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Have we created a Frankenstein parliament? When we, the people, voted to create a minority Federal Government in August 2010, the conventional wisdom was that this was supposed to be the great warning to our major parties – to do better, or risk reaping the rewards of our displeasure. It was well intentioned, but we all know that old adage about the road paved with good intentions. Rather than a parliament that works harder to develop balanced policy, that works under a greater umbrella of accountability and responsibility, we have a parliament that has turned on itself, canobilising the adversarial system to such an extent that Parliament has become disfunctional. Instead of a place where Government is held to account it has become a place where power struggles and petty point scoring have all but deafened any reasoned argument. We have, in short, created a monster. Like the unnatural creation of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel, it is disjointed, lurching around the edges of the real world and reacting aggressively to its inability to make sense of itself – it wants to belong, to fit, to work – but it doesn’t, and, just as in the 19th century fiction, there is a feeling of inevitability to its destruction. But which is the real monster – the creation or the creator?
ISSUE 200 SEPTEMBER 2011
accept the line that is shouted the loudest rather than sitting down and thinking about what the agenda is behind that line, and why it may or may not be accurate. We’re all busy, and there is only so much we can take in on a daily basis. There are all the usual things to deal with at home, and then there is whatever is happening or not happening, going to happen or not happening as much any more at work. There are family issues, health issues, personal and business financial issues, regulatory issues and many more, all vying for our attention. Politics has changed to fit into this changing landscape of Australian lives, and like just about everyone else, pollies want to get the most out of every second they have our attention. At the moment, the balance of power in the federal parliament is incredibly tentative and is wavering more each day. These are extraordinary times in our political history; it’s just a shame that these extraordinary political times have not created extraordinary politicians. Perhaps we only have ourselves to blame…
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Reactionary politics – such as we are seeing in Canberra almost on a daily basis – is reacting to something. It might be easy to blame the ubiquitous ‘media’, which is more often than not a reference to the daily papers, but newspapers exist in a consumer-driven market and have always printed what sells.
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So, why do we buy into the overly simplistic, fingerpointing political arguments? I honestly don’t know, but I suspect it has something to do with it being easier to
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Telco reform is achievableâ€Ś
Leading comparison site WhistleOut is pushing for telcos to adopt a new accessible comparison tool in their marketing to disclose minutes and data to consumers. The solution was developed by WhistleOut in response to recent claims by telcos that unit pricing â€“ displaying minutes in cap plans â€“ is near impossible. â€œWe have developed a dynamic online mechanism allowing consumers to quickly visualise the difference between advertised plans in minutes and data, not just total value. It further lets consumers refine for their own needs, including call frequency, SMS and data usage,â€? says Cameron Craig, Director of WhistleOut. According to the WhistleOut statement, a high number of complaints were made by consumers last year â€“ over five times the number of complaints made in the UK â€“ leading the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to launch its Reconnecting the Customer inquiry. The recommendations from the inquiry
called for an easier way for consumers to compare mobile phone plans. In the report, ACMA recommended, â€œThe introduction of a mechanism for comparing prices, with a requirement that service providers refer to that mechanism in promotions should help consumers to compare the price offerings of service providers.â€? WhistleOutâ€™s mechanism breaks down all the major cap plans in minutes and data, allowing consumers to make informed choices when choosing plans. â€œAustralians are paying a high price for this complacency on confusing mobile plans â€“ the prices charged for excess call charges in Australia are almost three times what they are in the UK,â€? says Cameron. By contrast, consumers in the UK benefit by seeing their plans clearly advertised in monthly minute allowances, and they have their excess data costs capped at ÂŁ1 per day.
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Thoughts from Main Streets Conference The Victorian Small Business Festival threw up plenty of interesting topics and ideas, and we thought this, from a conference discussing issues around what Main Streets mean to cities, might interest you tooâ€Ś President of Mainstreet Australia, Steve Bentley said, â€œMost members of the public recognise town centres, main streets and local shopping strips are unique and special as well as being a critical and essential part of their community. Approximately 370,000 jobs are supported in Main Street centres, generating $15,500 million in wages income each year.â€? â€œMain streets provide opportunities for small business development, with many successful national and international businesses having expanded from a main street location. Main streets have a vital role to play in serving communities, ranging from small, local centres, too much larger centres of metropolitan and state-wide importance. Importantly, they are a source of community identity. â€œWith the current global impacts on business combined with fierce competition from big box shopping centres and on-line retailing, we believe there is no better time to be supporting, training and â€˜skilling upâ€™ small businesses in our towns and main streets .â€? Couldnâ€™t agree more Steve!
Presenteeism an Ongoing Economic Problem Medibank Health Solutions says that its research has found that presenteeism continues to burden Australia, having cost the economy $34.1 billion in 2009/10. The research follows on from Medibankâ€™s 2007 study, which looked at the cost of presenteeism on Australian businesses and the economy. Prepared by independent economic consultancy KPMG Econtech, the updated study reveals that presenteeism is a problem that isnâ€™t going away, so it is important that steps are taken to tackle it. Presenteeism is defined as when employees come to work, but due to illness or medical conditions are not fully productive. The condition has a high cost, and Dr Matthew Cullen, Medibank Health Solutions General Manager, says it urgently needs to be addressed. â€œOn average, 6.5 working days of productivity are lost per employee annually and the overall cost of $34.1 billion equates to a decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.7%. If we are to minimise further negative effects to businesses and the economy we need to take steps to invest in the health of staff. Employers have the ability to reduce presenteeism rates, thereby improving productivity and, in the longterm, generate a positive impact on their business bottom line.â€? Presenteeism is a marker of ill health and can result from any number of illnesses or health problems. The study considered twelve key medical conditions - allergies, arthritis, asthma,
cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, migraine and headache, respiratory disorders, skin conditions, and back, neck or spinal problems. The report also investigated the effect of Australiaâ€™s ageing working population. By 2050, the 45+ age range is projected to make up 40.2% of the workforce, compared to the current 36.7%. The results showed that while the prevalence rates of some diseases increase with age, there are others that remain flat with the rest declining. As such, the impact of the ageing of Australiaâ€™s population on productivity losses from presenteeism increases over time but is muted. In line with this, the rate of presenteeism is expected to increase slightly to 2.7% by 2050. Presenteeism is not going away. Medibank says that employers need to take action to address the situation now so that they can create more positive and productive environments for their employees and, consequently, better performing, more profitable businesses.
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New thoughts on Central Geelong A demonstration project to showcase ‘shop top’ living in Central Geelong is one of the measures the City of Greater Geelong has identified to stimulate development in Central Geelong. The City of Greater Geelong Council adopted a report that has amongst its recommendations the development of a shop top living demonstration project in partnership with the State Government’s Urban Renewal Authority. Council’s Planning portfolio holder, Cr Rod Macdonald, said the Council would look to work with the Urban Renewal Authority to identify a suitable property in Central Geelong that could be converted into a residential apartment. “We will be seeking to work with the Urban Renewal Authority and private property owners to develop a shop top style apartment that could serve as a demonstration project,” Cr Macdonald said. “An actual conversion will enable us to identify what issues need to be overcome to make shop top living a commercially viable prospect for property owners, and we hope such a project would serve as a stimulus to other owners to follow suit,” Cr Macdonald said. “A similar project was mooted prior to the change of State Government so we are keen to progress the idea with the newly formed Urban Renewal Authority,” he said. Cr Macdonald said the Council would also consider the waiving of formal car parking requirements where a developer is seeking to convert an existing Central Geelong property into a residential apartment. “The aim of the waiver would be to encourage the reuse of Central Geelong properties, and in particular the development of residential conversions in locations where there is not the physical space to provide the required off street car parking,” Cr Macdonald said. Cr Macdonald said the Council would ask the Minister for Planning to defer the implementation of the Parking Precinct Plan for Central Geelong for 12 months to provide flexibility on parking for suitable refurbishment projects. In addition, the Council will ask the Minister for Planning to formally adopt the Activity Centre Zone. Central Geelong was identified by the previous State Government as one of five areas in Victoria to be designated a Principal Activity Zone and a special planning control known as the Activity Centre Zone was subsequently developed to consolidate existing planning policies and make for a more user friendly planning control for developers and businesses.
Retailers welcome Productivity Commission report Peak retail industry body, the Australian Retailers Association, said it welcomed many of the recommendations in the Productivity Commission's (PC) draft report into the Economic Structure and Performance of the Australian Retail Industry released in August.
However, he said that the ARA is disappointed there is no further recommendations for third party reporting of turnovers to avoid abuse of what he termed ‘predatory negotiations’ from landlords, nor a national registration of retail leases as suggested in ARA's submission.
ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said in a statement that the draft report touched on many issues highlighted in the ARA's submission, including the imbalance of power between landlords and retailers and the need for increased workplace productivity.
"As retail is Australia's largest employer, we are pleased that the PC also recognises the disincentive retailers have to retain low-skilled staff under the current Fair Work Act. We also welcome the PC recommendation to improve Customs and parcel processing inefficiencies from the 'multi-step, clunky process between Australian Post and Customs' to a more streamlined method, but we call on the Government to make the necessary changes as quickly as possible.
"As retailers struggle with poor trading conditions, skyrocketing rents are driving many businesses into the ground. The ARA welcomes the PC's acknowledgement that planning and zoning restrictions are propagating the power imbalance between landlords and retailers at the negotiation table. The ARA also supports recommendations for a harmonisation of lease information and nationally consistent model legislation as well as voluntary national code of conduct for shopping centre leases that is enforceable by the ACCC.”
"The ARA looks forward to working with the Government to implement the many of PC's proposals including the improvement of customs efficiencies allowing for a lowering of the low value importation threshold," Zimmerman said.
State Govt Support Needed On Buses The City of Greater Geelong has said it will lobby the State Government to increase support for better public transport services, more DHS officers, and additional police presence as a result of the Moorabool Street Bus Interchange review. “Whilst submissions show that the interchange has had a positive effect on bus patronage with a 19 per cent increase in passenger numbers, significant increases in pedestrian counts in the surrounding streets and there is strong support for the current location of the bus interchange, the review highlighted a number of issues,” said Council’s Transport portfolio holder Cr Andy Richards “Amongst the concerns expressed during the review were that congestion was affecting nearby traders, the general public and bus users; antisocial behavior by some individuals is having a negative impact; there is a need to improve the level of amenity for bus patrons and smoking in and around the bus interchange needs addressing. We’ll be taking these issues up with
the relevant authorities and the State Government as a matter of priority” said Cr Richards. Cr Andy Richards said the review of the bus interchange gave public transport users, retailers and shoppers an opportunity to comment on the interchange, and discuss ways to improve it. Ninety-three written submissions were received and 20 people made a presentation to a Council panel on 25 June 2011. Additional data was collected via a survey of 270 bus patrons, pedestrian counts and bus passenger number counts. Cr Richards said the City of Greater Geelong would be writing to the Department of Transport and advocating for continued safety officer patrols and cleaning services in the area of the bus interchange and improved signage and information on bus times and routes. “We will also write to Victoria Police requesting additional foot patrols in Central Geelong and write to the Department of Human Services with a view to seeking its assistance in managing behaviour around the interchange,” he said.
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Barwon Health recently welcomed Professor Lee Kennedy to the role of Professor of Medicine, continuing the vital work undertaken by Geoff Nicholson and his research team. Prof Kennedy commenced work as the Foundation Professor of Medicine at Deakin University on 1 July; a joint appointment with Barwon Health, where he also functions as the Director of Endocrinology. He previously worked for six years as Professor of Medicine at James Cook University and as staff specialist and Director of Endocrinology with Queensland Health.
Fiona Trotter joined the team at Morris Finance Ltd earlier this year and has already been promoted to one of our New Business Specialists. Fiona has recently completed her anti money laundering training and will soon commence studying her Certificate IV in Finance and Broking Services. Fiona prides herself on providing outstanding customer service. Fiona has become an integral part of the team at Morris Finance Ltd.
Pace Advertising welcomes Mel Russell as the newest member to their successful advertising team. Appointed as Account Manager, Mel has a diverse background in marketing and advertising from local government, tourism, regional Fairfax newspaper publications and event management. Mel enjoys the diversity in which her role offers and the opportunity to provide quality marketing services to all her clients.
Glynn Sadler joined Morris Finance Ltd in April 2009, after a seven year career at Telstra working as the Credit Manager. Prior to this Glynn worked at the Westpac Banking Corporation for twenty years as the Legal Manager and brings with him an abundance of industry experience. Glynn is held in high regard by the staff here at MFL, with a strong focus on processes and procedures. Glynn has just been appointed our Operations Manager.
Kon Likoudis joined Morris Finance Ltd in 2006 as a Credit Analyst. After building successful relationships with MFL’s Australia wide broker network he was promoted to Business Development Manager servicing and maintaining over 400 brokers around Australia. Kon has successfully completed his Certificate IV in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking) as well as Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act. With his strong dedication, qualifications and industry experience, Kon has now been promoted to General Manager of Finance with MFL.
Morris Finance Ltd welcomes Yoland Marshall to the Direct Marketing and Promotions team. Yoland has carried strong customer service values throughout her career beginning at Target Australia. Since then she has had seven years experience in sales and marketing when she worked for Kraft Foods Ltd in a number of roles, therefore bringing creativity, enthusiasm and passion to everything she does. Yoland will now be managing all marketing, advertising and sponsorship enquiries.
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Colin Frisch has joined Karingal as executive officer of the newly established Karingal Foundation. Colin has an expansive background in public relations and marketing and 15 yearsâ€™ experience in foundation governance, operations and fundraising. Most recently Colin worked as executive officer of Geelongâ€™s Rainbow Riderâ€™s therapeutic childrenâ€™s charity to refocus its operations in the interests of improving sustainability. The Karingal Foundation will focus on building a funding base for building projects to accommodate people with disabilities.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Gizelle Manoli. Gizelle joins Coulter Roache Lawyers as a Trade Mark Attorney and Senior Lawyer. She comes with 5 years experience working at boutique intellectual property law practices, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick and Choy Lawyers in Melbourne. Gizelleâ€™s area of interest and experience is in trade mark law, but she also has extensive experience working in the areas of Designs, Copyright, Trade Practices and Advertising and Marketing law.
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Wayne McKay recently commenced with Gartland Real Estate as the Manager of Residential Sales and Auctioneer with a real estate career in Geelong spanning 33 years. A licensed agent for 15 years, Wayne is well respected within the industry and is known for his honesty and friendly manner. A past president of the REIV Geelong branch, he is well aware of the importance of promoting ethics in Real Estate and providing quality service. With 30 years experience as an Auctioneer, Wayne has an exceptionally high client satisfaction level and auction clearance rate.
Barwon Computer Solutions is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Dobbins as Business Development Manager IT Consumables. Keith brings a wealth of customer service experience from companies such as Fairfax, GEC, Geelong Advertiser. Barwon Computer Solutions recognises the importance of a quick personal response to the organisations IT consumables needs. Keith understands the critical availability of IT consumables to the organisation and personally responds to requests.
Markus Schwaiger has joined Barwon Computer Solutions as Business Development Manager. Markus has worked with companies such as Compaq, EDS, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard and ADP in Australia and overseas. His key focus is understanding clientsâ€™ business needs and matching these to technology, support and service solutions. Barwon Computer Solutions has been helping Geelong region companies since 1984 by always exceeding clientsâ€™ expectations through local technology expertise, service and supply.
Kerry McFarlane has recently joined Barwon Centre Against Sexual Assault Counselling Services as the Program and Client Services Manager. This position was developed to meet the needs of the expanded BCASA service and assist in the development of the multi discipline centre which brings together BCASA, Police and Child Protection, providing a more integrated level of service delivery for victim/survivors of sexual abuse and family violence.
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What a way to spend a weekend! What does the combination of 200 wonderful wines from 25 superb wineries, mouth-watering food and live music all spread over two days add up to? One fantastic weekend! This year, Geelong’s food, wine and music festival will be bigger and better than ever, as Toast to the Coast returns its 10th anniversary. And to celebrate, Geelong Business News is giving away double passes to the October event. For your chance to win, simply enter your details on the competition page of our website at www.adcellgroup.com. au. Geelong Winegrowers Association (GWA) marketing executive Lyndsay Sharp said Toast to the Coast, held Melbourne Cup weekend – 29th and 30th October - had evolved into a premium event for the Geelong region and a highlight of the Victorian major event’s calendar. “Toast to the Coast is a true community celebration in every sense – it all about getting people out and about to discover, experience and delight in the Geelong winery ‘experience’, showcasing the calibre and diversity of our wonderful wines, local produce and entertainers,” Mrs Sharp said. “What started as a relatively small group of vignerons showcasing Geelong wines in 2001 has evolved into a major celebration with more than 25 wineries hosting the event throughout the Geelong wine region,” she said. “Across The Bellarine, Surf Coast and Moorabool Valley, more than 200 different wines will be on the pour as our vignerons pull out all stops to showcase the rich viticultural bounty that sets Geelong apart as a truly iconic Australian wine region.” Mrs Sharp said Toast patrons would get the opportunity to sample and enjoy rare back vintages, vertical tastings as well as eagerly anticipated new releases.
Mrs Sharp said the 2011 Toast to the Coast Festival had the support of a range of sponsors including local tourism authorities and media including Regional Development Victoria, City of Greater Geelong, Tourism Victoria, Tourism Geelong, The Bellarine, Golden Plains Shire, Geelong Advertiser and Bay FM. “In addition, a number of local businesses have come on board for the first time this year as sponsors including Gartland Real Estate, Winter & Taylor, Macmillan Cowan & Co, Williams & Jackson, Goodway Print Group and MC Herd. “It is particularly gratifying to have such wonderful support and goes to show that the Geelong region is proud of its wine industry – it’s all about community supporting community.” Entry to all Toast to the Coast venues is free and a $30 ticket provides patrons with a tasting glass – an unlimited passport to wine tastings across all venues for the weekend. Tickets, programs, maps and bus schedules available at www.toasttothecoast.com.au Wine lovers can also indulge in the best the season has to offer right through spring during the Great Geelong Wine Pour - an exciting feature in the local epicurean calendar which sees local wines literally ‘on the pour’. Now in its fourth year, the 2011 Great Geelong Wine Pour has been extended to run for three months - September, October and November. Mrs Sharp said the Great Geelong Wine Pour was all about encouraging community celebration and enjoyment of Geelong’s premium cool climate wines. “Restaurant patrons will get to select from a huge cross section of Geelong wines and enjoy the chance to really savour and learn more
“In addition, patrons will get to enjoy some of the intriguing new and emerging alternative wine varietals emanating from our region and contributing to Geelong’s status as a dynamic and innovative winemaking force.” Mrs Sharp said another highlight of the Toast to the Coast Festival was the fact that it included some very small boutique producers who rarely open their doors to the public. “Exotic grapes, biodynamic and micro boutique wineries are all part of the booming viticulture industry of the region - this is the public’s opportunity to engage with the personalities and concepts behind the wines.” “Couple this with a sensational array of food and entertainment and the Toast to the Coast weekend is definitely one worth celebrating.”
Trevor Cooke Photography
about the rich viticultural bounty that sets this region apart from the rest of Australia,” she said. “Many restaurants will be offering special deals of Geelong wine by the glass to encourage diversity of varietal tasting and enjoyment.” Mrs Sharp said a great aspect of the Great Geelong Wine Pour was that it both initiated and strengthened synergies between local wineries and restaurants, facilitating the opportunity to simultaneously showcase our premium wines and innovative regional cuisine. “A number of restaurants will also be featuring regional produce matched with local wine so patrons are in for a real treat,” she said. “One thing is for sure - Geelong wine is kicking serious goals both in Australia and overseas. The Great Geelong Wine Pour is a great opportunity to kick back, celebrate and scream it out loud!” For a full list of participating restaurants and wineries, www.winegeelong.com.au
For further information, please contact: Lyndsay Sharp – Geelong Winegrowers Association 0438 54 1169 Released by: Geelong Winegrowers Association www.winegeelong.com.au
A new local challenge for an old Geelong boy Bill Mithen has been CEO of Give Where You Live (formerly United Way Geelong Region) for just three weeks when we meet, and he’s a little overwhelmed. Not by the demands of the job and the challenges of moving the organisation forward, but by the amount of support and goodwill the nearly 60 year-old philanthropic not-for-profit enjoys in the local community.
It’s extraordinary the amount of people who have said, “Just tell us what you need, we’re here to help, we’re happy to help”. I think sometimes offers of help are a little rare these days, so when you get every person you meet from big businesses to small businesses saying, “Tell us how we can help”, it’s a pretty overwhelming and, at times, humbling position to be in.
Born and bred in Geelong, Bill was aware of Give Where You Live’s reputation before taking on his new role, but he still says the support is “terrific”. His new job as GWYL CEO is Bill’s second role in the not for profit sector; he was previously Australian Operations Director at Save the Children Australia and prior to that he had a varied career in marketing and management.
GBN: Do you think the support has been heightened by the change from United Way Geelong Region to Give Where You Live – highlighting that specific focus on helping the Geelong region?
GBN: You’ve been CEO of Give Where You Live since August 1. What are your impressions so far? Bill: From an internal organisational point of view, it’s clearly a great organisation with a really rich and long history. It’s had a couple of manifestations, starting in 1954 as Geelong and District Community Chest and then changing to United Way Geelong Region and now to Give Where You Live, but I think throughout those changes it has maintained its heritage of supporting the community by raising funds and then granting those funds out to partners within the community. Externally, I’ve been quite overwhelmed at the amount of goodwill in the community for Give Where You Live.
Bill: Maybe. There’s certainly huge support, in fact I’d say uniform support, for that decision taken by the Give Where You Live board late last year. No one has said, “Oh gee, we wish you hadn’t done that”. That’s been really encouraging, because you’re always worried with such a big decision that there might be two sides to the argument, but it’s been very much a one-sided argument. United Way Australia went through a nationalisation process, whereby it would be affiliated with United Way International. [That] meant there would be a national board and a national CEO. Individual CEOs from individual
regions would report to the national board and there would be almost a dismantling of the local regional boards and, if not a dismantling, then certainly a lessening of their authority. Coupled with that was the circumstance that, if push really came to shove, monies generated in regions could be distributed by the national body in a region other than the one where the funds were raised. If United Way Australia decided they really needed to spend money in Brisbane, then it would have been possible that Geelong raised money would be spent in Brisbane. This effectively meant that workplace givers in Geelong, who are committed to the Geelong region and giving money out of their own hip pocket, would be giving money to people or a program in Brisbane. That’s not what they’re giving for and not what this organisation has been about since 1954.
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[United Way Geelong Region officially became Give Where You Live earlier this year, after making the decision to disaffiliate from United Way Australia. The name, Give Where You Live, was chosen as a reflection of the organisation’s purpose in Geelong – to help disadvantaged people right here in the Geelong region.]
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GBN: You’ve said that you feel lucky to be given the opportunity to lead Give Where You Live into “this next exciting phase of its development”. Is working on confirming the organisaton’s place in the Geelong region part of that phase? Bill: Yes, the next phase is extremely important, because we suddenly have a new name and a new brand, which is clearly not as well known as the old one and there is still not a complete awareness that we’ve changed. But Give Where You Live is very clear, it’s hard to get it wrong, which was certainly one of the reasons for deciding on that name. So there’s a lot of work for us to do now in, number one, establishing Give Where You Live as a very strong and important community organisation within the Geelong region and number two, we really want the message out there that Give Where You Live isn’t a new organisation; it’s a new name for an already well-established organisation. For me personally, it’s a really exciting opportunity because you don’t often get the opportunity to come into an organisation with nearly 60 years of history that has a new name, brand and image. Mostly you start with a new organisation with few, if any, years of history, or a 60 year organisation that is steeped in history. But I’ve got a real mix here, where we’re trying to establish and develop something new, but we also have that fantastic foundation of 60 years of community support and community work that people before me – well before me - have completed.
large organisation in Australia, it generates income of about $80 million and the Australian budget was about $20 million. As Australian Operations Director, I managed and controlled that budget, which included about 35 retail stores, or op shops, and about $13.5 million in program spend. Prior to that I had worked in commercial roles, with the most recent being as general manager of a national marketing services business in Port Melbourne. You’d have to ask Save the Children why they appointed me though (laughs…)! GBN: But what made you go looking for work in the not for profit sector? Bill: I had always thought I would work in a not for profit organisation at some point in time, [but] I guess I thought it would probably be when I was closing in on retirement and maybe working a couple of days a week and playing golf or surfing on the others! Then the role came up at Save the Children and I liked the look of it. I wasn’t exactly certain what they were searching for, but I was certainly excited by the opportunity and applied. It turned out I was what they were looking for.
GBN: How did you come to take up this opportunity?
I think at that point in Save the Children’s history they were looking to attract people who had experience other than community services experience. They were trying to attract people who had general management and business experience and could apply more of a - they used the term ‘commercial focus’. I always thought that it wasn’t so much about commerciality, but more about financial and operating efficiencies.
Bill: The last two years I’ve been working with Save the Children Australia - that was my first foray into the not-for-profit and community services sector. Save the Children is quite a
Effectively all community organisations are businesses, they generate income and then they spend it. They certainly have a ‘not for financial profit’ motive but they don’t have a ‘not for profit’
motive in many respects. The profit they’re trying to achieve is a social profit - they’re trying to achieve some sort of social outcome and that effectively is what the profit of the organisation represents. So, in many respects, a lot of the principles and ways of operating such an organisation are not that dissimilar to any other business. There still needs to be the same level of operating efficiency and governance accountability, in some cases it could be argued there is a greater accountability, because you’re dealing with money that other people have donated. So I can only assume - I never really asked the question - but I assume that’s why I was appointed to that role, and what that then gave me was two fantastic years of having a good look at the community services and philanthropic sectors and the amazing work that goes on all over the place by a huge range of organisations. I remember when I left I said to some of my staff that there wasn’t a day that went by that it wasn’t a really humbling experience to work at Save the Children, and likewise at Give Where You Live. We have community partners here in Geelong who are working in really difficult environments and situations, and dealing with sometimes troubled people, sometimes disabled people, and certainly people who need assistance, and they’re doing it every day. They get up every day and they go to work and they deal with that and they still presumably have all the same trials and tribulations that we all have personally with kids at home and running houses and all that sort of thing, and yet they still go and do this. I find that fairly amazing, that people have that much ability to give to their communities and we’re really fortunate here that we have over 70 community partners who are doing that every day of the week.
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FEATURE GBN: How do you feel being back at work in Geelong?
privileged position and I think we can capitalise on that position.
Bill: Itâ€™s been quite a while since I actually worked in central Geelong. One of my previous roles was general manager with Jindalee Estate Wines [now known as Littore Family Wines], but that was of course out of town, so I wasnâ€™t really connecting with the Geelong business community in that role. So, itâ€™s probably been 20 years since Iâ€™ve actually worked in Geelong and Iâ€™m really enjoying it - so far, so good.
Iâ€™d like to see us, as an organisation, really develop a strong and bold vision for what we see Geelong being, particularly in terms of how it supports the disadvantaged in the region and in the community. If we develop that bold vision, I feel our supporters and community partners will be galvanised behind it and will really support us and help us achieve that vision.
Iâ€™m reconnecting with a whole lot of people I had lost contact with here and there and finding there a lot of people in Geelong I know from school [St Josephâ€™s College] or played sport against or with, and I played quite a bit of sport back in my younger years. A lot of those people are now running businesses and some are involved in the community sector as well. Catching up with all of them again and establishing, or almost re-establishing, all those networks has been really good. And Iâ€™ve found the Geelong business community, as I said earlier, to be really supportive of Give Where You Live and really supportive of each other. Theyâ€™re very happy to give advice about who I should talk to and where I should go and what events I should attend, so itâ€™s been a very welcoming beginning to my career back in Geelong. GBN: Whatâ€™s next? Bill:I think Give Where you Live is in an extraordinary, and in some ways privileged, position within the Geelong region, in that it has developed a huge amount of trust both with its donors and supporters, and particularly our premium supporters, Ford, Shell and Alcoa, and in fact with all our corporate supporters. Weâ€™ve also built a huge amount of trust with our community partners, who put us in a really
Effectively all community organisations are businesses, they generate income and then they spend it... The profit theyâ€™re trying to achieve is a social profit - theyâ€™re trying to achieve some sort of social outcome and that effectively is what the profit of the organisation represents.
So weâ€™re going to work hard in the next few months on developing that vision and strategy and weâ€™re looking forward to going out and talking to all our partners, whether theyâ€™re supporters in terms of a financial point of view, or goods in kind, or community partners in terms of their service delivery. In Geelongâ€™s business community we have a couple of very large major corporations, but the vast majority of business done in Geelong is in small and medium sized businesses, and we would like to connect with them, weâ€™d like to hear from them and talk to them about what they can do. I think corporate social responsibility has developed a bit of an image of being only the domain of major corporations, but itâ€™s not. CSR should be a focus of small to medium size
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enterprises as well. They are working in, and relying upon, their local communities, just as much as the larger corporations. We want to get that message across and talk to some of those businesses about what it is that we can help them to achieve in that area. One other thing Iâ€™d say is that part of that vision needs to be a real focus on creating a sustainable funding model for the Geelong community. At the moment, our model is very much that we fundraise and hand those funds on. Weâ€™re very lucky that weâ€™re able to raise substantial funds, but, if for whatever reason, that fundraising experienced a downturn, then naturally weâ€™re not going to be handing as many funds on as we have in the past. About 12 months ago we created the Give Where You Live Foundation, and we have a focus of building the funds in that foundation so it becomes a much more sustainable income stream that allows us to provide sustainable funding to our community partners into the future. The Geelong community has been extraordinarily supportive and generous, but weâ€™re going to ask for continued support and generosity from them to try to build up a strong investment base that we can then use to generate a sustainable funding stream. That needs to be a real focus for us and getting that mix, getting that transition right, is going to be critical. We need to continue to fund in an ongoing manner to the same levels, as well as building an investment fund. Itâ€™s going to be a tricky bit of work, but Iâ€™m sure we can do it with the level of support that we get from the community.
28 Years, 200 GBN Editions and Counting... The Geelong Business News celebrates 200 editions with this September 2011 issue – 28 years after the first edition of the then Geelong Business magazine went to press. There have been a lot of changes over those 200 editions and a many people that have passed through the various offices and played their part in 200 planning meetings, 200 cover designs and 200 deadlines. There have been a few tears and tantrums along the way, and there have been triumphs, but looking back across almost three decades of magazines, there has been something more than the discussion of the issues of that time – there has been a cataloguing of almost three decades of the Geelong business landscape. By 1984, ‘decentralisation’ of manufacturing became the hot issue, with the withdrawal of rebates for companies who moved operations to regional areas.
Reading back through the early editions through to today, there is a wonderful sense of the resilience and resourcefulness of our local businesses. Business is about making money, we know, but what can be found across the years is that here in Geelong, the worth of a business is much more than its bottom line – businesses here in Geelong are woven tightly into the very fabric of the city – and the history of businesses in this city is intricately and inescapably enmeshed with the history of the city itself.
By 1985, Geelong Business had established its place in the Geelong media landscape and within the business community. It was the middle of the 1980s, the ‘Greed is Good’ decade when businesses were taking off and everyone wanted a piece of the economic pie. Technology was slowly creeping into the small business sector and everyone had a power suit! 1985 saw Prince Charles and Princess Diana tour Australia, and here in Geelong, the retail landscape would never be the same again as the historic Market Square building underwent a $30 million redevelopment.
It has been a fascinating exercise to look back through these past editions, and while I can’t hope to present to you all the issues, furious debates, the characters and the crises that have graced the pages of the magazine over the years, I have had the absolute pleasure of pulling out a few threads of what it has meant to produce Geelong’s business magazine from 1983 to 2011.
In the October 1985 edition of Geelong Business was a gem of an article entitled, ‘How Much Does A Computer Cost??’ by Rob Dunstan of Computerland Geelong. “… These days, a small business with low data storage requirements can expect to pay at least $4,000.00 for a computer system with floppy disc storage, a software package for general accounting and a print to output results. Anything below this cannot be regarded as a machine suitable for business.
GEELONG BUSINESS – THE FIRST EDITION In October 1983, the first edition of Geelong Business hit the shop fronts and offices, factories and warehouses of Geelong. At the helm as publisher was John Loughnan of The Communicators, who remains a stalwart of communications in this city. Peter Millard was the editor, and in this first edition, he welcomed readers with the ‘In Passing’ message reprinted here about the new magazine. In the very first cover story, Geelong Business asked how important the Geelong Football Club really was to Geelong, and explored the relationship between the football club and the city itself. The conclusion – that the club was at the very heart of Geelong. That for Geelong to survive and prosper as a community, the football club must survive and prosper. Also in that first issue was an interview with then Chairman of the Geelong Regional Commission, Colin Atkins, following state government intervention in the management of regional Victoria. What else was happening in September of 1983? Pyramid Building Society announced a before tax profit of $11.3 million. The redevelopment of Market Square was announced. Three Geelong hotels commenced
Going from this point, the next step for small to medium sized businesses is a hard disc based system which will handle larger volumes of information at a higher speed. Such a system [is] in the vicinity of $7,000.00 to $10,000.00. From here, the sky is the limit…” The article sagely goes on to point out that most businesses that install a computer system can make enough savings, both tangible and intangible to pay for the machine in 12 months! Sunday bar trading. Home loan interest rates were at 15 per cent. Australia II won the America’s Cup, after which any employer who sacked a worker for not turning up the following day would be, according to PM Bob Hawke, “a bum”. The second edition of Geelong Business looked at the challenges facing the city’s textile industry – it was an issue that would play out for many years to come as the TCF industry across the nation buckled under the enormous pressure of cheaper imports.
The industrial landscape was also changing, and in 1986 the proposal for mandatory superannuation saw the business community involved in heavy debate. In the January/ February 1986 edition, the issue was front and centre, with a ‘Super Hit? Or Miss?’ article opening with: “The Federal Government’s proposed National Superannuation Scheme is one of the more radical proposals to hit the Australian working man since the introduction of the eight hour day…”
COVER STORY I think I can still hear the clank of those gold watches as fists hit oversized desks across our fair city! In March 1987, the focus fell on itinerant traders, a significant issue facing businesses at the time, as unlicensed operators unfettered by the cost burden of legitimate businesses continued to undercut the market. In this edition, publisher and editor John Loughnan commented: “How free is local enterprise, and free for whom? As the saying goes, nothing comes for free. “The right for a retailer to trade in Geelong costs him dearly. General rates for a modest Moorabool Street outlet may range from $3,000-$10,000 a year, and the larger chain stores may pay $25,000-$35,000 a year. “Add to that lighting, power, water, and/or landlord or agent’s profit margin on a lease, insurance, security and leave entitlements for permanent staff, and it is clear that itinerant traders have an unfair advantage…” Other big issues at the time included the threat to the local cement industry from imported cement ‘dumping’ - at the time Geelong produced 1.5 million tonnes of the state’s 1.6 million tonne total cement production; and the Port of Geelong Authority was in the news as the State Government sought to bring the local port under the control of the amalgamated Victorian Ports Authority. 1989 saw the eyes of the city turn to the water as the Bay Link plan to redevelop the Geelong’s foreshore produced furious debate. On the business front, the Cain Government was pressured into initiating a public inquiry into the failure of the Victorian Economic Development Corporation (or VEDC) that had funded business development via loans out of the public purse at a time of soaring interest rates. Economic pressures were coming to bear across the business sector, and while the region’s three industrial giants, Alcoa, Ford and Shell, were investing – Alcoa with a $90 million capital works program at Point Henry, Ford with a $40 million factory upgrade and Shell looking at a $450 million catalytic cracker at the Corio refinery – the vast majority of businesses were under serious pressure. Perhaps the 1989 Grand Final result was portentious, because right across Geelong, there were even tougher times ahead. In 1990, the Farrow Group of building societies, comprised of the Pyramid Building Society, the Geelong Building Society and the Countrywide Building Society, collapsed with a debt bill of over $2 billion. The collapse had the effect of an earthquake on the local economy. In already grim financial times, for many businesses, the collapse and the subsequent freezing of the remaining funds resulted in financial ruin. In
the wake of the Pyramid collapse, Geelong was sunk deep in recession, with raging unemployment and home loan interest rates peaking at 18 per cent. Businesses and families left the city in droves – many heading for Queensland. But not everyone left, and not every business closed. For those that kept afloat, it was a long haul, but eventually the outlook began to brighten. Stoicism slowly turned to hope… In December 1993, the magazine was rebranded as Geelong Business News, with the launch heralded by then managing director, Terry Tayler, as coinciding with a revitalised Geelong business community. “I believe we are now experiencing a new and exciting era of growth in this region, spurred along by the unity of the Greater City of Geelong, various foreshore developments, a stronger Chamber of Commerce and much needed financial support from the Government.” The new magazine was glossy and slick, and the features became good news stories looking at progress and change across the region – with everything from the benefits of council amalgamation to infrastructure upgrades and business investment. Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, turned his sights to turning around the prospects of Geelong, and called on the city’s business leaders to ‘come forward’ and stand for council. The Geelong Regional Commission past into memory, along with its Bay Link foreshore plan. In its place came a local and state government collaboration that resulted in the Waterfront redevelopment that stands today. Tourism developed as a new force in the local economy, and everyone wanted to talk about marketing strategies and exporting to China. Aquaculture became a burgeoning regional industry and it was boom time for training and employment services as the government looked to turn around the unemployment rate. Construction took off across the city and new development began springing up. In April 1996, “Great Expectations” was the cover, featuring the newly elected John Howard and his re-elected Liberal state counterpart, Jeff Kennett. The story went: “Geelong’s small business community is expecting a great deal from John Howard and his new Coalition Government. A GBN survey of small business proprietors and managers has uncovered a new confidence in local business leaders. They expect the new Federal Government to move quickly and decisively to restore consumer confidence and to actively assist small business growth…” By 1997, ‘privatisation’ had become a buzzword, with everything from utilities to the Geelong Port and Baxter House at the Geelong Hospital becoming privatised under the Howard
Government. Locally, the issue of tariff cuts had the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) and automotive industries up in arms as Geelong manufacturing companies and workers urged the government to protect Australian-made. Wild swings on international markets saw the November 1998 GBN cover proclaim 1998 as “The year of trading dangerously”. Robert Gottliebsen, founder of Business Review Weekly, told GBN at the time: “It’s not an absolute certainty that we will have a significant global economic downturn… While Wall Street is predicting the US will get through the current predicament unscathed, I think the Wall Street market is a bit dangerous.” The business sector was once again getting nervous, but having come through the crippling recession of the early 90s, local businesses were forging ahead. While the development of first Market Square and then Bay City Plaza shopping centres had seen a major decline in occupancy of street-frontage retail tenancies, elsewhere across the region, big plans were being made. On the cover of the July 1999 edition of GBN shouted the headline, “QANTAS resurrects Avalon”. Out at Avalon airport, aircraft servicing was back on the ground after the demise of ASTAAS. The flying kangaroo had landed, and was getting serviced, at Avalon. Premier Jeff Kennett was excited, saying: “This is perhaps the most significant development in Australia’s aviation industry in recent years ... And at the local level, one of the most significant investment decisions for the Geelong region in decades.” This move by QANTAS became the first step in the eventual move by trucking magnate, Lindsay Fox, to negotiate his way into Australian aviation transport. It was only a few months later that Jeff Kennett was ousted from power, as Steve Bracks led a landslide Labor victory. In the December issue of GBN, the new Premier talked about what he called his ‘Geelong Plan’ – including a threelane freeway to Melbourne, a fairly fast train, a rejuvenated Central Activities Area, a new secondary school at Lara, connecting the city’s wharves to the standard gauge rail network, upgraded arterial roads and increased funding for the Gordon TAFE. And over the following decade, some of these plans did actually eventuate! The turn of the century saw a new vision of Geelong, with an illustrated front cover of the January 2000 edition by Mark Gallagher featuring McDonalds at the end of Cunningham Pier and a Thomas Jewellers building on the Waterfront… While the vision would not prove exactly accurate, it was an era of growth for Geelong. Gone was the Sleepy Hollow tag and the city by the bay was becoming a serious rival
to outer metropolitan development as a lifestyle choice for families, and ‘Sea Changers’ would affect some serious change on coastal property prices. But what was really making headlines? Water! The region was in the grip of the worst drought on record, with water becoming an increasingly rare commodity. The GST was introduced in July 2000, with the Howard Government claiming its GST would be an easier tax system that introduces a straight forward and less costly cash accounting regime. It was an interesting line, and – particularly with the benefit of hindsight – grossly untrue, but it also said a lot more about how the political game was being played in Australia than it did about the impending Goods and Services Tax. GBN’s July cover story included the following little gem from GBN journalist, Kevin McCarthy: “The biggest irony of the new tax system is that Australia’s biggest battler, multi-billionaire Kerry Packer, will become one of the country’s biggest tax collectors. “Readers will remember how the tough tycoon recently refused to pay $30.55 in personal income tax for the three years 1990 to 1992 – that’s barely $10 per year. It seems he considered the assessment excessive. “Now Australia’s richest man is to collect millions of dollars on behalf of the Australian Government …” During the early to mid-2000s, local businesses were once again riding the wave of good times. In 2003, a clanging alarm clock on the cover announced that “Geelong Awakes”. Editor of the day, John Van Klaveren, wrote about a city awoken by those knocking on its door: “It’s a good time to be in business in Geelong. “The property boom is continuing, partly fuelled by more Melbourne discovering the region. The global economic downturn triggered by the weakness of share markets, linked in turn to corporate accounting issues, has delayed the predicted bursting of the property bubble, particularly along the coast. Retail is strong, with people buying items to furnish the new houses they have bought and built.
“All this has initiated significant changes to Geelong and the business scene is finding itself responding with change itself. The Geelong Chamber of Commerce is crowing at the record number of members signed up and sales of businesses are strong. More people are looking to get into business both as proprietors and as investors and business expansion plans are being drawn up. Businesses are relocating to Geelong from Melbourne and country areas. There is a feeling that business in Geelong has a future, rather than being a routine treadmill…” By 2006, Geelong was experiencing a tech boom, with scientific research emerging alongside health and education as the new economic base of the city in the aftermath of the manufacturing downturn. In July 2006, the cover of GBN spoke of “Science City”, as a surge in research funding had propelled the region on to the national and international research stage. Then Barwon Health CEO, Sue De Gilio, said in the story: “Victoria has six key biotechnology precincts, all located in Melbourne. In total, they employ some 6000 researchers and have annual research funding of almost $450 million. Parkville is the largest precinct, with 2000 researchers and funding of $200 million. It contains Melbourne University, RMIT, 11 research institutes and eight hospitals. “Geelong aims to be Victoria’s seventh precinct, and I believe this is still some five years away…” At the end of the 2000s, research remained a key element of the economic future of our city. A research revolution was underway at Deakin University, as the university’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) was bringing together some of the country’s leading thinkers in bio, nano and info research in a way that was getting the attention of the research world. Advanced robotics, leading metals technology and manufacturing innovations began to pour out of ITRI, and after years of brain drain out of Geelong, local research across a wide range of fields was attracting some of the best and brightest minds from around the world.
In 2011, the big issues are as big as they have ever been. The world is experiencing enormous economic upheavals, and across Australia, the two-speed economy is becoming more pronounced every month. Political instability as a result of the minority government means that the really big issues – mining profits, carbon tax, national broadband network – are not attracting the full attention of the parliament. Instead we have a Government that is desperate to hang on to power, and an Opposition just as desperate to seize government. In the face of this leadership vacuum, the business sector is getting smarter, evolving, diversifying and transforming its business practices and systems through technology. We are getting cleaner and greener; we are also slowly becoming more flexible, and getting better at balancing work and life. Looking back over the years and decades, it’s been a hell of a journey. Here at GBN we would like to thank everyone who has played a part in the history of this magazine. And as for doing business in Geelong – where else would you rather be? Davina Montgomery
LOOKING BACK… Looking back over the past 200 editions of GBN, I found myself wondering what those who had previously occupied the editor’s desk thought of the milestone, so shot off a few questions to two former Geelong Business News editors – Mandy Squires, who was the inaugural editor of GBN in its current incarnation, and John Van Klaveren, who sat at the editor’s desk for more years than he would probably care to remember!
Mandy Squires: Q: What is the most memorable story from your time at Geelong Business News and why? A: The explosion of the surf coast – particularly Torquay – as a centre for (the surf) industry. Hard to believe, but all those years ago it was just beginning!
COVER STORY Q: What would you say were the biggest issues facing Geelong during your time at Geelong Business News? A: Council in-fighting and (related) State Government vs. Geelong – ultimately leading to appointment of administrators – and the demise of manufacturing, with no clear direction as to an alternative regional, economic base; and also, the push for the development of Geelong’s waterfront. Q: How has the city changed from then to now? A: Torquay and Surf Coast grown exponentially over last two decades – hardly recognisable. The emergence of research, science and education as the region’s alternative economic base. Geelong’s waterfront is magnificent and the heart of the city – with the CBD now empty and in trouble! And the new suburbs. Q: Where has your career led you since leaving Geelong Business News? A: I left GBN to go to Geelong Advertiser, where I worked as a senior journalist for several years. I then left the Addy to publish my own, successful Bellarine Peninsula (Queenscliff/ Point Lonsdale) newspaper. After selling the newspaper I worked as a media advisor for Geelong-based disability organisation, Karingal, for two years and later started full-time postgraduate education studies at Deakin University. I am now back at the Geelong Advertiser, and until recently have been working part-time as a senior features writer for GT and other Geelong Advertiser magazines. I have recently been appointed the paper’s family and education reporter in the general newsroom and am the editor of the most recent (seasonal) Addy tourism magazine, Breakaway.
I have also married and had two children, who are now 10 and 13. Q: What would you say were the most important lessons/skills/strengths you took away from your time at Geelong Business News? A: Self-confidence! Coming up with story ideas, juggling several tasks at once, sub-editing and general layout skills, working with contributors and photographers, and turning out a quality product under deadline. Q: Any other comments on 200 issues of Geelong Business News? A: Well done – what an achievement! John Van Klaveren: Q: What is your most memorable story from your time at Geelong Business News and why? A: The stories that stick in my mind are breaking the issues behind what was to become the cash for councilors saga with journalist Kevin McCarthy, and a story about telemarketers using local service clubs as a front to extract significant fundraising dollars, only a small proportion of which went to the charitable cause. Thanks to the efforts of a couple of local individuals, the telemarketer behind that has this year been banned from these activities, a long battle, but a worthwhile one. My favourite cover was for a story on a wine festival on the waterfront that failed to meet expectations, mainly for the great shot of a shattering glass of red wine by photographer Tony McWilliam. Q: What would you say were the biggest issues facing Geelong during your time at Geelong Business News?
A: Being a monthly, it was always a challenge to find stories or angles that transcended what had been done by the daily and weekly newspapers. It was also a challenge, as well as a privilege, to provide a long-term perspective of the issues facing the region. Q: How has the city changed from then to now? A: There has been significant growth and the influx of people has broadened the region’s base, bringing with it new approaches and with it the ability to present a stronger case to state and federal governments for support and funding. Geelong is now well and truly on the national agenda. Q: Where has your career led you since leaving Geelong Business News? A: I joined the Gordon Institute as Public Relations Manager before returning to part-time journalism with the Geelong Independent. I also run a private consultancy called JVK Communications and do some tutoring and assessment work for Deakin University. Q: What would you say were the most important lessons/skills/strengths you took away from your time at Geelong Business News? A: Networking – Geelong is network city and you have to hone your networking skills in the business scene, across various networks and circles. A good contact is always useful. Q: Any other comments on 200 issues of Geelong Business News? A: GBN has achieved a number of milestones along the way and this is another one – congratulations to the team!
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Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Newsflash: the world has changed fundamentally and will never be the same again. If your business looks anything like it did five years ago or is still trying to make money the way it did five years ago, then prepare yourself for a long, slow extinction. This isn’t the casual opinion of a researcher and an unlicensed economist; it’s the opinion of the greater Australian public and at least the people running HSBC Bank. Right now in Australia we are running what we are calling a “second shoe” economy – that is, despite what the Government is telling us, we don’t really believe that we have dodged the GFC bullet and we are now waiting for something bad to happen. Economically speaking, we are waiting for the second shoe to drop. The HSBC Bank, one of the longest surviving and most venerable of the worldwide banking cartel, announced this week that after a tidy profit of $10 billion (enough, it seems, to purchase an entire American State on a cash flow basis) that it is cutting 30,000 jobs, shifting its focus to Asia and essentially abandoning a bricks and mortar strategy. In short, HSBC Bank is bidding a fond farewell to the American dream of easy credit, a comfortable lifestyle and a long and happy retirement. The clues to this change are all too easy to see in the research CoreData is doing. Twelve cents in every dollar is being saved (by those who can save); business debt is drying up (a handy little proxy for growth) and money is being sucked
straight out of the retail system and into bank savings accounts as consumers batten down the hatches waiting for the second shoe to hit the floor. But what does that mean to Australian financial services? How do we cope with an era of instability, when new technologies, Government-mandated transparency and the disdain of consumers are all combining to keep financial planners up at night? The answer is that we change our model. Like the American Marines, we adapt, we improvise and we overcome. We learn to communicate to our customers about the value we add, about how the work we do is valued and we focus on providing clear utility against the current need. But what is so far unreported is just what this instability means to operating margins, which have been pretty static in financial services since 2003. Now it’s almost impossible to see who is doing well and where. In the past, simple sums on funds under management or the number and value of loans on book would act as a reasonable proxy for the current and future value of the business, but as far as we can tell, all the old models have evaporated. A great example of this is what’s been happening at NAB. The bank has “broken up with the banks”, killed its fees and lowered its home loan costs and charges and from every measure we have, it’s worked. The fact that it’s an expanded Ubank strategy seems to have escaped everyone. The work first done by Gerd Schenkel and Alex Twigg is now being mimicked by NAB – success, they say, has many fathers.
But what has it been worth? Has there been a fundamental shift in the cost of the bank doing business; has the bank been able to lower the cost of customer acquisition to zero; or has NAB just created a future problem? According to data leaking out of the USA, the volatility of business operating margins has more than doubled, as has the size of the gap between winners (companies with high operating margins) and losers (those with low ones). It turns out that market leadership is even more precarious. According to Bain Consulting, the percentage of companies falling out of the top three rankings in their industry increased from 2% in 1960 to 14% in 2008. Added to that, market leadership is proving to be an increasingly poisonous chalice: the once strong correlation between profitability and industry share is now almost non-existent in some sectors. I caution you now that all the sectors that are getting explosive growth will wake up in a couple of years with a business growth hangover. These low fee customers will at best squash profit growth for years to come and at worst send the businesses to the wall.
[The articles on this and the facing page come from the insightful minds at burning-pants.com. Burning Pants is a product of CoreData.]
The cold hard dilemma of cash By the time you read this, it is probable the total amount of cash saved by Australian individuals, businesses and superannuation funds will have exceeded $1 trillion, an amount of money so colossal that if you stacked it up in $1 coins it would reach 400 kilometres into space. Let’s be frank – this money will not stay in cash forever and the moment the economy starts to get some positive signals about the future, or even some robust information from the Government sector then it will start to flow out of cash and into something more interesting. The saving of cash isn’t news in the public or the private sector and it’s easy to see where it’s been sucked out of the economy; retail sales and house sales are at 20 year lows for a start – it’s what happens next that is on everyone’s mind. For the businesses that are hoarding cash there are two choices; return the money to the shareholders or, which is frankly more likely, buy something – either another company or potentially their own shares. It’s clear that this is underway at least in financial services. AMP has bought AXA and now CBA is in the process of hoovering up Count Financial Services, and there are any number of other deals on the boil. But the big question on the mind of accountants, financial planners and private bank managers everywhere is what is going to happen to all the retail money? The estimated $50 billion that the mass affluent Australians have been slowly putting away since the fan became unusable in October 2007. It’s curious given that we know there is about $50 billion of otherwise investable
cash being stockpiled at the moment that will create a benchmark for the next few years’ success. As the money flows out of cash – what share will your business get? Here at CoreData, we’ve been tracking the savings rate very closely every quarter looking for the first signs that the love affair with cash is over and that something more interesting is going to happen to the cash – and for the first time we started to see a flattening in the growth of the savings rate. Year on year, the cash savings rate has now returned to 7.5% of GDP – towards the bottom of the normal range which suggests that something else is going to start to happen to the money that was previously being saved as cash.
choppy, they reckon it will be three years before some sort of normality returns); a dim view of managed funds (far too expensive); a binary view on ETFs (while there are some lovers of the product, a large number of them are convinced they are a scam and it will end in tears); and a broad view that property still remains overpriced. A more interesting finding that emerged from a recent focus group held by CoreData in Melbourne was the question of who they would turn to for advice. While there was the usual smattering of adviser and accountant aficionado’s, by and large the group were not able to give a clear answer on who they would be working with to maximise their wealth.
The question remains: where is it going to go? There are two probable scenarios for this; the first is that some of it gets sucked up by what is called deferred spending, which means all the cars and washing machines and fridges we didn’t buy suddenly start to get bought again and money starts to flow back through the retail coffers. The second is that it starts to be invested; that the rich – who tend to lead the market by three to six months in this type of behaviour – stop hoarding cash and once again start to invest.
When it came to the question of private banking – all of the people in the room had at least one private bank relationship (most had two) – all of them were unaware that their private banker was able to do anything other than debt, either housing debt or investment debt. It seemed the total value of the relationship with their banker was based on how cheaply they were able to source funds for them. There was no mention of structuring, no mention of planning, no mention of floats, of opportunities or what to do other than cash.
But as far as we are able to tell, the rich in particular have changed the way that they think about their relationship with the market and what they think is going to happen. Right now, our data suggests that they are still out of love with the investment market; they have a punctuated view of the stock market (still too
When asked if they would like to hear from their private banker about those opportunities – they all said yes. When asked how long it had been since they had heard from their private banker – the vast majority said that their private banker had never contacted them about anything other than the debt they held.
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How to get on the Board: Five skills you need for a successful finance career Technical skills, business knowledge, staff development, communication skills and international experience are the five key skills any finance professional needs for a long-term successful career, says recruiting experts, Hays. Paul Venables, Group Finance Director for Hays plc, who is visited the Australian Hays business in August, here shares his expertise on the skills finance professionals need to get to the top. Technical skills: “Finance professionals need to be finance experts,” says Paul. “You need good accounting knowledge in order to know that records are accurate. You also need good financial analysis skills to interpret data. If you want to specialise, such as in treasury or tax, you’ll need to develop the appropriate technical skills in your area of specialisation.” Business knowledge: “There’s no point having good technical skills if you don’t understand their importance in the business world. You can
attain these skills by getting involved in your own business and reading financial media every day to get a good business understanding in a world context. Staff development: “Understand how vital your people are,” says Paul. “There’s no point being a loner in your career. The ability you have to influence a business and do a good job is dependent on the calibre of the people who work for you. So take time to build the best possible team and develop your staff. All team members should be a representative for you – you want them to be able to walk into a meeting and show how good they are, which will reflect positively on you.” Communication skills: “This doesn’t just mean the ability to make a presentation. It also refers to your ability to influence others. If you’ve got 30 seconds with the MD, you need to be able to communicate the three or four key messages you need to get across simply so it can be understood.”
International experience: “With these first four skills you can have a great career, but if you want to reach the top, increasingly international experience is important,” Paul said. “To gain international experience you do not necessarily need to complete a secondment, although that will obviously be an advantage. Perhaps you could go and work in the Asian or European part of the business, or you could get involved with projects that are abroad. Such international experience is important as it gives you a solid understanding of the culture of the business.” According to Paul, if you have a mix of these five skills, you’ll have a good career. Hays employs 7,086 staff operating from 257 offices in 31 countries across 17 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2010, Hays placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments.
Paul Venables, Group Finance Director for Hays plc
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Strategic planning for success I often find in talking to our clients that they are so time-poor from running their business that they have no time to sit back and think. Many of us have the same issues in our home lives and it’s only when we take a holiday and have some quiet space to reflect, that we make the big decisions. One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to give yourself the time to look at your business in a holistic way, think about the longer term, and decide which way you want to steer the ship. The long-term view Strategic planning is all about anticipating what is going to happen in the future, and proactively developing a plan to respond, rather than reacting to events when they have occurred or are about to have a serious impact on your business. This is very different to the process we all normally go through for budgeting – which typically relies on what is happening now, or what you know is coming up soon. It takes an incremental approach to planning, not necessarily a steep change. One example of change that is gaining traction in several industries is the move to more sustainable materials, processes and supply chains. There is a consumer driven imperative to either include sustainable raw materials as inputs to products and packaging, or for manufacturers to use more sustainable energy in their operations and those of their suppliers. Examples include a “plastic” bottle being
developed by Pepsi for trialing in 2012 which is entirely made from plant waste such as switch grass, pine bark, corn husks, and the “eco+” carpet developed from Geelong’s own Godfrey Hirst, which includes polymer made from corn sugar.
The best idea might be something that sounds quirky or unusual, but might just take off. Just look at Facebook.
These are developments that would have been commercially difficult a few years ago, but consumer pressure has led to a market creating itself out of nothing – and those who anticipated it are the ones who will grow. If you’re jumping onto the bandwagon too late – you have lost the competitive advantage. How to spot the trends and anticipate changes If we could predict the future, we’d probably keep that quiet. But the simplest way of understanding what is likely to happen in your market is to ask your customers. Where do they see their needs in 3 to 5 years? What help do they want from you in meeting those needs? Perhaps it is time for you to undertake some customer interviews - not only will it help you respond to longer term trends, it will strengthen your relationships in the meantime. It’s also important to keep your head out of the detail and take a high level view. Trends in regulations, the national and global economy, resource and skill shortages that may be looming – these will all have an impact on your customers’ needs, and what you should be thinking about to be in a position to respond.
Philippa Bakes Philippa Bakes has recently joined WHK to advise businesses throughout Western Victoria. She facilitates their strategic planning process with a structured approach.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to use your imagination.
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A new era of web branding From early 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body which co-ordinates the role of the Internetâ€™s naming system, will introduce a new generic top level domain (gTLD) name program, that is very likely to change the way in which the every day person navigates and uses the Internet. This new program will allow interested parties to apply for and run their own top-level domain (TLD); a good way to think of it is as, a piece of Internet real estate. The new program will be segmented into four distinct areas, namely, Generic Word TLDs, Geographic TLDs, Corporate TLDs and Internationalised TLDs. The segment of Corporate TLDs is going to be of most significance and importance to brand owners in the future. The new program will essentially allow for branded name spaces for businesses and organisations within the digital realm. Instead of www.brand.com/product; or www. brand.com/service; or email@example.com, the new Corporate TLD, will allow the following to become possible: product.brand; service. brand; or casey.jones@brand. The benefit of securing a Corporate TLD for businesses and organisations is that it allows continued and more secure protection of brand history and also future brand and trademark investments. In addition to keeping a control on a branding, the Corporate TLD will enable businesses and organisations to create deeper customer engagement and long-term brand loyalty. It will also assist businesses and organisations to
Gizelle Manoli Senior Lawyer and Trade Mark Attorney Coulter Roache
build trust with their key target audiences and help strengthen business connectivity.
object to the registration of a new Corporate gTLD.
A person will no longer need to rely on a search on a search engine such as Google to go to a page that is owned by Coke. They will simply need to enter a simple address in the navigation bar to know they would be gaining access to an owned and operated website by Coke, for example cherry.coke to see information about Cherry Coke.
ICANN will also implement a trademark clearing house, as a means of sorting out and keeping track of trade mark owners and the rights granted to their respective trade marks. According to ICANN:
Applying for a new gTLD is not cheap. At present, the evaluation fee is estimated at US$185,000.00. Applicants will be required to pay a US$5000.00 deposit per requested application, which will then be credited against the evaluation fee. The Applicant will also need to show that they are of good standing within the Internet and business communities, can demonstrate financial capability to support the ongoing needs of owning a TLD and establish policies and procedures for the TLD's use and management. The very big concern for brand owners is whether the new gTLD program will ensure that the integrity of trademark owner's rights is maintained. It is anticipated that many of the large multinational corporations around the world will be seeking to apply for Corporate gTLDs, but smaller Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's) will undoubtedly find it very difficult to pay for and maintain their own gTLD. It will be possible for trade mark owners who share an identical trade mark with another company, for example in different countries, to
"The Trademark Clearinghouse is a central repository for information to be authenticated, stored, and disseminated, pertaining to the rights of trademark holdersâ€Ś The Clearinghouse will be required to separate its two primary functions: (i) authentication and validation of the trademarks in the Clearinghouse; and (ii) serving as a database to provide information to the new gTLD registries to support pre-launch Sunrise or Trademark Claims Services. Whether the same provider could serve both functions or whether two providers will be determined in the tender process." The implications of decisions made under the new gTLD program dispute resolution process and the implications of the Clearinghouse, longterm are yet to be known. However, it is clear that trade mark owners will now have the opportunity to further secure their trade mark rights, strengthen their brands and become a part of Internet real estate. The effects of trade marks on the Internet will mean that owners, will more than ever, need to be vigilant about how the use and promote their brands and enforce their trademark rights.
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH
Air Radiators heats up for AIMEX 2011, showcasing innovative cooling systems for Australia’s largest Mining Exhibition. After more than 35 years of experience, Lara based company Air Radiators is getting ready for the challenge to conquer new markets with innovative engine cooling solutions. Global leader in the provision of heat transfer and air movement solutions, Air Radiators delivers custom engineered solutions to meet the toughest applications and environments for On-Highway (heavy trucks, buses), Off Highway (Mining, Rail, Defence,) and Industrial applications (Power Generation). Air Radiators is part of the Australian owned Adrad Group of companies that specialises in all forms of cooling systems. Headquartered in Australia with four manufacturing plants and over 400 employees, the Adrad Group boasts significant resources and capabilities.
At Air Radiators, it’s not just about designing and building a good cooling system for our clients. It’s about creating a great one, then making sure we do even better the next time round.
Gary Washington, Adrad’s Managing Director driving continuous improvement across product and processes. The key to supporting this business success is also made possible through in-house R&D team, a significant manufacturing operation and comprehensive production methods ensuring Just In Time delivery to customers. Some major partnerships include Hitachi, Caterpillar, Kenworth, Thales and Iveco.
Many of the company’s achievements have been recognised through various business excellence awards. The culminating point was in 2006 when Air Radiators was inducted into the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame for its long-time success through innovation and engineering excellence.
Sustained growth and development have seen Air Radiators establishing two new facilities: one in Western Australia and one in Thailand. With its Lara Headquarters, total employees now exceed 250 people. Furthermore, Air Radiators is genuinely seeking to fill open vacancies at Lara as opportunities keep growing. The message is clear:
From design to after-sales service, the company develops strong partnerships with their customers with a constant quality framework
“We are striving to be at the forefront of product innovation in heat transfer equipment. This is our platform for market growth both domestically
45 Heales Road, PO Box 243 Lara, Victoria, Australia 3212 Phone +61 3 5275 6644 www.airradiators.com.au
and for export. We are building a technically focused business and are currently recruiting for people to join us on this journey”, says Jamie Baensch, Air Radiators’ General Manager. Air Radiators will be exhibiting its latest innovations at the upcoming AIMEX (Asia Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition) from the 6th to the 9th of September 2011 at the Sydney Showgrounds. Centre stage are four custom-made radiators that have been painted in the corporate red colour featuring the largest radiator made in Australia for dump truck. For employment opportunities, please visit the Air Radiators website: www.airradiators.com.au
Tax summit missing the big picture The Federal Government has released an official discussion paper ahead of its two day tax summit in October, examining potential reforms to Australia’s tax system. While the political debate has swirled around the carbon tax in recent months, the need for wide reform of Australia’s tax system has been sadly overlooked. The tax summit was originally promised in Labor’s negotiations with independent MPs, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott after the Federal election and both have reiterated the need for “full, fearless and frank discussion” on tax reform. VECCI agrees that anything less may result in ad-hoc and ineffective changes to the tax system. However, the carbon tax will not be on the agenda for discussion at the summit and the legislation is expected to be before Parliament before the summit gets underway. Nor will the much-discussed GST threshold on goods valued under $1000 purchased online be discussed at the summit, as the whole issue of the GST has been excluded from the agenda. VECCI believes the exclusion of the GST in the summit’s discussions will mean Australia’s tax system is not examined in its entirety; again resulting in ad-hoc and ineffective changes to the tax system. The summit will be divided into six sessions, with one of the sessions dedicated to a review of business taxation and potential methods of making Australian business more internationally competitive. Potential areas for improvement in the business taxation system previously identified include barriers to investment in large and long-term projects (mainly relating to infrastructure) and provisions “which favour some assets and activities over others”. There will also be an examination of Australia’s total tax revenue on corporate income, which is one of the highest among OECD nations. VECCI hopes the Government will take the chance to
James Gulli VECCI Regional Manager South West region
hear from business leaders about reforms that could increase investment and profitability, such as steps to lower the business tax rate to 25 per cent over the medium term, as recommended in the tax review. The company tax rate will be lowered to 29 per cent by 201314, but VECCI would like to see the reforms go further. Other questions to be potentially discussed include ways of simplifying businesses’ interaction with the tax system to reduce red tape. Small business is currently being swamped by red tape, costing them time and money as well as stifling further business investment. The topics will be discussed by more than 150 individuals in Canberra in October from the Federal and all State Governments, community organisations, academia, unions and representatives of business, including the
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, of which VECCI is a member. VECCI certainly hopes there will be meaningful discussion and, more importantly, action on all the areas identified by the discussion paper (which also covers personal taxes, state taxes, social taxes and general governance) to reduce the regulatory and taxation burden on businesses. The tax debate has already kicked off with the Finance Industry Council of Australia’s proposal to abolish a range of state taxes and replace them with broader based taxes, which they say will result in $12 billion in efficiencies each year. There is sure to be a range of interesting proposals for extensive tax reform before and during the October summit.
A new agenda on discrimination in Victoria Last month we discussed amendments to the Federal Government’s discrimination laws in the area of employment. This month’s article discusses the Victorian Government’s recent amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. All employers should familiarise themselves with the new Act that commenced on 1 August 2011. Whilst the Act largely replicates Victoria’s previous equal opportunity legal framework, it does make a number of reforms, the most significant of which are outlined below. The reforms re-define and simplify the definitions of direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination now occurs if a person treats someone with an attribute (eg. physical features, age, religion, race, etc.) unfavourably because of that attribute. That means it would be direct discrimination on the basis of age if an employer sacked an employee for reasons including that the employee had reached a certain age. The “comparator test” is also removed. That test required a comparison of an individual with a particular attribute (eg. racial origin) and an individual without that particular attribute (or with a different attribute) in the same or similar circumstances. Indirect discrimination now occurs if a person or organisation imposes a requirement, condition or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging people with a particular attribute, and the requirement, condition or practice is not reasonable. For example, a requirement that employees wear a
particular uniform could be considered indirect discrimination if that requirement excluded people from applying for that job because their religion prevented them from dressing in that manner. The Act also shifts the burden of proving indirect discrimination from the complainant to the person or organisation that imposes the requirement, condition or practice. This means, once indirect discrimination is asserted, the person or organisation will need to prove that the reason or reasons for imposing a condition that, for example, all employees refrain from wearing headwear at work, had nothing to do with the religious beliefs of particular employees. A new positive duty provided for by the reforms requires employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as far as possible. This duty replaces the complaints-based system, which required an individual to make a complaint rather than requiring the organisation to comply. It is intended that this duty will promote proactive compliance by organisations.
Jim Rutherford, Principal and Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations and Criminal Law Ashleigh Wall, Graduate Lawyer
The reforms place an additional positive duty on employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate an employee or prospective employee who has an impairment. A breach of this duty will amount to discrimination without needing to prove direct or indirect discrimination. An exception to this duty will apply where the employee or prospective employee could not adequately perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment, even after the adjustments are made. When introduced by the Labor government, the Act contained a prohibition on faith-based groups and schools from discriminating on grounds such as race, age and disability. However, the new Coalition government later removed this prohibition, therefore allowing such bodies to discriminate on grounds of race, age and disability. Amendments to the Act by the Coalition government also limited the powers of the Commission as initially provided in the Act by the Labor government. Although the Act is not limited to discrimination in the course of employment, it is recommended that all employers ensure they have an understanding of these new reforms and develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance.
Getting it spectacularly wrong on UK riots The British chattering classes can’t make up their minds about what triggered the furious urban rioting in [England last month]. They are swaying between two different theories. Some put it down to the fact that the rioters aren’t very well off, with sympathetic hacks arguing that ‘high poverty and large unemployment [are] the reason why people are taking to the streets.’ Others claim it is the culture of consumption that tempted urban youth to smash up shops and grab whatever they could. Apparently the rioters are aping the bankers and other cashrich sections of society, their antics a ‘crude attempt to mimic the conspicuous consumption exercised by the affluent,’ according to the New Statesman. In other words, the riots were caused either by the fact that urban Brits don’t have enough or that they want too much; either by their poverty or by their greed. Both these theories are spectacularly wrong. The first, the notion that being poor automatically leads to becoming a looter, overlooks the fact that there have always been sections of society with little money and few opportunities, but they didn’t respond to their predicament by burning down the local pizza restaurant. The poverty-causes-rioting argument is patronising and fatalistic, depicting urban youth as automatons who are incapable of making moral choices and who instead
stagger like zombies towards episodic lashingout. And the claim that the culture of consumption triggered the laptop looting and tracksuit thefts is wrongheaded, too. Reading some commentators, you could be forgiven for thinking that Thatcher – evil, handbag-waving Thatcher – was still exerting a deleterious influence over British youth. The riots are a result of ‘decades of individualism, competition and state-encouraged selfishness,’ says one commentator. Another writes about ‘the greed of the disenfranchised,’ who have been ‘taught that consumerism is a recreational right.’ From this point of view, the riots are a more violent version of the capitalist culture of ‘keeping up with the Joneses,’ with everyone apparently under constant pressure to surround themselves with more and more stuff and luxuries and mod-cons. This second theory is even more ridiculous than the first. It was not any Thatcherite cult of consumerism and dog-eat-dog individualism that nurtured these riots. Rather it was its opposite, the arguments of the influential antiThatcherite sections of the political and media elite, that helped create the conditions for the violence we have seen in English cities in recent days. It was their promotion of welfare dependency, their post-Thatcher demonisation
of apparently outdated ideas such as selfsufficiency and material aspiration, that helped raise a generation so entangled in the welfare ‘safety net’ that they effectively unlearned ideals like social solidarity and community bonding. The most shocking thing about these riots is the lack of care the rioters have shown towards their own neighbourhoods, as well as their sense of entitlement to all the stuff in shops. These attitudes are a product not of poverty or the culture of consumption but of institutionalised welfarism, which both weakens community bonds by making individuals dependent on the state rather than on each other, and gives communities the idea that their needs should and will be met by others rather than them having to exercise any social wherewithal or go-getting aspiration. These are welfare-state riots – and it is a bit rich for those commentators who have been at the forefront of promoting insidious, patronising and spirit-killing welfarism in recent years to lay the blame for the riots at the doors of poverty or material desire. Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill is a Visiting Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies and is Editor of Spiked Online magazine, London. He was also a speaker at the CIS’s Big Ideas forum.
TRAINING & RECRUITMENT
National Skills Week
Hands and Minds â€“ The DNA of skills and trades OCTOBER 1-8, 2011 Background Australia continues to experience an increase in demand for skilled labour, which requires increased workforce participation, increased skill attainment and the employment of attraction and retention strategies. The recent report Apprenticeships for the 21st Century from January 2011 highlighted the need to dispel the outdated myths often associated with vocational training. â€œThere should be a strategy to lift the status of apprenticeships and traineeships as
Australian Apprenticeships, especially traditional trades are an undervalued career choice and often described in negative terms.
representing a pathway towards a satisfying career. There should also be strategies to increase involvement by males and females in non-traditional gender occupations. A plan
should be developed that targets career counsellors, parents, the community, students and employers.â€? National Skills Week is a new initiative, a collaborative approach dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning, enabling all Australians to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities, their potential and how they contribute to a successful, modern economy. Learning by doing is as important as academic learning there are many paths to success. Importantly, the concept of National Skills Week will provide focus to Vocational Education & Training (VET), its achievements, the contribution, the career pathways, the opportunities and the success stories. â€œAustralian Apprenticeships, especially traditional trades are an undervalued career choice and often described in negative terms.â€? Key Messages One of the significant features of recent government policy recommendations related to the Skills Agenda has been â€œShared Responsibilityâ€? Government and Government
alone cannot solve the skills shortage. It requires an undertaking from Industry, Government (State & Federal), the community, education and training providers, enterprises, job seekers, workers, parents, students and career counsellors to be engaged and play a role in meeting workforce development needs. A partnership with these stakeholders will assist Australia in meeting the unique challenges that address the skill and labour demands of our industries and provide the opportunity for Australians to benefit from a growth economy. National Skills Week will bring to life the positive messages, highlighting the talents, the skills and the value of apprentices and trainees across Australia to the wider public and employers. The week will be dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning. Primary messages of National Skills Week are: - Raise the general reputation of vocational education, showcasing its diversity within skills and trades, and its value as an entry point to a successful career.
RE-TRAINING OPENS UP NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPLOYERS AND JOBSEEKERS -ANY BUSINESSES IN THE 'EELONG AREA ARE CONTINUALLY SEARCHING FOR TRAINED AND COMMITTED STAFF 4HIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY WHICH OFTEN EXPERIENCES HIGH STAFF TURNOVER AND SEASONAL VARIATIONS IN STAFF AVAILABILITY #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENT IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH LOCAL EMPLOYERS TO ASSIST THEM TO ĂźND THE RIGHT STAFF FOR THEIR BUSINESSES AND WITH LOCAL JOBSEEKERS TO MATCH THEIR SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT GOALS TO LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES .ATALIE 3MITH WAS LOOKING FOR A CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT DIRECTION AFTER WORKING FOR MANY YEARS IN THE COMMUNITY SECTOR (ER #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENT CONSULTANT RECOGNISED THAT HER OUTGOING FRIENDLY NATURE AND ABILITY TO CHAT WITH ANYONE WERE IDEAL ATTRIBUTES FOR WORKING IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY %XCITED BY THE PROSPECT OF EMBARKING ON A NEW CAREER .ATALIE READILY ACCEPTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE A #ERTIĂźCATE IN (OSPITALITY ĂźVE WEEK TRAINING PROGRAM PROVIDED BY #OMPLEX 4RAINING AT #LOUD "AR AND ,OUNGE IN 0AKINGTON 3T 'EELONG 7EST !T THE COMPLETION OF THE TRAINING PLACEMENT #LOUD TRAINER AND BUSINESS OWNER 'ORGE #AMORRA RECOGNISED .ATALIElS POTENTIAL AS A POSSIBLE EMPLOYEE AND SUPPORTED BY #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENT 'ORGE OFFERED .ATALIE ONGOING EMPLOYMENT WORKING BEHIND THE BAR AND UNDERTAKING THE CLEANING m.ATALIElS SENSE OF FUN HER HONESTY AND RESPONSIBLE NATURE ARE GREAT ATTRIBUTES FOR THIS BUSINESS n +ELLY ,ANGDON #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENTlS %MPLOYER ,IAISON CONSULTANT SAID m)N A BUSY BAR A SENSE OF HUMOUR AND FUN IS ESSENTIAL AND .ATALIE HAS BOTH 'ORGE AND .ATALIE LOVE TO SHARE A JOKE AND A LAUGH ITlS GREAT FUN FOR THE CUSTOMERS AND THE OTHER STAFFn 2E TRAINING INTO A NEW CAREER HAS CERTAINLY CHANGED .ATALIElS LIFE 3HE NOW HAS AN ADDITIONAL QUALIĂźCATION AND A NEW CAREER
, 2 +ELLY ,ANGDON #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENT 'ORGE #AMORRA #LOUD /WNER-ANAGER .ATALIE 3MITH
2ETRAINING AND UP SKILLING OF NEW AND CURRENT EMPLOYEES OFFERS GREATER ÄŒEXIBILITY AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES AND STAFF "USINESSES BENEĂźT FROM HAVING MORE HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS AND NEW AND CURRENT WORKERS ARE REWARDED WITH GREATER JOB SATISFACTION AS WELL AS GAINING ACCREDITED TRAINING QUALIĂźCATIONS 2ETRAINING CAN ALSO OFFER WHOLE NEW CAREER PATHWAYS TO JOBSEEKERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO MAKE A CHANGE FROM THEIR PREVIOUS ROLES #ENTACARE %MPLOYMENT CAN ASSIST JOBSEEKERS TO PLAN THEIR CAREER PATHWAYS AND TO ACCESS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TRAINING AND WORK EXPERIENCE TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS MORE ACHIEVABLE
&OR ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES TO ĂźND THE RIGHT STAFF AND FOR JOBSEEKERS TO ĂźND THE RIGHT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES &OR REAL EMPLOYMENT CHOICES CALL 'EELONG \ #ORIO WWWCENTACAREEMPLOYMENTORGAU
TRAINING & RECRUITMENT
- Showcase how skills excellence contributes to the sustainable economic prosperity of Australia. - Celebrate teaching.
- Highlight opportunities for equity groups such as Indigenous Australians and workers with disabilities. - Focus on the success stories. - Encourage women to get into non-traditional trades such as building and construction or automotive, and emphasise the changes in technology, as well as society, that make careers in non-traditional industries accessible. - Engender a culture of employers, industry associations, government and the education sector working together for a common purpose. Collaborate to develop activities that support the central thrust of Skills Week. - Nationwide celebration of vocational qualifications and to shine a spotlight on the achievements of practical learners. - To highlight the talent and skills of apprenticeships to the wider public and employers. - An opportunity to celebrate vocational
qualifications taken by people of all ages and at all levels. - To showcase and profile Registered Training Organisations, Trade Schools (VETiS), GroupTraining Organisations and Employers. - Focus on the vocational landscape, its diversity and the opportunity for young and old. - To highlight the range of Apprenticeships available in different sectors and the progression routes. - To engage and influence employers on the advantages of employing and supporting apprentices. Wider benefits sought include: - Motivating more entrants to the workforce with an appreciation of the â€œAustralia at Workâ€?, raising skills within the adult workforce, re-skilling to address the challenges of change and productivity. - To showcase industry and the sector (TAFE) working together to increase positive economic outcomes. - Profile major industry projects (energy, mining), what they mean to Australiaâ€™s economic growth and the career opportunities they provide.
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ACTIVITIES OCTOBER 1 â€“ 8, 2011 WorldSkills In 2011 the International WorldSkills Competition, often referred to as the Skills Olympics takes place in London (October 5th â€“ 8th). Over 50 nations will be competing including Australia who will be sending a team of 29 of Australiaâ€™s elite skilled champions (The Skillaroos) who will train tirelessly for the next months, refining their skills in preparation to compete against other competitors from around the world in their quest for gold at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London. The Skillaroos will be representing 27 different skill categories such as Restaurant Service, Fashion Technology, Car Landscape Gardening etc.
The 41st WorldSkills International Competition will be a showcase of the global skills standards displayed by competitors from over 50 countries representing 45 skill areas. National Skills Week provides a broad platform to showcase the Australian team. You will be able to keep up to date with daily news bulletins from London as it happens. You can also view the Australian team and their profiles by visiting www.worldskills.org.au. We want stakeholders to get involved with
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TRAINING & RECRUITMENT activities. You might be an employer, a registered training or group training organization. You could be a past WorkSkills participant, a winner of a National or State Training Award, a career advisor, parent or teacher. What can you do in your local community, town, region, or city to help showcase the diversity and excitement of vocational education? Activity ideas could include... - Invite local businessmen or employers to a dinner or lunch where food is prepared and served by hospitality students and apprentices. - Engage with local councils and arrange for local trade apprentices to repair or build local facilities (a park bench, bus shelter etc.) - Horticulture students could brighten up a war memorial or other community landmarks, liaising with council. - Music and fitness students could visit retirement homes to showcase their talent and provide a fun day. Perhaps hairdressing or beauty students could perform some â€˜makeoversâ€™. - Past students, award winners (National/State Training Awards), previous WorldSkills medalists are all worthy â€˜ambassadorsâ€™. Many have inspiring stories, which could encourage others.
- Perhaps they could team up with the local Rotary as a guest speaker at a barbeque event. - Registered Training Organisations could have open days, highlighting some of the lesserknown skills courses they provide â€“ an opportunity to showcase vocational diversity! - Invite schools to attend events. Careers advisors and teachers are always looking for ways to engage. Here in Geelong, the Gordon Institute is running a competition two weeks prior to National Skills Week to choose a family for a makeover experience to showcase how skills can change lives. The experience will involve various departments from the Institute to help transform the family, with personalised fitness programs, remedial massage, hairdressing, beauty treatments, fashion makeovers, lessons on preparing healthy meals and a sustainability audit of the family home. Then the â€˜Skills Change Livesâ€™ makeover family will be interviewed by Gordon PR students on state at the Streets are Alive Festival to talk about their makeover experience. For more information, see the Gordon Institute website.
For more information on National Skills Week, visit www.nationalskillsweek.com.au.
AGB Human Resources â€“ Skills Recognition. 7E ALL HAVE SKILLS $ONlT SELL YOURSELF SHORT 7ANT THE RECOGNITION FOR YOUR LIFElS WORK AND THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE TALK TO US ABOUT 3KILLS 2ECOGNITION ! FORMAL QUALIÃ¼CATION FOR THE SKILLS WHICH YOU ALREADY HAVE 3AVE TIME AND MONEY IN THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING YOUR QUALIÃ¼CATIONS 3OMETIMES IN LIFE WE GET BUSY JUST DOING THE JOB GETTING ON WITH LIVING AND ALL THE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT INVOLVES )T IS NOW TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY OF GETTING A NATIONALLY RECOGNISED QUALIÃ¼CATION THAT PIECE OF PAPER WHICH WILL HELP IMPROVE YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS !'"