The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-06-07T23:30:00Z Media release 2021-06-07T23:30:00Z media-release Special eBook releaseAnniversary edition of Julietta Jameson’s Christmas Island, Indian Ocean marks 20 years since the Tampa crisisHow a tiny island and a boat full of refugees changed Australia forevereBook available July 15, 2021 through select major digital bookstores and participating librariesISBN: 978-0-6451128-7-0 “At last, a book that tells us all about Christmas Island: a place we have previously heard about as an entry point for people seeking asylum in Australia, but otherwise a blank spot in most Australian minds.”- Julian Burnside AO QC Melbourne-based author, Julietta Jameson will release a new, edited version of her moving 2003 book, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, which will be available for the first time in eBook format from July 15, 2021.This special anniversary edition marks twenty years since the ‘Tampa crisis’, when a Norwegian freighter rescued hundreds of asylum seekers from a sinking Indonesian fishing boat and attempts to deliver them safely to Christmas Island were thwarted by the Australian government, sparking outrage amongst humanitarians and attracting global media attention for all the wrong reasons.It is a deeply-affecting account of Jameson’s journey to Australia’s most isolated territory … an extraordinary place, at an extraordinary time.Originally published in paperback form by ABC Books, the eBook version of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean has been revisited by the author, who during the lengthy editing process, found that the questions and issues raised at that time are every bit as relevant and important today as they were then.Says Jameson, “This book came about when, one morning in the latter stages of 2001, I heard an ABC Radio interview with Captain Don O'Donnell, the harbour master of Christmas Island. He was describing the moving send-off the islanders had given the Tampa when she finally sailed away, her human cargo having been taken off her deck by the SAS and delivered to the Australian war ship, the Manoora, to eventually be taken to Nauru. As a journalist, an avid hobbyist on matters of the human condition and from the point of view of my own confusion about this and many other things in my life, I decided to go to the island and see what was going on for myself. “As I set off, Australian public debate on the ‘Tampa crisis’ and the government's ensuing ‘Pacific Solution’ to ‘stopping the boats’ was passionate, polarised and front-page news, which almost feels quaint in 2021, given how normalised and widely accepted strong-arm tactics – some might say cruelties – towards asylum seekers have become. “Editing this book for the twentieth anniversary of the Tampa crisis, as I revisited my reflections of and at the time, it seemed like the questions I'd asked twenty years earlier had barely touched the sides of what was to come. Moreover, the answers I thought I had found had been dashed against the jagged rocks of hardened hearts and minds.“But I believe it is valuable to look at where we came from, in order to understand how we got here. At the very least, the remarkable humanity the Christmas Islanders showed in the latter part of 2001 might serve as a reminder of the humanity in us all.” ABOUT THE AUTHORJulietta Jameson is an Australian author who has lived and written in Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Melbourne as well as more remote places such as Australia’s Christmas Island for this book, the New South Wales outback for Tibooburra and the Legend of the Tree of Knowledge, and Italy, Greece and Switzerland, following the travels of the poet Lord Byron for her book, Me, Myself and Lord Byron.She has also written biographies and her journalistic career has spanned the gamut: hard news, finance, the arts, celebrity and travel. In addition, she writes screenplays for cinema and TV. Julietta is based in Melbourne, Australia. MEDIA CONTACT (for interview, extract and review requests):Erin Jamesonerin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com / +61 419 323 663 CHRISTMAS ISLAND, INDIAN OCEANCopyright © Julietta Jameson 2003 First published February 2003This edited edition © Julietta Jameson 2021 Published July 2021 Media release: Australian True Crimes podcast with Meshel Laurie & Emily Webb 2021-04-30T04:37:00Z media-release-australian-true-crimes-podcast-with-meshel-laurie-emily-webb Young & Hardy and Yarraville Live are proud to present the return of Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb, presenting a new episode of their acclaimed Australian True Crime podcast, “Blood Ties”, featuring special guest, former homicide detective Rowland Legg - on Saturday, June 12 at The Yarraville Club.Established in 2017, Australian True Crime is one of Australia’s original true crime podcasts, and has been downloaded more than 13 million times earning its place as one of Apple Podcasts Best of 2018.For each podcast, Laurie and Webb are known for delving deep behind the headline by interviewing victims, perpetrators and people working in society to address issues of crime and punishment.At The Yarraville Club, former Homicide Squad detective, Rowland Legg will join the two on stage for an insightful 80 minute show, including a 20-minute Q&A session, where the audience can interact with the presenters.Meshel Laurie is one of the nation’s most experienced and talented broadcasters. Whether she’s hosting FM breakfast radio alongside Tommy Little or Matt Tilley, appearing as a regular on Hughesy We’ve Got A Problem and The Project, Meshel always gives good chat.None more so than when presenting the Australian True Crime podcast with Emily Webb – journalist and author of three true crime books (Murder In Suburbia, Angels of Death and Suburban Nightmare). The chemistry between these two as they forensically interview the people involved with some of Australia’s most notorious cases has seen ‘Australian True Crime’ become the most successful podcast of its kind as they probe the underbelly of our towns and suburbs, uncovering the darkness at the heart of Australian life.Rowland Legg is one of Australia’s longest serving homicide detectives, having led countless high-profile murder investigations such as Jaidyn Leskie, the Bega schoolgirls, Elisabeth Membrey, and numerous ‘Underbelly’ cases.Tickets are on sale now through yarravillelive.com LISTINGS INFO:Saturday, June 12 Australian True Crime podcast with Meshel Laurie & Emily Webb + special guest Rowland Legg (18+) The Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen St Yarraville. Tickets: $96.38/$105.58 (Dinner & Show); $42.61 (Show only)Bookings: www.yarravillelive.com Ph: 03 9689 6033Doors open: 6.30pm (dining); 8.00pm (show only)Show time: 8.30pm MEDIA CONTACT:Jameson & CoErin Jameson - 0419 323 663 / erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com How to be happily single & avoid depression this Valentine’s Day 2021-02-10T01:17:02Z how-to-be-happily-single-avoid-depression-this-valentines-day WHILE Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day of joy and romance, many single people spend the day feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that relationship problems are the top cause of suicides today and psychologists worldwide suggest that Valentine’s Day on February 14 is the start of an annual rise in suicide rates that peak in April. It doesn’t have to be this way however as there are many positives to being single, as Gold Coast author Louisa Pateman shares in her new book Single, Again, and Again, and Again… “It takes courage to be single and it’s a big myth that when you meet ‘the one’, you will live happily ever after,” Ms Pateman said. “Your ultimate goal should be happiness - single or not. We all have our own unique life journey. If I had waited for ‘the one’, I wouldn’t have had such an amazing life.” Louisa, 47, has travelled to 73 countries, had multiple properties and chose to have her son solo using a sperm bank at age 37 after stressing out about her biological clock ticking and having more than 13 failed relationships since the age of 21. A civil engineer for 25 years, she created exciting and rewarding life experiences through travel, investing and spending time with girlfriends. “I spent 20 years looking for my soulmate and my son, Nicholas, is now the love of my life. I wouldn’t give him up for any man,” she said. Her tips for being happily single include: Embrace/ accept your situation for what it is and what you have Learn to be present- enjoy the moment Find other single people you can relate to but don’t exclude yourself from couple situations. Find opportunities where you can be around people you can connect with, who have lived part of your journey Love yourself and appreciate your self worth. You determine your own worth by what you will and won’t put up with Find inner contentment and the good in all your challenges. Don’t be a man/ woman hater or shun couples. If you are bitter, resentful or hold grudges from past relationship failures, that bitterness permeates your present experience. Find exciting and rewarding life experiences that you can do on your own. When you come out of a relationship, write down a list of all the things you want to do without a partner and do it, like going on a girl’s retreat or writing a book (eg. I was up 10pm to 2am most nights when writing my book). Stay optimistic about life. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have - big and little things. List things you’re grateful for and realise things aren’t that bad. Look at life from a macro perspective and realise how small your issues are in the overall scheme of things Remind yourself that not everyone in a relationship is happy. You may be better off than some people who don’t have the courage to be single Ms Pateman’s tips are also in line with Singles Awareness Day (or Singles Appreciation Day), which is celebrated on February 15 each year. “It is a celebration of love in all forms recognising the love between friends, family and loving yourself. You have to accept you are where you are,” Ms Pateman said. “I’m not saying you can get rid of your desires. I’m saying if you don’t have courage to live a rewarding life on your own, life could pass you by and you could miss out on a lot of opportunities.” For more details or for a copy of the book Single, Again, and Again, and Again…, visit www.louisapateman.com ENDS ___________________________________________________ MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: AA Xpose Media Director/ Photojournalist Aldwyn Altuney ph: 0409 895 055 At Centurion we are all about your security, safety, and providing value for money! 2020-11-27T00:47:59Z at-centurion-we-are-all-about-your-security-safety-and-providing-value-for-money Centurion Garage Doors provides real security at a fraction of competitor pricing with our tried and proven mechanical latch lock.The latch lock automatically locks your garage door when in the closed position, making it unable to be manually opened from the outside. 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Giving you no need to worry about hacking apps.Visit Our Website For More Information Today at www.cgdoors.com.au JESI poised for accelerated global growth 2020-11-11T06:48:38Z jesi-poised-for-accelerated-global-growth Brisbane, 11th November 2020: Innovative remote worker and journey management company JESI, has received a multi-million-dollar funds injection from Microsoft aligned VC firm, Future Now Capital Management. The investment will serve to fast-track JESI’s global growth rollout and underpin its ‘customer first’ value add strategy. With the recent appointment of Chairperson Brad Seymour, who has an established reputation for scaling global business’, the JESI company is geared and supported to take on the exciting next phase of its customer-centric expansion.Queensland headquartered, JESI has developed market leading SaaS solutions that significantly improve the protection, monitoring and management of remote and mobile workforces. With origins and a strong presence in the global resources sector, JESI counts Rio Tinto, Orica, BHP, Sandvik among its clients. Other target industry verticals include NGO’s, linear infrastructure and AEC.Already on a growth trajectory, JESI has seen a strong up curve in business and interest through the COVID months with scalable functionality in the solution able to provide a connected eco-system for ‘work from home’ employees. Clearly though, the Future Now investment will turbocharge staff growth, service capabilities and development projects. “Technology integrations will be a key development focus in achieving the company projected growth outcomes” said Kathy Wilson General Manager of Customer Success. “our existing customers are looking to evolve with interoperability solutions and connected technology. JESI software enables them with a compelling value proposition”.JESI CEO Joe Hoolahan said, “The pandemic has bought to the fore the need for enterprises to protect their workers as they work remotely while at the same time ensuring they remain connected. We are also acutely aware that reliable activity data is increasingly becoming a key business metric and we already witnessing how our customers are using the data to drive workforce movement efficiencies,” Joe Hoolahan added.JESI is the first investment for newly founded, Future Now Capital Management, a Sydney based venture capital firm. In 2019 Future Now Capital Management executed a world first partnership with Microsoft that will see investors in the Fund gain direct exposure to companies selected for Microsoft’s accelerated growth programs. Future Now Capital Management will oversee the Fund’s investments into, and the growth strategies of, the portfolio companiesBrad Seymour, JESI Chairperson said, “I am incredibly excited about firstly, the product excellence and relevance of JESI in today’s new world, and secondly, the opportunity for JESI to grow exponentially with Future Now’s backing. I look forward to working with the team through this scale-up stage and beyond.”JESI Management Solutions are now actively recruiting talent to join their team. To explore what roles are on offer refer to the https://jesi.io/careers-at-jesi/ page. Australia’s agricultural future: growing with technology 2020-09-28T21:09:47Z australias-agricultural-future-growing-with-technology Drought, climate variability, biosecurity, global competition and consumer preferences are some of the greatest challenges facing Australian farmers, their impacts threatening our position amongthe most efficient primary producers in the world. However, Australia’s primary producers have a long history of embracing innovation and adopting technology to improve productivity and adapt to harsh conditions.The Future of Agricultural Technologies report released today by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) identifies and discusses the technologies that could address these challenges and bring about both incremental and transformational changes to increase the profitability, sustainability and productivity of our agriculture industry.The report was commissioned by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council, with support from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. It is the fifth report in ACOLA’s Horizon Scanning series, which draws on the expertise of Australia’s Learned Academies and the Royal Society of Te Apārangi.“Australia’s diverse agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector is a $69 billion industry, delivering significant benefits for our nation—particularly at a time where our economy is facing unprecedented challenges. However, reaching the Government’s goal of $100 billion by 2030 will likely require more than just incremental technological advancements,” Dr Finkel said.“Historically, Australian producers have been rapid adopters of innovation, and these emerging technologies will help our agriculture sector to transform and tackle current and future challenges.”Professor Stewart Lockie, one of the Chairs for the ACOLA Expert Working Group, said, “Innovation in our agriculture sector is critical for our economy, our food security and so much more. With a supportive policy environment, workforce and investment, we are confident that the future of agriculture in Australia will be one in which data analytics and artificial intelligence are as at-home on the farm as they are in any other high-tech industry”.The digitisation of farms through the ‘Internet of Things’ and data gathering and use will likely play a central role in future farm management strategies, allowing farms to track resources, monitor animal and plant health, support farm labour activities and enable precision agriculture.Other technologies could help us develop new products to meet climatic conditions and respond to consumer preferences, such as authenticating a product’s origins and quality assurance.ACOLA Chair, Professor Joy Damousi said that increasing technology uptake in our agriculture sector can also help Australia to maximise opportunities for regional employment, business development and Indigenous landholders. She also noted that there are clear roles for all stakeholders in supporting the sector to realise the potential of these new technologies, including to stimulate the agricultural technology and innovation ecosystemand build consumer confidence.The report examines the opportunities presented by nine technologies to improve the efficiency and profitability of agricultural production, develop novel agricultural industries and markets, and to contribute to a range of social and environmental values. The report explores technologies such as sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, machine learning, large scale optimisation and data fusion, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and distributed ledger technology. Importantly, the report highlightsthe range of challenges and considerations for governments, industry and the wider sector to further develop and enable the adoption of these technologies. A copy of the report and summary paper is attached (and will be available at https://acola.org/hs6-future-agricultural-technologies/)The Horizon Scanning Series is commissioned by Australia’s Chief Scientist, on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council. Previous reports have focused on artificial intelligence, precision medicine, synthetic biology and the role of energy storage in Australia. Reports can be accessed at https://acola.org/programs/horizon-scanning-series/ Expert Working GroupProfessor Stewart Lockie FASSA (Chair: from Sept 2019)Dr Kate Fairley-Grenot FAICD FTSE (Chair: Dec 2018 – Sept 2019)Professor Rachel AnkenyProfessor Linda Botterill FASSAProfessor Barbara Howlett FAAProfessor Alex McBratney FAAProfessor Elspeth Probyn FAHA FASSAProfessor Tania Sorrell AM FAHMSProfessor Salah Sukkarieh FTSEProfessor Ian Woodhead Media contactFor more information or to arrange interviews, contact: Ryan WinnChief Executive, ACOLA0484 814 040 About ACOLAACOLA is the forum whereby Australia’s Learned Academies and our Associate members come together to contribute expert advice to inform national policy; and to develop innovative solutions to complex global problems and emerging national needs. Through the learned academies, ACOLA has access to more than 3,000 of Australia’s greatest minds to bring together critical thinking and evidence to inform robust policy decisions. Katharina Ferster, Co-Founder School Beyond Limitations 2020-09-10T14:23:51Z katharina-ferster-co-founder-school-beyond-limitations It was always a fixed idea of mine to found a school. I don’t know where this came from and when I sensed this innate desire. I was always too fast and stubborn for school, for my teachers and my peers. That is why I always felt bored throughout my school years and throughout my studies in Mathematics at university – and still was one of the best students. “I know that I know” – I said over and over again. Only when my own two children were born and started to attend school I started to look for alternatives: for a school concept that would focus on the individual development of each child’s creativity and that would aim to guide the students to their own innate knowing: I know that I know. I was not successful. My children attended a Rudolf Steiner school. I trained myself in personal development, coaching and business creation. The more I developed in that direction and the more I built a successful business the less I could support the outdated traditional education concept. I was looking for freedom for my family. I wanted to take my children with me while traveling without being tied to school holidays. I wanted my children to spend their time with their father whenever they wanted as their father did not live with them anymore. I wanted my children to learn freely by being able to pursue their projects based on their interests and skills according to their pace without being pushed into a standardised system.During our world journey I tried out worldschooling and homeschooling. However, it was not enough. And then I met Martina Geromin, the co-founder of School Beyond Limitations. As our move to Cyprus was coming closer the idea was born to set up an online school. We wanted students to learn in a social steady environment that would never change, even if they were to move or travel again; with teacher-mentors who would take them by their hands until completion of their goals; an environment that is not based on judgement or grades, instead it was meant to be an environment with a strong emphasis on personal development in which each individual learns at her/his pace; an environment that acknowledges that children are in their knowing and as such they are allowed to think and act freely, beyond any limitations. That was the starting point for School Beyond Limitations. I wholeheartedly thank Martina and all parents who bravely undertook the first steps with us. Now, School Beyond Limitations is an internationally recognised school which increasingly captures interest and appreciation. It is a place that allows students to blossom as they understand that they are unique, that everything is possible and that they alone can choose responsibly about their life choices. Yes, I’d say that we are about to change the education system and, furthermore, we offer our students an unforgettable experience that will shape their adult lives considerably. Overseas call centres coming back to Australia 2020-08-14T02:42:03Z overseas-call-centres-coming-back-to-australia Derek Finch from CX Consult looks at how reshoring and recent changes to Call Centre Outsourcing driven by COVID 19 are changing the Australian call centre industry landscape. For years the discussion over onshore or offshore has been going on. Driven by the need to cut costs, India became the new go-to place. Some bad experiences and rising costs meant a move to the Philippines where English was spoken well, subsidies were available and costs still low. Then followed other locations like South Africa, Fiji and Malaysia. So what is behind the increasing popularity of companies looking at reshoring call centres back to home soil? Why overseas call centres are not working However much these offshore destinations offered reduced operational costs and popularity with senior executives, there has always been reticence from the Australian public. Sometimes it was just the accent making the agent difficult to understand although voice training and recruitment have almost eradicated that issue. However, there were other issues in taking centres offshore. The culture of the country for a start. I know of a fundraising organisation using an offshore centre whereafter any donation, the call was transferred to a team leader to say thank you...  Lovely touch, but usually the caller just wanted to get off the call - not hang on and extend the call further! Then there was the heavy reliance on scripting with agents told not to deviate … and an Aussie at the end of the phone screaming ‘just listen to me!!!’ There was also a lack of training, communication issues from Australia to the location and also the distance in management input. Justin Tippett, Chief Editor of CX Central, Australia's largest resource for contact centre professionals agree's commenting that "most businesses send their contact centre work offshore with the primary objective to save costs and not to improve the customer experience, with the Philippines, for example, often 40% to 70% cheaper than running the same sized call centre in Australia".  However working on a regular basis with call centres based in the Philippines, it doesn't mean it has to be a bad customer experience either. Tippett was full of praise for their focus on getting things right. "A lot of the times its the Australian businesses making it difficult with restrictive scripts, lack of access to the right systems and so on all making it harder than it needs to be for the Filipinos to provide a great customer experience. Culturally they are very customer-focussed and take a lot of pride in doing a great job".  But perhaps the cost savings aren't as great as one would expect.  An Access Economics report on Nearshoring in 2008 showed that by the time ALL costs were factored in (travel of trainers and managers to the site, lost business, increased meeting etc.) the cost of an offshore centre was comparable to an onshore centre in a regional area (regional Australia like Tasmania or Adelaide or even New Zealand). But still offshore continued to grow with major companies like Telstra and Optus growing their offshore capacity. At one organisation, the rule was for each onshore job eradicated permitted 1.5 offshore … then the manager had to ensure quality and performance but of course, was restricted in visiting or sending sufficient training resources (to save on costs). I know when I was managing offshore teams I had a weekly teleconference and reports but the managers on-site would tell me what I wanted to hear. So it was really hard to find out exactly what was going on – they just wanted to please and downplayed issues and, of course, I could not visit to see for myself! Note – I am not complaining about offshoring. It has its place and if well managed (and that’s my point – IF) then they can be not only cost-effective but customer effective.  Cheaper sounds good but is not always better – or cheaper!!! Then came COVID19. The impact of COVID-19 on call centres Many offshore centres were closed or running at significantly reduced capacity. Wait times for those organisations using offshore call centres went up as calls were diverted to the remaining onshore centres. And even local companies with large call centres in big offices suddenly scrambled to enable work from home options for their employees. The recent PROBE /Stellar merger referenced the recent trend of businesses reshoring call centres back to Australia as one of the drivers behind the merge with Probe CEO Andrew Hume citing “the Australian BPO market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as companies plan to move outsourced services back onshore given disruptions in offshore markets.” The ABC also recently reported Westpac are reshoring up to 1,000 jobs back to Australia. So while costs may be cut offshore, how cost-effective is it if you manage that arrangement effectively? What other risks are there in putting more calls (and back-office functions like accounts payable, data entry etc) offshore? These days being ‘remote’ is not an issue as technology allows communication – Work from home has never been so popular. However, you need to build culture, teamwork, good training and good management aligned to the company culture. Australian call centres again on the rise Contact Centre Outsourcer/BPO Datacom has been ramping up its onshore capacity and opened 1200 seats in Adelaide a couple of years ago and has just announced another 650 at a second site. As a technology company, they offer a raft of solutions including AI, virtual assistants and CX platforms, but recognise voice is still a central part of the solution and will remain so even if there is growth in web chat and self-help (how much does it annoy you that you deal with a company but when you have a real problem and need to talk they don’t list a phone number?!!!) Interestingly, Serco has also recently established a centre in Adelaide. Back to Datacom, who chose to open in Adelaide a couple of years ago. Why? Did they foresee the shift in trend? James Johnstone, Head of Commercial Strategy at Datacom, explained that when growing their base, they saw distinct advantages in going regional. ‘Obviously there are cheaper costs involved like office accommodation, and although salaries are generally lower in Adelaide we still pay the same rate nationally. We also look at the economic fundamentals of a community and how we might be able to contribute to that community. In recent years Adelaide has been impacted by higher unemployment as the economy has started transitioning from manufacturing to more knowledge-based roles. We had the opportunity to take on a number of great team members from Holden and Mitsubishi.’ They also established a good working relationship with TAFE SA, including ongoing training – better than they could arrange interstate, because SA is very focussed on job creation and readiness. ‘You get good quality candidates, lower attrition rates, and a greater willingness from government agencies, so it’s easier to do business’ said James. ‘With good communication, we can network sites easily so there is no need to have a centre close to senior management’ he added – something that has seen centres move out of Adelaide historically because the C Suite Execs in the head office wanted them close which is believed to be why Coca Cola moved a few years ago. But what about work from home? COVID-19 drove a massive growth in this space. While the tech providers are jumping up and down lauding its ease, it still does not sit easily with many. Short term it worked, but permanently? I certainly heard some horror stories about managing new agents and stats show less than a majority love it – and how many of those who love it do so because they can get away with less? ‘Work-from-Home, is a service offering that we provide our clients. However, it is very important to get the model right so it is sustainable with a focus on how we can continue to provide an engaging environment’ says James. ‘Technically it’s easy and the flexibility it can provide to scale rapidly is great. However, it comes down to what is the client looking to get out of the service and as a result Datacom has a few different approaches that it can offer when delivering a service in a work-from-home model.’  It’s not surprising that Outsourcers and big companies like Westpac are looking at reshoring. Reliability, continuity and high service standards are driving change. Datacom’s experience would seem to show that regional locations like Adelaide might benefit greatly from this new trend. You can find a list of all the call centre outsourcers based in Australia on the CX Directory.  AASW launches Reconciliation Action Plan, in the lead up to International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020-08-07T03:03:50Z aasw-launches-reconciliation-action-plan-in-the-lead-up-to-international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples The Australian Association of Social Workers has today launched its third Reconciliation Action Plan July 2020-June 2022, which is an Innovate Plan. It also comes in the lead up to the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples which is on Sunday, 9 August. 2020’s theme is COVID-19 and Indigenous People’s Resilience. AASW’s Reconciliation Action Plan describes the steps the Association can and will take to create opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Social Workers. AASW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative Board Director Linda Ford said, “Our new plan prioritises our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Social Workers and is about taking actions and defining how we work with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in our communities. “With this plan and alongside our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander colleagues, we will strive to be the best possible allies, by actively listening, by decolonising the way we work, by working in partnership and by making sure Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander colleagues and members of our communities shape our work.”Ms Ford said that building authentic relationships requires accepting the truth and understanding.She said, “We also know that to build authentic partnerships requires truth-telling and real understanding. Acknowledging the black history of our country, the historical role of Social Work and the current status of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in our community is essential in building partnerships that are grounded in truth.“I want to commend my fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters and all they have done during COVID-19, their resilience and their determination to defend their communities and keep them safe. As this year’s theme for Reconciliation was, we are truly IN THIS TOGETHER.”You can review the AASW Reconciliation Action Plan July 2020-June 2022.You can review the AASW’s webpage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actions to date, including our 2004 Acknowledgement Statement.ENDSAbout Reconciliation Actions PlansThere are four types of Reconciliation Action Plans endorsed by Reconciliation Australia: Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate.To interview Linda Ford, please contact Ellie Cooper on 0413 532 954. Social workers urge government to lead economic recovery by investing in social housing 2020-08-04T06:23:42Z social-workers-urge-government-to-lead-economic-recovery-by-investing-in-social-housing During National Homelessness Week, 2-8 August this year, Australian social workers are calling for more investment in social housing to help end homelessness.Last month, the AASW submission to the Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia, called on the federal government to build or acquire additional social housing. AASW National President Christine Craik said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we can respond to homelessness quickly as a response when there is a threat to public health, and this quick response has protected some of the most vulnerable people in our society. “During this pandemic, the Victorian government has housed many who were homeless as part of a public health response until April next year. We welcome this move, and would argue that this initiative needs to happen on a more permanent basis, not just during a pandemic and needs to be implemented across the country. “We are supporting the Everybody’s Home campaign this week. Building social housing and repairing empty or substandard public housing needs to be prioritised in all neighbourhoods across Australia. This kind of initiative will result in local jobs, economic stimulus and work towards social cohesion across the country. This pandemic has wreaked havoc with our most vulnerable communities and if there is to be one positive thing to come out of this, let that legacy be that this was the time we took a different path around social housing and committed ourselves to eradicating homelessness forever. “For anyone, becoming homeless can feel like a personal failure and many of our cultural myths and negative stereotypes around homelessness and poverty feed into this. You can tell a lot about the health of a community by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. We need to challenge these myths and those negative stereotypes about homelessness and mobilise politically to end homelessness for good. We urge everyone to use this week to engage with the Everybody’s Home campaign.”Social workers know the effects of housing insecurity on vulnerable people. We know the ways in which this intersects and complicates other systemic disadvantage, including family violence, child protection and mental health. See the Scope of Social Work Practice areas in Homelessness, Family Violence, Child Protection and Mental Health. Scope of Social Work Practice – HomelessnessScope of Social Work Practice – Family ViolenceScope of Social Work Practice – Child ProtectionScope of Social Work Practice – Mental HealthENDS Social workers welcome an increase in Medicare mental health sessions in lockdown areas: a start but not the full answer 2020-08-04T01:53:11Z social-workers-welcome-an-increase-in-medicare-mental-health-sessions-in-lockdown-areas-a-start-but-not-the-full-answer The AASW welcomes the announcement by the Health Minister Greg Hunt on Sunday, 2 August on the increase in Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS)-funded mental health sessions in response to the escalating COVID-19 lockdowns.AASW National President Christine Craik said, “Our social workers who provide these sessions for those accessing mental health supports under Better Access tell us that the expansion of the number of allowable sessions is critical. The effect of the continuation of the lockdown in Victoria, and the growing uncertainty and anxiety that COVID-19 is causing, will see many people requiring additional and long-term support.The AASW has consistently, and persistently, called for an increase in allowable mental health sessions, over a long period of time and not just in response to the COVID-19 situation.Ms Craik said, “As stated in our numerous submissions to the MBS Review, and more recently the COVID-19 Inquiry, we believe MBS Better Access needs to be based on need and level of complexity. One size does not fit all. “Increasing the number of sessions will allow social work mental health professionals to better support individuals to work through the anxiety and complicated presentations we are seeing at this time. And while it is a welcome start, it will not alone be sufficient to address the growing mental health needs of the community and the growing demand on mental health professionals and services. We also need to see an extension of the use of telehealth and technology to support people where it is appropriate. For example, there is a huge need for work to address recovery for those who have experienced family violence. This has never been met in the current structure”We have welcomed the focus the government has placed on the mental health needs of the community through the pandemic, and now is the time to implement the recommendations of the MBS Review Taskforce on Better Access. Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) have reported instances of their service users rationing their sessions despite significant concerns about the implications of this, combined with a worsening of symptoms as this pandemic continues. AASW social workers report observing an increase in service users presenting with suicidal thoughts and concerning behaviours. “It is clear that if we are to work to support the mental health of Australians through this pandemic and into recovery, there needs to be adequate service provision, and this is a long-term proposition, not a short-term situation.”The federal government’s MBS review has identified the need for an increased number of sessions and the AASW looks forwarding to continuing to work with government on this issue alongside addressing pay parity for all mental health professionals who are undertaking the same work. All social workers in Australia are supporting people through this current crisis. To locate an accredited mental health social worker, visit the AASW’s GP webpage .ENDSAbout Accredited Mental Health Social Workers Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) are recognised providers with Medicare Australia and other programs, delivering clinical social work services in mental health settings and utilising a range of evidence-based strategies. Members of the public can receive a referral from their GP under Better Access. For more information, see our website. MULTI BEST-SELLING AUTHOR LAUNCHES ‘GLOBAL GOOD NEWS CHALLENGE' 2020-08-03T04:51:08Z multi-best-selling-author-launches-global-good-news-challenge A former journalist turned media master is on a mission to spread good news to the masses and says digital currency has the capacity to bring communities together in the face of the global pandemic. The bestselling author and journalist of 36 years who established her own media agency in 2002 in Southport on the Gold Coast, is launching the 8-day ‘Global Good News Challenge’ on 3 August in an effort to help combat suicide, depression and anxiety rates. Aldwyn Altuney, of AA Xpose Media, who recently joined Qoin (Eds; pronounced ‘coin’), Australia’s newest digital currency, is inspired to share positive stories and is using the Qoin platform to spread her message further. “Globally, around one million people commit suicide each year and that has increased since Covid-19. I personally had four close friends take their own lives before the age of 45 and, throughout my own life, I’ve also battled with depression and suicidal tendencies,” Ms Altuney said. “Next Monday, I’m launching an 8-day ‘Global Good News Challenge’, which will run from 3-10 August. Since COVID-19 hit, the public has been inundated by negative news and this challenge will promote positivity.” An advocate for empowerment, Ms Altuney believes alternative currencies to cash are “no longer a luxury, but an essential” and she acquired $10,000 in Qoin when she first joined as part of her own wealth strategy. She intends to both accept payment in Qoin and engage businesses through the Qoin network, as well as promote her message of positivity. “Qoin is a brilliant idea. I think it’s really important to have alternative currencies. Qoin not only brings communities together, but it empowers people to be able to do business and do life without relying on the traditional banking system. “People need to get smarter at having alternative ways of trading and dealing with their money. Silver, gold and barter used to be the way and now it’s digital currencies. “As a business owner, what I love most about Qoin is there are no fees.” Over six months, more than 7000 small business merchants, including many in Southport, are now accepting Qoin, the newest digital currency, built on blockchain, that offers cashless transactions. And now Southport is being specifically approached following research undertaken by Qoin that shows Southport businesses and merchants are keen to get involved in digital currencies. Qoin Australia Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Barker says: “We have done our homework in Southport and we have a dedicated sales team of independent agents that are in contact with Southport businesses. “The current economic climate off the back of COVID-19 has encouraged many business people to open their eyes to new ways of doing business and that includes digital currency.” Mr Barker says the time is ripe for digital currencies, like Qoin, as ‘coronavirus has paved the way for small businesses to consider digital currencies to attract new customers and facilitate in-store transactions’. Grandad Inspires Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom on 3-month road trip 2020-07-06T12:26:39Z grandad-inspires-aussies-to-bounce-back-to-freedom-on-3-month-road-trip A BUNDABERG grandad has come out of retirement after 11 years to inspire Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom after Covid-19 with a road trip from Bundaberg to Darwin from July 13 to October 25, 2020. Author of 7 books, Hans Jakobi, 66, has gone from being suicidal and surviving multiple tragedies, including three serious bushfire threats to his home and an eight-year drought, to being a successful businessman and funding his own retirement at 55. Known as The Lifestyle Entrepreneur, he and his wife of 41 years, Colette, have travelled to more than 70 countries since then and now will hit the road on a Bounce Back To Freedom Tour. On the tour, he will interview and film Australians who have lost their jobs or businesses to find out what they are doing to recover from the crisis and what strategies they have worked out to prosper from the turmoil. “The way people have panicked in this crisis has had a deep impact on me and I feel compelled to spread a message of hope, opportunity and support to replace the narrative of fear,” Mr Jakobi said. He said the best and most secure way to prosper from this crisis was to start an online home-based business. “I want to inspire ordinary, everyday people, encourage them and give them hope to embrace this crisis as their opportunity to start their own online business and profit despite the crisis,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some people who will have benefited from the crisis because they’ve adapted to the opportunities created and will be loving it, while others will have a lot of stress and anxiety.” Mr Jakobi will hit the road with his latest book, Why You Need to Start Your Own Online Business Now! “My mantra is that you can build and run a business from anywhere in the world with just a laptop computer, a mobile phone and an internet connection,” he said. To walk his talk and also inspire his 3 children and 5 grandchildren, he and his wife will make the 12,000km return trip in a 2008 Sunland 24 foot caravan to Darwin and document his journey as he inspires locals, films their stories and builds a new online business from scratch. “People learn more from what they see than what you say so I want to inspire people. In the next 10 years, I will give it my best, keep traveling, support my children, mentor my grandchildren and others about business,” Mr Jakobi said. “I want to be around positive, aspirational people and then I will retire again.” For more details, visit www.BounceBacktoFreedom.com World Refugee Week 2020: AASW continues calls for an end to mandatory detention 2020-06-18T00:21:10Z world-refugee-week-2020-aasw-continues-calls-for-an-end-to-mandatory-detention During World Refugee Week 2020, the AASW continues calls for the Federal Government to put an end to its punitive practice of mandatory detention. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This year’s theme for World Refugee Week is Celebrating the Year of Welcome. The Australian government, however, consistently breaches the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees, our welcome is one to offshore detention, immigration detention centres and other forms of incarceration for those who have broken no laws. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that policy changes can be made quickly and to the benefit of vulnerable people. This has not occurred within the people seeking asylum and refugee population, who have been left exposed to the effects of coronavirus in detention. “As World Refugee Week started, there have been attempts by the government to move a group of people seeking asylum with pre-existing medical conditions from hotel accommodation in Queensland back to offshore detention. These people seeking asylum were transferred to Australia under the now repealed medevac legislation. They are at significant risk of severe complications or death if they are moved back to immigration detention while COVID-19 is still a threat.” The pandemic has a more severe impact on vulnerable groups and people in detention are no exception. Ms Craik continued, “There is nothing stopping the government from releasing this group, and all people seeking asylum, into the community where they can be free to continue their lives in safety and security. Keeping these people in detention is cruel and tortuous, and its only purpose is to send a terrible message to others who wish to seek asylum in Australia that ‘You are not welcome here’.” “Australia needs to be better than this and we can do better than this. “The practice of mandatory detention needs to end now. It causes immeasurable damage to those vulnerable people who have already worked so hard to flee harm. If we want to properly celebrate World Refugee Week, and the resilience and tenacity of people seeking asylum and refugees; this is the only way.” World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020: AASW calls for better resourcing of the aged care sector 2020-06-15T07:12:27Z world-elder-abuse-awareness-day-2020-aasw-calls-for-better-resourcing-of-the-aged-care-sector The AASW is calling on better resourcing and funding for the aged care sector on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many people who are experiencing elder abuse have become hidden from view. “Social workers know that it is difficult to encourage older people to disclose their experience of elder abuse at the best of times, and with many aged care services put on hold, workers are no longer going into the homes of older people and the abuse, neglect, control or violence they are experiencing by those who they depend upon, is harder to expose. “There are also thousands of older people across Australia waiting for an aged care package to become available. How many of those people are suffering in silence, being abused by carers with no one from the outside world knowing that assistance is needed now?” Ms Craik continued, “The aged care sector urgently needs extra funding to meet the increasing demand of home care packages, and to ensure staff are properly trained to pick up on the signs of elder abuse in community and aged care settings. We also need an increased community awareness of what elder abuse is and the many ways in which this can present. “Our submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission addressed these concerns and the AASW hopes to see systemic change throughout the aged care sector when the Commission releases its recommendations. “Elder abuse can take many forms and we all have a responsibility to know the signs and support older people to get help.”