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The world class technology we’re looking forward to working with

Telstra Careers People

Posted on October 19, 2018

6 min read

It was an incredible and exhausting three days, but Telstra Vantage 2018 has come and gone. Thousands of people from all over roved the show floor interacting with humanoids, testing out 5G, and learning about how we can better utilise mixed reality tech in our lives.

The show opened with a Welcome to Country, simulcast from Perth and Melbourne, displayed on screen in real time. It was an incredible feat of technology and made possible by our network.

Speakers ranged from leaders inside Telstra, to New York Times best-selling authors and trailblazers in new tech. Amongst the many events, panels, and tech demos we caught a glimpse of what possibilities the networks of the future will bring.

Here’s just some of what we saw at Vantage that’ll forever change what we work on at Telstra and how we do it:

Maroushka smiles outside the Vantage show floor

Connected Play, #GirlBosses, and Our Exciting Future

My favourite experience was definitely getting to mess around with Sphero robots thanks to the Telstra Foundation and Code Club Australia. The app-enabled, programmable balls help kids to unlock their coding skills through connected play. I really wish that was a thing when I was in school!

I love that the Telstra Foundation has long-standing partnerships with organisations like Code Club Australia, because it means together we can deliver more programs that increase digital literacy for young people.

Telstra Foundation boxes on the show floor

We had the chance to hear from some incredible women that make me proud to work at Telstra including Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive, and Ayala Domani, Director of Innovation. They emphasised the critical role that gender diversity plays in supporting companies to innovate and flourish in a time of unprecedented disruption.

The panel of leading women in tech, led by Boiciuc

It was also a highlight to hear Neha Narula from the MIT Media Lab on the advance of cryptocurrency and how the internet of value has the potential democratise access to money.

Technology is the growth engine in an ecosystem that governs how we interact with each other and the world around us. Vantage gave me the opportunity to better understand the technology we enable through our network like cryptocurrencies, eSports, mixed reality and our market-leading work with 5G. It also served as a reminder that humans will always be at the centre of the technology we aspire to create or improve in the future.

Maroushka Saldanha, Sustainability Consultant


Kim smiles for the camera before entering the show floor

Being ‘that’ nerd, optimal creativity, and humanoids

Throughout the jam-packed 3 days, I learned about new and emerging tech, interacted with humanoids, and was scanned to see what type of dog I resembled using artificial intelligence (apparently, I’m a smart, friendly poodle who gets along with people easily, which isn’t too far off from the truth!).

The interactive booths were great to showcase the tech in action, but some of my favourite sessions included listening to influential speakers on the main stage. During New York Times Best Seller Daniel Pink’s keynote, I learned that my optimal time to be ‘creative,’ was later in the day, which surprised me as I usually spend my evenings relaxing or exercising (i.e. not reaching my creative potential). Since then, I’ve been slowly adding more creative activities to my life including writing this blog!

Telstra shows off its locator technology

Another great session was called “Unstoppable Force Meets Irresistible Objective: Empowering Women in Technology,” hosted by Katherine Boiciuc, Enterprise Operations Executive. Featuring an amazing and diverse panel of female leaders, I loved hearing about their perspectives on what we can do to encourage young women to get more involved with STEM opportunities at an early age. Robyn Denholm, Group Executive Strategy and Finance, mentioned that we need to change our views on what technology leaders look like so girls can confidently say, “I want to be that nerd!”

Reflecting on my childhood, I was fortunate that my dad encouraged my sisters and me to build websites and learn HTML at a young age. This helped me discover my passion for designing digital applications as an UX Designer.

Ready player one! Kim tests out Fortnite over a 5G internet connection

Leaving Vantage, my mind was full of endless possibilities. From helping kids code to providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth, I’m excited to see how we can use the technologies around us and work closely with our communities to create lasting change.

Kimberly Nguyen-Don, UX Designer


Alex steps up to the plate before entering the Vantage show floor

Software Defined Networking, Democratising Data, and the future of 5G entertainment

From 5G to the connected workplace, the demonstrations and keynote addresses were awe-inspiring from start to finish. I’ve always wanted to experience the power of a technology showcase first-hand, and being one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, Vantage didn’t disappoint!

It would be too hard to single out a specific event that I enjoyed the most. The presentations from Robyn Denholm on our ‘Connected Workforce’ future was fascinating but so was hearing about her empowering perspective on the future of telecommunications through 5G and software-defined networking.

The 5G network centre was ready to show us what it could do

In a different vein was New York Times Best-selling author Daniel Pink who presented on “The Science of Timing”. He explained how we can unlock our most productive selves. Coming from a Sales and HR background, I loved hearing about all of these in equal measure!

I was transfixed by Director of Digital Currency at MIT Media Lab, Neha Narula, on her views about the future of digital currencies and ‘democratisation of data’. A standout was the closing keynote with our two Aussie cave rescue divers, Craig Challen & Dr Richard Harris! See? It’s hard to pick a single event!

I loved the demonstration of Telstra’s capabilities across both our international Ventures portfolio and experiencing the future of 5G. With the Telstra Ventures presentation, we had the opportunity to hear from four very different start-ups utilising AI to accelerate their product development. Of particular interest to me was real-time data analysis and IoT solutions in agriculture.

Finger on the trigger, gamers were impressed by the wireless speeds

Alexander Austin, Enterprise Graduate

Missed Vantage but wanted to hear from some of the speakers for yourself? Be sure to check out Telstra Vantage™ TV to see some of the amazing events we talked about.

Here’s some of the best advice our mums ever gave us


Posted on May 11, 2018

1 min read

This Mother’s Day, we’ll take the opportunity to love and appreciate our mums, grandmothers, and mother figures alike for all they’ve given us.

They’ve imparted wisdom throughout our lives, which has inspired us to create this blog.

We’ve asked some of our people what was some of the best motherly advice they’ve received that they still use to this day. Here’s what they told us:

How to tackle your next big challenge


Posted on April 30, 2018

3 min read

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Maryanne?”

When I was aged five, I wanted to be a painter, when I was eight a vet, at 10 I was a dancer, by 14 a marine biologist, and at 18 I wanted to be a marketing manager.

Do you remember when you were a kid and everything was possible? There were no limitations. You approached life with curiosity and confidence.

Sure, some roles take a lot more effort than others to learn, however, I am yet to be in a role where I haven’t been able to figure it out. I have taken on all sorts of roles that use very different parts of my brain.

People ask me how I’ve managed such a diverse career across Marketing, Products, Strategy and Operations.

My answer is simple.

I approach my career with the same curiosity and confidence of a child – anything is possible and can be learned.

I am a strong believer that we are capable of doing anything as long as you are willing to put in the effort to learn and grow.

As humans we are born learners, with a natural curiosity to figure out how the world works. Curiosity is the desire to learn. But it’s more often than not the fear of failure that kills curiosity.


I recently took members of my team to the National Gallery of Victoria to awaken their inner-child. To prove that they are capable of achieving things they previously may have thought impossible.

The task was to draw an object in the gallery. Some members were excited, some were skeptical: “I can’t draw”, “I am hopeless at drawing”.

We picked a very difficult object, a glass ball reindeer and sat around like budding artists with stools, sketch pads and artist pencils.

Can you guess what happened?

Every single person could draw, and the drawings were impressive. So impressive that we even attracted a crowd of spectators who “oohed and aahed” at our skills.

OK, I am exaggerating a little, but there was a lot of peeking over our shoulders.


So, here’s my ask. Next time you are thinking about your career and what is your next role, project or challenge. Put aside the fear and remember you were born with the ability to do anything and to be anyone. You just need to rediscover your inner-child. If you don’t believe me, pick an object and draw it.

I bet you will surprise yourself.

Maryanne is a member of Telstra’s Brilliant Connected Women (BCW) network, and wrote this story to share her experiences with colleagues across the organisation.

One of the ways we empower our people to champion workplace diversity is through BCW where our people can come together, support each other and work toward improving gender diversity in our workplace. Our BCW network is just one of many initiatives our people can take part of as part of their career at Telstra.

6 ways millennials are reshaping the project delivery workplace

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on April 26, 2018

2 min read

Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are now entering the workforce in large numbers. By 2020, millennials will form 50 per cent of the workforce. Why is this significant? Because millennials have the numbers and the right collection of new skills that will shape the way projects are managed and run for years to come.

Consider this: Millennials have grown up with fast broadband, smartphones, and social media as the norm and expect instant access to information. They will enter the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than more senior workers.

Saying that we don’t understand or know what millennials want is becoming increasingly irrelevant as there is a 50 per cent chance that the person sitting next to you is a millennial. Project organisations have to understand this in order to be able to attract and retain the right talent in what will be a highly competitive market for millennial talent.

Attracting the best of these millennials will be crucial to project delivery and strategic success. I have observed a number of changes on our larger projects to suggest their influences are already shaping the workplace and mainly for the better.

So, how do leaders attract and retain the best and brightest millennials so that they can work on strategic projects required to drive business forward?

Why I wanted to be a field technician

Telstra Careers People

Posted on April 26, 2018

3 min read

There are rewarding careers in the field, even if a cassowary gets in your way.

I was destined to be a field technician.

My dad is a technician, my husband is a technician and my mum is a technician now, too.

Some of my happiest days growing up were when I would go out with dad on jobs, but when I told him I wanted to be a field tech, his first reaction was ‘don’t do it’. He was worried about how I would be treated.

When I started my traineeship, I was told I wouldn’t last six months. I graduated as the Queensland Trainee of the Year and started with Telstra as a field technician in Townsville. My dad could not have been more proud.

I’ve so far had many great experiences and made many great friends working in field service delivery. I’ve enjoyed chopper rides across this beautiful country, run away from snakes and lizards and been chased down a street by a cassowary. It’s been one hell of a ride and I have loved every part of it.

For any women thinking of a field-based career, my advice is: don’t be afraid; go for it. There’s a great support network available, rewarding career opportunities and, for someone like me in Far North Queensland, you get to work in some remote and beautiful locations.

You just need a positive attitude, a willingness to get your hands dirty and a sense of adventure.

In my current role as field manager for Cairns Country, I manage an area from Ingham to Cook Town. As a mother to three beautiful daughters, my biggest challenge is maintaining a healthy work-life balance, given I drive about 600km a week.

There’s also plenty of day-to-day challenges on the job but I have a great team working with me. They are self-sufficient, innovative and not afraid to dig in and work hard. And the work does get hard under the hot Queensland sun and when it is pouring rain during summer storms.But I love getting out each week to join them in the field and be part of the great work they do.

One of the most rewarding parts of the job is the way we change customer perceptions. Often when we arrive, they are not happy campers. We are the first Telstra people they see face-to-face and we often cop the brunt of their frustration. That’s part of the gig, but I love that when we do our job we leave them happy.