The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-09-10T14:47:03Z Our Story – how it all started 2020-09-10T14:47:03Z our-story-how-it-all-started Education has always been part of my life. As a 5 years old child I dreamed of becoming first a teacher and then a school leader who would take care of her own creation. I wanted to make space for the wonder of learning and knowledge, for the beauty of each single individual – something that deeply inside me felt like being the most important purpose of life: finding her/his own potential and making it available to oneself and society as a whole. My life story took me on this journey. I became an expert in education, knowledge management and leadership. As a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, adult educator and executive in international educational institutions, I have always been and continue to be committed to helping each person realize their uniqueness and bring it to the world. I worked internationally and I see education and personal development as the vehicle for real change. After having worked and researched in the education field (Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor in Business Administration in Higher Education Management, Master in Giftedness) for over 30 years I used to write a number of articles and books – among others I wrote the book ‘Tacit knowledge sharing at Higher Education Institutions’ which became a source for academics in the field of knowledge transfer. Finally, after an additional move to a new place and in the mids of doing research on the topic ‘A comparison of diverse education systems’ I met Katharina Ferster, the co-founder of School Beyond Limitations. One day she called me (I was a participant of one of her marketing coaching courses), by asking me: ‘Martina, where does your heart belong to?’ Promptly I answered that it beats for education and giving young students the opportunity to live their full potential.Katharina, being a mother of two daughters, then said: ‘Wouldn’t it be possible to create an online school?’
That was the starting point for the creation and the design of School Beyond Limitations: A school that would see the student as a whole human being – a school that would go beyond limitations. I am proud for having designed this school concept and grateful to Katharina for having pushed me in this direction. We were meant to meet in order to bring School Beyond Limitations alive! And this is exactly what I was dreaming about when I was a 5 years old child. Online Schooling - 2020-09-10T12:20:13Z online-schooling Although I have been working in the education field for over 30 years I used to be very sceptical regarding the quality and impact online learning may have on students. I was convinced that, in order to learn well, students have to be in a physical setting where they could mingle with both their peers and their teachers. I held the belief that online learning would not allow students nor teachers to form a community. At the age of 54 I decided to undertake an online course myself – after having gone through formal education in a traditional way (two doctoral degrees, one master degree). During this particular online course – that was not only based on lecturing, but also on valuable live sessions where participants got engaged in debates, discussions and collaborative learning – I realised that I established a strong bond with the participants that resulted in further gatherings online and offline.As, at that time, I was working towards becoming less location-dependent as a professional, I was looking into options that allowed me to live my mission differently in comparison to how I was doing it up until then. After many years of teaching, lecturing, coaching and leading international schools in different countries and experiencing the need to start from scratch again after each move (I moved due to family reasons), I was fascinated by creating something that would allow me and my job to work from anywhere.Synchronicity is often at play and, indeed, the mentor of the online course that I subscribed to one day phoned me and asked me whether it would be possible to create an online school? You can imagine that my former beliefs were at a deviation. We brainstormed on the basis of our common experience and knowledge in different fields (mine in education, giftedness and personal development and Katharina’s (my business partner) in Marketing and coaching) what would be the best way to bring a holistic education offering into reality: School Beyond Limitations was born.School Beyond Limitations is not only based on online schooling, but it also integrates the opportunity of experiential learning weeks in different countries in Europe. Students learn to see themselves as unique human beings who are invited to pursue their own interests through the lenses of academic, social, emotional, personal and entrepreneurial learning opportunities.The experience has now given us enough evidence that online learning has a number of huge advantages (although it may not be the right solution for everybody). Students who love to engage online and gain inspiration by connecting with people from different countries forget that they are not in the same physical room. Surprisingly, students say that they seem to bond more with their classmates in a contained online context (at School Beyond Limitations there are only maximum 8 students in each class) than they ever did before in traditional classes with over 20 students being present. They keep connected after lessons and communicate and collaborate beyond their school hours. As such, the online approach gives them the understanding how much value they gain through collaboration with one another and furthermore, they realise that they belong to a steady, friendly, caring and open learning community – an environment that promotes the notion that learning takes place at any time and anywhere.Online learning allows students to connect with their peers and teachers also in times of change, such as during the COVID 19 pandemic throughout which the majority of countries have closed their schools and were not ready to phase an efficient solution for their students’ learning. Often teachers just sent assignments out to their students by expecting the assignments to be handed in at the end of the week. Students, from one moment to the next, needed to learn everything independently whereas before there was never any focus on self-directed learning in school. There was no or very little interaction with the students. No wonder that students who experienced such an approach started to feel left alone and demotivated about their learning experience.The online lessons at School Beyond Limitations allowed students to continue their learning journey. It never interrupted. Students are involved in their learning. It allows them to see the purpose of their learning by being seen in their individual uniqueness. They learn out of curiosity based on their interests, talents, experiences and competencies. Their learning takes place through inquiry and projects based on a trans-disciplinary approach. That allows them to integrate their learning holistically as it is relevant to their own lives. On top of supporting students’ personal development, they are encouraged, through the exposure to experts in various fields, to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and their entrepreneurial ventures. Such powerful online classes allow them to learn how much value there is to connect with entrepreneurs and to be exposed to their expertise. Online classes offer infinite possibilities for such learning experiences. Students connect easily with relevant people who may have an impact on their own professional career. Another positive aspect of online learning is that students encounter less stress. There is no need to get up so early if school starts at 9 am from home. Students mention this aspect all the time: how much freer and more relaxed they feel about school by connecting from home. There is no need of commuting to school on a daily basis and that helps them to introduce a daily routine based on more freedom and choice. In addition, the peer pressure that usually makes students suffer so much in traditional settings is something that online students do encounter much less. First of all because their environment is so different. Nobody can hide in the classroom. Everyone is seen and also the interaction between the students is taking place openly. If their learning environment puts an emphasis on the whole human being – including their emotional and social wellbeing – then there is no space for such risks to take place. So, is online learning an alternative to traditional schooling? For sure it is (not for all); especially if the online learning is based on the uniqueness of the learning journey of each single student and takes them on an interactive journey that ignites their passion for learning and their interest in creating value for themselves and the world they live in. Author Dr Martina Geromin DBA, PhD Who is Your Funeral Director -Part 2 2020-09-05T22:18:09Z who-is-your-funeral-director-part-2-1 Who is your funeral director? Where do they come from? What is their expertise? What does the future hold for the industry and people who work in it?In previous blogs, I have written about my experience and what led me into the funeral industry. In this blog, I look at some of the changes in the industry in recent decades, giving you insight into who your funeral director might be and how they got into the industry.There wouldn't be a day go by someone tells me I'm working in a "bulletproof" industry. They think that because everyone dies, there will always be work for me. It's not surprising that other people want to be part of what they too believe is a 'future proof" industry. So, as the industry draws in new people, questions arise as to who these people are, their qualifications and what they contribute to the industry as it changes over time?The funeral industry has undergone a significant change in my lifetime. I grew up in a time when some funeral directors still manufactured coffins and caskets rather than purchased them from large manufacturers. Many staff came to the industry from the factory floors. Funerals were typically religious. The most significant difference between funerals was whether they were catholic or protestant. Burials were the main form of disposition.In the 1960s and 70s, with immigration beginning to shift from European countries to also include new arrivals from Asia, we began to see new religions appear. This diversity meant changes particularly in terms of ethnic customs and traditions. Funeral homes had to adapt quickly and most did so quite well.At this time, few of our new Australians had the desire or will to work within the funeral industry. Over the following few decades, not much changed. Sure there are more new arrivals from a wider range of countries having different traditions and cultures to those we had become accustomed to. This has meant funeral staff have had to acquire a better understanding of the needs of our changing Australian industry and above all else, flexibility.The funeral industry was changing behind the scenes. Larger family businesses were absorbing traditional family-owned business. The centralisation of mortuaries and garaging enabled significant cost efficiencies. Much smaller family-owned business did not have family members wanting to carry on in the family business. Something not unique to other industries, but with 24 hour 7 day a week commitment, the funeral industry does not have the appeal of many others.For those starting a career in the funeral industry, there was a hierarchal ascent. Similar to an apprenticeship but without the formality. Staff would begin as a hearse driver working alongside the most experienced member of the team, the conductor. Typically, conductors have years of experience and have undergone a similar "apprenticeship". Previously, there were very few women in these roles. Indeed there were few women in funeral service altogether.After a few years working alongside a conductor, the hearse driver would progress to the coach driver, the third person in a funeral crew. The coach driver has the job of collecting and looking after the family on the day of the funeral. The coach driver would then become a conductor, and the cycle would begin again.Funeral staff would be involved in the delivery of a diverse range of funerals, rosaries, viewing, and other services such as transfers of deceased or body collection from Nursing homes, hospitals or coroners, etc. All staff were required to be on rotational 24/7 after-hours standby for night work. When not doing funerals, staff were involved in coffin preparation, placing handles and writing names plates on coffins and sometimes lining them, there is always cleaning to be performed.Vehicles are the funeral directors' mobile shop front, and most companies spent a lot of time ensuring there showpieces were kept immaculate.Companies varied as to how these processes worked. Some would insist that all conductors were also funeral arrangers while others found that some staff were better at funeral delivery than others.The mortuary has always been a field on its own. Many funeral staff had no desire or will to work within the mortuary. Larger funeral homes typically had qualified mortuary personnel called embalmers. Smaller companies often had no qualified staff in the mortuary, and they may have had general funeral staff performing necessary mortuary procedures. Some of the larger funeral homes were big supporters of mortuary training and our family business at times had up to 12 or more qualified embalmers on staff. The training and encouragement to train staff have often been attributed to the principals or owners of the business. Those owners that had worked in mortuaries were more likely to encourage training than those that didn't. The early embalmers in Australia had either learnt overseas or were part of the early learning with the British Institute of Embalmers. Some funeral homes paid for embalming courses and tuition for their staff. Sadly today this is often not the case, and students are typically required to pay out the hefty course fees on their own. Television shows such as CSI have probably attributed the large numbers of young women now working within our mortuaries. The 1980s saw the introduction of the large foreign-owned companies become part of the Australian funeral industry, purchasing the larger family-owned groups. As a result, many companies that had often worked and helped each other out from time to time came to see themselves as competitors. The mutual assistance of the past died overnight. Corporatisation had arrived and quickly permeated the market changing the culture of funeral service forever. The traditional family names of the business often remained but the founding principles of many of these businesses didn't. The funeral industry, like many others, had moved into a financially driven market.In the past, the staff knew their employers as well as they knew their own families. Instead, with corporatisation, staff would either change industries or change allegiances based on money. For some, this also appeared to be a lucrative time to enter the industry. Subsequently, we have seen a proliferation of small independent funeral operators enter the market. Some have a laptop, and that's it.It is now possible to get trade services in mortuaries, deceased transfers, hire hearse and staff. While there are some excellent trade services around, there are also horror stories of sub-standard quality as the market is increasingly driven by price.An industry that had once moved to the introduction of nationwide infection control standards often now seems more concerned with the length of time that training might take rather than the benefits these skills may bring. Subsequently, few workers within the industry have ever undertaken any form of training in industry-based occupational health and safety.Many traditional operators have made calls for industry regulation and or licensing. This is not new, yet there never seems to be any consensus as to what needs to be regulated or how. Often these calls are based on minimum equipment and vehicle standards. It is difficult to find any evidence around the world that in the absence of any of these standards, any risk to public health exists. Often these calls are based on creating barriers to entry to increase start-up costs.Some say their unscrupulous operators out there. No doubt there is. Yet, in highly regulated professions these unscrupulous operators still exit. So regulation won't stamp them out.So who is your funeral director?Funeral operators are calling themselves many things these days, the latest is a funeral event organiser. Indeed a person may call themselves a funeral director but never handle a deceased. Some of these people may have spent years or even decades in the industry but never had to dress or prepare a deceased. Many of us have heard of instances, where new consultants are given a case and told to see a grieving family on their first day of employment, no experience, no training and no knowledge.A funeral is made of a broad range of services. Foremost the funeral director is engaged for the disposition of the deceased. For some funeral organisers, this is seen as a minor aspect of their services! Whilst there are many new services, such as catering, printed materials, audiovisual now on offer, we should not lose sight of the reasons a family would engage a funeral director in the first place.So maybe its time to recognise funeral directors who are skilled qualified and experienced in all aspects of the funeral industry. Not all funeral directors are the same. Many have spent their life perfecting their skills and craft.Maybe its time to recognise the "Master Undertaker" for their services.So when you engage a funeral service next time, maybe you should ask a few questions?Robert Nelson is a fifth-generation Funeral Director and Managing Director of Robert Nelson Funerals based in Melbourne, Australia, he is a member of the British Institute of Embalmers and has studied and worked in funeral service in both Australia and overseas. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – Prevention and Response 2020-08-18T05:54:11Z sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace-prevention-and-response A 2018 study found that one in three Australian workers had experienced sexual harassment in the last five years. Sexual harassment affects individuals, families, businesses and the community as a whole.  It is a systemic issue across all industries.  For employees who are sexually harassed, and those witnessing it, the workplace ceases to be a safe place and the harassment itself may cause lifelong ramifications.  Businesses’ ability to prosper and focus on their key objectives is diminished. The annual cost of workplace sexual harassment to the Australian economy is $3.8 billion. This is a significant issue affecting victims, employees and employers and prevention needs to be front of mind for organisations.  While employers cannot guarantee prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are some key measures which can be taken to ensure victims feel safe to make complaints and the processes are clearly understood by the organisation.    The Australian Human Rights Commission released the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020) was released on 5 March 2020.  This research reveals startling statistics and shows just how important it is that every organisation takes steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.   3 tips your workplace can implement to prevent sexual harassment   1. Building a culture of trust and respect   Whether you are a small business with a lack of resources, or a large organisation that has a HR department, focusing on a positive workplace culture is a crucial step to preventing sexual harassment. Employees are more likely to come forward if they feel respected in their workplace.  A positive culture within a business may reduce the prospect of sexual harassment occurring in the first place.  WEIR assists organisations to improve their workplace culture by:   undertaking a detailed review of what is occurring within your organisation; and   then helping you to adopt best practice methods and implement evidence-based initiatives.     2. Active engagement and commitment from leaders  Strong leadership is a key foundation for providing a positive working environment that seeks to prevent workplace sexual harassment. Leaders have a critical role in setting the culture of an organisation and ensuring disrespectful behaviour is called out, and people feel safe to speak up. Leaders must drive cultural change and seek to break a culture of silence, and model appropriate behaviour.  Making sure your organisation has core values and intention to eliminate and not tolerate sexual harassment is crucial to preventing it in the workplace.   3. Ensuring the expectations of workplace behaviour and processes are clear  While the #MeToo movement spiked awareness of sexual harassment, there continues to be a lack of understanding about what can constitute sexual harassment.  Fundamental to preventing sexual harassment is ensuring that employees understand what it is.  WEIR offers appropriate workplace behaviour training that targets awareness and action, including policy review that complements this approach.  Employers should aim for policies that identify sexual harassment as unlawful and unacceptable, and include the following:   Coverage of all workers at all levels;   Comprehensive definition of sexual harassment;  recognition sexual harassment is driven by gender inequality;  identification of the responsibilities of management and workers;  a clear and robust complaint process, sexual harassment investigation process and identification of sanctions and/or penalties;  options for external reporting and support channels; and  and an assurance that retaliation, reprisal or victimisation is not accepted.   Policies should be regularly reviewed for effectiveness and need to be easily accessible to workers.  Managers and supervisors should be familiar with the policies and discuss with workers.   Targeted education and training should also be available and encouraged for all workers. Line managers, and those in positions of power within organisations need to ensure they have the people management skills to handle sexual harassment matters.   In preventing sexual harassment, there needs to be a clear message from senior management that sexual harassment is not tolerated and clear information about the process if someone is, or witnesses someone being harassed.     4. Responding to a complaint  If you have taken all the steps to prevent sexual harassment, yet still find yourself dealing with a claim, what can you do? How an organisation handles a complaint of sexual harassment can either exacerbate or mitigate further negative impacts on the individual, and others in the workplace.  An adequate response is likely to lead to a quick resolution whereas a poor organisation response will result in additional costs and distress, along with adverse reputation and cultural impact.   Our 3 tips for dealing with a sexual harassment complaint are:    1. Take a victim-centred and trauma-informed approach   Minimise further harm to the victim.  Focus on victim welfare, where their wishes, safety and wellbeing are the priorities. Taking a victim- centred approach, and ensuring this is known within the business, is more likely to ensure individuals feel comfortable coming forward.    2. Consider available options for dealing with complaints   Is a formal workplace investigation the most sensible course of action? Formal investigations are commonly thought of as the only way to respond to a report of sexual harassment. However, often victims would be more content with early intervention and have alternative options for dealing with their complaint.  As part of taking a victim-centred approach, it is important to listen to the victim and ensure they are kept informed throughout any process before any action is taken.    3. Gather data and change your approaches to reflect it  Once you have dealt with a complaint, gathering data on what your organisation is seeing is key to affect change.  Is mobilising bystanders a key priority? Or should increasing awareness of sexual harassment and acceptable workplace behaviour be where your priorities lie?  Data allows you to appropriately respond and assess if there are particular issues.   Preventing and addressing sexual harassment within the workplace needs to be a constant focus of all organisations.  If you need assistance with policy development, complaints management, training and education, and investigations related to sexual harassment, WEIR can assist.  Book award finalist: a sophisticated Romance Scam story, multiple clever professionals victimized 2020-08-07T05:03:38Z book-award-finalist-a-sophisticated-romance-scam-story-multiple-clever-professionals-victimized I’m a Romance Scam IT Detective by Selina Co has been honoured as an Award-Winning Finalist in the True Crime: Non-Fiction category of the 2020 International Book Awards. This advanced romance scam story illustrates fake websites, fake email addresses, fake banking documents, fake passports and fake personal videos. In the latter half of the story, victim Selina became a hacker and actress to confront and brainwash the criminals. This book also explains cybercrime investigation, legal limitations and misconducts of certain banks and their roles in the crime. Victims are clever professionals, namely engineers and a politician. This romance scam true story involves seven countries (Australia, the United States, Singapore, New Zealand, China, Ghana and Nigeria).   Paperback and eBook: available now in Amazon, Kobo and other major bookstores. Audiobook: coming soon.     Contact: Selina Co URL: URL2: Amazon: E: Hong Kong protest Leaders: when a democratic movement itself is not democratic ... 2020-08-07T02:45:16Z hong-kong-protest-leaders-when-a-democratic-movement-is-only-an-excuse-for-rioters-and-dictators Explosive news! Do you know:• Hong Kong protest leaders had publicly requested protesters to paralyse banks, enterprises, public transports and the airport?• Joshua Wong was confirmed to have taken syrup in his 'hunger strike'?• Hong Kong protest leaders use different English slogans from traditional Chinese slogans (Hong Kong language) to mislead the foreign press and foreign governments?• and more ...Videos, evidence, sources will be presented to you. Learn how dictatorial this 'democratic movement' has been. Book title: Hong Kong protest Leaders - Sick facts that Western countries do not know: when a democratic movement itself is not democratic ...Paperback and eBook available now in Amazon, Kobo and other major Internet bookstores. Contact: Selina CoURL: Town Square launches Working For Home campaign as vendors return to the streets to sell The Big Issue 2020-07-23T03:16:09Z town-square-launches-working-for-home-campaign-as-vendors-return-to-the-streets-to-sell-the-big-issue Melbourne - 23 July 2020: As Australia emerges from pandemic lockdown, The Big Issue vendors are returning to city streets across Australia. A new campaign from Town Square announces that it’s back to business for vendors, proudly selling the magazine to earn their way out of homelessness, disadvantage and marginalisation. The Working For Home campaign makes a bold and simple statement, playing off a phrase that has become all too common to the Australian workforce since the coronavirus restrictions were imposed. This is an optimistic, forward-looking campaign, reminding us that The Big Issue vendors are working every day to support themselves. Each self-employed Big Issue vendor buys copies of the fortnightly magazine for half the cover price and retains the retail margin as their income. Town Square, which has been working with The Big Issue on a pro bono basis for a number of years, developed the campaign in association with Carat, who has secured impressive exposure, including donated media on TV, radio, press, OOH and online. Steven Persson, CEO at The Big Issue said: “Across the lockdown, The Big Issue turned to digital editions to keep our readers as engaged as possible, and set up a fund to provide immediate assistance to at-risk vendors. But now that restrictions are lifting in many of our cities, our vendors are returning to work, seeking to support themselves just like the rest of the Australian workforce. This campaign is our proud announcement that vendors are back, earning an income. We look forward to seeing more Big Issue readers enjoy the magazine, knowing that purchasing a copy is helping some of the most disadvantaged in our community to earn a living.” Harry Corsham, Director at Town Square added: “COVID-19 has been hard on us all but the lock-down has hit the disadvantaged harder than most. This campaign plays with language to remind us of this, with a simple, optimistic message that invites people to show a bit of social solidarity at a tough time, by supporting the smallest local business on their block. We are grateful to everyone who has donated their time and resources to make this campaign happen.” Sue Squillace, CEO of Carat ANZ, said the agency has no hesitation when it comes to helping in times like this. “It’s not only rewarding to witness the generosity of our long-term media partners, but seeing how quickly they responded when asked to support this great cause has been overwhelming.  I’m also very proud of the Carat team and their collaborative and passionate approach during this campaign.” Please note: Vendors in Melbourne are currently not selling due to COVID-19 restrictions. They will return to street selling once it is deemed safe to do so. Campaign Material TV 30”: TV 15” A: TV 15” B: TV 15” C: Radio: please access audio file here. OOH: please access audio file here. Credits The Big Issue CEO: Steven Persson National Communications & Partnerships Manager: Steph Say Marketing & Events Manager: Hope Oliver   Town Square Creative Director: Brendan Day Copywriter: Kevin Dolan Art Director: Benny Moore         Chief Strategy Officer: Neville Doyle Account Director: Jessica Hay Producer: Bec Stielow Editor: Jimmy Walker   Production Company: Picture Co. Director / DOP: Nathan Christoffel Sound Recordist / Photographer: Jess Curry Sound Studio: Bang Bang Studios Despatch: Peach   Carat Client Leader: Janine Virtue Client Director: Adelle Sturges Client Manager: Jade Bailey     ENDS     About The Big IssueSince launching in Australia in 1996 more than 13 million Big Issue magazines have been sold, putting $31 million into the pockets of more than 7,000 disadvantaged Australians. Research shows The Big Issue magazine generates a positive social return of $5.50 for every $1 invested in the enterprise, due to a reduced demand for social, health and justice services among sellers. An independent report estimated the magazine saved the community approximately $25,000 per vendor in the 2014-15 year.   About Town Square Town Square is an independent, full-service creative agency, based in Melbourne, working with brands across Australia. Clients include APT, Armaguard, The Big Issue, Captain’s Choice, City of Ballarat, Frasers Property, Sovereign Hill, Tasman Butchers, Travelmarvel, and Weir Minerals.   For more information Harry Corsham | Town Square | | 0418 665986 InfoTrack named Great Place to Work in 2020 2020-07-22T01:13:12Z infotrack-named-great-place-to-work-in-2020 InfoTrack has been named as a top 50 Great Place to Work Australia in an online awards ceremony overnight. InfoTrack has been ranked in the top 50 in the 100-999 employees category, against hundreds of nominated organisations across Australia. The prestigious annual list, published by Great Place to Work Australia, is based on survey results of employees from around the country benchmarked against other participating organisations. This year, the award recognises organisations who have stayed connected whilst being physically distanced. InfoTrack CEO John Ahern said of the win, “We are delighted to sit amongst the top 50 Great Places to Work. This is a testament to the efforts every InfoTrack team member has put into fostering our number one company value - to care about what we do and the people we work with.” InfoTrack has always maintained an energetic, collaborative culture. During COVID-19, the leading legal technology innovator rose to the challenge of remote work fostering employee wellbeing and connectivity during challenging times. Some initiatives include; continuing monthly company celebrations via Zoom for individuals’ achievements, Martial Mondays and SweatIT – weekly group exercise meetings, InfoTrack’s got Talent and trivia nights. InfoTrack also implemented fortnightly open forums, allowing each department to share key wins and for all to engage in Q&As with the CEO directly. “We are proud to be rewarded for our commitment to employee satisfaction, engagement and wellbeing,” Ahern commented. “During COVID-19, our Net Promoter Score was at the highest it’s ever been. This means our clients are seeing just how engaged and eager our teams are to assist. Happy people equals innovative ideas, which in turn assists our clients to be more productive and efficient.” Insentra Group proves remote working can improve workplace culture, leading IT companies in the 2020 Best Places to Work List 2020-07-21T22:56:01Z insentra-group-proves-remote-working-can-improve-workplace-culture-leading-it-companies-in-the-2020-best-places-to-work-list Wednesday 22nd July 2020, Sydney – Global professional and managed services business, Insentra has placed #2 in the 2020 Best Places to Work Study, in the under 100 employees’ category, maintaining a Top 5 place for four years and is the highest ranked IT company in this years list.  The study is conducted based on one of the world’s most comprehensive assessments of workplace culture by Great Place to Work Australia. The benchmark study publication comes amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has upended daily life and business operations around the world. The ranking of Australia’s Best Places to Work 2020 is based on data collected prior and during the novel coronavirus outbreak. “To be highest placed IT company and to move up a spot to #2 in the Best Places to Work study is an achievement which we’re all proud of. Our culture has been consciously created from day zero and is number one on my list of priorities as the CEO, but it is not my responsibility alone - each crew member plays a vital role in upholding Insentra’s values. The support of the Vibe team, Executives and wider leadership has been instrumental in driving our adaption to remote working and ensuring we’re still a fantastic place to work throughout this year and its challenges.”, said CEO, Ronnie Altit following the virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. With its UK and US teams already fully remote, Insentra’s Australian crew adapted quickly to working from home, and taking lessons from their global teams have seen its culture go from strengths to strength. By implementing weekly All Hands company updates and ‘Ask Ronnie’ Q&A sessions, increasing team meeting cadence and offering a plethora of wellness and connection activities such as Virtual Happy Hour, online Yoga and Zumba and even Trivia Nights productivity at Insentra is booming. “At Insentra, every crew member helps to support and foster an amazing environment. The entire organisation wants to ensure we remain a great place to work no matter what challenges come our way. Our culture has adapted and thrived in adopting a remote work format,” said Rebecca Crick, Vibe Associate at Insentra who has driven all of these activities in the business. “The organisations in the study are leading the way amid the pandemic, demonstrating care for their employees, customers and communities during this challenging time.” Said Zrinka Lovrencic, MD Great Place to Work Australia. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge facing organisations across the globe, and it puts a premium on being a high trust people-first culture.” About Insentra Insentra is a truly collaborative IT Services partner delivering a range of specialised Professional and Managed services, transacting exclusively through the IT channel.  Our partner centric business model provides our partners and their clients with access to technologies, industry expertise, and accountable outcomes. Our service offerings cover technologies by Microsoft, Citrix, Red Hat, Torsion, IGEL, Nulia and many more across modern workplace, cloud, collaboration, security, support, migrations and more. We love what we do and are driven by a relentless determination to deliver exceptional service excellence. The combined individual skills, experiences and perspectives in our crew enable us to achieve powerful results for our partners and their clients. For more information on Insentra, visit Olympic Sports from above by aerial photographer 2020-06-10T05:29:15Z olympic-sports-from-above-by-aerial-photographer A Sydney based aerial photographer Brad Walls, known as Bradscanvas has been working on a body of work that uses a drone to capture Olympic sports from above. In 2019, after being inspired by aerial artists that focus on higher elevation compositions, Brad began an ongoing project to capture people from a lower elevation in what he defines “the aerial portrait ‘sweet spot’, too high for handheld DSLRs but low enough to capture the fine detail”. Since then, Brad has been able to capture a broad range of people from above, gaining worldwide recognition and an array of awards along the way.  When Brad first began his pursuit of aerial photography, drones were only just reaching the market. Despite the rapid evolutions in drone technology over the recent years, Brad keeps it simple, focusing on the basics of composition rather than the newest and latest gear. Brad says “I use a drone to as a vehicle to capture a new perspective.” Brad’s work primarily focuses on people from above, saying “most aerial photography today turns a blind eye to the most beautiful element of our world, being us.”  Inspired by the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo (now deferred to 2021) Brad targetted Synchronized swimming, gymnastics, tennis & ice skating as disciplines that would be most appealing from above  “Besides the aesthetic aspect, I am also trying to provide a new perspective to sports which have little coverage outside the Olympic season” In 2020 Brad won an award in the annual Skypixel awards from over 30,000 entries for his work with a Sydney synchronized swimming team. The winning photo looked at the unique geometrical patterns synchronized swimmers - often overlooked when watching from side-on. One of his all-time favourite images is from the same photo capturing the team performing a cross front-pike pattern.  As Brad waits for restrictions to be lifted he is already planning a few more projects, one in particular inspired by fine art photographer Maria Svarbova focusing on springboard diving. “It was planned to happen a few months ago with an Australian olympian but due to COVID-19 it was postponed”.  Image download link Losing Sight: Blind Author Uses Creativity to Heal 2020-05-21T23:12:59Z losing-sight-blind-author-uses-creativity-to-heal Our senior years are known for settling down, ticking things off our bucket list and spending time with grandchildren. But, in 2018, these dreams were dashed for retirees, Bettina and Gabriele Ricciuti, when Gabriele deteriorated into blindness. ‘It was devastating,’ Bettina says. 'After a last attempt to hold onto his little remaining sight with stem cell therapy, Gabriele went completely blind. For Gabby, losing sight took away hope.’ ‘To take his mind off things, we started chatting about how he left Italy after WW2 to come to Australia; his life in the cane fields in North QLD … soon, I made notes and that was the start of the book …’ Frontiers in Psychology (2019)[1], states that, ‘Depression experienced by older adults is proving an increasing global health burden …’ Yet, a proven, effective and fairly easy solution to prevent and treat depression is to use the Creative Arts—sharing stories, music, etc. Used as a therapy, Creative Arts can be used to release endorphins, which are known as the natural ‘happy feeling’ hormones. With a new goal, the couple of fifty years, have re-instated their motivation after their whole life had been turned upside down. Their debut book, INSIDE LOVE: The Book of Gabriele, was released earlier this year and is a tribute to life through hard times—much like our current COVID-19 situation. Read about Bettina and Gabriele’s life story: [1] Dunphy, K, et al (2019), ‘Creative Arts Interventions to Address Depression in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of Outcomes, Processes, and Mechanisms’, Retrieved from - AMERICAN BLUES GREATS JOIN BANDWIDTH LINE-UP 2020-05-11T23:01:36Z american-blues-greats-join-bandwidth-line-up Fans of the blues are in for a super tasty treat this Friday night with the announcement that US blues legends Robert Cray and Don Bryant have been added to the Bandwidth presented by Blues on Broadbeach already awesome line-up. Both incredible artist’s performances will be showcased in this 90 minute premiere online event which promises to be a house party like no other.   Joining the Bandwidth line-up from the comfort of their own homes are other top blues acts including TOMMY EMMANUEL, THE BLACK SORROWS, and KARISE EDEN. To celebrate our continued partnership with Memphis Tourism we are thrilled to announce that iconic international music legend DON BRYANT (above) will be beaming in from his home in the blues capital of the world, Memphis. Bryant is the man behind countless iconic records including his evergreen hit I Can’t Stand the Rain, which he wrote for his wife, Ann Peebles and which John Lennon declared as the “best song ever”. This sensational online showcase will also feature THE ROBERT CRAY BAND’S (above) mesmerising 2018 Blues on Broadbeach performance.  The five-time Grammy Award winner and Blues Hall of Famer seamlessly bridges the gap between blues, soul, and R&B with his soulful voice, smooth style, and incredible guitar skills. Watch 30 second teaser here International master of the acoustic guitar, TOMMY EMMANUEL, cannot wait for fans to see his Bandwidth performance. “It was such a disappointment when my chance to play Blues on Broadbeach was cancelled due to the Virus, but Bandwidth presented by Blues on Broadbeach has really stepped up and got a lot of the great talent to contribute to the live stream and given us artists a chance to perform for you over the internet,” said Tommy Emmanuel. Now that your southern house party has its sound, lets pump it up with some authentic Memphis flavour.  With thanks to our friends at Memphis Tourism, here are the Top 5 finger-licking meals direct from the Mississipi Delta. Fans can show their support by visiting the virtual Blues on Broadbeach merch tent and purchasing some of their fave artists CDs, t-shirts and other memorabilia. Visit the virtual Blues on Broadbeach merch tent. Bandwidth is a 90-minute music event premiering Live on Facebook this Friday, May 15 at 7 pm AEST.  Northern hemisphere-based fans can also join in on this experience with a special encore screening on Saturday, May 16 at 7pm Los Angeles time PDT.  Blues on Broadbeach’s social media: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For more information, please contacts SueMacMedia: Sue McAullay / M: 0418 172 602 / E: Click here to access all Bandwidth media assets. Donesafe Supports Hospitals and Frontline Workers During COVID-19 2020-05-04T00:42:12Z donesafe-supports-hospitals-and-frontline-workers-during-covid-19 Donesafe Supports Hospitals and Frontline Workers During COVID-19 The stream of heartwarming stories about people and organizations working together in the face of this crisis reveals our willingness and ability to help one another. Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 – Donesafe and Bespoke Boulevard came together in an inspirational example of what can be achieved with a bit of creative thinking, time, and energy for those that are in need. Together, duo Donesafe and Bespoke Boulevard helped those that put their lives at risk every day – our frontline medical workers. These workers across the globe have been working tirelessly around the clock in order to regain a level of control around this pandemic. Donesafe continues its commitment to helping the community by supplying hundreds of frontline workers with a healthy lunch Bespoke Boulevard has food trucks normally used for festivals and other events; Donesafe is committed to health and safety. Together, they repurposed the food truck to help frontline workers. Bespoke Boulevard reached out to the team at St Vincent’s Hospital to secure a date and hundreds of workers to feed through this community initiative. Donesafe sponsored the initiative to provide healthy nutritious lunch meals to those completing another busy day at the hospital. The busiest departments across the hospital were handpicked to ensure staff received that much-needed break and healthy meal to go with. It was our way of saying, thank-you. Over 200 fresh and healthy ready-to-eat meals were prepared and delivered to medical workers. “We like to give back when and where we can. Safety is a huge priority at Donesafe and that should be the case across all organizations. Every worker needs a safe place to work and deserves to go home safely every day. This initiative spoke to the heart of everything we look to achieve through our business and our technology. A great partnership and thanks for the opportunity to give back.” Matthew Browne, Donesafe Cofounder “In these unprecedented times, the true ethos of a company can really shine through. As a workplace health and safety management software, it is obvious that Donesafe not only cares about the health and safety of employees through their software but is willing to go above and beyond for employees within the community. Thank you.” Gabrielle Keaton, Bespoke Boulevard In order to share the feel-good story with you all, here’s the journey captured on the day; the preparation and delivery to the frontline workers. See the video here. How else is Donesafe helping during COVID-19? Today, many workforces have shifted to contactless working or remote working entirely. Donesafe designed and created a solution to assist organizations through the changes faced by COVID-19; Infectious Disease and Work from Home apps. Donesafe is offering an app bundle as a commitment to helping create safer and more fulfilling workplaces. Donesafe is offering significant discounts to remove the barriers for businesses in need of our online apps. We have created a ready-to-deploy solution helping safety managers deal with infectious disease control, displaced workforces, and return to work health checks, just to list a few offerings. Encouraging a culture where safety is discussed and kept top of mind throughout an organization is at Donsafe’s core.  Who is Bespoke Boulevard? Bespoke Boulevard, a boutique brand management and activation company usually known within the events space has perfectly timed the decision to focus on innovation and the creation of a number of new exciting projects. Bespoke Boulevard pivoted its core business to supply the infrastructure to feed frontline workers. Despite all that is going on during these unpredictable times, a humble community initiative urges organizations to unite together to provide support and a well-deserved thank you to our frontline health professionals. It’s times like this that allows organizations to shift accordingly, leveraging contacts and divisional entities around the Bespoke Boulevard platform to support communities.  After the cancellation of events in 2020, the focus changed and energy around giving back to the community became paramount. The community initiative, Care for the Masses was born, creating a platform for brands, companies, organizations, and individuals to provide immediate support directly to those in need. If you want to get involved in this community initiative as an individual or want to know how to get your business involved, contact the team at Bespoke Boulevard here.  Australia and New Zealand will be represented in the 10 YEARS of the International Surrealism Now 2020-04-28T17:01:50Z australia-and-new-zealand-will-be-represented-in-the-10-years-of-the-international-surrealism-now 10 YEARS of the International Surrealism Now Exhibition  at CAE Portugal, Coimbra, Figueira da Foz - The International Surrealism Now Exhibition will open on (COVID? after) to (COVID?) 2020 at the Center of Arts and Spectacle (CAE) in the city of Figueira da Foz in Portugal, and in the ambit of celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 14th edition of the International Surrealism Now exhibition. Australia and New Zealand to be present in the next edition of Surrealism Now, the largest World Surrealism exhibition of the 21st century which gathers artwork from 52 countries until now. Andrew Baines, Cristian Townsend and Sarah Zambiasi   from Australia and Rudolf Boelee from New Zealand are the artists whose work will be present in the International Surrealism Now. The exhibition is a project created by Santiago Ribeiro, Portuguese surrealist artist, and started in 2010 at the Bissaya Barreto Foundation of Coimbra. In these 10 years, has been touring various parts of the country from Lisbon to Porto as well as satellite exhibitions in the United States such as Dallas, Los Angeles, University of Mississippi and New York, also in Europe in Berlin, Paris, and Madrid among others always promoted and organized by Santiago. This exhibition has become the largest exhibition of surrealism of the 21st century in the world, consisting of works of painting, drawing, digital art, sculpture, and photography. 125 participant artists from 52 countries: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, India. About Santiago, the mentor, and promoter of the largest exhibition of surrealism in the 21st century in the world, the International Surrealism Now, already has numerous presences around the planet as well as Berlin, Moscow, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Mississippi, Indiana, Denver, Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Nantes, Paris, London, Vienna, Beijing, Florence, Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Lisbon, Belgrade, Monte Negro, Romania, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Minsk, New Delhi, Jihlava (Czech Republic) and Caltagirone in Sicily and many cities in Portugal. The  Arts and Entertainment Center (CAE) was opened in 2002. Large cultural structure (2 200 and 800 seat auditoriums - outdoor amphitheater, foyer, breakout rooms, studios, 4 exhibition halls) was thought of as a centrality with European Community funds and its programming tends to go through major national and international shows and this structure is also linked to other programming centers and events, in an anchor logic that disperses without losing continuity. Below are the names of the artists: Achraf Baznani, Morocco / Agim Meta, Albania-Spain / Aissa Mammasse, Algeria / Alessio Serpetti, Italy / Alvaro Mejias, Venezuela / Ana Neamu, Romania / Ana Pilar Morales, Spain / Andrew Baines, Australia / Asier Guerrero Rico (Dio), Spain / Axel Blotevogel, Germany / Brigid Marlin, UK / Bien Banez, Philippines / Can Emed, Turkey / Carlos Sablón, Cuba / Cătălin Precup, Romania / Chuang Chih Hui, Taiwan / Cristian Townsend, Australia / Conor Walton, Ireland / Cynthia Tom, China / USA / Dag Samsund, Denmark / Daila Lupo, Italy / Dan Neamu, Romania / Daniel Chiriac, Romania / Daniel Hanequand, France / Canada / Daniele Gori, Italy / Delphine Cencig, France / Dean Fleming, USA / Domen Lo, Slovenia / Edgar Invoker, Russia / Efrat Cybulkiewicz, Venezuela / Egill Eibsen, Iceland / Erik Heyninck, Belgium / Ettore Aldo Del Vigo, Italy / Fabrizio Riccardi, Italy / Farhad Jafari, Iran / France Garrido, USA / Francisco Urbano, Portugal / Gabriele Esau, Germany / Genesis Cabrera, USA / Graça Bordalo Pinheiro, Portugal / Graszka Paulska, Poland / Gromyko Semper, Philippines / Gyuri Lohmuller, Romania / Hector Pineda, Mexico / Hector Toro, Colombia / Henrietta Kozica, Sweden / Hugues Gillet, France / Isabel Meyrelles, Portugal / Iwasaki Nagi, Japan / James Skelton, UK / Jay Garfinkle, USA / Jay Paul Vonkoffler, American / Argentine / Jimah St, Nigeria / Joanna Budzyńska-Sycz, Poland / João Duarte, Portugal / Keith Wigdor, USA / Leo Wijnhoven, Netherlands / Leo Plaw, Germany / Liba WS, France / Lubomír Štícha, Republic Czech / Ludgero Rolo, Portugal / Lv Shang, China / Maarten Vet, Netherlands / Maciej Hoffman, Poland / Magi Calhoun, USA / Marnie Pitts, UK / Maria Aristova, Russia / Mario Devcic, Croatia / Martina Hoffman, Germany / Mathias Böhm, Germany / Mehriban Efendi, Azerbaijan / Naiker Roman, Cuba / Spain / Nazareno Stanislau, Brazil / Nikolina Petolas, Croatia / Octavian Florescu, Canada / Ofelia Hutul, Romania / Oleg Korolev, Russia / Olesya Novik, Russia / Olga Spiegel, USA / Otto Rapp, Austria / Paula Rosa, Portugal / Paulo Cunha, Canada / Pavlina Boroshova, Switzerland-Germany / Pedro Diaz Cartes, Chile / Penny Golledge, UK / Peter MC LANE, France / Philippe Pelletier, France / Radhika Menon, India / Richard Shannon, USA / Roch Fautch, USA / Rodica Miller, USA / Ruben Cukier, Argentine / Israeli / Rudolf Boelee, New Zealand / Russbelt Guerra, Peru / Sabina Nore, Austria / Sampo Kaikkonen, Finland / Santiago Ribeiro, Portugal / Sarah Zambiasi, Australia / Serge Sunne, Latvia / Sergey Tyukanov, Russia / Shahla Rosa, USA / Shoji Tanaka, Japan / Shan Zhulan, China / Shia Weltenmenge, Germany / Sio Shisio, Indonesia / Slavko Krunic, Serbia / Sônia Menna Barreto, Brazil / Steve Smith, USA / Stuart Griggs, UK / Svetlana Kislyachenko, Ukraine / Svetlana Ratova, Russia / Tatomir Pitariu, USA / Tersanszki Cornelia, Romania / Tim Roosen, Belgium / Ton Haring, Netherlands / Victor Lages, Portugal / Vu Huyen Thuong, Vietnam / Yamal Din, Morocco / Spain / Yang Sumin, Taiwan / Yuliya Patotskaya, Belarus / Yuri Tsvetaev, Russia / Zoltan Ducsai, Hungary / Zoran Velimanovic, Serbia. Contacts:Centro de Artes e EspectáculosRua Abade Pedro3080-084 Figueira da FozTel: 233 407 200 Fax: 233 407 209E-mail: Hours:Monday to Thursday: 9 am to 11 pm;Friday: 9 am to midnight;Saturdays; 10 am to midnight;Sundays and holidays: 10h00 to 19h00;Show days: until the end of the show HOTA TAKES THEIR RAGE ONLINE 2020-04-24T03:12:16Z hota-takes-their-rage-online Over the next six weeks, HOTA has big plans to bring the community everything they love about the Home of the Arts, direct to living rooms through their RAGE ON(line) program. Criena Gehrke, HOTA CEO, said the venue’s temporary closure is not going to stop them delivering the Arts. “We know people will be missing HOTA, and we’re not going to let being closed stop us from delivering great creative content. So we’ve been collaborating with brilliant artists to bring you great art from the comfort of your armchair,” she said. “You might not be quite sure what to expect, we’re turning this stuff around fast, but get ready to sing with us, laugh with us and craft with us.” HOTA’s RAGE ON(line) program will begin rolling out soon on their website and social media channels. Meanwhile, the art is rolling in as HOTA’s Rage Against the V(irus) fund for local artists takes off. So far, HOTA has received more than 195 applications from local Gold Coast artists for funding of up to $1000, to create projects with an online outcome. Criena Gehrke praised the creativity and inventiveness of the artists. “This rapid-response grant was established for our local arts community during a time when they need it most,” she said. “Artists are the lifeblood of HOTA, without them there is no home of the arts. We’ve been awed by their creative brilliance and we celebrate their creativity, inventiveness and courageous nature.” Project outcomes so far have included: short films, a web series, photo exhibitions, concerts, colouring books, animations, an interview series and more. As RAGE ON(line) prepares to launch, applications for HOTA’s Rage Against the V(irus) artist fund remain open until May 15. For more information visit: **For a full list of the funded projects to date, see media release attached. ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Amy Stalinescu | M10 Collective E: M: 0411 789 195