The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-04-18T02:53:38Z Tough exit fees for in-home care hurting the vulnerable 2017-04-18T02:53:38Z tough-exit-fees-for-in-home-care-hurting-the-vulnerable-1 Sydney, Australia – 18 April 2017 – A national survey has shown that seven out of ten people likely to be affected by the Federal Government’s new reforms for in-home care packages for the elderly, disagree with care providers setting exit fees.    Designed to give elderly people more choice and flexibility over the types of care and services they access in their own home, the Australia-wide survey found that 75 per cent of people affected by the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) scheme believe that exit fees should be banned altogether.   Commissioned by KinCare, one of the few in-home care providers that doesn’t charge exit fees, the findings send a clear message to those organisations asking up to $4000 to simply switch provider.   Brian Bissaker, CEO of KinCare, said, “The whole point of the Government’s Consumer Directed Care scheme is to deliver increased choice and flexibility, not lock-in thousands of older people into care arrangements they might not be satisfied with.”    “The introduction of exit fees is unfair and it’s hitting our most vulnerable the hardest, at a time when they are supposed to have greater choice in selecting a care provider for the first time.”   Mr Bissaker said that KinCare is taking a stand against the restriction of customer choice by not charging joining, upgrade or exit fees for its in-home health and wellbeing services.   “At KinCare we understand that life and family circumstances can change at any time, and so do people’s service needs. As an industry, we have a huge opportunity to reshape the sector by improving the service offered to customers across Australia, so they can live richer, more independent lives.”   Josephine Pagano has experienced the shock of hidden fees when moving her elderly father across to KinCare’s new services this month – getting a letter from her previous provider advising of unannounced exit fees to leave the service.   “It was a blanket letter, saying there was a change in the contract, and that the provider was adding exit fees to their services,” said Pagano. “When I queried the legality of this, as we hadn’t signed a new contract agreement, they said that the exit fees only applied to the new packages.”   “Exit fees after the fact are unfair and misleading. For a vulnerable group such as the elderly, even a $500 exit fee is too high, especially when they are on limited budgets.”   “The new consumer choices for services are about being able to trial new providers and the services that suit you and your family,” said Pagano. “I don’t think there should be any exit fees, as you should be able to opt out if the services no longer meet your needs.”   The survey conducted by OmniPoll comes at a time when the Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt is due to convene a round table on exit fees from Aged Care providers. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission plus other key figures are expected to provide advice to the government on the issue of fees and financial arrangements in aged care.   ###Notes to Editor: The Increasing Choice in Aged Care Reforms are explained in more detail on the KinCare website.  Survey conducted on the OmniPoll National Online Omnibus between March 30 to 3 April 2017 nationally among 1,228 respondents aged 18 years and over. Sample quotas were set for each state, city and regional area, along with sex and age. Results were post-weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics data on age, highest level of schooling completed, sex and area.  About KinCare: KinCare is a leading Australian provider of in-home aged care and disability support. For more than 25 years we have been providing in home support to older people, people with disability, those with health needs and their carers, through Government subsidised services and packages, and private services. We are always investing in meeting the diverse needs of our customers. Last year KinCare’s 1,746 dedicated staff delivered 1.3 million hours of high-standard in home care, travelling over 5.3 million kilometres, to support over 10,400 customers to stay active in their communities. KinCare provides services across Australia, in metropolitan and regional cities – with offices in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.   For more information about KinCare visit www.kincare.com.au You can find KinCare on Facebook and Twitter.   Media Contacts: Amanda Conroy & Lucy Walker Espresso CommunicationsKinCare@espressocomms.com.au +612 8016 2200 +61 422 472 883 Hisense Becomes Official Sponsor of 2018 FIFA World Cup™ 2017-04-06T03:20:27Z hisense-becomes-official-sponsor-of-2018-fifa-world-cup AUSTRALIA MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SYDNEY, 6 April 2017 – Hisense Australia is thrilled to announce today that its parent company has become the Official Television Sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. As an Official FIFA World Cup Sponsor, Hisense will engage in a number of global marketing and advertising activities for the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and lead up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It’s no doubt that Australia is a country that loves soccer with the previous tournament matches reaching millions of homes and Australia accounting for 71% of all of the Oceania region audience1. With consumers embracing the brand to become a market leader in televisions in Australia, the timing of this sponsorship is perfect for Hisense to become the Official Television of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and continue to build its solid brand awareness particularly with its active engagement in sports marketing with high-profile sporting events and teams. The sponsorship means that the company will have access to marketing opportunities both on and off the pitch, with branding across two upcoming FIFA events including billboards, stadiums and on-screen credits.* It is expected that the sponsorship of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will see Hisense reach over 200 territories across the globe, greatly enhancing its brand exposure both locally and internationally. Hisense Australia’s Head of Marketing Andre Iannuzzi said, “The FIFA World Cup brings together the highest levels of competition and prestige in global football, making it the perfect sports event for us to be a part of. Millions of Australians tune in to the FIFA World Cup every four years, and for them to see Hisense as a key part of all that excitement is such a great opportunity for our brand both here in Australia and across the globe. ” In addition to offering its technical expertise and products throughout the 2018 World Cup, Hisense will engage in a joint research and development initiative with FIFA to further push the boundaries of display technology. FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura said: “FIFA is delighted to welcome Hisense on board as an official sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. We look forward to working with them to promote the competition, particularly in China, where the company is market leader in consumer electronics, where the popularity of football continues to grow.” Hisense has sponsored major sporting events and teams including The Australian Open, 2017 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, The NBL and the UEFA’s Euro 2016. These activities, coupled with Hisense’s innovative high-value products, have helped the brand maintain its status as the NO.3 television manufacturer worldwide 2 into 2017. 1According to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Television Audience Report 2According to 2016 global TV unit sales data reported by IHS Markit * On screen credits refers to a corporate logo that appears on TV broadcasts as a background to the score-line. ENDS // Media contact To interview a Hisense Australia representative or for more information, please contact: Michelle Bartolo, Filtered Media: 02 8355 3130 | 0408 026 165 | michelle@filteredmedia.com.au Rian Newman, Filtered Media: 02 8355 3130 | 0406 494 143 | rian@filteredmedia.com.au Geoscape Offers World-First Decision Making Capabilities to Australian Organisations 2017-04-04T22:57:33Z geoscape-offers-world-first-decision-making-capabilities-to-australian-organisations Locate17 – Sydney, Australia – 5th April, 2017: PSMA Australia, a provider of the nation’s location datasets, today officially launched its award-winning innovation in location intelligence, Geoscape. In a world-first, Geoscape enables Australian organisations to make better decisions using location-based insights that were previously too costly or time consuming for most businesses to access. This is the first time location information and data analytics have been combined and made available in this way, on a national level. PSMA also confirmed the much-anticipated Sydney dataset will be released on 5th April, 2017, with the national rollout due for completion by early 2018. To download a sample of Geoscape, visit: www.geoscape.com.au/get-geoscape/ “Geoscape is a breakthrough in location-based intelligence that provides essential infrastructure for Australia’s digital economy, and puts Australia on the world map as a leader in this technology,” said Dan Paull, PSMA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a business intelligence tool, Geoscape gives organisations the opportunity to improve services and increase revenue through evidence-based decision making. It will be used by governments to improve Australia’s future planning, development and management, including everything from building smarter cities to keeping people safe during fires, floods and other natural disasters. There’s also a vast range of applications in the private sector, with particular interest coming from the telecommunications, insurance and utilities sectors.” DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet, uses a range of geospatial technologies to deliver core components of the Geoscape dataset. By connecting the world's highest quality commercial satellite imagery and an ecosystem of analytics partners on the Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX), DigitalGlobe is able to automatically and accurately extract many types of features about the built environment at continental scale. "The convergence of high-resolution satellite imagery, cloud computing, and machine learning technologies has created some incredibly exciting opportunities for organisations to analyse man-made and natural environments at country and continent scales more quickly and efficiently than ever before,” said Dr. Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe Founder, CTO, and EVP. “We are proud to partner with PSMA Australia to harness these innovations and create a digital index of Australia’s built environment that will benefit a wide range of industries, including business intelligence, insurance, and telecommunications.” How Geoscape works PSMA has collaborated with DigitalGlobe to create the Geoscape dataset, which uses a combination of satellite imagery, crowdsourcing and machine learning to capture attributes of the built environment and link each building to a geocoded address. Organisations can see and analyse this data to gain new insights and improve the way they plan and operate. The data includes building footprints and heights, roof construction, land cover, tree heights, the presence of solar panel installations and swimming pools, and more. The data can be visualised using mapping platforms and 3D modelling tools. New opportunities for enhanced service delivery As Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems evolve and smart cities become a reality, Geoscape can underpin them by linking a wide range of information generated about the lifecycle of the built environment. Data from a rich mesh of sensors can be tied to a location, an address, a legal land parcel and an area, ranging from a single building, to a few streets, to a planning zone or a region. Geoscape creates a wide range of opportunities for improved service delivery including in: Risk management (flood modelling, fire risk modelling, wind impact assessment) Geoscape provides information about the size and roof construction of buildings, their proximity to vegetation and other buildings and a model of terrain to support the assessment of risk. Market assessment For businesses providing property related services Geoscape provides information about buildings, solar panel installations, swimming pools, roofing material, surfaces and vegetation. Telecommunications Geoscape supports the rollout of wi-fi and 5G networks by providing a model of the terrain and information on the shape and heights of buildings and tree cover to support blackspot analysis. Natural disaster impact assessment Preliminary post-event assessment of the likely impact of natural disasters on building infrastructure and vegetation. Valuations Provides building sizes, number, roofing information, vegetation location, heights and basic land use for the valuation process. How Pitney Bowes uses Geoscape Pitney Bowes has been a partner of PSMA Australia for over 15 years. Geoscape is the main dataset used by Pitney Bowes to create its GeoVision product. The data captured in Geoscape is taken and combined with Pitney Bowes location intelligence platforms to create unique and leading edge solutions, which are capturing world-wide recognition. For more information, please see a case study www.geoscape.com.au/showcase/. Australia's ground-breaking Geoscape is rolling out, region by region, across Australia. For progress on the national rollout of Geoscape, view the release schedule at www.geoscape.com.au/rollout/. Download your free trial To download a sample of Geoscape to see how it could be used in your organisation, visit www.geoscape.com.au/get-geoscape/ Want to know more? If you’re interested in speaking with PSMA to learn more about Geoscape, you may visit them at Booth 110 and 112 at Locate17 or contact marketing@psma.com.au. For more information: www.geoscape.com.au/ About PSMA Australia PSMA Australia’s goal is to facilitate broad and sustainable access to high-quality location data by offering foundational national spatial information derived from the authoritative data sources of Australia’s federal, state and territory governments and private sector partners. PSMA was formed by the governments of Australia in 1993 to collate, transform and deliver their location data as national datasets. An unlisted company limited by shares, PSMA is owned by all the governments of Australia. As an independent and self-funded business, PSMA is able to collaborate beyond government to drive innovation and provide fundamental infrastructure for a digital world. For more information visit: www.psma.com.au/ About DigitalGlobe DigitalGlobe is a leading provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions that help decision makers better understand our changing planet to save lives, resources and time. Sourced from the world's leading constellation, DigitalGlobe’s imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet its customers' most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defence and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management and navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology and expertise to gain actionable insight. For more information visit: www.digitalglobe.com/ Media Contact: Kate Donnelly Spectrum Group psma@spectrumgroup.is +61 2 9469 5700 Dr Genevieve Bell, Aki Ohashi and The Hon. Angus Taylor to headline AIIA’s Navigating Digital Government Summit 2017-03-20T22:11:39Z dr-genevieve-bell-aki-ohashi-and-the-hon-angus-taylor-to-headline-aiia-s-navigating-digital-government-summit Canberra, Australia – 21 March 2017 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the ICT industry, today announced that it has attracted some of the world’s luminaries on advanced technology to speak at its annual Navigating Digital Government Summit on Wednesday 5 April at Hotel Realm, Canberra. The Summit will focus on how technology is transforming the customer experience and will explore emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing, and how they will influence the future design of government service delivery. The headline speakers include: Dr Genevieve Bell, who works across Intel, the Australian National University and CSIRO’s Data61 will deliver the morning keynote. This will be her first public address in Australia since returning from the USA in February 2017. Dr Bell will discuss whether the future we have been worrying about is already here, whether the current digital transformation represents a fundamental restructuring of technology, markets and cultural forces, what we can learn from history, and how we might apply those lessons to the present day. Prior to taking up a research role split between ANU and Data61 in February, Dr Bell served as a vice president at Intel. She became the first woman in Intel’s history to be appointed an Intel Senior Fellow, a role she will maintain alongside her new appointments. Dr Bell has pioneered futurist research looking at how different cultures use technology and helped guide Intel’s product development by developing the company’s social science research capability. She completed her PhD in cultural anthropology at Stanford University in 1998. Aki Ohashi from the Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) will deliver the afternoon keynote. Mr Ohashi will discuss Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI), a new field that goes beyond AI and aims to describe why a certain recommendation was made. He will discuss why it may be needed, the current research in this nascent field, and the potential impacts and implications on government and industry. Mr Ohashi is PARC’s director of business development in the Japanese market and works with PARC’s corporate clients in Japan including Fujitsu, Dai Nippon Printing Co and NEC Corporation, as well as its Japanese university partners and government organisations. The Hon. Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation will address the Summit dinner, to be held at ANZAC Hall. The Minister will be speaking on his vision of the future of technology and the Australian Government. Other speakers will include: The Hon Ed Husic MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work and Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy; Nerida O’Loughlin, interim CEO of the Digital Transformation Agency; Gary Sterrenberg, chief information officer, Department of Human Services Peter Alexander, first assistant secretary projects, procurement and assurance, Digital Transformation Agency; Louise Glanville, deputy CEO for governance and stakeholder relations, National Disability Insurance Agency; Maryanne Diamond, general manager of community linkages and engagement, National Disability Insurance Agency; Dan Bognar, senior vice president, APAC solutions engineering, cloud sales, industries and innovation at Salesforce; Adi Kavaler, global vice president, products & strategy application delivery management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Andrew Underwood, high performance computer leader, Dell EMC; Leif Hanlen, business development and presales technical, Data61; Tania Churchill, senior data scientists, AUSTRAC; Rajesh Govindan, head of finance Australia and NZ, AMP Capital; Joana Valente, Partner, EY; Rohan Baxter, senior director of data science, Australian Taxation Office; and, Roger Kermode, chair AIIA data analytics special interest group. Last week, AIIA released the results of a survey that showed almost all Australians believe they would benefit from government using the latest technology for service delivery. # # # About AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information. Media Contacts For more information please contact: Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130 jeffrey@filteredmedia.com.au Joanna Stevens Kramer Tel: 0408 466 410 joanna@filteredmedia.com.au AIIA survey shows Australians want government to improve its use of technology to deliver services 2017-03-13T22:45:17Z aiia-survey-shows-australians-want-government-to-improve-its-use-of-technology-to-deliver-services Canberra, Australia – 14 March 2017 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the ICT industry, today released the findings of a national survey that demonstrates almost all Australians (99%) believe they would benefit from government using the latest technology for service delivery, however they rated Government lowest in their ability to do so when compared to other industries. The findings of the survey, which was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of AIIA, have been released in advance of AIIA’s Navigating Digital Government Summit in Canberra on Wednesday 5 April. Despite Australians’ universal interest in seeing government use the latest technology, the same survey reveals there is much room for improvement with only a small proportion strongly agreeing that the Commonwealth (16%), State (14%) and Local Governments (12%) are using technology very well to deliver services to their customers. And when compared to other industries, the Commonwealth and State Governments were rated lowest in their ability to use technology to deliver services to their customers. Only 19 percent of respondents said the Commonwealth government and 15 percent chose State governments when asked to select the types of organisations which best use technology to deliver services to their customers. Industries rated higher than government included: banks and financial institutions (64%); online shopping sites (61%); travel information and booking sites (48%); telecommunications providers (39%); entertainment sites (39%); gas and electricity utilities (28%); and health services (25%). AIIA chief executive officer, Rob Fitzpatrick, says the survey results reflect the high rate of technology adoption in Australia and recognise there is room for governments at all levels to improve. “Australian consumers have always been credited as early adopters of new technology, which is consistent with our collective desire to see government using the latest technology. Many expect to have the same experience engaging with government bodies as they would with their bank or an online shopping site. As technology advances, customer expectations keep changing, and it’s important that government keep pace,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “However, it’s not just about service. The economic benefits from having a digital economy are well known, and there is clear opportunity for government to take the lead and speed up Australia’s digital transformation,” he added. Almost three quarters of Australians said the main benefit they see from government using the latest technology is to improve the quality and accuracy of the services it delivers. “What this result says to me is that even though there have been some misfires recently when it comes to execution, such as the Census outages and the Centrelink errors, Australians want the government to progress and improve its use of technology rather than regress back to the ‘old’ way of doing things,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. Almost two thirds of Australians (64%) believe that the approach to government service delivery that would provide the best experience for customers is to deliver services through a combination of automated channels and customer facing service personnel. However, a breakdown of the demographics reflects generational differences in comfort and experience with technology. Nineteen percent of Gen Y and 13 percent of Gen X believe that the best approach would be fully automated services, whereas only six percent of Baby Boomers and four percent of Traditionalists feel the same way. On the other hand, 26 percent of Traditionalists would like to remove all automation and have services provided by people in customer facing service centres. “We are seeing a generational shift based on the exposure and usage rates of technology among different age groups. While a blend of automated and customer facing services makes sense now, we can see how future generations will be comfortable relying far more on technology to meet their needs. I expect we’ll see our government services evolve over time to reflect these changes,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. The full results of the survey will be presented and discussed at AIIA’s 2017 Navigating Digital Government Summit at Hotel Realm, Canberra on 5 April. AIIA 2017 Navigating Digital Government Summit AIIA’s Navigating Digital Government Summit will focus on how technology is transforming the customer experience. The Summit will explore emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive intelligence, robotics and quantum computing and what it means for the future design of government service delivery. Speakers will include: Professor Genevieve Bell, College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University (ANU); The new chief executive officer of the Digital Transformation Agency (who has not yet been announced); The Hon Ed Husic MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work and Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy; Gary Sterrenberg, chief information officer, Department of Human Services Peter Alexander, first assistant secretary projects, procurement and assurance, Digital Transformation Agency; Louise Glanville, deputy CEO for governance and stakeholder relations, National Disability Insurance Agency; Dan Bognar, senior vice president, APAC solutions engineering, cloud sales, industries and innovation at Salesforce; and, Adi Kavaler, global vice president, products & strategy application delivery management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The Hon. Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation will deliver the keynote at the closing dinner. # # # About the Survey This study was conducted online by Galaxy Research among a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Australians 18 years or older. Fieldwork commenced on Tuesday 14 February and was completed on Friday 17 February 2017. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates. The full report can be viewed at www.aiia.com.au. About the AIIA The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information. Media Contact To obtain a full copy of the report, related infographics, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jeffrey Coote Tel: (02) 8355 3130 jeffrey@filteredmedia.com.au Joanna Stevens Kramer Tel: 0408 466 410 joanna@filteredmedia.com.au Tech21 brings parents unlimited fun family time with Evo Play 2017-02-21T02:20:13Z tech21-brings-parents-unlimited-fun-family-time-with-evo-play SYDNEY, 21 February, 2017 – Tech21, the leader in impact protection for mobile devices has launched its new range of cases for the iPad in Australia: Evo Play. “Kids + iPads” isn’t always the safest pairing if your iPad isn’t protected, but it can certainly be one of the most fun for inquisitive minds. Whether it’s watching the latest episode of Peppa Pig or navigating through the back garden jungle discovering new wildlife, iPads can open up a world of exploration, but more often than not, a small chip here or a little crack there means that fun can be cut short. Prolong the play time and keep that shiny new look and feel to your iPad even when little fingers have put it through its paces thanks to tech21’s new iPad case, Evo Play. This comfortable and lightweight case has been designed to offer unbeatable drop protection from up to two metres, and with its iconic design, vibrant colours and handy multi-use handle, this case will remove any glimmer of fear you had in handing over your iPad to your children. This case is constructed almost entirely from tech21’s unique material, FlexShock™ Foam, meaning all sides and surfaces are protected from drops as the material moulds snugly to your iPad. Better still, the case is entirely dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to keep clean, and when it’s on your iPad, its sealed outer shell is abrasion/bite resistant, preventing any bacteria from getting in under the surface. “We’ve designed the all-new Evo Play with kids in mind. We know children love to learn, play and explore, and we recognise iPads are a great way for them to do this. However, they may not love your precious iPad back, so Evo Play is there for you,” comments Jason Roberts, CEO, tech21. “Evo Play is lightweight and comfortable for little hands to hold, yet strong enough to keep your iPad safe from tumbles and drops.” Evo Play is available in pink/purple and blue/green colours from tech21.com, RRP $79.95 for Apple iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3 & mini 4, and RRP $109.95 for Apple iPad Air 2. Much like all of tech21’s products, Evo Play comes with a simple promise: it’s rigorously tested to work harmoniously with your iPad. Like the technology it’s designed to protect, it uses the latest science, ingenious design and unbeatable user-friendliness to make advanced impact protection possible. Tech21 calls it ‘Protection Made Intelligent’. ### For further information, questions, or cases for review, please contact: Jim Barker, tech21/Poem Phone: +61 418 163 770 Email: jim@poemgroup.com.au High-res images: Download here About tech21 Since 2005, tech21 has been developing the most advanced, scientifically proven cases and screen shields for mobile, tablet and laptop devices worldwide. Tech21 combines science, engineering and British design to create products that address three core consumer benefits: style, protection and performance. As the brand evolves to continue meeting the needs of its consumers, tech21 has developed the most advanced impact protection material on the market – FlexShock™. The ultra-thin and lightweight material absorbs and dissipates force and can withstand drops up to 4 metres. In addition tech21 puts all its products through a rigorous testing program, and in an industry first has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop its testing methodology. This ensures that the tests tech21 products have to pass are overseen by independent experts. Tech21 is the number one case brand in the UK. For more information, visit tech21.com. Aussie app DoTalk breaks down language barriers instantly: First FREE messaging app provides real-time and accurate translation of up to 90 languages 2017-02-09T23:25:43Z aussie-app-dotalk-breaks-down-language-barriers-instantly-first-free-messaging-app-provides-real-time-and-accurate-translation-of-up-to-90-languages Aussie app DoTalk breaks down language barriers instantly  First FREE messaging app provides real-time and accurate translation of up to 90 languages  Sydney, Australia – February 10, 2017 – DoTalk, the first free, instant, voice- activated translation chat app has officially launched today. Invented locally in Cairns, Australia, DoTalk breaks down all barriers to communication, with the ability to rapidly translate chats in words and voice, in up to 90 different languages. Created with accessibility in mind, DoTalk is available across all iOS and Android Smartphones and any Internet connected devices.   DoTalk’s proprietary technology enables users to simultaneously engage in cross-language communications easily and more accurately than any other messaging app available, with six different translation APIs and speech recognition tools combining to provide the most accurate translations possible.   Users have the option to message either via text or a ‘hold & talk’ microphone, and can also conduct group chat with up to 10 people in multiple languages in real time. The interface is intuitive, with inviting contacts and adding language and accent being a simple process.   “Our goal with DoTalk was to create a free, fun and easy-to-use app which provides an open forum for people to easily connect and communicate, regardless of language barriers or location and without delay,” says Aussie founder, Reno Nicastro.   “With applications across everyday life, from business to travel, dating and everything in between, now nothing will be lost in translation. We live in a truly global economy so DoTalk has benefits for absolutely everyone.”   “Whether you are travelling, booking a cab or hotel overseas, want to communicate with international relatives, someone exotic you’ve met online, as the modern-day pen pal, or you just want to learn another language – DoTalk is the tool to connect you to people regardless of where they are or what language they speak.”   The language industry is big business, with the worldwide language services market growing at an annual rate of 5.52% according to The Common Sense Advisory, 2016 Report. The size of the overall global language industry in 2016 was estimated at $40 Billion (USD), with estimates of up to $45 Billion by 2020.    Already trialled extensively in beta testing, DoTalk has registered users from a wide range of countries and languages, with English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French and Indonesian proving the most commonly used in the app.   Nicastro and his team are focused on continuous development within the app, and will utilise user feedback to add more features and functionality over time that will further enable broader industry applications including regional/global conference calls, customer service, education, media and customer engagement.   “As the market continues on a growth trajectory, we believe we have assembled an exceptional team and that we have the best messaging app platform in the market. We are currently working on DoTalk Premium applications that will run with the current DoTalk Realtime Translation Technology Engine, and "DoTalk Team" for Business. DoTalk Premium will break down language barriers by providing real-time communications tools to get the job done.”   “As a nation of travellers and world-beaters in business, it is only appropriate then that this app was conceived in Australia, and believe DoTalk will only further facilitate our ability to take on the world!”, Nicastro added.  Features DoTalk provides a fully integrated chat app service that includes the following features:   Real time translation of 90 different languages through the app or Internet enabled device Instant voice translation for 50+ languages Voice to text dictation Group chat including simultaneous translation in conference Private messaging Send and receive files Search and add friends 256 Bit encryption/MP4 file storage Instant sync across devices  Images and availability Please download images from the following link: DoTalk images. DoTalk can be accessed via web at DoTalk or downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.   For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:   Rebecca Blasina                                                     David Wolf Closer Communications                                          Closer Communicationsrebecca@closer.com.au                                         david@closer.com.au 0420 805 567                                                          0411 111 787  About DoTalk One world. One Language. Chat to anyone, anytime, anywhere, in 90 languages. DoTalk changes communication around the globe by removing the language barrier and allowing you to chat and translate your messages in real-time. DoTalk can also be used as an ordinary chat between friends in the same language. Mumsomnia: New Facebook group for Mums that encourages face to face connections 2017-01-10T04:31:26Z mumsomnia-new-facebook-group-for-mums-that-encourages-face-to-face-connections Emma Lovell is a Sydney Mum of two. The public know her from Shark Tank where she won over one of the sharks with her innovative sleep, sun and travel product CoziGo (formerly known as Fly Babee). She has also won various awards such as the AusMumpreneur Emerging Business for 2016 and the Optus My Business Award for Wholesaler of 2016. Emma set up Mumsomnia to provide a judgement free zone for Mums. This social media group encourages mothers to meet up face to face. Emma Lovell states: "For me, being a new mum was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been and I think there are so many women out there that need support outside of their immediate family and friends. I set up Mumsomnia to provide a judgement free space for women to connect and make a plan to meet up face to face. Social Media is making us all anti-social and we all spend far too much time attached to our phones." We’re hoping 2017 will see Mumsomnia connect more mums face to face and forge some lifelong memories and friendships. All we ask, is if you have nothing nice to say when in this space, don’t say anything at all! Emma adds: "You don’t have to be a “billy no mates” to come and join Mumsomnia, you may feel disconnected from your current friends at this new stage of your life, have moved to a new area or just fancy meeting a fresh face and make a new connection. Once there, in order to make it happen, you must make the effort to give a shout out to other members and make time for a coffee date with the kids or throw caution to the wind and make a plan to have a kid free dinner with a cocktail or two!!" *** Media Contact: Candice Meisels candice@candicepr.com Finally, a solution for January birthdays! No more receiving re-gifted Xmas gifts! 2017-01-05T04:01:54Z finally-a-solution-for-january-birthdays-no-more-receiving-re-gifted-xmas-gifts Over the last ten days, bins around Australia have been full to capacity with rubbish, packaging, gift tags and wrapping paper. Sydney Mums, Julie Tylman and Ali Linz, created Group Together to avoid waste from unwanted gifts, packaging and wrapping paper. Julie Tylman, co-founder of GroupTogether, explains: “Ali and I have seven children combined. We met for coffee one day after a weekend of ferrying kids to and from birthday parties. We were exhausted from the driving, parking, buying, wrapping gifts, drop offs and pick-ups involved in attending kid’s parties. We were also gob-smacked at the amount of money we had spent (7 kids’ x 2 parties’ x $20ish gifts + wrapping & card) only to find out that the birthday kids either already had the gifts, were given multiple copies of the gifts or didn’t love them.” They created GroupTogether, an easy online tool that makes it easy to pool funds to give one gift that’s really wanted without the waste. Friends can also add a photo and message to the group card. For those who want to “give back”, there’s the option to donate a portion of the gift pool to your favourite charity. The business has grown and now has 20 000 users who have organized group gift collections through GroupTogether. One of the most popular types of collections at the end of 2016, was end of year teacher’s gifts. Ali Linz, co-founder GroupTogether, continues: “As well as cutting out the waste, we also felt that there was an opportunity to create a culture of mindful giving. That’s why we made it easy to donate a bit of the group gift to charity so kids can learn the joy of giving back.” Julie Tylman, co-founder, GroupTogether concludes: “I really feel for the January babies, they struggle. No need to give the sad, re-gifted Chrissie present, instead friends can keep their new year's resolution and stay on budget by pooling their money together and giving one great gift.” Media Contact: Candice Meisels candice@candicepr.com The worst re-gifted gifts that Australians have ever received... 2016-12-28T09:24:38Z the-worst-re-gifted-gifts-that-australians-have-ever-received Sydney, Australia, 28th December 2016, GroupTogether, an easy, user-friendly tool that organises group gift collections, conducted research to discover what Australians have actually received as re-gifted gifts. The results are hilarious and remind one to be mindful when re-gifting and gifting… The 10 worst re-gifted gifts: A scratch pack for my birthday that had been scratched and re-gifted. Needless to say none of us were winners. An engraved salad bowl engraved with the event it was won at ten years before! Cracked Dinnerware complete with a $5 reduction sticker A scarf that I had given someone for their birthday a month prior to mine! A book which had a Happy Birthday note for Sally. I am not Sally. Make-up with finger marks through it… Freebies from a hotel. Not even a real re-gift. A gift card that had already been spent. It had a big fat zero balance. A box of Xmas chocolates that wished the person who gave it to me a Merry Xmas Bath and body products with the internal seals removed! Ali Linz, Co-founder, GroupTogether says: “It's about Mindful Consumption; grouping together for one gift that'll be valued. Less waste from unwanted gifts, packaging, petrol and time. It's better all round.” Julie Tylman, Co-founder, GroupTogether, adds: “We think of GroupTogether as a type of mindful giving. Not only are you giving one gift that is truly wanted, at the same time you are cutting out all the waste: wrapping paper, ribbons, cards, envelopes, plastic packaging, petrol used running around to the shops. So you give one great gift, make the planet happy and can even donate a bit to charity. A true win-win-win!” Tis' the season of re-gifting so make sure that you know the rules. The 9 cardinal rules of re-gifting: Make sure you do not give the gift to the person who bought it for you! Make sure that you do not give it to the original givers friends or family. Remove the gift tag, price and any left-over bits of old wrapping paper or tape Never re-gift something that is bespoke, handmade or homemade Only re-gift brand new gifts that have not been opened Make sure to re-wrap in new wrapping paper or a new gift bag Donate to charity Check for any forms of personalisation e.g. message in a book Next time you have to organise a gift for a friend, family member or colleague, pool together and get one great group gift or voucher that you know that they will really want! Ali Linz concludes: “I really feel for the January babies, they struggle. They're so ready to go out: party, drink and feast on cake but literally all their family and friends are partied out, losing weight or saving money. Now we can't help with the hangovers and diets but we can help make it a birthday to remember. No need to give the sad, re-gifted Chrissie present, instead friends can keep their new year's resolution and stay on budget by pooling their money together and giving one great gift (detox, spa weekend anyone, anyone?).” GroupTogether is an easy online tool that organises group gift collections. Friends, colleagues or family members group together to purchase one larger, more thoughtful gift or for a gift voucher so that the receiver can pick a gift of their choice. The user-friendly platform does the inviting, reminding, collecting, tracking and then sends the money and group card to the organiser. It makes it easy to pool funds to give one gift that’s really wanted without the waste. Friends can also add a photo and message to the group card. For those who want to “give back”, there’s the option to donate a portion of the gift pool to your favourite charity. www.grouptogether.com Group Homes Australia is so confident in their unique model of care that they are offering a free trial to live in one of their homes. 2016-12-28T03:14:42Z group-homes-australia-is-so-confident-in-their-unique-model-of-care-that-they-are-offering-a-free-trial-to-live-in-one-of-their-homes Sydney, Australia, 28th of December 2016, Group Homes Australia offers respite, dementia and high care in a sophisticated and luxurious environment, supported by a team of fully qualified homemakers who are there 24/7. Each home is designed to accommodate the needs of people living with dementia but looks, feels and smells like a home. Each group home houses 6 to 10 residents in beautifully appointed, private bedrooms. There are numerous living and dining areas for residents and their visiting families to enjoy. Each home boasts gorgeous garden and outdoor leisure settings. The homemakers focus on residents’ abilities and interests. The residents are encouraged to participate in weekly outings and the activities that they enjoy such as baking, gardening and laundry. Alzheimer’s Australia ranked GHA significantly above 80 aged care competitors. Tamar Krebs, CEO and Founder, Group Homes Australia, states: "We are so confident in our unique model of care that we would like to invite you to trial living in one of our group homes completely free of charge*. Please get in touch mentioning this offer. Places are extremely limited. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our homes so that you can experience the GHA difference for yourself." For more info about the free trial go to: http://grouphomes.com.au/freetrial/ To learn more and to arrange a visit contact call 1300 015 406. *** About Group Homes Australia: Group Homes Australia offers a unique model of care in a luxurious, friendly and safe, home environment. Our mission is to ensure that people living with dementia also live with dignity. We have homes located across Sydney, including in Waverley, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, St Ives and Warriewood, and were recently independently benchmarked by Alzheimer's Australia as best in class in every area of dementia care against over 80 competitors. Our model is the first of its kind in Australia and focuses on creating a non-institutional way of living that emphasises a resident’s abilities rather than their disabilities. Our homes are traditional houses in traditional streets and are an integral part of the community, with a maximum of 10 residents living together in private rooms. Each home has trained staff on site 24/7 and approximately 1 member of staff for every 3 residents. Our caring team members are homemakers, and they support and assist residents with their daily needs and activities. They encourage residents to be engaged in shopping, cooking, gardening… The full range of daily tasks that bring a sense of purpose in a home. We have no call bells or nursing trolleys, no rigid routines around waking, personal care or singalongs. We actively welcome friends and family to come and visit and stay for a cup of tea and sample our latest freshly baked treats. www.grouphomes.com.au or 1300 015 406 5 essentials for a summer-ready home 2016-12-27T22:30:00Z 5-essentials-for-a-summer-ready-home Australians are encouraged to think twice when it comes to preparing their home for the extreme weather conditions that lie ahead[i]. Air conditioners remain a household essential, particularly during the peak of the heat. While reverse cycle air conditioning can be one of the most efficient ways of enjoying year-round comfort, it’s important to remember there are multiple features that enable homeowners to use their air conditioners to maximise comfort whilst minimising their energy consumption. According to Fujitsu General Assist, Fujitsu’s customer service team, the most commonly asked questions revolve around usage and maintenance. A well maintained air conditioner will deliver optimum performance and efficiency. Whilst a poorly maintained air conditioning system is likely to produce inferior airflow and force the unit to work harder than it needs to. The Fujitsu General Assist team recommends the following tips to ensure Australian air conditioners are summer-ready and perform at their best: Clean the filters - Filters and indoor unit grilles collect dust over time, restricting airflow. Clean the filter using a vacuum cleaner or wash with mild detergent and warm water. Let the filter dry completely before replacing. Dust along the indoor unit grilles can also be vacuumed and wiped with a damp cloth. Have the air conditioner serviced periodically by a licensed air conditioning technician. A professional service every one to two years, depending on usage, ensures the air conditioner operates as efficiently as possible. Don’t set the temperature too low - In summer, set the temperature around 23 degrees Celsius to create a comfortable environment whilst minimising energy consumption. Use built in timers - When the mercury soars above average, use program timers to start the air conditioner on a low setting before the temperature gets too hot. Switching the air conditioner on during the hottest part of the day means it needs to exert more energy and takes longer to cool down the home. Close doors and windows whilst the unit is on - Fill small gaps and cracks around windows with sealant, and seal draughts under doors with weather strips or draft stoppers This ensures cool air remains indoors. Whether it is a whole home solution or cooling comfort for a small room, Fujitsu General has a wide range of reverse cycle air conditioning systems designed to meet the needs of any space. Enquiries: 1300 882 201, www.fujitsugeneral.com.au Media enquiries – for further information please contact: Roberta Marcroft, Write Away Communication + Events T: 02 9978 1400 | E: roberta@writeaway.com.au [i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-01/experts-warn-against-underestimating-heatwave-threat/8081264 5 Christmas Tips for those with older parents or parents who have dementia 2016-12-22T07:37:08Z 5-christmas-tips-for-those-with-older-parents-or-parents-who-have-dementia Tamar Krebs, CEO and Founder of Group Homes Australia has some great advice for making the most of this festive season. 1.Don't try and replicate Christmas of the past - be prepared to approach it differently. Bring food in, or offer to do the cooking. Instead of eating in, head to the beach and use the public BBQ. 2.Try and focus on creating new memories and living in the moment, rather than focussing on how things “used to be”. Celebrate what your parents can do, rather than what they can no longer do. 3. Do not waste time and energy worrying about whether Mum or Dad will be around for next Christmas, but instead enjoy the fact that they are around for this Christmas. Be sure to tell them how much you love them and how happy you are to be spending this Christmas with them. 4. Christmas is a popular time for reminiscing. Looking at old photo albums or mementos is a very powerful tool to help remind that person of who they are, what they were capable of, and what makes them unique, rather than just being a person who is living with a diagnosis of dementia. 5. Not everyone who is living with dementia has family around to help care for them. Suicide rates peak at this time of year as it can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience if you are not surrounded by friends and family. If you know someone who is living with dementia who will be alone this Christmas, please reach out to them and include them in your celebrations. Tips for driving, flying and camping holidays with kids! 2016-12-21T02:25:47Z tips-for-driving-flying-and-camping-holidays-with-kids Paediatric Sleep Consultant, Cheryl Fingleson offers tips on driving with little or bigger kids. 1. Leave at night or very early in the morning It’s a good idea is to leave at night when children have all been fed and it is bedtime so they can have a good long sleep, as the motion of the car will also help them sleep. If you prefer to drive when it is lighter then leaving in the early, give bub a feed and get the older children in the car so you can get a good start while they are tired and still need to sleep. 2. Pack Refreshments Drinks and snack foods are a must for the car age appropriate. 3. Stop for breaks If you have tired, grumpy or bored children in the car it is no fun. Remember children are hard wired for movement. Stop for breaks so the babies can crawl, walk and the older kids can run around for a while, then back into the car. Put the nursery rhymes on, sing along. 4. Pack the technology Ipads, mobiles and movies can be one of the most valuable things you pack and more importantly may keep you sane.. This may be the key to eliminating whinging and fighting children. 5. Routine. Routine. Routine. While travelling try keep to your babies and toddlers usual routine. 6. Clean as you drive Keep a roll of paper towels and a box of wipes in the front seat for easy cleanups. Keep a rubbish bag handy too. There are five things I tell people when they ask about taking kids camping or hiking or paddling: They get cold faster. They get hot faster. They get hungry faster. They get bored faster. They get tired quickly. Cheryl Fingleson, The Sleep Coach, says: "Babies and kids need to eat regularly and sleep on their schedule. I recommend you make sure kids nap and sleep at their usual time. Babies can nap in a front carrier, pram or backpack. Having their schedule and routine the same makes them feel secure. Take their own toys, games, books and anything you child loves to play with from home. Making them have their own belongings helps them adjust to the different surrounding. Consistency and routine will be the magic that make a great relaxing holiday." If you are travelling by plane, then pack these life saving products that were invented by Mums: Cozigo (formerlly Fly Babee) can be used as a sleep, sun and travel cover. It is air permeable, UPF 50+ and 100% breathable. It also blocks out 97% of the light allowing bubs and toddlers to sleep whilst travelling anywhere, anytime... www.cozigo.com Fly Tot Once your baby is too big for the air line bassinet, make sure that he or she is comfortable so they he or she can sleep in their seat. Fly Tot is an inflatable cushion for older babies, toddlers and kids to stretch out, relax and sleep. www.flytot.com.au Please contact candice@candicepr.com for more info. Wishing you all a beautiful, relaxing Festive Season! Group Homes Australia embraces technological innovation by partnering with My Emergency Dr 2016-12-19T02:22:01Z group-homes-australia-embraces-technological-innovation-by-partnering-with-my-emergency-dr Sydney, Australia, 19th December 2016, Group Homes Australia, pioneer of dementia, palliative and respite care in a group home environment in Australia, subscribes to My Emergency Dr to offer their residents innovative, specialist care around the clock. My Emergency Dr is a video-based smartphone app that puts you in touch with an Australian-trained and qualified Emergency Specialist Doctor when you need one, at the touch of a button. Tamar Krebs, CEO and Founder of Group Homes Australia states: “Our residents are at the heart of everything we do. By utilising My Emergency Dr, trips to hospital will be reduced, which in turn will minimise the agitation and stress for residents, and their families.” She adds: “By partnering with My Emergency Dr, we can offer residents a rapid assessment which will avoid both hospital trips and readmissions. The team at My Emergency Dr consists of Emergency Specialist Doctors who remotely assess patients, make a diagnosis, and provide expert medical advice. In many cases they can arrange the treatment required without the need for distressing trips to hospital. Justin Bowra, CEO and Founder of ConnectedMed and an experienced senior emergency specialist physician states: "We are thrilled to partner with Group Homes Australia. My Emergency Doctor allows residents and their families to avoid the sometimes traumatic, disorientating experience of going to hospital. Residents can be seen immediately by an emergency specialist doctor. Group Homes Australia will have 24-hour-a-day immediate video access to a team of Emergency Specialists who can remotely assess, diagnose and arrange treatment." This is just another way that Group Homes Australia is embracing technology by subscribing to this innovative tele-emergency medical service. Media Contact: Candice Meisels candice@candicepr.com -ENDS- About Group Homes Australia: Group Homes Australia offers a unique model of care in a luxurious, friendly and safe, home environment. Our mission is to ensure that people living with dementia also live with dignity. We have homes located across Sydney, including in Waverley, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, St Ives and Warriewood, and were recently independently benchmarked by Alzheimer's Australia as best in class in every area of dementia care against over 80 competitors. Our model is the first of its kind in Australia and focuses on creating a non-institutional way of living that emphasises a resident’s abilities rather than their disabilities. Our homes are traditional houses in traditional streets and are an integral part of the community, with a maximum of 10 residents living together in private rooms. Each home has trained staff on site 24/7 and approximately 1 member of staff for every 3 residents. Our caring team members are homemakers, and they support and assist residents with their daily needs and activities. They encourage residents to be engaged in shopping, cooking, gardening… The full range of daily tasks that bring a sense of purpose in a home. We have no call bells or nursing trolleys, no rigid routines around waking, personal care or singalongs. We actively welcome friends and family to come and visit and stay for a cup of tea and sample our latest freshly baked treats. www.grouphomes.com.au or 1300 015 406 About My Emergency Dr: My Emergency Dr is a video-based smartphone app that puts you in touch with an Australian-trained and qualified Emergency Specialist Doctor when you need one, at the touch of a button. Our vision is to give every Australian urgent video access via your smartphone to an Emergency Specialist, wherever they live and whenever they call. Sick? Our team of Emergency Specialist Doctors can remotely assess you, make a diagnosis, provide expert medical advice and in many cases arrange the treatment you need. Simply download the app and connect to an Emergency Specialist who will be able to assist you wherever you are. All of our doctors are qualified specialists in Emergency Medicine. http://www.myemergencydr.com/ Available at the App Store or at Android’s Google Play.