The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-04-15T01:59:29Z Former NTT Security CEO Mat Gyde Joins Australian Global GRC Leader 6clicks 2021-04-15T01:59:29Z former-ntt-security-ceo-mat-gyde-joins-australian-global-grc-leader-6clicks Melbourne, Australia. Following a recent successful investment round of A$5.5M from a consortium of Australian business leaders, expansions into the U.K. and the U.S. and with partnerships secured with leading advisory firms globally – GRC SaaS leader 6clicks is excited to announce the appointment of Matt Gyde as Non-Executive Director. Based in San Francisco, Matt is the former CEO of billion-dollar global technology services company NTT Security, leading the enablement of NTT Group companies to deliver resilient business solutions for clients’ digital transformation needs. NTT Security has 10 Security Operations Centers (SOCs), seven R&D centers, over 1,500 security experts and handles hundreds of thousands of security incidents annually across six continents. Matt’s career in IT security spans more than 20 years, with a rich history including high-level roles with Dimension Data and Datacraft-Asia, providing him with a deep understanding of how security platforms should be implemented and managed to ensure clients’ business outcomes are achieved, while ensuring their risk is minimised. What makes 6clicks a leader is its unique integration of content, functionality and world-first artificial intelligence engine named Hailey™, which follows PhD-led research over 18 months. Right now, Hailey automates compliance mapping between regulations delivering gains of up to 14x in time-saving over manual alternatives. 6clicks Chairman Ian Buddery commented, ‘We are delighted to have Matt join our board. He brings invaluable experience to help us drive growth in the global cybersecurity compliance market. Our investment in artificial intelligence, new functionality and integrated content will continue throughout 2021, accelerating value for our customers’.   About 6clicks  6clicks offers a complete Risk and Compliance Operating System that revolutionises the way organizations mature their cyber security, data privacy, risk management and compliance capabilities. With a suite of modules including a curated and customizable content library, award-winning mobile app, world-first AI engine and groundbreaking risk intelligence social network - our direct customers and partners can leverage the 6clicks Risk and Compliance Operating System easily and at a low cost. With offices across Australia, U.K., U.S. & India - there is a 6clicks team member near you. Further information on the company is available at 6clicks.io TASMANIAN ELECTION - AASW RENEWS CALLS FOR SOCIAL WORK REGISTRATION 2021-04-15T00:00:18Z tasmanian-election-aasw-renews-calls-for-social-work-registration-1 With the Tasmanian State Election approaching (Saturday 1 May) the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is calling for an incoming Tasmanian Government to commit to the formal registration of qualified social workers. Chief Executive Officer Cindy Smith said that governments have a responsibility to create environments that support children, young people and families to substantially reduce the various factors that increase the likelihood of abuse. “Child protection is incredibly complex work with some of the most vulnerable children and families in society. That is why greater focus needs to be given to how the workforce is recruited and regulated.” “For many years, the AASW has been calling formal registration of qualified social workers to protect some of the most vulnerable members of society and the upcoming election is the perfect opportunity for an incoming Tasmanian Government to join South Australia’s legislators in making this issue a priority.” “While many qualified social workers choose to be a member of their professional association, Australia is the only English speaking country which does not require social workers to be registered as a strategy for public protection. As things currently stand anyone can refer to themselves as a social worker with limited accountability, and this must change.” “For social workers to gain registration, they would need to have a recognized qualification, meet a high standard of ongoing professional development, and be accountable to a legal complaints and disciplinary process,” she said. Ms Smith said that families come into Child Safety Services in Tasmania due to a complex set of circumstances and it is vital that they receive support from highly trained and skilled professionals. “Unfortunately, numerous Coroner’s reports from all across Australia have highlighted that this is not the case and some of the most vulnerable children and families in society are being let down by the system.” “The statutory registration of social workers would be a significant public safety measure and reduce the risks to vulnerable people by assuring education, practice and professional development standards.” “AASW welcomes the great progress that is being made in South Australia in this regard, including the introduction of legislation to formally register all social workers. It is time for the incoming Tasmanian government to begin the process to introduce a similar scheme,” she said. To interview Cindy Smith, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. GREYHOUND RACING - WA 2021-04-14T12:47:50Z greyhound-racing-wa Dog lovers from across Perth are expected to protest against greyhound racing outside the Cannington racetrack on Saturday. The peaceful protest, organised by local greyhound advocacy group Free the Hounds, is the second protest in four months. More than 75 people and a dozen pet greyhounds dedicated their New Year’s Eve to the cause, displaying creative anti-racing signs and temporary crosses to represent the greyhounds who lost their lives within the racing industry in the year prior. Free the Hounds has been actively campaigning for an end to greyhound racing in WA since 2015. “Our position is greyhound racing is outdated, inhumane and unsustainable,” said Free the Hounds President, Alanna Christiansen. Racing and Wagering WA’s most recent annual report shows 101 greyhounds in the WA racing industry died in the 2019-20 financial year*, including eight who died right at the track. The report also shows a total of 855 injuries were sustained on WA tracks during this period including fractured bones. This represents a 10% increase in injuries from the previous year. “The rate and severity of these injuries are specific to racing and so the only way to eliminate the risk is to ban greyhound racing altogether. These injuries can cause extreme pain and discomfort to the dog, treatment can involve major surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation, and there are often long-term health implications. Some dogs continue to be euthanised due to the severity of their injuries or die under anaesthetic during surgery to fix them. “These dogs deserve so much better than this, and gambling revenue should never be a justification for this suffering,” said Ms Christiansen. Greyhound racing is already banned in the ACT and Free the Hounds believes WA will be the next jurisdiction to outlaw the practice. “The popularity of greyhound racing in Australia has been steadily declining – and even more so here in WA. There are just three tracks in WA and attendance is low. With animal welfare becoming a higher priority for more and more members of the community, now is the time to ban this barbaric industry,” said Ms Christiansen. It is clear from Free the Hounds’ community outreach activities that greyhound racing has lost its social licence and the wider WA community supports an end to greyhound racing. A petition opposing greyhound racing, signed in person by more than 10,000 West Australians will be tabled in WA Parliament in coming weeks.  AASW – CALL FOR A RADICAL REFORM OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM 2021-04-07T06:32:45Z aasw-call-for-a-radical-reform-of-the-mental-health-system-1 The Australian Association of Social Workers’ submission to the House of Representatives Select Committee inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention has called for government to seize the opportunity to build a more cohesive system of mental health support that will radically reform Australia’s mental health system.  AASW CEO Cindy Smith said the AASW’s extensive submission draws on decades of experience of its members working with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our society and this submission and its recommendations for improvements to the mental health system are consistent with previous submissions. “Social workers have been talking about the failings of the mental health system for decades and here we are in 2021, still beset by long waiting lists to access publicly funded services, inadequate rebate amounts under Better Access, and a shortage of mental health professionals across the country.” “Among our recommendations is that all sectors of the current service system be restructured into a person centred and community based system and that government provide incentives for mental health professionals to work outside of main city centres and increase the amount of mental health support available to people who live regionally, rurally or remotely.”  Ms Smith said one of the terms of reference for the Select Committee Inquiry is to report on the findings of numerous inquiries into mental health over the years, including the Productivity Commission and Victoria’s Royal Commission, among others. “We call on the Federal Government to combine all the recommendations from these Inquiries to inform the development of the sixth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy.” “Through the development of the sixth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy we have an opportunity to radically reform the mental health system and address the social determinants of mental health, including overturning mental health stigma and discrimination currently experienced by many people.”   “As we recover from the impacts of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic we are provided with a unique opportunity for immediate investment and improvement to the system that better meet the mental health needs of Australians,” she said.  To interview Cindy Smith, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954.   AASW – CALL FOR FIVE YEAR FUNDING CERTAINTY TO AID RECOVERY 2021-04-01T03:47:02Z aasw-call-for-five-year-funding-certainty-to-aid-recovery The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) submission to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security is calling for governments at all levels to commit to a five year funding certainty for the precarious community services sector, as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent devastating natural disasters. AASW National President, Vittorio Cintio said that on a daily basis social workers see the distressing and harmful impact that job insecurity has on the people they work with, their families and the broader community, yet the nature of community sector funding means is that many social workers themselves do not have security in their own work. “The community services sector, and social workers in particular, have done so much of the heavy lifting in supporting Australians through recent crises, supporting women and children in situations of family violence, meeting the mental health needs of the community, and preventing some of our most vulnerable people from falling into homelessness.” “While social workers are reporting ever increasing demand for their services and are struggling to keep up with the pressure and stress, without the certainty of their own employment they are in a very precarious and unstable position themselves.” Mr Cintio said social workers are a predominantly female workforce, that is lower paid than other industries and the cumulative lifetime effects of this job insecurity can be devastating. “The tendency now is for newly created jobs to be contract and/or casual is having a detrimental impact on worker’s wellbeing and government needs to take a holistic approach to ensuring people have stable, secure and appropriately remunerated employment.” “Many social workers are employed on contracts tied to short term government funding, some for as short as one year. This hampers their ability to plan for their future and to effectively deliver services and improvements that workers in other industries take for granted.” “It also makes the retention of experienced and highly skilled staff in the community sector difficult, particularly in already under resourced regional and rural areas of Australia. And this job insecurity can impact the wellbeing of those we as a community rely on to support those in need.”  “All workers deserve security, stability and to be paid appropriately for their work. The community sector deserves this too and as a matter of urgency. We urge governments to implement five-year funding contracts as a priority in upcoming Budgets to deliver certainty to a struggling sector,” he said. To interview Vittorio Cintio, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. New Initiative to Tackle the Growing Problem of Commercial Furniture Waste 2021-03-31T08:22:59Z new-initiative-to-tackle-the-growing-problem-of-commercial-furniture-waste On 15 March 2021, in collaboration with Edge Environment and the Global Product Stewardship Council, GECA was awarded a grant by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to tackle the issue of commercial office furniture going to landfill. The group will use the funding to design a product stewardship scheme that will help reduce the estimated 30,000 tonnes of furniture – much of it in perfectly good condition – that ends up in Australia's waste stream each year.  Announcing the funding, Minister Trevor Evans said, “The Australian Government have recently provided more than $370,000 to Edge Environment and its partners to develop, in consultation with industry, a commercial furniture product stewardship scheme. When it comes to commercial furniture, we’re talking about a large amount of both textile and plastic waste across the lifecycle of these products from storage and delivery through to the actual components in the furniture. We’re excited to get behind this new scheme which focuses on waste streams that are priorities for our government.” According to Paula Clasby, Head of Engagement & Marketing at GECA, "All of GECA's robust ecolabelling standards include product stewardship criteria, emphasising the value of decreasing contribution to landfill and increasing the reuse and recycling rate of the product at the end of its life. However, there have been many challenges when implementing best practice product stewardship here in Australia. Along with our licensees, we are thrilled at the opportunity this grant will bring to support a successful product stewardship scheme for commercial office furniture, working with all entities involved to create real impact. We're proud to be part of this collaboration and solution to induce change." Commenting on the award, Edge CEO, Jonas Bengtsson, said "We've worked on the issue of fitout waste for many years, and despite great leaps forward in diverting materials such as carpet, glass and plasterboard, furniture has remained a stubbornly hard nut to crack. With this funding, we have the opportunity to create a solution that, with the support of property companies, contractors, and furniture companies alike, with the potential to improve environmental outcomes, drive economic benefits and create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs." John Polhill, Vice President of the Global Product Stewardship Council and Principal of Circular-e solutions commented, "Responsible commercial furniture disposal is something that government and industry has been looking to achieve for a number of years now, but in essence has been limited and fragmented. Product stewardship provides a framework to identify and address market failures and a structure whereby organisations can work collaboratively and efficiently to design a common and targeted stewardship scheme that improves the reuse and recycling of furniture from commercial properties in Australia." The project is due to kick off in April and will run until 2023.    --ENDS –  About the partners: GECA At GECA, we are a purpose-driven not-for-profit that stands for integrity, independence, and impact. Our mission is to create solutions for sustainable consumption and production. To achieve this, we offer a suite of services designed for anyone committed to continuous improvement in their sustainability, including Australia's only not-for-profit multi-sector ecolabelling program. Following ISO 14024 principles and ISEAL frameworks for global best practice in lifecycle-based ecolabelling, we've developed our rigorous voluntary standards, which are then independently assessed by our Assurance Providers. Our robust standards are relevant to critical Australian industries, and GECA is the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). GECA is widely respected and recognised in Australia and globally by green building schemes, including Green Star, WELL, ISCA, NABERS, as well as many procurement channels in government, education, hospitality, business, and consumer. For more information, see https://geca.eco/. Edge Environment Established in 2008, Edge is a specialist sustainability advisory company focussed on Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Our teams are based in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. We exist to help our clients create value from tackling one of the world's most fundamental challenges: creating truly sustainable economies and societies. We do this by combining science, strategy and storytelling in a way that gives our clients the confidence to take ambitious action and do well by doing good. For more information, see https://edgeenvironment.com/.  Global Product Stewardship Council (GlobalPSC) GlobalPSC is an independent, not-for-profit forum for product stewardship. Its membership spans ten countries and includes producers, product recovery organisations, NGOs and governments. For the last ten years, GlobalPSC has been researching, assessing and disseminating all stages in the development of schemes. For more information, see https://www.globalpsc.net/.  Gartner Identifies Top 10 Government Technology Trends for 2021 2021-03-29T03:16:59Z gartner-identifies-top-10-government-technology-trends-for-2021 Sydney, 29 March 2021 — Research and advisory firm Gartner has published a list of the top 10 government technology trends for 2021 that have the potential to accelerate digital innovation and optimise or transform public services.Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for government this year arise from the challenges wrought from the pandemic and the need for flexible operating models that support significant disruptions.“The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the acceleration of digital innovation across the government sector around the world, presenting government leaders with new opportunities to use data and technologies to build trust, agility and resilience in public institutions,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “While pandemic-related challenges will continue for some time, technology trends have emerged that address critical challenges in areas such as security, cost containment and citizen experience.”Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends is directly linked to public administration and policy issues that government leaders must address. Government CIOs can use this list to identify technology trends that best address their post-pandemic recovery priorities and establish the rationale, timing and priority of technology investments. Accelerated Legacy ModernisationGovernments have experienced the limitations and risks posed by decades-old legacy infrastructure and core systems. To be better equipped to deal with the next disruption, government CIOs are accelerating the move to modern, modular architectures. While the need for legacy modernisation is not new to government CIOs, the challenges related to the pandemic have only served to heighten the awareness of the resulting risks and the need for it.Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 50% of government agencies will have modernised critical core legacy applications to improve resilience and agility. Adaptive SecurityAn adaptive security approach treats risk, trust and security as a continuous and adaptive process that anticipates and mitigates constantly evolving cyber threats. This approach features components for prediction, prevention, detection and response. It forgoes traditional notions of perimeter, assuming there is no boundary for safe and unsafe, a necessary conceptual shift given the migration to cloud services. Gartner predicts that 75% of government CIOs will be directly responsible for security outside of IT by 2025, to include operational and mission-critical technology environments. Anything as a Service (XaaS)XaaS is a cloud-only sourcing strategy that embraces acquiring the full range of business and IT services on a subscription basis. Pandemic response and the critical need for digital service delivery have exacerbated pressures to modernise legacy applications and infrastructure. XaaS offers an alternative to legacy infrastructure modernisation, provides scalability and reduces time to deliver digital services. Gartner predicts that 95% of new IT investments made by government agencies will be made as a service solution by 2025. Case Management as a Service (CMaaS)Case work is the predominant workstyle of government, with the entire legacy-heavy portfolio of monolithic case management point solutions found in many departments. CMaaS is a new way to build institutional agility by applying composable business principles and practices, to replace legacy case management systems with modular products that can be rapidly assembled, disassembled and recomposed in response to changing business needs.Gartner predicts that by 2024, government organisations with a composable case management application architecture will implement new features at least 80% faster than those without. Citizen Digital IdentityDigital identity is the ability to prove an individual’s identity via any government digital channel that is available to citizens, which is critical for inclusion and access to government services. Digital identity ecosystems are quickly evolving and leading governments to assume new roles and responsibilities. The topic is high on political agendas, so government CIOs must link digital identity to salient use cases. Gartner predicts that a true global, portable, decentralised identity standard will emerge in the market by 2024, to address business, personal, social and societal, and identity-invisible use cases. Composable Government EnterpriseThe composable government enterprise is any government organisation that adopts composable design principles. This enables them to extend the reuse of capabilities and continuously adapt to changing regulatory, legislative and public expectations. CIOs are embracing composable government to overcome existing, siloed approaches to managing services, systems and data that limit the ability of governments to adapt to the rapidly evolving needs of the emerging digital society.Gartner predicts that 50% of technology companies that provide products and services to the government will offer packaged business capabilities to support composable applications by 2023. Data Sharing as a ProgramData sharing is often ad hoc in government, driven by high-profile use cases such as child protection incidents or gender violence that cannot easily be generalised. Data sharing as a program moves it into being a scalable service, with multiple reusable capabilities, supporting the drive toward more composable approaches in government service delivery.Gartner predicts by 2023, 50% of government organisations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality and timeliness. Hyperconnected Public ServicesHyperconnected public services is the whole-of-government use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms to automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Government CIOs can use hyperautomation principles and practices to develop hyperconnected, highly automated end-to-end business processes and public services that require minimal human intervention.Gartner predicts that by 2024, 75% of governments will have at least three enterprise-wide hyperautomation initiatives launched or underway. Multichannel Citizen EngagementCitizen direct participation with governments reached new heights in 2020 as communities dealt with the pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes and other events. Multichannel citizen engagement is a seamless, bidirectional engagement with constituents across organisational boundaries, while delivering a personalised experience using the preferred and most effective channels to reach them. Gartner predicts that over 30% of governments will use engagement metrics to track quantity and quality of citizen participation in policy and budget decisions by 2024. Operationalised AnalyticsOperationalised analytics is the strategic and systematic adoption of data-driven technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced analytics, at each stage of government activity to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of decision making. Decision makers can make better context-based operational decisions in real-time to improve the quality of the citizen experience.Gartner predicts that by 2024, 60% of government AI and data analytics investments aim to directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes. Gartner clients can learn more in the report “Top Technology Trends in Government for 2021” and in the companion report “Top Business Trends in Government for 2021.” About the Gartner Information Technology PracticeThe Gartner IT practice provides CIOs and IT leaders with the insights and tools to drive the organisation through digital transformation to lead business growth. Additional information is available at https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology. Follow news and updates from the Gartner IT practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerIT. About GartnerGartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organisations of tomorrow.Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 organisations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and organisation size.To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com. # # # GRAVE CONCERNS OVER PASSAGE OF CHILD PROTECTION AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2020 (QLD) 2021-03-24T05:36:59Z grave-concerns-over-passage-of-child-protection-and-other-legislation-amendment-bill-2020-qld Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Chief Executive Officer Cindy Smith and Queensland Branch President Yasmin Dunn have described the passage of the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (QLD) as a missed opportunity to protect the best interest of vulnerable children and their families. The AASW made two submissions to the Inquiry of this Bill and is afraid that its concerns and those of other community organisations have been ignored and the legislation that passed the Queensland Parliament yesterday (23 March) may have an unintended consequence of expediting adoptions, instead of prioritising the best interest of children. CEO Cindy Smith said the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, makes it very clear that ‘the child for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding’. “Governments have a responsibility in the first instance to concentrate efforts on creating such environments in which children and families are supported and assisted, so that the various factors that contribute to the need for child protection intervention by the state is substantially reduced.” “Adoption does not address the underlying cause of child protection intervention and what is needed is more resources for frontline support for vulnerable families, to prevent child protection issues arising at all.” Queensland Branch President Yasmin Dunn said access to appropriate supports, case planning and casework is the priority and what is needed, and adoption should only be considered as one of the possible responses after all other options for achieving the child’s safety are thoroughly explored. “By enshrining adoption as an option for vulnerable children in the Child Protection Act 1999 (QLD), the bill runs a high risk of streamlining and fast-tracking adoption. This will disproportionately impact Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who are already over represented in the out of home care system.” “Before making further amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 (QLD), we recommend the Queensland Government to undertake further consultation with Aboriginal community controlled organisations and experts and invest in early intervention programs, family support services and the child protection workforce,” she said. To interview Cindy Smith or Yasmin Dunn, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. CLOSE THE GAP NEEDS CULTURAL WELL BEING FOCUS 2021-03-17T05:49:13Z close-the-gap-needs-cultural-well-being-focus On national Close the Gap Day (18 March) the Australian Association of Social Workers is calling for significant investment to reach the targets set out in the Closing the Gap Refresh, and a greater emphasis on First Nations people’s right to culture and language.    AASW Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Board Director, Professor Sue Green, said the government has set a number of targets, including 16 new targets, with most having a ‘by’ date of 2031, but to make any of these achievable there needs to be a focus on cultural wellbeing, including all First Nations people having access to their language and culture.  “Australia currently views the Closing the Gap targets through a Western lens and uses colonial structures, for example the Western education system, to measure progress. This is not how First Nations people shape their worldview, and it is not the way to see real progress in eradicating the inequality experienced by First Nations people.” “The only way to Close the Gap is to stop seeing First Nations people as if they are the problem, or as if they are entrenched in the problem. We need to start ensuring that every man, woman and child, regardless of their age and location have access to their language and their culture, and that this is done in a culturally appropriate and safe manner.”  “Language and culture are paramount to First Nations people and they do not exist without each other. Language and culture strengthen peoples’ cultural identity and create the foundations for cultural wellbeing. This then sets the ground for all other forms of wellbeing and social inclusion.”  “This means that the learning of language and culture must have teaching adults, with elders and others as the starting point, so that they can teach young people and children.” “The teaching of language must be done culturally and not as an academic exercise and thus the teaching of language must remain in the hands of the peoples whose language it is. Only then will we see the lives of First Nations people improve across the country,” Professor Green said. Susan Green is a Galari woman of the Wiradjuri nation and the Association’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Director. Sue holds the role of Professor in Indigenous Australian Studies and GCWLCH Co-ordinator at Charles Sturt University. Sue has had an extensive history spanning 20 years in Indigenous Higher Education across a number of roles such as student support and teaching. Her research interest includes Welfare History, Indigenising Social Work education and practice, Cultural Responsiveness and Cultural Support, Colonial History and Decolonisation. Her foremost interest is ensuring that Wiradjuri Language and Culture underpins her all aspects of her personal and professional life. Susan is Chair of the Association’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and a Member of the National Ethics Committee. To interview Professor Green, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954 AASW - WORLD SOCIAL WORK DAY 2021-03-15T00:34:24Z aasw-world-social-work-day World Social Work Day (16 March 2021) is the annual celebration where social workers across the globe stand together to highlight the contributions of their profession, raise the visibility of social services and reaffirm their commitment to defend social justice and human rights. Australian Association of Social Workers, Chief Executive Cindy Smith said for more than three decades World Social Work Day has been a major feature of the social work calendar. “This year highlights the theme of Ubuntu: I am Because We Are – Strengthening Social Solidarity and Global Connectedness, a concept and philosophy that resonates with the social work perspective of the interconnectedness of all peoples and their environments.” “At a time when global politics has become partisan, Ubuntu is a powerful message that our future is dependent on recognizing everyone’s involvement in co-building a sustainable, fair and socially just future,” she said. Ms Smith said the social work profession in Australia is very broad and diverse, and at times misunderstood, unseen and undervalued by government and some sections of the general public. “The principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work, so it is important on a day such as World Social Work Day to highlight our role in facilitating social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.” “While social workers play a crucial role working with individuals, families, groups and community health and wellbeing, they also are heavily involved in developing social policy, in management, leadership and administration, in education and training, and in research.” “Social workers often work across different areas of practice and might be known by different titles – case worker, family therapist, consultant, allied health clinician, child safety officer, or senior research assistant, counsellors or welfare officers and this can, at times, be confusing for the general public.” “Social workers are concerned with the biological, psychological, social and cultural wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, working in the context of their environments, their past and current lived experiences, and their cultural and belief systems.” “It is rewarding, gratifying, physically and mentally draining work that, at times, can go unnoticed by the wider population. So, it is important on an occasion like World Social Work Day, that we take the opportunity to celebrate and restate the vital role every social worker plays in assisting society’s most vulnerable people, and challenging and addressing the systemic and structural issues that create inequality, injustice and discrimination in our society and across the globe,” Ms Smith said. To interview Cindy Smith, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. 2021 World’s Greatest Shave like no other as Aussies take to TikTok, mow their mullets, and seek a fresh start in a COVID climate 2021-03-10T01:51:26Z 2021-world-s-greatest-shave-like-no-other-as-aussies-take-to-tiktok-mow-their-mullets-and-seek-a-fresh-start-in-a-covid-climate 2021 is proving to be a year like no other for the Leukaemia Foundation’s iconic World’s Greatest Shave, with an astounding number of shavers harnessing the power of social media platforms to lop off their locks and sacrificing some larger-than-life hairstyles to support Australians with blood cancer.As ‘Shave Week’ (March 10-14) kicks off, the Leukaemia Foundation has its sights set on raising $15 million through World’s Greatest Shave (#worldsgreatestshave / #shaveforacure / #shavechallenge) to provide vital support for the growing number of Australians diagnosed with blood cancer including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood related disorders. In a week when Australians would usually pack out clubs, pubs, workplaces, schools and malls across the country to cheer on thousands of brave shavers, Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said the COVID-19 pandemic and crowd restrictions have instead prompted shavers to reimagine their campaign, reassess what they’re willing to lose and think outside the box to connect with others and smash their fundraising targets.“As Australians continue feeling the effects of COVID-19, we’re seeing a massive and unique shift in the way the community is engaging with World’s Greatest Shave this year – swapping shopping centres for shaves on screen, and going that extra mile by growing - and losing - some lengthy mullets and manes. It really is a year like no other for this iconic event,” he said.“We’ve been experiencing some extraordinary digital engagement with the campaign, with more than 9 million views of World’s Greatest Shave user generated content using tags like #worldsgreatestshave on TikTok alone, plus a significant rise in engagement through Instagram and Facebook, so clearly Australians are embracing trending social platforms to spread the word about their shaves in a new way we’ve never seen before.“Not only that, why people are shaving and the volume of hair being shaved is changing too – after the year that was 2020, we’re definitely seeing a number of Australians chasing ‘a fresh start’ and shaving their heads to symbolise this, however long their locks, or fearlessly donning an eyebrow-raising ‘do’ to capture community attention and garner support for their shave. The result is some unique approaches, and some brilliant outcomes. “In the 23rd year of this beloved campaign, we’re thrilled and extremely grateful that the national community is continuing to show up, support, and celebrate the World’s Greatest Shave with us and seeking new and inspiring ways to do so in a changing world.”Mr Tanti is joining with what is expected to be around 20,000 Australians participating in World’s Greatest Shave this year, utilising social media to share the moment he loses his locks at the Leukaemia Foundation ESA Village in Brisbane. “With 47 Australians diagnosed with blood cancer every day and that number set to double to close to 100 by 2035, there has never been a more important time to get behind World’s Greatest Shave, and I’m proud to be joining the army of Australians shaving their head as we all keep up the fight against this deadly set of diseases,” he said. Blood cancer does not discriminate. It can develop in anyone, occur at any age from newborns to older Australians across all states and territories. Sadly, there are no screening programs available for blood cancers and there is no way to prevent blood cancer through lifestyle change.     Mr Tanti said blood cancer symptoms can sometimes be subtle or similar to other conditions such as a virus, often making it a silent disease that can be tricky to catch - but if it remains unchecked, the consequences can be devastating. “We also know Australians living with blood cancer are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and as a result the Leukaemia Foundation has more than doubled support over the past year as those diagnosed continue to ride the emotional and mental roller coaster of the pandemic.“By signing up to World’s Greatest Shave and raising money, you can help ensure that the growing number of families facing blood cancer have someone to turn to every step of the way in their journey, a place to call home during treatment, and access to the best possible care.”World’s Greatest Shave is the single biggest source of funds that enable the work of the Leukaemia Foundation each year. Not only does the money raised support families impacted by blood cancer, but it also helps the brilliant research scientists continue their search for better ways to diagnose and treat blood cancer more effectively. “Shaving is the ultimate act of solidarity with Australians living with blood cancer. Every year, thousands of brave heroes send a powerful message of hope to those diagnosed, and this year that message is ringing especially loud and clear. Whether you have a personal connection to cancer, wish to tick an item off your bucket list or simply want to raise money for a good cause, we urge you to sign up to World’s Greatest Shave or donate to someone who has, and make 2021 the year that you help to make a significant difference,” Mr Tanti said.To help shave the world from blood cancer, simply download the World’s Greatest Shave app, sign up online at worldsgreatestshave.com or call 1800 500 088 for more information. #worldsgreatestshave #shaveforacure #shavechallenge   *ENDS* Healthcare sector should reach out to technology scale-ups 2021-03-09T02:45:48Z healthcare-sector-should-reach-out-to-technology-scale-ups For immediate release 9 March 2021 Healthcare sector should reach out to technology scale-ups The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of technology and opened opportunities for the industry, but also showed us that we need to make some critical changes.  It is now clear that the future of healthcare organisations depends on their ability to change, increase agility, and develop resilience continually. Success in the new normal means taking the opportunity to design the future of the organisational culture. And there is no better sector to learn from than technology scale-up leaders who survive and prosper in an environment requiring constant transformation.   Why scale-ups? Spending most of my career with scale-ups and joining a hospital board during COVID-19, has opened my eyes to the lessons healthcare leaders can learn from scale-ups within the innovation ecosystem.COVID-19 forced the health industry to undergo a change in a capacity it hasn’t encountered before. It is not a one-off change, but a new paradigm that compels healthcare industry leaders to question the agility and scalability of their organisations now and into the future. While immunisation research is undergoing significant progress, the pandemic is unlikely to disappear, nor be the last one. Health organisations are now required to adopt a different leadership model and develop an organisational culture that supports constant changes, agility and resilience.  During the lockdown in Melbourne hospitals and other health organisations experienced operating on the continuum that many scale-ups live in: some operations needed to scale up fast, while others were on hold. For example, there was a period with a delay of non-essential elective surgeries, while at the same time, some hospitals had to double and even triple their ICU capacity. Now, when there is a long queue for elective surgeries, there is a need to scale up these services. These activities involved training, restructuring work arrangements and procedures, overloading the system and putting immense pressure on the entire team. Scale-up leaders are used to operating in such environments. Scale-ups do not run on a  linear growth, where the company adds new resources and its revenue increases as a result. Scaling is often achieved without a substantial increase in resources. The scale is achieved by increasing service and revenue without incurring a higher cost.  Core challenges scale-ups, and the health sector share include: Technological changes - scale-ups operate in a challenging competitive landscape and constant technological changes that require regular adjustments and at the same time opens windows to new business opportunities.  The accelerated introduction of telehealth services during the pandemic, questions the traditional way health professionals are used to working, but also presented them with exciting prospects. Employee shortages- scale-ups operate in a talent shortage environment (such as lack of qualified engineers); the health and aged care sectors were also challenged by employee shortages, as well as from an ageing workforce. Both sectors have a working environment that can be highly stressful, and hence they need to deal with workforce burn-out and retention issues. Team upskilling - due to the skills shortage and the fast changes in technologies, scale-ups are in a constant need to upskill their teams. The health sector now needs to upskill their workforce with digital and technological capabilities to cater for telehealth and other technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence and automation. Organisational culture- scale-ups have a short window of opportunity, and they have to ensure they deliver before the window is closed. Producing innovative solutions on time and budget means proactively leading the organisational culture, supporting the team and communicating the “why” (mission). When employees do not buy into the company’s mission, they are often not engaged. Employees in the health sector choose their profession for the “why”, but the industry as a whole tends to pay less attention to proactively leading the organisational culture. In both sectors, when culture is a problem, employee turnover is on the rise, and customer satisfaction is suffering. Leading on the stagnation-accelerated growth continuum Scale-ups navigate their way on a growth continuum between stagnation and acceleration. They deliver services and products under constant business barriers (financial, talent, infrastructure, market access and leadership capacity) and operational constraints (changes in goals and priorities, lack of resources, team instability, ineffective structure and lack of processes).To successfully operate on this continuum, scale-up leaders must develop scalable processes and invest in their organisational culture and employee’s development. Adopting different people, culture and leadership perspectives It is fair to claim that the pandemic caught us all by surprise and unprepared. The silver lining in this crisis is that it has accelerated processes in the healthcare industry, such as the use of telehealth in a way that there is no going back. Now it is time for leaders to stop and reflect and ensure they learn from the journey and shape their organisations powerfully to the future. Now is the time for them to develop a culture that allows their organisations to change, increase agility, and build resilience continually. These are not small cosmetics, but in many cases, we are talking about significant systematic changes combining strategic thinking, culture, workforce, leadership and agile processes.  Scale-up leaders can offer their healthcare colleagues insights in regard to how to lead an organisational culture that supports constant changes and innovations; operation and how to build agility into processes when continually moving on the growth continuum between stagnation and acceleration; how to develop the leadership team to think strategically about opportunities as well as how to build high performing multidisciplinary ad-hoc teams. There is no better time than now to reflect on healthcare sector and implement the changes that need to be made. Dr Zivit Inbar is the founder and CEO of DifferenThinking, a consulting practice that specialises in people, culture, leadership and performance strategies for growth. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021-03-05T04:25:54Z international-women-s-day On International Women’s Day (8 March 2021) the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is highlighting the achievements of women leaders and calling for the advancement of women’s participation and decision making in public life. AASW Chief Executive Cindy Smith said this year’s International Women’s Day theme is celebrating the role of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on women, those standing at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers providing support for family violence and mental health and a range of other issues, to caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.” “The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry. As the vaccinations roll out across Australia and life begins the journey of returning towards a more normal routine, we have an opportunity to not only elevate the role of women but also achieve some meaningful change.” “Representing a predominantly female workforce, the AASW takes the opportunity on International Women’s Day to celebrate and acknowledge the significant work and impact social workers have made during the pandemic.” “Without the contribution of social workers Australia would not be in the recovery position we are in today. The nature of their work makes all social workers leaders in supporting those who often get left behind,” she said. Ms Smith said that we also take this occasion to call on governments at all levels to ensure proper funding for all the services required as we move into the vaccination and recovery stage of the pandemic in Australia. “The need for family violence, mental health, homelessness and other services is always there, more so in times of crisis. As life returns to normal the social work sector will need certainty and proper funding to assist those impacted by COVID-19,” she said. International Women’s Day was first marked by the United Nations in 1977. The Day was born out of labour movements as women moved into the labour force in the early 1900s. In the 21st century IWD marks the achievements of women across many domains and is also a rallying point to continue to build on women’s rights throughout the world. Supporting Lucindale farmers & community hit by fires 2021-03-02T08:59:24Z supporting-lucindale-farmers-amp-community-hit-by-fires Continuing their collaboration with fellow charity BlazeAid, Rapid Relief Team (RRT) catered over 250 meals to an army of volunteers, attending CFS firefighters and local farmers in support of BlazeAid in Lucindale last week. The efforts were supported by two special guests in attendance, including Governor of South Australia, his Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le AC and Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin. In January, a grassfire near Lucindale tore through nearly 17,000 hectares of land, destroying a substantial amount of fencing and leaving the community counting the cost. The event on Saturday 20 February saw community organisations come together in support of those affected by recent fires, with Mt Gambier Hay Run delivering and donating 40 truckloads of hay, BlazeAid rallying handy helpers to repair damaged fencing and RRT fuelling them along the way with a BBQ lunch and refreshments. RRT is made up of volunteers from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) who provide catering and emergency support services at a range of charitable events and emergencies. “The Lucindale Fire wreaked a lot of damage and were especially devastating for local farmers,” Ben Cox, RRT Mt Gambier Local Team Leader (LTL) said. “RRT values compassion and kindness and it’s great we could support BlazeAid again and the great work they do. “While the bushfire event itself often receives the most attention in the public – it is in the weeks, months and years following where the hard work is needed most,” Ben said. “We hope this collaboration with BlazeAid provides some comfort to the Lucindale community in their rebuild and recovery efforts.”  BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families in rural Australia to help rebuild fences and other structures that have been destroyed after natural disasters. The BlazeAid event was hosted at Yakka Park, Lucindale. ENDS Media Contact: Bas Bolyn 0447 486 195   About the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) Every day in some small way, RRT volunteers offer a helping hand to those in need. For more information about the Rapid Relief Team, go to https://rrtglobal.org/ The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established the RRT in 2013 to express the Church’s principles of care and compassion. The RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies. The RRT has consistently demonstrated its ongoing commitment to support Health and Disability causes. In 2018 alone, the RRT deployed 1071 volunteers to support charities within this sector and served more than 7,800 meals at charitable events. Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.   RF Code and Oper8 Global Partner to Deliver Edge Management Solutions Worldwide 2021-03-02T03:31:07Z rf-code-and-oper8-global-partner-to-deliver-edge-management-solutions-worldwide AUSTIN, TX, USA, March 2, 2021 – RF Code, the leading provider in real time data center monitoring and management solutions, today announced that Oper8 Global, a leading global Edge data center solutions and deployment provider, has been selected as their first international Premiere Solution Partner. RF Code’s Solution Provider Program is designed to help IT organizations more rapidly deploy and expand distributed monitoring and management of edge computing locations. The RF Code solution offering includes patented real-time, wire-free sensor technology integrated with RF Code’s CenterScape software empowers enterprises with the ability to unify remote monitoring of distributed computing environments through a simple and easy to use management portal.  In order to drive adoption and solution integration for IT organizations seeking to rapidly deploy remote monitoring capabilities, RF Code has named Oper8 Global as their first Premiere Solution Provider partner to exclusively offer the Oper8 Premiere Edge Bundle across regions outside of North America. Oper8 Global was selected as RF Code’s first Premiere Solution Partner in recognition of the long-standing partnership with RF Code demonstrating sophisticated thought leadership and expertise serving the edge market. “RF Code and Oper8 have enjoyed a successful partner relationship for over 8 years,” said Jonathan Luce, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at RF Code. “We look forward to continuing to grow our mutual success with the launch of the Oper8 Premier Edge Kit from RF Code, targeted to cost-effectively enable environmental and asset management functionality for very small but still critical edge sites.” "Oper8 Global is extremely pleased to extend our long-term relationship with RF Code and to be recognized as RF Code’s first international Premiere Solution Partner supporting the EMEA, Latin America and APAC regions" says Mike Andrea, CEO of Oper8 Global. “Oper8 Global and RF Code have a great history of working together to achieve customer success. The joint development and launch of the Oper8 Premiere Edge Bundle is well aligned to meet our customer Edge and IoT requirements across distributed locations with cost effective and simple deployments on a national or global scale.”   About RF Code RF Code is the leading provider of automated, real-time physical asset management and environmental solutions to data centers. RF Code’s CenterScape platform reduces the total cost of ownership by replacing expensive and inaccurate manual processes with real-time intelligence from data generated by its proprietary sensor networks. CenterScape offers global scalability while providing granular reporting and is easily integrated with existing IT, facilities and business systems, increasing their value by providing improved accuracy, lower cost, and timely information. RF Code is based in Austin, Texas, with partners around the world. Additional information can be found at http://www.rfcode.com   About Oper8 Global Oper8 Global Ltd, with offices in Oxford, United Kingdom (serving EMEA and Latin America), and Brisbane, Australia (serving APAC), enables custom data centre solutions with a key expertise in Edge, Modular, Security and HPC solutions. Services include Edge and IoT solutions, data protection and security, and turnkey data centre design and build including commissioning, product supply, environmental audits and operational maintenance services. Oper8 Global supports customers throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. Visit: oper8global.com