Construction has begun on the $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable network project, which will provide Australia’s fastest data and telecommunications transmission speeds to Asia.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the cable will prove a key catalyst in boosting the local economy.
“This exciting project will see an undersea fibre optic cable built to connect the Sunshine Coast and Queensland directly to Asia and the United States,” Mr Dick said.
“The cable will be a major business and investment drawcard, particularly for enterprises with large data requirements.
“Connecting Queensland directly to a major international hub will future-proof our digital infrastructure and provide massive economic stimulus for the Sunshine Coast.
“An independent assessment commissioned by council estimates the project will create up to 864 new jobs and could add $927 million to our state’s economy.
“This is a transformative development for the fast-growing Sunshine Coast, delivering the only international cable landing on the east coast of Australia outside of Sydney.
“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support Sunshine Coast Council in delivering this visionary infrastructure with $15 million funding through our $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.”
Sunshine Coast Council will invest the additional $20 million to deliver the $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable network project.
RTI Connectivity are building a 9600-kilometre submarine cable between Japan, Guam and Australia (JGA), and a 550-kilometre branch would connect the JGA cable to a new landing station at Maroochydore.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council is the first local government in Australia that’s been able to secure investment in an international broadband submarine cable.
“The cable will provide the Sunshine Coast and Queensland with direct data and telecommunications connectivity to Japan, Hong Kong and the United States, increasing the speed and capacity of Queensland’s international connections,” Mr Jamieson said.
“Our Sunshine Coast is fast becoming a digital leader, and the submarine cable network will help position our region as a key digital trading hub from Australia.
“By now being able to offer Australia’s fastest international data connection point to Asia, this will provide a significant step-change in the Sunshine Coast’s attractiveness as an investment location.
“We will be stimulating investment and jobs growth on the Sunshine Coast thanks to the superior telecommunications connectivity and data infrastructure that we will be able to offer – and this project is already generating substantial investment interest”.
The submarine cable network is expected to be in service by mid-2020.
The landing station is situated adjacent to the Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Area.
At Jobs On The Coast we are keen to help our customers find ways to maximise their quality of life and disposable income, which can be achieved through increasing your income (e.g. finding a higher paying job) or reducing your expenses (e.g. reducing the money spent and time absorbed on the daily commute to Brisbane).
As a mortgage payment is often our largest financial commitment, many of us also recognise the importance of making sure we regularly check we are getting the best deal from our lender. A great way to help you do this, is by contacting a Mortgage Broker.
If you’ve ever used a Mortgage Broker to “keep your bank honest”, find the best deal, or navigate the complicated rules to get your loan approved, you may wish to join the campaign to save their business model.
The proposed changes from the Banking Royal Commission mean that you will not have access to a mortgage broker’s advice in the future, without having to pay fees for service.
As the value of a Mortgage Broker’s business is based on their trail commission revenue, the proposed changes will force first-class brokers out of the business, having the opposite effect to what most of us want to see. Without Mortgage Brokers, the banks will have reduced competition, allowing them to increase their fees and interest rate margins. Ultimately resulting in us, the customers paying more!
According to the Credit Industry Ombudsman you are 760% more likely to have a complaint about your bank than about your Australian Credit Licensed Mortgage Broker.
Mortgage Brokers trailing commissions have been portrayed as “ money for nothing” and but here are a couple of important considerations:
- Trailing commission provides a menu of services that the banks would otherwise struggle to provide – such as rate reviews to ensure you are still getting a competitive deal on your loan, help with ongoing matters such as transactional assistance, removal of guarantees, swapping properties over whilst retaining the same loan when buying and selling, and such forth. These services are hard to leverage from the bank directly and the services are not able to be provided free of charge by brokers as for good brokers it accounts for 25% of their working hours. Trailing commissions pays for these services. Without trailing commission these services will be either be charged for by brokers or we can approach our bank and see how we go with getting through to the right department in the bank to get help with matter at hand.
- When a loan goes into arrears, trailing commissions cease until the loan is back in good conduct. Subsequently, the broker makes contact with the borrower and assists with getting the loan back into good conduct. This is an important trigger in our economy – banks are risk-rated according to a number of parameters but most importantly on loan delinquencies. The banks risk rating affects how much it costs them to raise capital to lend to us. The more loan delinquencies, the higher the cost. In summary it’s realistic to expect that more loans will stay in arrears for longer when trailing commissions are removed- and we could all end up paying a higher rate solely due to removal of trailing commissions.
The following graph shows the fall in banks net interest margins since 1989 and a significant contributor to this has been the increased competition brought about by mortgage broking:
If you want to show your support the future if Mortgage Brokers, follow this link and it takes less than a minute to sign the petition and send an email to your local MP …
Going back to work after having a baby is a big career (and life) switch. It isn’t exactly easy, balancing the needs of your child with likely way less sleep than you’re used to, while trying to be the same employee you were before you left. And having a baby changes the way you think about and prioritize your day, and can potentially make you question what you thought you wanted out of your career. It certainly did for me.
Navigating those first few weeks back takes patience, self-care, and boundary setting, both at home and in the office. As I’m transitioning back to work for a second time (I recently took almost six months off in between leaving a long-term role and launching my own company), I’m pulling from my first experience returning from maternity leave three years ago and the community of incredible moms I’ve been blessed to be a part of for advice on making the transition out of parental leave as seamless as possible.
1. Be Patient With Yourself
This is one of the best pieces of advice I got from my boss at the time. You don’t have to be perfect your first day back, your first week back, or really ever. This goes for parenting and your body, in addition to transitioning back to work. The advice is actually pretty universal.
Give yourself some breathing room to get back in the swing of things. Don’t schedule big presentations or client meetings or say yes to big projects right off the bat if you can help it. If you can’t avoid taking on something big, try to find ways to move other items off your plate so you can give that one project your main focus.
Do put blocks of time on your calendar to go through email and catch up on projects, reports, or anything else you missed while you were on leave. Note: You probably won’t get through all your emails in one sitting, and that’s OK. Try tackling the most important stuff first and get to the rest over the next few days.
And schedule individual meetings or coffee dates with your team to hear what they’ve been working on and in general how they’re doing (this will be a nice break from all the work-information overload!).
2. Build Trust in Your Childcare
If you have confidence that your little one is loved and cared for while you’re not there, you’re going to be a better, more relaxed person at work. So start looking for childcare early and take the time to get to know your caregiver(s) before you go back to the office.
If you’re going the nanny route, try to have the person start one to two weeks before you go back, on a reduced schedule if possible. Play and interact with the baby together and run some errands where you’re only gone a couple hours to get used to the idea of being away. And take your nanny to lunch—sans baby—to get to know them outside of their role.
If you’re doing a nanny share, schedule some family hangouts with both families before going back. And if you’re using a daycare, ask to shadow or observe, take advantage of the tour, and ask any and all questions. Again, have the baby start earlier than needed, potentially on a reduced schedule, so both you and baby can get used to the new setting.
3. Set Clear Boundaries With Your Team (and Yourself)
I came back from my maternity leave to a reduced schedule, so I made sure to meet with my team to explain my hours and come up with new normals in our day, including how we could work together in a way that made sense and benefited everyone. The first few weeks I was back, I also started checking in with my team every day an hour before my new “end of work day” to get us all used to the schedule. Even if you don’t have a new routine, make sure your team’s aware of when you are and aren’t available online.
It’s becoming more and more common for new parents to have flexible schedules in those first few weeks back to help ease the transition back to work. But in having more flexibility to work from home, I also had to navigate how to work from home. I experienced, and have heard from quite a few of my fellow parents, that it’s tough to be in both “parent” and “work” mode at the same time, so even at home I set boundaries with myself to try not to be both at once.
When I was commuting, I always checked my email and handled anything that needed immediate attention before walking into my apartment so I could be fully tuned into my family when I stepped through the door. My phone and computer go in another room so I’m not checking them in front of my child or trying to respond to a client while making dinner (and so words like “fart” don’t end up in work emails—yes, I learned that from personal experience). If you’re looking for more tips, here’s advice for working from home as a parent.
4. Advocate for Your Needs (and Your Child’s)
This advice, of course, transcends parenting and applies in all aspects of life, but it’s especially important after having a child. It’s simple: Ask for what you need and don’t assume people know what it is. You’d be surprised how much people will give you if you simply ask for it.
Do you need a meeting moved so you can make pickup time at daycare? Present an alternative solution in your ask, but ask nonetheless. Are you not as available for after-hour client events? Advocate for a colleague to take your place, or suggest other creative ways to get in front of clients that fit into your schedule. Who knows, there could be other working parents who will appreciate your ingenuity.
5. Manage Expectations
I don’t have to tell you that when you have a baby to get home to, you figure out quickly what’s actually important to get done—and that you need to set expectations in order to get those important items done on time.
So when someone asks you to step in on a project, don’t be afraid to ask: When do you need this by? Is this a priority? How much time do you expect this to take?
Then spell out exactly what you can and can’t do for them, clearly and directly: “I’d love to work on that, but since I have X to get done by the time I leave today and it’s not a huge priority, I won’t be able to get that to you until the end of the week. Does that timing work for you?”
While you may not be able to please everyone, by being direct you cover your bases and show you’re proactive and dedicated to doing your job well.
6. Schedule Time to Pump
If you need to pump breast milk at work, block off time on your calendar to do so, and add a 10-15 minute buffer to ensure you stick to your schedule. By slotting it into your day and really making it nonnegotiable (remember those boundaries we talked about earlier?), you can help keep it from being a point of stress. (And it’s not just about emotional distress: Skipping a pumping session can become physically painful, and you can end up wearing the consequences down your shirt.)
If possible, get a second pump to leave at work to minimize lugging the gear back and forth, and make sure you have a comfortable space to pump in your office. If one’s not apparent in your workplace, explicitly ask HR or an office manager about a “lactation room.”
Federal law states that an employer must provide both break time and “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public” for nursing employees. Specifics can differ from state to state and based on office size, which is why it’s important to first determine what your office has in place before advocating for what you need.
7. Find Your Support Team
Working parent guilt is real, and it comes in all shapes and sizes—guilt for being away from the baby, guilt for not feeling guilty for not being with the baby, guilt for saying “no” to a colleague so you can leave early to get back to the baby…the list goes on.
When these thoughts start to creep in, repeat this to yourself: You are enough.
And, find your community (whether inside or outside the office). Talk to other parents who have been through it and create a safe space to talk about how you’re feeling. A quick Google search of local parenting and mom groups will at the very least hook you up with Facebook groups where you can start connecting. (These groups can also be a good source for nanny shares.) Also, some hospitals put together parenting groups based on when your baby was born. Take advantage of “Baby and Me” classes in your neighborhood or town, too, from swimming lessons to local library reading sessions to group walks.
I randomly ended up at a “mommy and me yoga” class, and after that class I went to lunch with three incredible women with babies the same age as mine. To this day (three years later) I still text with them weekly to talk about all things parenting, working, and babies.
8. Make Time for You—Just You
While it may seem impossible to carve more time out of your day outside of family and work, you can’t be the parent or employee (or really insert anything here) you want to be if you don’t take care of yourself. When I take time for myself, I’m more present in every aspect of my life. I’ve learned that a present moment (even a short one) is worth a million hurried moments.
Here’s how you can realistically make time for yourself during the week:
Actually put lunch on your calendar—and step away from your desk (or turn off your computer) to eat.
Keep up with that once a week yoga (or Pilates, or barre, or whatever) class—you’ll be grateful you did.
Wake up an hour before you actually need to (and an hour before the baby) so you can do something just for you. It’s not for everyone (if you’re not a morning person please sleep in), but for me this way I can take my time drinking my coffee and curl up reading a good book.
Above all remember: There are countless parents out there right now who’ve felt exactly how you feel and may still be trying to figure out how to do what’s best for them and their families. It’s a big deal going back to work after a baby, so hopefully it helps to know that you’re not alone, everything you’re feeling is valid, and it’s okay to be patient with yourself.
I am so tired.
So today I decided, six years into being a mom, to invest in a little thing called “self care.” I went to get my makeup done and when the girl at the counter asked me what look I was going for, I told her, “I want to look like a person who didn’t spend all night googling Coxsackie symptoms through the cries of a screaming two year old while also panicking about a big client presentation.”
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, I get it. As a working parent you experience tons of feelings you’re not properly prepared for. Sure, you’ll get the, “Sleep now while you can”, but once that baby comes, it’s up to you to figure out how to manage it all (and make it look easy). But don’t worry, the 70% of working mothers with children under 18 years old get it, too.
We get it in the way the girl at the counter did when she picked out the heaviest concealer they had.
So, remember, you’re not alone in this. Here’s how to navigate the feelings that come with this crazy, beautiful thing called parenting.
Yesterday, my new babysitter started. I came home at 7PM to unfed children, one with a leaking diaper, and a house that looked like my boys had used crayons and Play Doh to get vengeance for any parenting mistake I’ve ever made.
And this was after a day of back-to-back meetings and an inbox ticking towards the triple digits.
So here’s what I did:
I ordered takeout. Immediately and without hesitation.
I put my phone in my bag and stopped looking at it (work panic avoided).
I told the kids I had to go to the bathroom, screamed into the shower curtain, and then came down smiling.
I asked my kindergartener what the best part of his day was.
I did NOT clean the house. And I was OK with that.
That last sentence is very important. Sometimes, as moms, we think that we need to do everything at once.
But I’ve let this go, and you can, too. Let. It. Go. All of it. Or at least, try to. I’ve spent way too much time comparing myself to friend’s cute Facebook photos of children in matching outfits in clean houses. It’s not real. They might have gotten it right this week, but next week they will have a messy house and unruly children. And it will be OK because we are all in this together.
The truth is, I recently realized that I spend too much time thinking about how tired I am and not enough time sleeping. So, I did something I don’t think I’ve done since my children were born. After I put my boys to sleep, I went to bed, too.
And although I didn’t do any work the night before, the next morning I felt like I accomplished more. I was more focused. It was so much better.
So, relax when you can. I’ve started listening to music and reading books on the way home from work instead of answering emails. It’s for my own sanity. Cherish those fleeting moments of “you” time and grab hold of them as tight as you can.
Being a working parent comes with a feeling I never thought I’d have, but one I’ve heard repeatedly: loneliness. Yes, you’re constantly around kids, co-workers, and clients but the connections just aren’t the same as they used to be.
Here’s my hypothesis: Parenting is hard. You often can’t do a lot of the things you used to (like those fun girl’s trips or romantic weekend getaways). Making friends at work can be difficult (it’s not exactly easy to go out for happy hour). And many of us don’t want to admit when we need help, especially if you never had to wave the white flag before having children.
Here are some ways to combat it:
Find your fellow work parents: You know who gets it? Other parents who work at your company. Here at The Muse, we have a #museparents Slack channel. Do some digging to find your fellow moms and dads.
Put yourself out there, even just a little bit: Attend activities that match your family’s schedule. Make awkward conversation, rinse, and repeat, until you find a mom or dad friend.
Pick one day a month to be kid-less: Get a babysitter once a month to do a whole day of socializing. Maybe that means seeing an old friend, taking a day with your spouse, or attending that co-worker thing that you always say no to. Just make sure it’s something that will leave you feeling good and socially replenished.
Join a networking or support group: I believe in this so much, that I started one. With my hectic schedule I never have time for more than a few minutes of socialization, but through my online social circle, I’ve discovered that plenty of moms and dads are going through the same things I am.
This is probably the most common. Why? Because as working parents we have a lot of stuff going on. And there’s studies that show being a working parent is the equivalent of working more than two full-time jobs (but you didn’t need a study to tell you that).
So, here’s how to to keep your head above water:
Accept help: From pretty much anyone who will give it. Your mother-in-law just offered to come over for an hour so you can stay late and grab a quick cocktail with friends? Let her. Your direct report said he would pitch in so you can pick up your children from childcare? Let him do it. Bottom line: Be honest with others about what you need.
Make lists: Buy yourself a notebook or planner and write everything down. Cross it off as you accomplish it. For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than manually crossing something off, but do what works for you.
Say no, but not sorry: Even superheroes need a break. It’s OK to decline when a non-essential 6 PM meeting encroaches on family time. It’s OK to turn down a work event because it is just too much this week. It’s OK to take a rain check on the girl’s trip because you can’t find sitters or can’t afford it. It’s OK to not have your child in six activities and always wearing matching outfits. Do what feels right for your family, not anyone else’s.
In short, you are not alone. I know it can feel that way at the end of one of those long, hard days. But remember, even when you think you are failing, your children see a hero… and your co-workers are likely in awe of how you do it all, and make it look easy.
Queensland’s strong trend jobs growth has continued with 6,000 new jobs created in December, ABS data released today show.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said that new jobs continued to be the priority of the Palaszczuk Government.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing jobs and that’s what we’re doing with 186,400 jobs created since we came to Government,” Ms Trad said.
“In fact, we’ve seen 35,300 jobs created in Queensland in the past year. That’s more than the Newman Government created over their whole term.
“The majority of those are full time jobs – ensuring well-paid, secure work and opportunities for working people across the state.
“People are also feeling more confident about getting into the job market with participation higher than the national average.
“Our trend unemployment rate remains steady at 6.2% this month.
“But we know that we still have more work to do on job creation. Queenslanders elected a Government who will invest in jobs and infrastructure and not cut, sack and sell like the LNP.
“That’s why we are building $46 billion of infrastructure over the next four years including bringing forward funding key projects like the Townsville Water Pipeline and Works for Queensland to stimulate jobs in regional Queensland.
“We are also investing in the skills Queensland’s labour force will need for the future through our Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program and the Free TAFE for school leavers initiative.”
You’re in a job interview, and things are going well. You didn’t get lost on your way to the office, you made some friendly small talk with the hiring manager, and you’re nailing your answers to the questions you’re being asked.
Just when you start thinking you have this in the bag, you hear the interviewer say, “Tell me about a time when…”
Your stomach drops. You rack your brain for something—anything!—you can use as an example. You grasp at straws and finally stumble your way through an anecdote that only sort of satisfies the prompt.
First of all, take comfort in the fact that we’ve all been there. These types of interview questions are tough to answer. But, here’s the good news: There’s a strategy you can use to come up with way more impressive answers to these dreaded questions: the STAR interview method.
What Is the STAR Interview Method?
The STAR interview technique offers a straightforward format you can use to answer behavioral interview questions—those prompts that ask you to provide a real-life example of how you handled a certain kind of situation at work in the past.
Don’t worry—these questions are easy to recognize. They often have telltale openings like:
Tell me about a time when…
What do you do when…
Have you ever…
Give me an example of…
Thinking of a fitting example for your response is just the beginning. Then you also need to share the details in a compelling and easy-to-understand way—without endless rambling.
That’s exactly what the STAR interview method enables you to do. “It’s helpful because it provides a simple framework for helping a candidate tell a meaningful story about a previous work experience,” says Al Dea, the founder of CareerSchooled and a career and leadership coach.
So, let’s break down that framework. STAR is an acronym that stands for:
Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
By using these four components to shape your anecdote, it’s much easier to share a focused answer, providing the interviewer with “a digestible but compelling narrative of what a candidate did,” says Dea. “They can follow along, but also determine based on the answer how well that candidate might fit with the job.”
Answering Interview Questions Using STAR
Knowing what the acronym stands for is only the first step—you need to know how to use it. Follow this step-by-step process to give the best STAR interview answers.
1. Find a Suitable Example
The STAR interview method won’t be helpful to you if you use it to structure an answer using a totally irrelevant anecdote. That’s why the crucial starting point is to find an appropriate scenario from your professional history that you can expand on.
There’s no way for you to know ahead of time exactly what the interviewer will ask you (although our list of behavioral interview questions can help you make some educated predictions). With that in mind, it’s smart to have a few stories and examples ready to go that you can tweak and adapt for different questions.
“Brainstorm a few examples of particular success in your previous job, and think through how to discuss that success using the STAR framework,” says Lydia Bowers, a human resources professional. Repeat that exercise for a few types of questions.
If you’re struggling during your interview to come up with an example that fits, don’t be afraid to ask to take a minute. “I’m always impressed when a candidate asks for a moment to think so that they can provide a good answer,” says Emma Flowers, a career coach here at The Muse. “It’s OK to take a few seconds.”
2. Lay Out the Situation
With your anecdote selected, it’s time to set the scene. It’s tempting to include all sorts of unnecessary details—particularly when your nerves get the best of you. But if the interview asks you to tell them about a time you didn’t meet a client’s expectations, for example, they don’t necessarily need to know the story of how you recruited the client three years earlier or the entire history of the project.
Your goal here is to paint a clear picture of the situation you were in and emphasize its complexities, so that the result you touch on later seems that much more profound. Keep things concise and focus on what’s undeniably relevant to your story.
“The STAR method is meant to be simple,” explains Flowers. “Sometimes people provide too much detail and their answers are too long. Focus on just one or two sentences for each letter of the acronym.”
For example, imagine that the interviewer just said, “Tell me about a time when you achieved a goal that you initially thought was out of reach.”
Your Response (Situation): “In my previous digital marketing role, my company made the decision to focus primarily on email marketing and was looking to increase their list of email subscribers pretty aggressively.”
3. Highlight the Task
You’re telling this story for a reason—because you had some sort of core involvement in it. This is the part of your answer when you make the interviewer understand exactly where you fit in.
This can easily get confused with the “action” portion of the response. However, this piece is dedicated to giving the specifics of what your responsibilities were in that particular scenario, as well as any objective that was set for you, before you dive into what you actually did.
Your Response (Task): “As the email marketing manager, my target was to increase our email list by at least 50% in just one quarter.”
4. Share How You Took Action
Now that you’ve given the interviewer a sense of what your role was, it’s time to explain what you did. What steps did you take to reach that goal or solve that problem?
Resist the urge to give a vague or glossed-over answer like, “So, I worked hard on it…” or “I did some research…”
This is your chance to really showcase your contribution, and it’s worthy of some specifics. Dig in deep and make sure that you give enough information about exactly what you did. Did you work with a certain team? Use a particular piece of software? Form a detailed plan? Those are the things your interviewer wants to know.
Your Response (Action): “I started by going back through our old blog posts and adding in content upgrades that incentivized email subscriptions—which immediately gave our list a boost. Next, I worked with the rest of the marketing team to plan and host a webinar that required an email address to register, which funneled more interested users into our list.”
5. Dish Out the Result
Here it is—your time to shine and explain how you made a positive difference. The final portion of your response should share the results of the action you took. Of course, the result better be positive—otherwise this isn’t a story you should be telling. No interviewer will be dazzled with an answer that ends with, “And then I got fired.”
Does that mean you can’t tell stories about problems or challenges? Absolutely not. But, even if you’re talking about a time you failed or made a mistake, make sure you end on a high note by talking about what you learned or the steps you took to improve.
Bowers warns that too many candidates skip over this crucial, final part of their response. “They don’t make it clear how their action made an impact—the result,” she says. “That’s the most important part of the answer!”
Remember, interviewers don’t only care about what you did—they also want to know why it mattered. So make sure you hammer home the point about any results you achieved and quantify them when you can. Numbers are always impactful.
Your Response (Result): “As a result of those additions to our email strategy, I was able to increase our subscriber list from 25,000 subscribers to 40,000 subscribers in three months—which exceeded our goal by 20%.”
Putting it All Together
It’s making sense now, isn’t it? Here’s one more question-and-answer example for some added clarity.
The Interviewer Says: “Tell me about a time when you had to be very strategic in order to meet all of your top priorities.”
Situation: “In my previous sales role, I was put in charge of the transfer to an entirely new customer relationship management (CRM) system—on top of handling my daily sales calls and responsibilities.”
Task: “The goal was to have the migration to the new CRM database completed by Q3, without letting any of my own sales numbers slip below my targets.”
Action: “In order to do that, I had to be very careful about how I managed all of my time. So, I blocked off an hour each day on my calendar to dedicate solely to the CRM migration. During that time, I worked on transferring the data, as well as cleaning out old contacts and updating outdated information. Doing this gave me enough time to chip away at that project, while still handling my normal tasks.”
Result: “As a result, the transfer was completed two weeks ahead of deadline and I finished the quarter 10% ahead of my sales goal.”
The STAR interview process for answering behavioral interview questions might seem a little overwhelming at first. But it will become second nature with a little practice. And make no mistake, practicing is definitely something you should do.
“Whether it’s in a mock interview or just practicing your answer in the mirror, talk through your response so that it feels natural and comfortable when you’re actually in the interview,” Flowers says.
With just a little preparation and strategy, you’ll soon view behavioral interview questions as less of a burden—and more of an opportunity to emphasize your awesome qualifications.
Applications for the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship are now open. Students studying an agriculture-related degree, in their last two years of study, are eligible to apply.
The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship, in partnership with industry sponsors, provides a $5,000 bursary and professional development opportunities for eligible university students.
The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship also offers students annual industry work placements, access to industry leaders, professional development assistance and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.
In 2019 there are some small but important changes to the program:
The Scholarship will now be awarded for the last two years of the successful student’s degree; this change is aimed to increase networking opportunities and pathways into careers in agriculture
Eligible agriculture related degrees now include Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) degrees with major studies and subject selections relevant and aligned to agriculture
Students studying traditional agriculture degrees such as rural science, animal science and agribusiness are also eligible
Students studying in faculties that support the prosperity of rural industries, such as logistics, communications and IT, who are passionate about a career in an agriculture, are also eligible.
AgriFutures Australia recognises there is a broad range of skills which contribute to all areas of rural industries, and are looking to attract those skilled individuals into careers in agriculture. Fostering collaboration across multiple disciplines contributes to a growing Horizon Scholar Alumni entering the workforce.
Providing networking and professional development opportunities, along with valuable industry placements, sees Horizon Scholars beginning their careers in agriculture with direction and readiness.
AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholar, Matt Champness, graduated in 2018 from Charles Sturt University and was an Agricultural Science medalist. He is set to depart for Lao this year to continue his research in weed management, and reflects on his time in the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship Program.
“Without a doubt, the Scholarship broadened my horizons and exposed me to so many opportunities that I didn’t know existed. It also connected me with like-minded young people from across Australia.”
During his time on the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship program, Mr Champness participated in the 2018 Crawford Fund Conference, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leadership Program and co-founded ‘This is Aus Ag’- a grassroots initiative aiming to build trust between farmers and consumers.
“The most enjoyable part about the program was seeing others grow and develop in their confidence.
“The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship provides an opportunity for students to collaborate with other young agricultural enthusiasts from various walks of life,” said Mr Champness.
Students must be entering their last two years of university to be eligible for the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship. All applicants must have commenced their tertiary studies no longer than two years after leaving high school.
The online application form and terms and conditions can be found at agrifutures.com.au/horizon
Applications close at 5.00pm AEDT Friday, 1 March 2019. Shortlisted applicants must be available for a telephone interview in March 2019, and scholarship winners will be announced in May 2019.
Current sponsors of the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship: Australian Eggs, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, McCaughey Memorial Institute, Meat & Livestock Australia, AgriFutures Australia (Rice and Chicken Meat research programs) and Westpac.
We all face many situations that require making career decisions. Everyone will manage these in their own way, as each career is unique.
It makes sense for each of us to take as much control of our careers as we can. In doing so, we’ll be better placed to generate our own career plan and make the decisions needed to put it into action.
Learning how to make effective career decisions is crucial. It will help you to:
- manage and take control of your career
- adapt to change
- take advantage of career opportunities as they arise.
What’s your decision-making style?
Decision making can be complex. To reach a choice, we need to take account of our current values, interests, aptitudes and preferences as we try to make sense of the information, ideas and impressions coming from the world around us.
How do you make important decisions? Most people have their own preferences. These can range from working intuitively and according to what feels right, to doing things step-by-step in an ordered, rational and systematic way. Some people may keep things to themselves, weighing up decisions in their own head. Others will want to involve people they know, gathering and testing out their ideas and thoughts.
Reflect on the career decisions you made when you were selecting your senior subjects at school.
- How certain were you about your next steps?
- How did you go about making your decision?
- Were there any important influences?
- To what extent was it a well-thought through, conscious decision, based on research?
- Did you collect a lot of information and generate a range of options?
3 obstacles to effective decision-making
Making decisions that affect your career can be complex for several reasons.
- The consequences of a decision can be significant – but it’s usually not possible to have all the information.
- There may be many alternatives, each with its own set of trade-offs and compromises.
- Career decisions can involve complex interpersonal issues arising from the involvement from other people, including our family, partners and friends.
Given these barriers, it’s not surprising that most of us have at some stage made career decisions that weren’t entirely rational and logical. Instead, circumstances and our emotions influenced them.
Good career decisions will depend on your readiness
It’s common for people to try to make career decisions without asking themselves whether they’re feeling ready to do so. Here are some reasons why you may not be ready to make a specific career decision:
- You may lack motivation and feel that given enough time the ‘right’ career choice will ‘just happen’.
- You may be indecisive and confused by decision making in general.
- You may have beliefs and assumptions that aren’t based in reality. For example, ‘I believe there’s only one ideal career for me’ or ‘I only get one chance at making a career decision’.
- You may find it difficult to commit to a specific career choice, fearing that you may miss out on a better option.
- You may find it challenging to balance the importance of your ideas with the importance of other people’s ideas (especially of people close to you).
Getting ready to make an effective career decision begins with self-awareness. Put some time into reflecting on your decision-making style. What do you need to find out, do or have to make this particular decision? Time? Information? Skills? Commitment? Inspiration? Support? Confidence? Other resources? How might you make, develop or find what you need?
Two-person teams from schools across the region converged on Noosa Leisure Centre last Saturday to test their drone racing skills.
It was the culmination of a unique five-week “Flying Inventor” training program to give the students a taste for careers in engineering and computer science.
Students learnt how to design, build, fly and race first-person view quadcopters, which are not your standard plug and play drones.
“First-person view racing is one of the most exciting things you can do with a drone. One of the world’s fastest growing new sports, drone racing uses special first-person-view goggles, to give flyers a first person view from the drone’s camera as they fly around a race track avoiding obstacles and fellow competitors. It’s the closest you can get to being a bird!” says Tracey King, Noosa Council’s Literacy and Learning Coordinator.
Each school nominated teams of two students from Year 9 or 10 who showed talent and interest in drones and new technology.
Teams from Good Shepherd, Sunshine Beach, Coolum State High School and Victory College competed in the final with the team of Lincoln Favelle and Will McGarry from Good Shepherd Lutheran College winning gold medals. Ben Lockwood and Kevin Varghese from Victory College and Elijah Keegan and Ethan Bischoff from Sunshine Beach State High School came in second and third place, winning silver and bronze medals.
“While race day was fun, it’s also serious business,” says Tracey. “Students were taught about mechanical engineering and the fundamental computer science of drones, before taking to a simulator to learn how to fly them. The aim of this program is to inspire youngsters to pursue careers in computer science and invention.”
Noosa Library Service partnered with Council’s Peregian Digital Hub and a range of local industry professionals to deliver the training and race day. The program was assisted by local computer scientist and engineer – Malte Von Ruden, a drone pilot and photographer – Eamon Kriz from ‘In the Air Cinematography’ and his colleague Connor Middleton (both year 11 students), a local sculptor – Matt Godden and 3D artist Hannah Crosby plus Central Queensland University and simulator software company Lugus Studios.
The Flying Inventor Program is supported by an Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grant.
Novotel Twin Waters Resort has been recognised as the top venue in Queensland, taking home gold in the highly contested Business Event Venue category at the 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards, held on the Gold Coast on Friday night (16 November).
“We are beyond excited to receive the highly sought-after gold award in the Business Events category,” said Rachel Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing for Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
“The resort has had an incredible year, and winning this top award recognises all of the dedication and commitment of our team members here at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.”
Ms Smith, who oversees the business events unit at the resort, said the highly-experienced team had been focused for some time on positioning Novotel Twin Waters Resort as one of Australia’s most sought after conference, events and incentives venues.
“An idyllic location on the Sunshine Coast makes the Novotel one of the most adaptable business events venues in Australia,” she said. “Winning gold not only reinforces our decision to reinvigorate Novotel Twin Waters Resort in the coming months, but will help drive our passion to deliver exceptional new experiences for our incentive and conference partners in the coming year.”
The business event venue award was one of two major wins announced for Novotel Twin Waters Resort at the event, with the iconic Sunshine Coast property also named official hosting venue for the Queensland Tourism Awards gala event in 2019.
Ms Smith said, “Winning gold in our category aside securing the 2019 hosting venue rights is certainly cause for a dual celebration, however we are mindful that success like this is only made possible when destination partners come together and focus on collaboration rather than individual success. The Sunshine Coast is certainly making a strong name for itself on the events stage!”
Echoing Ms Smith’s enthusiasm, Novotel Twin Waters Resort General Manager, Steve Wellsteed, said, “We welcome this incredible vote of confidence from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), and are thrilled that Novotel Twin Waters Resort has secured rights to host the prestigious 35th Queensland Tourism Awards at our new-build convention centre in 2019. It will be an absolute pleasure to host this event in this brand new venue and deliver a memorable night for Queensland’s top tourism talent and ambassadors.”
Mr Wellsteed added that since announcing the start of construction on the new purpose-built facility last month (October 2018), Novotel Twin Waters Resort’s convention centre had been extremely well received by both the local community and the wider business events industry.
“The resort has already confirmed a number of events for 2019 and beyond, and importantly has now attracted interest from events which had previously not considered the Sunshine Coast region,” he explained. “The Queensland Tourism awards gala will present an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to showcase the potential of this dynamic new venue for all of our tourism partners and supporters to experience, first hand.”
Novotel Twin Waters Resort owners, Shakespeare Property Group, has committed to investing more than $8 million to deliver the region its largest conventions venue within the iconic Novotel resort, and an additional $2 million in planned updates and improvements of public area and accommodation at the property.
Shakespeare Property Group’s investment comes at a time of renewed investment interest in the destination, including Bruce Highway updates for better accessibility from Brisbane, and new runway facilities for the nearby Sunshine Coast Airport to enhance the route for interstate travellers.
AccorHotels Vice President Operations QLD/NT, Matt Young, said, “We are delighted to hear that QTIC has selected our new convention centre at Novotel Twin Waters Resort to host its premier tourism event for the state. The resort was the number one conference facility for the AccorHotels group in Queensland last year, and is undergoing some truly exciting updates. I know the team will deliver an outstanding event and look forward to rolling out the red carpet for the industry’s best in 2019.”
Mr Young added that the awards will be perfectly timed to capitalise on some investments and updates shaping the destination in the year to come.
“It is a time of evolution and development for the tourism and events industry on the Sunshine Coast,” he said. “In recent years the event has only been hosted in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so this announcement confirms the Sunshine Coast’s coming of age and ability to host world class events.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said securing the awards is a significant coup and has been achieved through the Business Events Assistance Program – a joint initiative of Sunshine Coast Council and Business Events Sunshine Coast, a division of Visit Sunshine Coast.
“Hosting these prestigious awards will be a great opportunity to showcase both our region and our ability to host a premium quality industry event like this one,” said Mayor Mark Jamieson.
“It’s our opportunity to show off the Sunshine Coast in all its glory – all of our amazing tourist attractions, the businesses, the beautiful local produce from across the region and the people within our community. It will also provide a significant economic benefit, given it is anticipated to attract over 1000 visitors to the Sunshine Coast for these awards”.
Novotel Twin Waters Resort and its management company, AccorHotels (the largest hotel operator in Queensland), are among QTICs most committed corporate partners.
QTIC is the peak industry body for tourism in Queensland, acting as “The Voice of Tourism”. QTIC is a non-government private sector, membership-based organisation representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality network across Queensland.
For more about QTIC visit www.qtic.com.au. For more information on the new convention centre at Novotel Twin Waters Resort, visit www.novoteltwinwatersresort.com.au/conventioncentre.html