30 March 2016

Government announces $910 million funding boost for aged care

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In a joint media release on March 18th 2016, Minister for Health, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP and Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced $910 million in funding to create 17,385 new aged care places in Australia. 

The funding came as the Minister for Health announced the results of the 2015 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) and new arrangements for the 2016 ACAR. The Minister said the funding would benefit thousands of older Australians.

"These new home care places help our elderly remain in their homes and receive the care they need," the Minister said. " This is particularly important for anyone with high-level needs." 


Of the 17,385 new places, 10,940 include new residential places worth an estimated $678.3 million and 6,445 new home care places, worth an estimated $232.4 million.

"The Turnbull Government is also investing an additional $67 million in capital grants across Australia to help approved providers establish new services or upgrade existing facilities."

This will be the last ACAR to provide home care places. From February 2017 funding will follow the consumer, not the provider. This allows people to choose the care which suits their individual needs and then direct funding to the provider of their choice. 

"Australians want greater choice and control over the care they receive and the changes to home care we've created do exactly that," Minister Wyatt said. 

For more information in the funding announcement and the results of the 2015 ACAR, please click here. 

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service.

Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy. Mike’s first published work will be the short story Seeds of Eden, in the Sproutlings Anthology scheduled for release in March 2016.

29 March 2016

How to strengthen your supply chain operations performance

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Today's global corporations face risks that range from price fluctuations, currency volatility and market changes to those that are beyond our control such as natural disasters. To counter supply-chain disruptions, organisations must apply mature operations and risk management practices to reduce their exposure to these risks and maintain a competitive advantage.

The questions you need to ask are:
  • In the face of these supply chain risks, how does your company prepare?
  • What are the most innovative ways to manage and mitigate risks?
  • Who is responsible for managing them?

Let’s take a look at Nissan’s case, where to succeed in a complex and changing environment, companies need to deploy capabilities along with supply chain management and risk management dimensions. Nissan is an automobile company who is the third largest in Japan. In March 2011, 80% of Nissan’s auto plans suspended production due to 3 risk factors: first was the earthquake, then the tsunami that followed, thirdly was the nuclear environmental disaster. In the 6 months that followed, Nissan’s production in Japan was down 3.8% compared to an industry total of 24.8%, but at the end of the year, Nissan managed to increase its production to 9.3%. How did Nissan recover and manage successfully a disruption of this magnitude? How did Nissan protect their stock performance? What did they do in order to counter those risks?

Nissan implemented a few strategies that may have helped their organisation overcome these disruptions including; deploying advanced capabilities and envisioning what their supply chain position looked like, using flexibility in their supply chain structure, centralising their planning and execution, preparing a business continuity plan whilst at the same time managing to protect their brand by linking their customer value proposition to their operations strategy. 

But what can we learn from such a case study? Companies need to assess their principles, approaches and risk mitigation methods ahead of time in order to plan and manage supply chain risks and reduce the impact when it occurs.

Managing risk is not only about operations and supply chain management but includes every aspect in a CEO’s sphere of influence for product design, development, operations and sales. Hence, companies who are investing in supply chain flexibility, risk segmentation and risk management processes are more resilient to disruption.


To read more about how to make the right risk decisions to strengthen your operations performance, click here.

The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.


24 March 2016

Insights from Akolade's Sell-Out Social Media for Gov event..

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Last week, Akolade ran its 5th Social Media for Gov Conference in Canberra.

A common question that was asked before the conference began “you’ve done this so many times, could there possibly be anything new in the social media space since the last conference?” Boy, were we all wrong.

Throughout the two days, we were absolutely blown away with the tips, strategies and new cool tools that are emerging in the social media space.

Key highlights from the conference includes Joe Mirabella, Director of Communications of City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and Office of Film and Music USA, who started off the conference by giving a keynote address on embodying a representative government through social media.







This edition of the Social Media for Gov conference looked at strategic approaches on how to embed social media to engage with the community.

Rebecca Lewis, Campaign Director of R U OK? gave a case study on how they reached 303K followers with no money.  A key message she gave to the audience was to play the parent; in particular monitoring your social media channels and to listen to criticism and respond in a timely manner as well as not to tolerate the use of foul language.





Louise Tapsell, Engagement Manager of Australian Communications and Media Authority discussed how to integrate social media into your marketing strategy. A hot tip she gave was to make sure your social media strategy reflects your marketing goals and make sure you dedicate time to social media engagement.




Michael Shanahan, Former Digital Communications of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources SA emphasized the importance of strategy and advocacy in your social media campaigns. Advocates can help you grow your social media channels organically and by word of mouth. Information is social capital and advocates only need to be an expert in 2-3 subjects. You can find existing advocates via your analytics or join groups.




Another highlight from the conference is the presentation from Mia Garlick, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy in Australia and New Zealand. Apart from giving insights on new Facebook tools, Mia discussed social media and online trends.  A common social media trend is the increasing use of videos and gifs to capture attention.







Let’s not forget the highly entertaining presentation from James Kliemt, Senior Digital Media Officer of Queensland Police Service. James showed how companies can be serious yet retain their humourous side. This way, they can engage the community and have a higher social media reach in times of crisis.










Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog. 

23 March 2016

How to build capacity for dementia care

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Improving outcomes for people living with dementia is a key priority across Australia for aged care providers, healthcare, and government.

Dementia care is core business for aged care providers, as the number of people living with dementia and the complexity of cases increases, the delivery of integrated and responsive care will also become progressively difficult.


To make it really sink in, Alzheimer’s Australia provides us with some warning statistics – one states in Australia there is a new case of dementia every 6 minutes!



Statistics show, the number of people living with dementia is significantly increasing so what can we do about it? As a medical breakthrough isn’t in the near future, aged care providers across Australia need to embed good governance structures to improve care for people living with dementia.

Both HACC and RAC providers must ensure care is being optimised and recognised that dementia care is now person centred – caring for people living with dementia needs to be about how to make their life and the lives of their family and friends more comfortable.

A few leaders from our esteemed speaker panel from Akolade’s first Dementia Strategy Summit in October 2015 share with us tips for building capacity for dementia care.

Michele Lewis, Chief Executive at mecwacare has shared her top three tips for those looking to improve the governance of dementia care:

Preparation:

Ensure that people of all ages are educated on the importance of Advance Care Planning and have an ACP in place. This will ensure that a person with dementia will have their wishes known and hopefully respected when they are no longer able to make informed choices.

Education:

For the person impacted by the dementia and their significant others, education regarding the process of dementia, its effects and potential impacts, particularly early onset dementia.

Options for care:

Needs to be considered. Is it appropriate for a 50 year old to be placed in a nursing home, when the family can no longer manage them at home? Perhaps there could be some guiding principles around this and how to better support individuals and their families.

Lenore de la Perrelle, Senior Manager ACH Group Dementia Learning and Development Unit at ACH Group has shared her top three tips for those looking to educate staff on optimal dementia care:

Person first:

Understanding the person, their interests, experiences and needs and how a service can be of service is the key.

Emotional engagement:

Staff need to be able to engage and respond to the emotions behind the person's responses to provide safety and trust in the relationship. This also is the case for services in how they support staff. It needs to be a consistent approach.

Leadership:

Walking the talk, hands on leadership showing how it is to be done and how staff can develop the skills and approaches needed to be engaged with people with dementia and their families. This needs reflective practice to be able to be aware and become better service providers.

As Dementia raises to the second leading cause of death in Australia, now is the time for medical breakthrough. Health and Aged Care facilities need to rapidly improve systems to provide better support for consumers, carers, providers, and the millions of Australian families affected.

After finishing University with a degree in Business Marketing, I decided to make a big jump across seas for the first time and move from the east coast of America to Sydney, Australia. I landed my first job in a sales position in the event industry and soon thereafter moved into a marketing assistant role – following I had the pleasure of interviewing with Akolade which got me to where I am today.

Akolade is a fun, innovative company that brings together people from different walks of life to implement change. As the Marketing Manager, I have the pleasure of wearing many hats which motivates me to succeed, reach people in an array of avenues, grow our events to their full potential, and raise our story. As for me, I am a kind dedicated woman who loves to work hard, exercise, cook, be social and have some fun.


21 March 2016

What is your life purpose?

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“We don’t ever find our purpose by looking for it. Our purpose already lies within us.” Anonymous

If you’re like me, you would have wondered and worried about your life purpose at some point in your life.

Growing up I admired those people who had a life purpose – those who knew who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people want and need and how they changed as a result.

One of the most difficult things that happens when you meet people for the first time is they ask you this question; “So what do you do?”

And for some of us that’s a really challenging question, particularly if you’re in a moment in life where you’re in between things, you’re feeling vulnerable or not defined, what you seem to do isn’t what you really do or what you’re paid to do isn’t how you define yourself.

For myself, I look at what inspires me each day. My faith and my mum are who I take inspiration from on a daily basis. It is this context that I am challenged to consider the interest of others more than my own. I can honestly say that the joy I have experienced in my life from selflessly giving to a cause far greater than myself is a far better than the joy I received from something that was materialistic or about myself.

I have learnt that the most successful people always, in any field, focus on the people that they serve rather than serving themselves. Possibly the greatest example of inspiration in my life is my mum who has gone through so much adversity to raise myself and my siblings into the people we are today. She always makes it a point to make other people happy and do things that make us feel well taken care of and secure. She taught me that if you make other people happy then life teaches us that we will be taken care of too.

To find out what your life purpose is you need to ask yourself – what is the one thing you feel supremely qualified that you could teach others? And what gives you energy and joy when you’re doing it?

To learn more about the issue of purpose, take a look at the works of one of our celebrity speakers, Shivani Gupta - http://www.askshivani.com/ 

The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.

18 March 2016

A Summons by any other Name.

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A recent email scam has shown the growing sophistication of cyber based criminals, as "subpoenas" have begun arriving in people's inboxes, apparently from the Australian Federal Police. 

At first glance the emails look as though they may be legitimate, but they are in fact a scam. The emails invite the named party to attend their local court because of "crime commitment." They also contain a link to download your file. 

"The AFP does not issue subpoena's via email," an AFP spokesperson said to the ABC in an article about the scam. "Do not click on any links. Delete the email straight away and clear out your deleted folder."

Hackers and cyber-based criminals are growing consistently more sophisticated, adopting technology improvements and learning to cover their tracks more effectively. There's hardly a day that goes by without receiving spam emails reporting to be from a Bank advising you your account details are frozen and to click here to reactivate. 

It is important for internet users to be stay aware of the various scams. A good rule of thumb is not to click any link or attachment from someone you do not know. Another tip for cyber safety is to ring the institution you've received an email from if it makes you suspicious. 

Some of the popular buzzwords around at the moment are innovation and disruption, but  there is a darker side to innovation and disruption, and understanding how criminals are embracing both innovative and disruptive technologies to drive new life into traditional schemes is something not only the Australian public, but corporate Australia needs to understand.

Tamsyn Harris, Head of Fraud Strategy - Financial Crimes Unit from the ANZ is examining this issue at Akolade's 5th Australian Fraud Summit, being held in Sydney, May 24th to 26th 2016. For further information on how to protect your organisation from the darker side of digital disruption, please click here. 

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service.

Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy. Mike’s first published work will be the short story Seeds of Eden, in the Sproutlings Anthology scheduled for release in March 2016.

16 March 2016

Best Practice strategies to handle stress

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We all get stressed some time in our lives. Some handle it better, while others struggle to find the perfect balance.

Although Australia offers 20 days annual leave per year plus public holidays, these holidays seem to just come and go! Not to mention, there’s a large proportion of people out there who don’t even take their breaks. This means they don’t even give their tired bodies the breaks required.

Whether it’s because you have an imminent deadline that you have no idea how you will achieve, a colleague that has the knack of getting under your skin or just because you had a bad night of sleep, we all experience moments of overwhelming stress at work.

Stress can cause a great toll on you both physically and mentally and it is crucial that stress is managed properly for you to live a happy and healthy life. Here a couple of stress management tips for you:
  • Exercise – Physical activities releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good. Exercises can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. This will be a good method to take your mind off the pile of work sitting on your desk
  • Be social – Social engagement is a quick way connect with other humans who makes you feel safe and understood. This will also help avoid overreacting to internal or external events that you perceive as threatening.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress – When handling predictable stressors, you can think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt or accept.
    • Alter the situation – When you can’t avoid the stressful situation, you can try to change it. This includes: talking about your feelings, be willing to compromise, manage your time better and don’t overwork yourself.
    • Adapt to the stressor – Each time you think of a negative thought about yourself or the situation, you will only feel more stressed. A way to beat this is to reframe the problem and look at it in a positive light. You can also look at the big picture and see if this stress is worth it in the long run. Also, if you are a perfectionist, you will need to readjust your standards.
    • Accept the things you can’t change – Some forms of stresses are unavoidable and sometimes, it is just best to accept the situation. When faced with many challenges, look at it as an opportunity to develop and grow. If you contributed to the stressful situation, take some time to breathe, reflect and learn from your mistakes. Don’t forget that everyone makes mistakes so it is important that you forgive yourself!
  • Make time to relax and have fun – Live life with a positive attitude and enjoy some me-time and have a good laugh. Once you are recharged, you are ready to take on more challenges!
  • Live a healthy life – To put this simply: Eat healthy, sleep early, avoid drugs, cigarettes and alcohol and don’t forget to smile :)

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking” Marcus Aurelius


Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 


In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog. 

15 March 2016

Best Practice Strategies to implement a cloud based disaster recovery plan

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In the face of an increasing number of disasters, local councils are realising the crucial need for infrastructure resiliency, including IT systems.

Both natural and man-made disasters can result in large numbers of human fatalities and significant financial damage. In fact, natural disasters are estimated to cost an average of $1.14 billion annually in Australia.

Prevention of calamities and containment of damages are key challenges facing Australian local councils— and these agencies are incurring large planned and unplanned expenditures to address them.

It is time to plan ahead at this year’s 2nd Annual Cloud Services in Local Government conference, taking place on 26-28 July in Sydney. The event aims to assist you in driving economic vitality for your regions by reducing IT costs, improve citizen services and business model transformations.

Hear from these key industry leaders on how to implement a cloud-based disaster recovery plan:

CASE STUDY
Migration, business expansion and disaster recovery within cloud based systems
Ben Dornier, Director – Corporate and Community Services, City of Palmerston NT

CASE STUDY
Transitioning to the cloud and beyond
Colin Price, Manager – Information Services, Scenic Rim Regional Council

CASE STUDY
Leveraging cloud technology to manage disaster recovery plans
Doris Hajszan, ICT Manager, Mount Barker District Council



If you are currently future-proofing your business continuity and disaster recovery plans, don’t miss out on a seat at this year’s event. For further information, click here. 


The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection.

Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.

14 March 2016

'Step it Up’ for gender equality

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With International Women’s Day last week, the world is calling to ‘Step it Up’ to achieve gender equality.

Courageous advocacy and dedicated funding needs to be established to assist the advancement of gender equal societies. To help celebrate this International Women’s Day, Senior United Nations officials gathered to discuss what advancements could be made.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “We have shattered so many glass ceilings we created a carpet of shards. Now we are sweeping away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers.”

“The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

Read the full UN News Centre article here.

Strengthening women to feel a sense of determination and reach for what has never really been impossible will help advance gender equality.

Even though women are continuously breaking new records and establishing new highs in their careers, there is still a low in the amount of women in senior leadership positions.

An ABC News article states, “Although women make up 40 per cent of the average company's workforce, they only represent a third of managers and 26 per cent of senior managers.”

Women need to take the stand and fight for the positions that they deserve to be in – and the more women who can do this, the more glass ceilings we can break.

Societies need to acknowledge the professional gender gap is still significant. To reduce this, companies need to invest in building talent pipelines to promote diversity. Employers also need to be more flexible with full-time and part-time situations to allow women, and men, to feel comfortable to have a positive work-life balance. This then allows for an employee to care for their responsibilities while working on their career progression.


The time is now for women to continuously raise this controversial topic and push for what is deserved. If companies can assist and lead women into senior positions, women in leadership will soon just be a norm.

After finishing University with a degree in Business Marketing, I decided to make a big jump across seas for the first time and move from the east coast of America to Sydney, Australia. I landed my first job in a sales position in the event industry and soon thereafter moved into a marketing assistant role – following I had the pleasure of interviewing with Akolade which got me to where I am today.

Akolade is a fun, innovative company that brings together people from different walks of life to implement change. As the Marketing Manager, I have the pleasure of wearing many hats which motivates me to succeed, reach people in an array of avenues, grow our events to their full potential, and raise our story. As for me, I am a kind dedicated woman who loves to work hard, exercise, cook, be social and have some fun.

11 March 2016

Is Big Brother Watching: Fraud, Security and Australia's Metadata Retention Laws

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It's been 5 months since the introduction of Australia's meta data laws came into effect, and the general public's understanding of metadata remains vague, at best. The collection of data from every Australians internet interactions was once infamously described by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott as "the information on the front of the envelope." 

It was an interesting turnaround for the LNP Government, given the law they enacted were practically the same as those introduced by former Attorney General Labor's Nicola Roxon in 2012. At the time Ms Roxon explained the intention behind the proposed reform was to allow law enforcement agencies to continue the investigation of crimes in light of new technology advances. 

"It seems to be heading in precisely the wrong direction," former Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull said at the time.

While the Government has said metadata would be used only to source terror and crime related activities, the list of companies applying for approval to view metadata shows a large amount of non-judicial companies requesting access. 

NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden rose to international prominence after releasing thousands of files showing the NSA was regularly using the information collected online under the US Patriot Act to "spy," on American internet usage. 

A recent article by the Washington Post highlighted the use of a "sneak-and-peak," provision in the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security or terrorism activities, but was actually being used in narcotics cases, with the information being sent to various intelligence agencies like the FBI without applying any screens for privacy.

With Australia's metadata laws in their infancy, it isn't a large stretch of the imagination to believe eventually - if it's not happening already - the same situation will arise here.

What is metadata?

Beyond the Attorney General's inability to clearly articulate exactly the type of information to be retained by the laws, metadata is essentially the data about your data. An article from news.com.au in October 2015 explained metadata as follows:

"Metadata around a phone call would provide the information about who rang and for how long, but not what was talked about. It also includes nearly everything you do on the internet, including, whether you visited sites to illegally download, plus loads more, including:


  • Every email you send and to whom, what time, where you sent it and the subject of it
  • The location you took a photo, the setting you took the picture with and the camera model
  • While not yet mandatory, some ISPs may record the IP address of the websites you visit, essentially you internet history.


It might seem like it doesn't give much away, but it's not hard to piece together the clues of the communication, such as someone calling a phone sex service for 21 minutes at 1 am."

Click here to read the article by Harry Tucker, New data retention laws being today, here's what you need to know. for further information explaining Australia's metadata laws.

At the time the metadata laws came into being in October 2015, Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunication company referred to the collection of metadata as a "honey pot for hackers," relating to the fact that many of the data storage centres will be locate offshore. 

With the rise in the sophistication of cyber criminals across the world, the risk of the information being hacked, or used for fraudulent purposes is not a risk Australia can afford to ignore. The need to protect the security of valuable, highly confidential information, either in Australia or offshore, is one that needs to be addressed with the highest priority for Australian businesses.

Akolade's upcoming 5th Australian Fraud Summit, being held in Sydney May 24th - 26th 2016, at the Menzies Hotel examines this important issue with sessions covering technology enabled fraud and preventative measures from leading Australian organistations such as; ANZ Woolworths, and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,

Click the link for further information, or to register your place at Akolade's 5th Australian Fraud Summit. 

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service.

Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy. Mike’s first published work will be the short story Seeds of Eden, in the Sproutlings Anthology scheduled for release in March 2016.

10 March 2016

Horrible Bosses: More than just a Hollywood movie

Author :

A couple of years ago a Hollywood movie named Horrible Bosses detailed the revenge plans of three down on their luck employees. It tapped a need in the cinema going market grossing over $100 million at the box office as workers the world over sat in darkened cinema's and enjoyed the screwball antics of the workers, and the downfall of the bosses.

But having a horrible boss of your own is no laughing matter. A bad manager is a key ingredient in the scourge that is workplace stress, and the related illnesses increased stress brings.

A recent report by researchers at Harvard Business School and Stanford University meta-analysed the results of more than 200 studies to better understand the effects of stress in the workplace. Their research showed more than 50% of people worried constantly about losing their job, while having an overly demanding job made people 35% more likely to develop a serious illness. 

Further, in Australia a report by Sydney-based coaching psychologist Travis Kemp showed 37.9 % of their random selection of business leaders had showed symptoms related with depression, anxiety, or paranoia. 

Having a difficult or demanding boss is not only demoralising and disengaging, it is a health hazzard. 

In his article "4 signs your boss is worse than cigarettes," Travis Bradberry, a contributor to Forbes wrote "Bad bosses are more common than you think. Recent research from the America Psychological Association reported 75% of American workers identified their boss as the worst and most stressful part of their job, and 60% of US workers would take a new boss over a pay rise."

The reason we put up with bad bosses are many. It may simply be a case of being in the comfort zone, or being lazy. It could also be the point that workers can be so beaten down by a bad boss they lose the faith in themselves an their abilities they need to find a new position.

There is a lot written about psychological abuse in the home, or the community, but some Australian workers are psychologically abused daily by their bosses and there is little that can be done. While Australia has strict anti-bullying laws, it takes the person who is feeling bullied to report it to management, and it can feel like a case of "why even bother, no one is going to listen."

So what should we do if we're faced with a bad boss?

Firstly, you need to remember if your boss is like that with everyone, don't take it personally. I know that can be easier said, than done. Observe how they treat others. If it's only you, there may be little you can do, but understand the problem is on their end. Unless you go out of your way to antagonise them, deliberately causing trouble and not doing your work there's no reason for a manager to be disrespectful.

Secondly, you need to realise that even though this is at work, it's an unhealthy relationship. If you wouldn't put up with it anywhere else, don't put up with it at work. Look for another job, update your skills if necessary. Get out there and see what else is around the corner. 


Finally, spend time each day simply acknowledging the good. It's easy to dwell on the bad, but it doesn't mean that's all you have in your life. Take up a new hobby, go to yoga, get off the bus two stops earlier and walk home for 20 minutes each day. If you've spent the day absorbing - or having directed at you - negativity and anger there is nothing better for you to get your body moving. 




Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service.

Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy. Mike’s first published work will be the short story Seeds of Eden, in the Sproutlings Anthology scheduled for release in March 2016.

09 March 2016

What are the specific changes in Aged Care that we’ll see this year?

Author :


2015 was a big year for aged care with the reforms continuing, the introduction of consumer direct care and the overhaul of ‘My Aged Care’.

We’ve seen funding changes, a new Minister, a move back to health, and new programs such as severe response behaviour teams, what’s on the cards for 2016?

Patrick Reid, National CEO of LASA says this year we can expect more challenges, “For us looking outwards for the year will be the Federal election. The real challenge will be around making sure that funding is recommitted in the industry. We’re going to see the baby boomers turn 70 for the first time and of course they will impact the calculations on who is eligible for aged care so it’s a really big change,” Mr Reid said.

“Quality is a big pillar for aged care. And I think the boat will continue on what quality will looks like today? The 2015 budget we’ve had full cost recovery of $30.7 million from the providers but with that which people don’t realise is that we actually have an opportunity there for privatisation or accreditation."

“I think we have the opportunity in aged care to really build a framework around what quality looks like but also too what the safeguards are, the standards for innovation and of course try to reduce unnecessary red tape and ensure the compliance continues,” he said.

Department of Social Services shares a vision where by 2022, Australia’s aged care system will be sustainable and affordable, provide rewarding career options and great choice and flexibility for consumers.

“We’re going to see the first legislation for consumer fund holding. The other change we’ll see is the rollout of the severe behavioural response team. The concern around that is the ability of these teams to build capacity and capability in aged services. I think the real challenge there will be just how people deal with dementia. How do we respond to severe behaviour but also to dementia entirely and I think that’s a real challenge for the industry throughout 2016 and onwards.”

Aged care community has done the roadmap. With the election on the horizon, the real challenge is to show that there is a pathway to meet demand and expectations of what aged services can provide.

For more information about the government’s vision and plans for Aged Care, please read.

The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.