• 25 Sep 2017 3:25 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand (dapaanz)

    The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand (dapaanz) says the government’s proposed package to deal with methamphetamine addiction in New Zealand is out of balance and shows it still has its thinking wrong on drug harm reduction.

    Dapaanz Executive Director Sue Paton said it’s great to see more resources being promised to tackle methamphetamine, but that the government still seems to think it can punish the problem away.

    “It’s a shame that unfortunate comments about human rights have distracted from the proposed investment into education and treatment for people addicted to methamphetamine. But it’s also a shame that more than half of the $82 million set aside ($42 million) will be spent on enforcement.

    “This is out of balance with our government’s own National Drug Policy which stresses innovation, proportionality and compassion over outdated war on drugs thinking, and it’s completely out of accord with what we know works.”

    Ms Paton said experts in the drug treatment sector have been telling the government for years that the best way to reduce the supply of any drug is to reduce demand for it, and the only way to do that is to support people to come off their addiction.

    “Education, treatment and more rehab beds will help with that. Harsher penalties, cancelling benefits, more drug dogs and entering people’s houses without a warrant will not. Even the government’s own advisors and the police are saying we can't arrest our way out of this problem.”

    Ms Paton said people with an addiction were often caught between a rock and a hard place. They want to stop, but fear coming forward because they might be treated like criminals. But when they finally do put their hands up for help they find there’s no treatment available or that they have to wait three months.

    “The education and new treatment places promised will help, but will still only be scratching the surface of what needs to be done. Dapaanz would like to see much more, if not all, of that $82 million put towards treatment. It’s the only thing that will make a real difference in reducing drug harm.

    “Countries like Portugal and Holland have been taking this approach in recent years and their rates of drug use, drug-related crime and their prison musters have plummeted as a result – so what drug treatment experts in New Zealand are saying has been proven overseas.”

    Ms Paton says it takes courage to try something new, but that’s why our National Drug Policy talks about innovation.

    “There’s a glimmer of hope in the government’s new proposal to increase education and treatment. Let’s focus on that and what the experts are saying instead of people having fewer human rights or becoming harsher as a society. Let’s stick with our National Drug Policy of innovation, proportionality and compassion because that’s what will truly work.”

    This article was sourced from Scoop News

  • 25 Sep 2017 3:18 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    This important contribution to the New Zealand literature on volunteering is a report written by Volunteering New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs.

    The report contains:

    • Recommendations
    • The current state of volunteering and volunteer-involving organisations
    • Issues affecting volunteering in New Zealand
    • The decline in volunteer hours
    • Other observations about changes to the nature of volunteering
    • Issues/barriers for volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers
    • Issues/barriers for volunteer-involving organisations
    • Issues/barriers for volunteers
    • Looking to the future: possibilities for support, and other opportunities
    • Proactive responses
    • Better support for volunteering
    • The need for Government to lead by example
    • Improved Research
    To download the full report, click here

    This article was sourced from Volunteering New Zealand.  

  • 25 Sep 2017 3:11 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    The 2017 Directors’ Alert was issued this month by Deloitte Global. This year’s publication is based on the need for courageous actions in the boardroom, highlighting the benefits of diversity and discussing some of the main disrupting factors that boards must address: technology, transparency, innovation and culture. The report serves as a useful tool for boards to approach these issues.

    We strongly recommend you at least read the key “Q’s for directors to ask” on strategy (page 7), Culture (page 11, and the table on page 10), technology (page 19), disruption (page 23) and diversity (page 39). Click here to refer to these pages

    The insights and challenges equally apply to profit focussed businesses and public benefit entities.

    Related to the challenges facing all organisations is the generational disruption that millennials are to employers. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 provides an update on how millennials view the world and work.

    Last year, many millennials seemed to be planning near-term exits from their employers. But, after 12 months of political and social upheaval, those ambitions have been tempered, according to Deloitte Global’s sixth annual Millennial Survey. Young professionals now indicate they’re less likely to leave the security of their jobs, more concerned about uncertainty arising from conflict, and—especially in developed countries—not optimistic about their future prospects nor the directions their countries are going.

    Next month we will cover benchmarking. As we have found that benchmarking has a very strong impact on organisation performance and also the outcomes achieved across the relevant industry. The highlighting of key differentiators in high and low performance can sometimes be surprising and definitely focus the efforts of an organisation to improve their outcomes!

  • 25 Sep 2017 11:37 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    For several years, we have been debating the issue of Millennials, with organisations focused on how to recruit and best manage this tech savvy, materialistic, and connected demographic. However, Generation Z – born between 1994 and 2010 – is currently entering the workforce and it is vital we understand who they are, what talents they bring, and what challenges we might face in engaging with them.

    Understanding the values that Gen Z hold, and what drives them will help us to shape how our organisations meet their needs and maximize their contribution. This networking lunch topic will discuss the typical attributes we can expect of this new generation, what their likely motivations are, and how their career priorities may differ. Focusing on the psychology of young employees and how leaders might effectively influence this generation, this discussion offers insight into possible differences but importantly also highlights how they are similar to current generations.

    We hope you can join us and connect with others in the industry to discuss if our organisations are ready for a changed world. To register, click on the dates below: 

    Sydney - Wednesday 4 October 
    Brisbane - Thursday 5 October 
    Canberra - Monday 9 October 
    Perth - Wednesday 11 October
    Melbourne - Tuesday 24 October 

  • 25 Sep 2017 9:44 AM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Engineering student Emily Campbell welcomes a renewed push to see more women in the male-dominated profession.

    Engineers Australia recently announced a target to have women making-up 30 per cent of its 100,000 member organisation by 2020, including board members, managers, staff and volunteers.

    New statistics compiled by the peak industry body showed women currently accounted for just 12 per cent of Australia's engineering workforce.

    Across the three industries employing the most engineers - design, manufacturing and construction - the national pay gap favours men by as much as 22 per cent.

    Ms Campbell, 23, an engineering and arts student at the Australian National University, said part of the problem was the historical perception of engineering as a man's job.

    "It is a complex issue, but I think a lot of it does come down to the way we are socialised. Engineering has a bit of an image problem," she said.

    "I think there are a lot of really great ideas out there to make sure have a diverse and inclusive workforce, but there's not a lot of cohesion about these things."

    Engineers Australia board member Trish White said the industry needed to get better at attracting and retaining women.

    "The first issue is that there is a lack of girls studying the required maths and science to become engineers in the first place," she said.

    "Then we have the problem of the number of graduates that actually go into the workforce.

    "We also have an issue with the number of women who remain in the profession as leaders."

    Ms White worked as an engineer in the transport and communications industries before joining the Defence Science Technology Organisation and then entering the South Australian parliament.

    She said engineering had come a long way since she first started in the industry, but there was still a fair bit of work to do.

    "Workplaces today are much improved on when I started and had to deal with the open taunts and the open discrimination," she said.

    "But, what still exists is a significant gender pay gap and a lot of workplaces lack access to flexible working arrangements, and there are still few women in senior leadership roles."

    This article was sourced from Brisbane Times

  • 22 Sep 2017 3:46 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    In a newly-minted role for the cyber security pioneer, Professor Jill Slay has been appointed Director of Cyber Resilience Initiatives at the Australian Computer Society.

    Slay was formerly Director of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security, and previously headed the ACS Cyber Taskforce which Slay said lead to the new role.

    “My purpose is to make sure we in Australia have enough people in the workforce to defend us from bad guys,” she said.

    ‘Bad guys’ is the term Slay uses for hackers. One of the most pervasive cyber crimes is targeted phishing – gaining access to a user’s CV and sending tailored job offers or emails with other targeted content containing malware.

    Cyber shortage

    Slay has been outspoken about the cybersecurity workforce shortage in Australia, saying we simply do not have enough such professionals in the industry, and need to do more to attract people to this specialty.

    “I use the salary as bait,” Slay joked.

    A mid-level cyber security professional earns about $140,000 per year according to Slay, and high-level experts are said to earn a seven-figure salary.

    “They just get headhunted from one company to another,” she said.

    Slay said no matter the profession, people with cyber security skills will never be unemployed.

    “Cyber security has to infiltrate almost every discipline because we’re all dealing with computers, we’re all dealing with policy of some kind, and there aren’t enough technical people to do the work, and the tech people don’t often understand legal and business issues.

    “My job is to get everybody to understand it,” she said.

    Training and education

    Slay’s role as Director involves several things. Implementing cyber security training in a range of departments is one of them.

    According to Slay, there are two key areas where cyber security accreditation can improve: in entry-level and highly-advanced jobs.

    “The things that we need in Australia are for TAFE to embed more cyber security in their curriculum and for universities have to have a range of programs from info systems through to computer engineering that all have technical cyber security in them.

    “ACS can contribute here because we’re the people who actually develop the curriculum advice,” she said.

    Slay said Australia has more jobs for entry-level people, but still needs specialised professionals.

    “We also have a big gap in where SMEs, which are 60-70% of Australian industry, where you don’t even have one half of a qualified cybersecurity person.

    “A conservative estimate of what we want in Australia is 10,000 people working in cyber security -- and we don’t have 10,000 people in the pipeline,” she said.

    Slay said her role needs to evolve as cyber security progresses, but she will primarily look at how to incorporate cyber security into ICT. Her focus is to work with other directors on the implementation of the new cyber certifications, which were launched earlier this month.

    A crucial aspect of this role was developing and rolling out national standards and subsequently helping ACS and its members understand the benefits and opportunities in ICT professionals gaining skills in cyber security.

    “If I’m a member who hasn’t got those cyber security skills, I need to be guided to something to read or study, so I’m going to develop that as well.

    “We also need to come up with an appropriate assessment of career skills, which is the pathway we’re trying to provide,” she said.

    Cyber crime and AI

    Slay said artificial intelligence could be the solution to handling large amounts of data in cyber security.

    “The big data community wants to put sensors on things to collect data, and the more data collected, the more risk there is of malware, and the need to detect, store and secure it.

    “You can’t sift through it manually to detect malware but you can automate [that process],” she said.

    This article was originally sourced from Information Age

  • 22 Sep 2017 2:24 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Getting students involved as members can leave a lasting impression after they graduate. But some association membership pros say it’s important to ask a few questions before launching or reconfiguring your student membership category.

    With the school year now in full swing, I wanted to turn some attention to a subset of membership that associations probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about—student members.

    If you have student members, maybe you overlook their needs simply because there aren’t a lot of them, or they don’t pay much—or anything—in dues.

    Maybe you don’t offer student membership at all. In that case, you might want to consider adding it. This was a recent topic in the membership section of ASAE’s Collaborate community [member login required].

    What we know is that young people are likely eager to join but probably need some special attention when it comes to recruitment and engagement.

    “Students have different needs than professionals,” says Dan Ratner, membership and business development strategist at the Next Steps LLC. “Usually, associations start a student membership category without thinking about the resources or benefits that are most relevant.”

    Ratner began his association career working as a student program manager for the National Association for Music Education. He was responsible for running a national honor society for student musicians.

    “I think you really do have to speak to students,” he says. “Students are interested in a lot of what associations have to offer, but associations often miss opportunities to reach them.”

    Whether you have a student membership category or are considering adding one, answering a few basic questions can help you decide how much time, attention, and resources to devote to students.

    Where Is the Opportunity?

    The Massachusetts Society of CPAs recently asked this question before it launched a free student membership category tailored to rising high school juniors and seniors considering careers in the accounting profession.

    MSCPA already had a traditional college-level student membership. Staff saw an opportunity to bring in even younger members based on experience with a few programs that were engaging high schoolers.

    “We hosted high school days as previews into the profession,” says Erica DeBiase, MSCPA’s academic and career development specialist. “We already engaged with high school students in a number of face-to-face ways, so we figured why not get them on our radar as members.”

    One year in, MSCPA has about 65 high school student members—a small fraction of the 750 college members and more than 11,000 professional members. But Barbara Iannoni, MSCPA’s academic and career development director, says the upfront investment is worth it.

    “For tracking purposes, it’s easier for us to know who is entering into college as a potential accounting major,” Iannoni says. “We can now track students from their high school years, all the way through graduation, and into the profession.”

    Another important consideration is whether your association has access to student networks. MSCPA leveraged its existing event series, a dedicated social media presence for students, and connections with teachers who could promote the benefits of membership.

    What Should You Offer Student Members?

    Once you have identified your student member prospects, you have to start thinking about their unique needs and how they differ from professional members.

    “If you’re going to start a student member category, you better know their niche,” Ratner says. “Students want access to career opportunities, and they understand the value of networking online.”

    MSCPA found early success with a dedicated student newsletter focusing on career development and networking. And the MSCPA Foundation offers scholarships to college and graduate students who demonstrate strong academic performance and financial need.

    What Should You Charge?

    What students pay for membership varies by association. Regardless of whether you charge a discounted rate or offer free membership, you probably won’t see an immediate return on investment. And that’s OK, Ratner says.

    “The ROI on student membership is always a long-term investment,” he says. “If the student graduates and stays on a membership track, you could potentially see a lifetime of value.”

    MSCPA decided to keep membership to high schoolers open and free as an incentive to get students in the door and moving along an engagement path that transitions easily into a professional membership and certification.

    Ratner recommends that associations narrowly define their student membership categories and from time to time verify student members’ status, especially if the membership comes at a discount. To thwart the few professionals who, inevitably, will try to sneak in using a student category, require that students register with their .edu email account or request a teacher or professor contact on the membership application. Then be vigilant about member data, Ratner advises, so you know when a student graduates.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now.

  • 22 Sep 2017 2:03 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    As we hit “back to the school” season, many people may start to think whether college education is a must. College education is expensive but certainly important especially in some fields. However, graduating from college is not a guarantee of landing a job immediately. You also need experience in your desired field. So, which one is more important; education or experience? Is having experience enough for you to land your dream job without a bachelor’s degree? Or do you certainly require a bachelor’s degree with good academic grades? Keep reading below and decide yourself.

    • A college with a good reputation can open you many doors: It is obvious that a college with a good reputation can provide you many opportunities. Good colleges have career fairs in which many employers attend. This enables you to find a job easier. Also, most colleges have alumni networks and this network can help you land a job. However, if you attend a college which no one has ever heard of, that won’t help you as much as you hope for because everybody can get four-year degrees nowadays. The important thing is how you stand out among this crowd. Similarly, if you decide not to go to college but instead, work full-time and just go to work from 9am to 5pm every day but don’t grow yourself personally, don’t add any new skills to yourself or don’t take any major responsibilities, then your experience doesn’t matter as much because you are not moving forward.
    • Employers do not just want experience, they want relevant experience: You may not have a college degree but have five-six years of experience. However, is this relevant experience or did you hold different jobs in different fields? It all comes down to how your experience is related to the job you are looking to work for. You can work and study at the same time and this makes your degree and experience even more valuable because it shows that you are a very hard working person and disciplined at the same time because doing both of these at once require dedication and discipline. If you feel working full-time is too much for you while studying, you can try summer internships or co-ops. In this way, you can increase your experience and still get your four-year degree. Also, you can stand out among the crowd because you will have both.

    This article was originally sourced from Business 2 Community.

  • 22 Sep 2017 1:54 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Creating a marketing strategy can be intimidating, especially if you’re a new business owner or creating a plan for the first time. There are various types of marketing, including digital, email, mobile and direct, so it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you and your business. If you want to simplify the process while getting the most out of your efforts, it’s a good idea to start with one type and assess its success before adding on or trying other methods. This is especially true if you have a small budget to work with.

    One type of marketing that has the potential to have a high rate of return and is one of the more budget-friendly options is social media marketing. Read on to learn more about the different social media platforms and how to choose the right one for your business!

    One of the first things you should do when creating a social media marketing strategy is select the right platforms for your business. To do that, you need to know who your target market is, such as millennials or 30 years old and over. Once this has been determined, you should look at each social network’s primary user base. Check out the following stats for what I like to call “the big three” to help you choose the best platform for business.

    Social Media Marketing Statistics

    As of June 2017, research into Facebook showed:

    • The platform has more than 2 billion users; 1.15 billion of whom are daily active users
    • Females make up 53% of them
    • 87% of their user base is 18-29 years old
    • The number of users over age 30 is not far behind

    When it comes to Instagram, WordStream reports:

    • The platform has more than 600 million users
    • Most of its users are between the ages of 18 and 29
    • More than half of all top brands are on the platform
    Twitter data shows: 

    While Twitter does have one of the highest number of monthly users, it’s said to be one of the most oversaturated social media channels as more than half of its users never post updates. However, this doesn’t mean users are not interacting with other profiles or consuming content.

    How to Select the Best Social Media Marketing Platforms

    Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are three of the most influential platforms in social media marketing. If you’re looking to target users of all ages, or specifically ages 30 and over, Facebook is your best bet. This is the best option for sharing longer content, such as blog posts, infographics, or adding longer text to go with your updates.

    If you’re looking to target millennials and young adults, Instagram and Twitter would be ideal for you. While you don’t have to choose just one, (it’s good to be on multiple channels), if you had to choose between Instagram and Twitter, it would come down to if you want to focus your efforts on males or females between 18 and 29. Both platforms are ideal for sharing photos and videos, although Instagram has higher engagement and view rates with videos.

    Hopefully these statistics will help you determine the right social media strategy for your business!

    This article was originally sourced from Business 2 Community

  • 13 Sep 2017 3:25 PM | Shayne Morris (Administrator)

    Concerned about membership retention? Here’s how to create an effective renewal process. Also: Gauge your social media performance with a new benchmarking study.

    Membership-based organizations take a tremendous amount of time to come up with strategies for gaining new members. Devising ways to keep those members requires just as much thought.

    If you’re looking to increase your membership retention rates, check out this post from VP Associations, which shares tips for creating a membership renewal series.

    Start with making sure your timing is right for sending renewal notices—they should be sent well before the membership expires. “If your association provides critical benefits, don’t wait to renew a member right at their expiration and risk their losing access to those benefits,” writes publications director Jake Smith. “While losing those benefits might *make someone *’miss you’ enough to renew, the thought of losing them should be enough.”

    If your organization is sending renewal notices only via email, you’re making a mistake. It’s true that email is inexpensive, but it’s also easy for members to overlook. “A multichannel approach—snail mail, email, perhaps a phone call provided it’s from someone in the home office and an ‘authority‘* on the association*—will be sure to reach your members.”

    VP Associations also makes recommendations for personalized copy, response methods, surveys, tracking, and more.

    If your social following is smaller than those of your competitors, you may feel like you’ve done something wrong. But that’s not necessarily the case.

    A new M+R Benchmarks study says every organization needs to set realistic expectations for social performance, and you can start by examining your email list. According to the study, for every 1,000 email subscribers nonprofits have, the average group has 428 Facebook fans, 141 Twitter followers, and a measly 39 Instagram followers.

    The report also provides benchmarks for earned reach, posting frequency, and engagement rates.

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now

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