,” says Program Manager Callum Franciskovic.

Through the Tech4Good Challenge, Callum and the Top Blokes team are redesigning the online platform for their highly successful Building Blokes program to support more young men who are struggling to get help.

“One of our biggest challenges is capturing and retaining the attention of these at-risk young men, most of whom live in regional or rural areas without any real support structures,” says Callum.

“We believe this online platform can help fill that gap by providing information in an accessible format, support services via video as well as improved back of house functionality for our teams.”

Visit The Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good hub to find out more about the Tech4Good Challenge and the 15 participating non-profits.