ASG's Scholastic

Oct 26, 2017 - began in 1982 when he was working in Perth. He was put in contact with the late Harry Tyler, one of the founders of ASG, through a colleague. Harry had established and helped develop an educational assistance program in. Melbourne and was investigating the possibility of establishing an operation in.
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ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 : 2017 Quarterly news for ASG members

»»Ready to explore Space? »»Annual highlights 2016-2017 »»A career in communication

Vale Terry O’Connell (1948-2017) ASG is saddened by the passing of Terry O’Connell on 28 August 2017. Under his leadership of more than 30 years, ASG has gained widespread recognition for being one of the largest non-profit friendly societies in Australia, which encouraged parents to save for their children’s future education. For many parents ASG’s education plans allowed them to dream big—of their children pursuing higher education, something that was just a dream for many families.

In this issue ASG news 2

Vale Terry O’Connell


Space exploration


Investment changes


Chairman and CEO’s reports


Annual highlights 2016-2017

ASG students 6

Exploring the world through books


The puck drops here


Education – parents' greatest gift

Feature 12-13 The case for teaching manners Career 14

Zoe Martin: B. Communications


Nicole Gundi


Q&A with Libby Hay

Creative hub 7-10

Baking and gardening

Connect with us @asgeducation Published by ASG


erry's long association with ASG began in 1982 when he was working in Perth. He was put in contact with the late Harry Tyler, one of the founders of ASG, through a colleague. Harry had established and helped develop an educational assistance program in Melbourne and was investigating the possibility of establishing an operation in Perth. Terry was drawn to the idea and after meeting with Harry his journey with ASG began when he set up the first Western Australia office and became the Regional Manager for Western Australia. He then moved to Queensland in 1983 with ASG and took up the position of Regional Manager for Queensland. His passion for education continued to grow with the burning desire to help parents plan for their children’s education as education costs continued to soar for families. With the steady growth of ASG during this period, Terry was asked to move to Melbourne in 1986 to take up the position of General Manager at head office in Surrey Hills where he continued to lead ASG until his retirement in 2006 as Managing Director and Executive Director on the Board. Terry then continued his leadership of ASG as Chairman of the Board until 2015 and remained as non-executive director until his retirement in July this year.

Terry was also the pioneer of the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA)—which he initiated in 1994—after reading a newspaper article that said ‘Only the worst can teach’. Terry was furious and concerned about the psychological effects such negative publicity would have on students, teachers and parents (as well as the long-term harm to the nation). Now in its 23rd year, ASG NEiTA acknowledge the great work teachers do in our communities, both in Australia and New Zealand. NEiTA has recognised more than 30,000 teachers and distributed more than $940,000 in professional development grants. Terry was also a significant influence in the Friendly Societies movement. He was appointed to the Friendly Societies of Australia (FSA) as a committee member in 2006 and became its President in October 2011 until his retirement in November 2013. For ASG’s Board and staff, Terry’s passion, drive and belief for ASG and its impact in helping to improve educational outcomes was an inspiration to all­—including his mentorship of many individuals. In a world where corporate success is often measured by profit and loss, Terry ensured ASG stayed heavily focussed on meeting community needs and that its impact was for the betterment of our society.

Editorial contributions Member stories can be submitted to: Saleha Singh: [email protected] While all reasonable care will be taken, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or non-return of materials supplied. Opinions The opinions expressed by individual contributors published in ASG’s Scholastic are not necessarily those of ASG. Print Post Approved PP341032/00022


New Zealand

23–35 Hanover Street Oakleigh Vic 3166 Ph: 131 ASG (131 274)

Suite 7B, 19 Edwin Street, Mount Eden 1024 Ph: 09 366 7670

On the cover: Olivia, Ben and Pepper

2 | ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017

New Zealand fund members ASG Annual Reports Copies of Annual Reports for each of our New Zealand funds will be available from 28 November 2017. You can obtain a copy free of charge by contacting us at [email protected] or on 09 366 7670. An electronic copy is also available for download at


Space exploration Cassini … one of the most ambitious planetary space explorations in recent years. Have you been following its journey and the grand finale? How would you like to be part of this space exploration and make your own history?


SG invites you to enter ASG’s Space Camp competition and be part of the weeklong space adventure at the U.S Space & Rocket Center in Alabama in July 2018. The competition is open to Australian ASG secondary school enrolled students between 16 and 18 years of age as at July 2018. Go to and complete the application for a chance to make history. You may be the one who gets to explore space for a week in July with a fellow student and a teacher in the USA. Applications close at 5pm on 11 February 2018. Terms and conditions apply and can be found at: tandc

Investment changes – for members of TEF, SEP, TEF (NZ) and SEP (NZ) only The rules for each of these Benefit Funds required member approval before amendments could be made.


he investment types referenced in the Benefit Fund Rules for each of the funds, as well as the list of authorised investments, were considered outdated. Amendments to the authorised investments definition and asset allocation ranges in the rules for each of these funds were proposed to ensure that the rules reflect a contemporary approach to managing balanced risk investments. These amendments assist ASG to achieve the funds’ investment objectives to enhance portfolio diversification, risk adjusted returns, and manage volatility.

the authorised investments definition and asset allocation ranges in Rule 60 The Education Fund were approved by members. Due to a lack of quorum, these changes were unable to be approved by members of Rule 61 – Supplementary Education Program, Rule 62 – The Education Fund (New Zealand), and Rule 63 – Supplementary Education Program (New Zealand) until the adjourned Benefit Fund meetings were held on 29 March 2017.

appropriately authorised amendment by members. The approval was granted on 28 July 2017.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority—our prudential regulator—is required to approve the amendments as an

You can request a copy of the updated rules by emailing us at: [email protected]

Now that the rules have been formally amended, ASG can adjust the investments within the revised investment ranges— depending on the global and New Zealand market. An investment update was circulated by email to all members on 26 October 2017.

At the last AGM, held on 28 October 2016, the proposed amendments to

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 3


Chairman and CEO’s reports Chairman’s report ASG’s Board and management continue to challenge the organisation and advance its impact in the three key areas of strategic importance—advocacy, financial products and educational resources to support improved education outcomes for our members and the society.


SG’s role in the provision of education services in Australia and New Zealand continues to highlight the importance of supporting the education sector through advocacy. This means that our education systems must address one of the biggest challenges we face—managing the transition from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge and innovative one. Our research shows that along with the rising cost of education, Australian and New Zealand parents are worried about the changing employment landscape, which poses a threat to their children’s future. ASG’s white paper, Repositioning education as a major life event, found that 85 per cent of parents support a co-contribution savings scheme. They would like the government to provide parents and families with incentives to save for education.

We will continue to call on all levels of the government to work together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that they are placing the recipients of education at the heart of everything they do.

Board update We are saddened by the passing away of Terry O’Connell on 28 August 2017. André Carstens, a chartered accountant by profession joined the board in March 2017 to provide specialist advice to the Board. He filled the temporary vacancy caused by Terry's retirement from the Board on 31 July 2017.

Thank you ASG remains an organisation we can all be proud of and it is thanks to the support we receive from our members, our employees, management and the Board. I look forward to delivering our strategy and long-term value to our members.

CEO’s report This year we made positive inroads in building a powerful member value proposition. There has been considerable momentum in the modernisation and awareness of ASG in the market. We have also generated greater member value for our members.

Business performance


unds under management remained strong at $1.48 billion as we continued to refine our strategic asset allocation to drive strong returns in an increasingly challenging external environment. In Australia, the bonus rate for The Education Fund was 5.70 per cent, the Supplementary Education Program was 5.40 per cent, and the Pathway Education Fund was 4.75 per cent. In New Zealand, The Education Find (NZ) was 5.55 per cent and the Supplementary Education Program (NZ) was 5.35 per cent. We enhanced our ability to attract more members by providing them with more

4 | ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017

opportunities to engage with us through our existing and new channels—thus providing more choice. We also introduced a corporate partnership initiative with various organisations to introduce the ASG offering to their employees or members. This multi-faceted approach saw a growth of 21 per cent in the number of new children enrolled in ASG, and the number of members grew by 29 per cent.

Improving our member experience We enhanced our member service by introducing new systems and processes that enabled us to respond more effectively to member requests.

We improved our communications and redeveloped My ASG to enable members to do more online. We also introduced a series of webinars on topical issues, memberonly discounts for school related items, insurance, home loans, and developed more education resources.

Thank you We need to maintain our new growth momentum and culture of continuous improvement to ensure we perform strongly in the future. I would like to thank the ASG Board, employees and our members for their support and encouragement to continuously improve each year. More:


Annual highlights 2016-2017 Growth of

ASG paid

$260 million


in the number of new children enrolled into ASG

in education benefits and scholarship payments to members

Number of new members grew by




corporate partnerships

with organisations such as Accumulate Loyalty, Nufarm, Credit Union Australia, Gateway Credit Union and NobleOak

Enhanced the member portal

Member satisfaction grew by 10 per cent

Launched My Knowledge a hub where members can access a range of useful educational content

My ASG to allow members to do more online

Cost savings of


generated through employee continuous improvement program

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 5


Exploring the world through books Mention the word books and Tanya Shiv’s eyes light up. Nothing can match this 13 year olds passion for reading. She reads seven to eight books a week—ranging from mysteries, action, fantasy, gothic horror and thrillers.


y passion for books is unparalleled and I enjoy everything from Enid Blyton to Shakespeare to Rick Riordan. Through books I explore countless other worlds, learn about my world, and the different people who live in this world—all from the comfort of my own home. The pleasure and wonder is indescribable,” Tanya says. Last year Tanya along with two of her classmates entered her school’s Readers Cup competition where each team was given four books to read and answer questions. “My team won,” Tanya says excitedly. Tanya’s love of reading has seen her make many like-minded friends on Instagram, where readers share ideas about novels, fan art and recommend books to each other.

“I also enjoy writing stories and poetries,” Tanya says. “The sudden inspiration when you get an idea from nowhere is an amazing feeling. I have to put it on paper, so as not to lose that burst of creativity.”

reading and writing fit in? “I will always have time to slip into my world of wonder even if I’m really busy.”

Other than reading and writing, Tanya plays hockey for her school team and represents her school in weekend matches. She is an avid baker and a regular MasterChef watcher because “I learn so much from the desserts the contestants put up on the show.” It is a while before Tanya completes school but she is already thinking of the future. “I want to study medicine—specialising in skin cancer surgery. My other option is psychology and I would like to volunteer my services to those who can’t afford expensive healthcare.” So, where does

The puck drops here Do you know any cool ice hockey players? Meet 18 year old Mohak Issar who fell in love with this unique fast-paced sport when his dad took him to cheer a family friend.


his sport means everything to me and as a forward—in the wing position—I strategically set up play and attempt to score. This is where the puck drops,” says Mohak. “The adrenaline rush I get every time I pad up with my teammates before the game is sensational. The ice is my home, my passion, my one true love.” Mohak has participated in state and national championships and won many awards along the way. Currently he plays for the Sydney Sabers, which is part of the Australian Junior Ice Hockey league.

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During the winter months he plays with the Liverpool Catholic Club Saints and participates in tournaments held in Sydney and Canberra only. “I dedicate a fair bit of time to my sport,” Mohak says. “I have ice training sessions twice a week and have Off–Ice training five times a week. Along with this I go to the gym, run, and practice my stick handling regularly.” And, it’s not the speed and intensity of ice hockey that keeps this young man’s adrenaline pumping. Mohak is an aspiring

writer and a musician—playing the piano and guitar. “I study drama at school as I enjoy performing arts and telling a story. At my recent HSC exam I did a monologue for eight minutes and talked about how different views in society divide us instead of uniting us.” After graduating from school, Mohak would like to study combined Bachelors of Engineering and Science degrees. “Astrology and quantum mechanics get me excited and I can talk science for hours. And, of course, I will get more time to practice my pucks.”

Creative HUB Make your own garden The coming months are the perfect time to make your garden pretty and happy. Bill Clarke, an avid gardener, shares his tips with us.

What to do next »» C hoose your container. If you are using a bottle or a milk carton cut it down to the size you would like. »» Using pebbles or packing peanuts (or pieces of polystyrene) loosely fill your container to just over the half way mark. »» C arefully spoon the potting mix into the container until you have covered up the filling, stopping a few centimetres from the top. »» Choose your plants and place them gently into your container. »» F ill the space around the bottom of the plant with more soil and press down firmly on the roots.


ucculents and cacti are the easiest plants to grow and can grow in a range of soils. They can be grown in any environment—tropical, coastal and temperate.

»» Give your plants a drink of water but not too much. »» Decorate your container. You can use Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons, stick on bows, tiny toy animals, plastic figurines, stickers—anything that you may have around the house.

You can make your own succulent and gift it to someone you love.

What you will need »» S mall to medium-sized containers (e.g. milk cartons, glass jars, water bottles or tins) »» S oil – check if you have any potting mix at home otherwise you can buy it at a garden or hardware store, or the supermarket »» Spoon or small shovel »» S eeds, seedlings, or cuttings from your garden (always ask first!) »» D ecorations, small toy, left-over gift wrap, ribbons.

Looking after your plant »» If your container doesn’t have a hole in the bottom it will only need a few drops of water every week. »» S ome plants love the sun and some get sunburn. Ask a grown up or Google how much sun your plant likes. »» P lants look lovely on window sills but should be moved outside every so often for sunlight.

Enjoy your garden!

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 7


Gardening ASG’s General Counsel & Company Secretary, Fanoula Ferro enjoys spending time with her two boys. Their favourite pastime is growing their own fruits and veggies through the year. “We have a beautiful bountiful garden that gives us fruit and vegetables all year round. Nothing too big but all of the things that we love,” Fanoula says.


he children appreciate nature, understand where their food comes from, and eat what they grow. We also enjoy watching the bees and discussing pollination,” Fanoula says. You too can start your own veggie patch with children. Below are Fanoula’s top tips: »» Keep it simple – start with one tomato or strawberry plant in a pot. »» C hoose your first fruit or vegetable plant based on something your kids love to eat – mine adore cherry tomatoes so that was our first plant. »» M ake sure the kids have gloves on – although sometimes they get frustrated and just want to use their hands directly in the soil. As we don’t use any chemicals in the garden, there isn’t an issue and they look out for worms, spiders and ladybugs. The kids have learnt about worms and how important they are to the garden.

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»» A void pesticides or anything that is not organic – my boys love to pick fruits and veggies and eat it directly from the garden – strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, baby carrots, apricots, peas. »» B uy non-genetically modified seeds and plants—heirloom if you can—and don’t compromise the soil. »» S tephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion is a great resource to help get kids involved—from growing different fruits and vegetables, to cooking with them. "We work hard to bring bees to our garden and have planted various salvia (which flower beautifully) and different varieties of lavender. "We have also bought what the kids call the ‘insect hotel’ and have hung it on our apricot tree. This helps bring in insects like ladybugs who help in controlling citrus gall wasp, which can affect citrus trees."


Baking Christel Lam Yui from ASG started baking when she was 10 years old—the lovely colours on the cakes intriguing her. During her early teenage years baking became her hobby, and eventually her passion in adulthood. Outside of ASG, Christel bakes for parties and helps with cake designing. “Making desserts is a great stress reliever for me and I love that my desserts make people happy.”

Choc-chip butterfly cupcakes (makes 12-15) Ingredients – for the cupcakes »» »» »» »» »» »»

175g unsalted butter 150g caster sugar 200g self-raising flour 3 eggs, beaten 30ml milk 30g milk or dark chocolate chips

For the buttercream icing »» »» »» »»

75g butter 100g icing sugar Few drops of vanilla essence 1-2 tablespoon milk

For the decoration »» 24 pretzels »» A handful of coloured lollies »» Some black fondant or soft liquorice


Put a spoonful of the cake mixture in each of the cupcake cups. Be careful not to overfill the cups as the mixture will rise during baking.


Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

10. Remove the cupcakes from the cupcake tin and leave them to cool completely before applying the buttercream icing. For the buttercream icing 1.

In a glass or plastic mixing bowl add the butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence and milk.


Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the mixture until it looks pale yellow and creamy. The butter icing is ready.

3. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave aside at room temperature. For the decoration 4.

Fill the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a nozzle.


Carefully pipe the buttercream on each cupcake.


If you do not have a piping bag and nozzle, you can use a spatula to spread some buttercream icing on each cupcake.

For the cupcakes


Align three coloured lollies on top each cupcake. You can also use M&Ms as an alternative.


Preheat the oven to 180° C/356° F.


Fill a cupcake tin with cupcake baking cups.


Add a pretzel on each side of the lollies to make the wings of the butterfly


Roll the black fondant thinly and cut in 1.5cm thin pieces. Leave aside to dry.



Sift the self-raising flour in a bowl and leave aside.


Add the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat the two ingredients, using a handheld electric mixer, until the mixture turns pale yellow and creamy.


Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and mix well.


Add the sifted flour and mix well.


Add the milk and the chocolate chips and mix well.

10. Place two black fondant rolls on each side of butterfly to make the butterfly's antennae. 11. You can use thin slices of soft eating liquorice instead of the black fondant when making the butterfly's antennas.

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 9


Baking Eva is ASG’s inhouse baker and along with catering for special occasions spends much of her time with her grandson— making his favourite dishes. Eva shares her favourite recipes that she makes with her grandson.

Christmas pizzas Ingredients »» Store-bought pizza bases »» Christmas cookie cutter shapes (stars, trees, candy canes etc.) »» Olive oil »» S auce of your choice (tomato puree, pizza sauce, barbecue sauce, pesto etc.)


Use a teaspoon to add a spoonful of your selected sauce over the bases. Use the back of the spoon to spread it thinly across each of them.


Chop up your favourite toppings and sprinkle onto the top of each of the shapes.


Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the fillings.


Place each of the shapes onto your baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes until all the cheese has melted completely.

»» T oppings of your choice—savoury (chicken, ham, pepperoni, vegetables etc.) or sweet (Nutella, strawberries etc.) »» Mozzarella cheese

Method 1.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (200 degrees for fan forced) or as per your recipe or packet instructions.


Line baking trays with baking paper or grease proof paper. Lay out your pizza bases on the table or kitchen bench.


Using your cookie cutters cut out as many Christmas shapes as you can from your pizza bases.


Place a little olive oil into a small bowl and using a pastry brush or your finger, brush the edges of the shapes with the oil.

Christmas pretzels and chocolate royal puddings Ingredients »» »» »» »» »»

1 pack store bought mini pretzels 1 pack of chocolate royal biscuits 1 cup milk chocolate chips or candy melts Garnish - red M&Ms and mint leaf lollies Optional edible food glitter (red, silver, gold etc.)

Method 1. Melt chocolate in the microwave, following instructions on package. 2. Use a teaspoon and place half a teaspoon of melted white chocolate on top of each chocolate royal biscuit. 3. Garnish top of chocolate royal with one mint leaf and three red mini M&Ms. 4. Dip each pretzel completely in the chocolate. Use a fork to remove the pretzel and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet, and repeat process with the rest of the pretzels. 5. For extra Christmas sparkle you can top with a sprinkling of edible glitter.

10 | ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017

As new migrants from mainland China—on a single income—saving for their children’s education was the greatest gift Linlin Yang and Ying Zhan could give their children. Fifteen years later all three girls—Jane, Kate and Nicole—are studying at a leading private school in Perth with music scholarships. All three play the piano along with the cello and violin.


ixteen year old Jane, enjoys sports and plays soccer, swims, snowboards, and is a cross country runner.

Kate, who is 15, also plays soccer and enjoys reading and eating. Twelve year old Nicole is a swimmer and cross country runner. “As Chinese, traditionally, our children’s education is our top priority,” says Linlin. “When they are young we can be part of their lives 100 per cent all of the time, mainly because they listen to us. Once they grow up—like all children—we have less control over them. So, we decided to save money for their education and send them to the best school.” Both Linlin and Ying concur that education is a two-way street, with both the family and schools working together. At the end of the day, the parents hope that armed with a good education their girls turn out

to be good human beings with integrity, lead healthy, safe, and happy lives, and have great learning habits—not just school results. “Coming from a different country with different sets of values, we are different from our girls, who have grown up here. But we hope that the values we have inculcated in them from a very young age will help them later on in life,” Linlin says. At the moment though, the parents are happy that the girls still spend time together as a family—playing sports, travelling together on family holidays, shopping and even sharing different opinions during family discussions.

As teenagers the girls are not really thinking of their future right now but going by how things are shaping up, Jane would like to join the Australian Defence Force Academy and study engineering. Kate with her great talent and creativity may head towards an artistic path. Nicole loves dogs and her dog, Jacky most of all, and sees herself becoming a veterinarian or a police woman in the canine department. Whatever the future holds for the girls, armed with the gift of education they are all set to reach the sky.

“We try to be our girls’ best friends and look at things from their perspective too. Although we may not agree all the time, we hope they learn from our life experience and look up to us as good examples,” Linlin says.

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 11


Education – parents' greatest gift


The case for teaching manners Picture this scenario ... First and second year pre-service students are attending a lecture on real-life teaching experience. Some are eating; some walk out of the class as teachers ask questions or ask them to participate; some are chatting between themselves; and others are on social media.


n three years’ time these students will be teaching our future generation. Is this behaviour an indicator of whether we can expect them to be good role models for our kids … and is it their responsibility alone to teach our kids manners?

What does research tell us? Research conclusively shows that rudeness, and a lack of respect and compassion lead to violence, unhealthy communities, and societies paralysed by conflict and political division. Children of any age—from infants to university students—can and should be inspired, equipped and challenged to make a difference in the world. Not only do children's actions help others, research shows it helps them become happier, more successful adults. Findings from The ASG Parents Report Card*, show that 69 per cent of all Australian parents believe schools should do more to teach their child social skills. A further 49 per cent of parents agree that they would like their child’s school to do more about teaching them how to behave in public. The findings suggest increasingly blurred lines as to where responsibilities begin and end. Parents must work with teachers to strike the right balance to ensure children are learning the social skills that will give them the best start in life.

Are manners on the decline? Susie Wilson** is an expert on etiquette. “It’s impossible to know if manners and being polite (civility) have declined because we can’t measure this scientifically,” she says. “But by all measures, most parents, grandparents and teachers believe manners have severely declined over the past two decades.” Susie feels that the informality of today’s society has meant there is no longer agreed rules for respectful behaviour, for example, bad behaviour and name calling on playing fields; the rise of the internet as a manners-free (anonymous) zone; or the back-stabbing behaviour of contestants in reality TV shows. “Children today are exposed to rudeness, vulgarity and violence that would have been unthinkable in previous generations,” she says.

Are manners integral to intellectual and social development? “Yes,” says Belinda, an ASG member parent. “Our children need to grow up to be fully functioning adults who are able to be pleasant and get along and work with others. Social development has a huge influence on how children are able to engage in intellectual pursuits such as formal schooling.”

* ASG’s Parents Report Card—The ASG-Monash University Faculty of Education Partnership **

12 | ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017

Myles—a single dad of two children, aged 12 and 10—also feels that teaching manners is integral to the intellectual and social development of our kids. “Good manners allow us to successfully deal with society and are important to successful friendships and working relationships,” he says. “Manners and teaching manners is integral to holistic development,” says Peter, a teacher with 20 years’ experience in both public and private education. “Manners and politeness do not necessarily equate to intellectual or academic achievement. But there is a strong correlation between kids who are empathetic and express themselves politely with respect, and academic success.” Peter says, often a student with good manners is open to empathy and kindness, and can conduct good and meaningful relationships. They have a stronger sense of self and often higher self-esteem and respect. “It is also important for teachers to establish consistent respect for environments of learning, and members of classes. This can be achieved by monitoring interaction and insisting on polite respectful manners and interaction,” Peter says.

Understanding respect and treatment of others Pre- and primary: children possibly don’t fully understand the power of unkind words and may be verbalising disappointment or disagreement with a limited vocabulary. Guidance and support from parents and teachers to help explain how this behaviour can impact others is part of developing respect and reinforcing manners and standards of behaviour. Older primary: children in this group will most likely be actively choosing their words or actions, and aiming to create discomfort and hurt feelings. This is where conflict resolution strategies can be employed with the inclusion of the standards that we as a family, community, and society expect. Secondary: there is a huge emotional, psychological and physical gap between early secondary (Junior year 7) and late secondary (Senior year 12) students and with that come the challenges of dealing with differing levels of maturity. Generally, students at these stages of life—most of whom are teenagers—do understand that their actions and behaviour can impact the people around them. In most cases children actively choose the way in which they behave.

Teaching manners: who’s responsibility? “Parents have the primary responsibility for the development of their children’s behaviours,” says Myles. “I think it is very difficult to change bad behaviours later in life. As a result parents should lead by example.” Susie says it’s never too early to start teaching manners. “Please and thank you are a good start, bearing in mind that many cultures have different ways of showing respect and being polite, which should also be honoured.” Myles agrees. “Instilling manners in children begins before they can even talk. We know that children start processing their environment and communicating well before they can talk. So in effect, setting an example to our children is the start of the learning process. I was very proud when my kids started saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ unprompted!”

“Manners can and should be taught from toddler age by families and community,” says Peter. “Schools and teachers aim to role model and reinforce the conventions of polite, respectful interaction of individuals with peer group and authority figures.” In Peter’s experience, schools and teachers aim to establish respect and value all members of society—no matter their cultural background. “There is no culture or religion that I have engaged in that encourages disrespect,” he says. “However, the first examples of these standards are experienced by children from their parents and the home. In some cases, school experiences and standards of behaviour, and acceptance often hone or challenge the pre-conceived ideas of race relations learnt at home. These further help develop a deeper understanding and—while not explicitly taught as a curriculum study— is regularly addressed through most curriculum implicitly.” Belinda says parents can encourage related behaviours through play and modelling in the early years, and then through modelling and discussion as children grow up. “A teacher can always model good manners, civility and courtesy, and this in turn would be expected from students,” she says. “I think it’s unfair to expect schools to explicitly teach these skills in every lesson as these skills should have already been established at home and continue to be supported by parents.”

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»» ASG’s Parents Report Card: »»

ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 13


Careers: Communication Zoe Martin Zoe is an advocate of social justice and equality. She hopes to give a voice to the voiceless in the future and choosing the right subjects has been the first step of combining theory with practice. along with satiating my passion for an understanding of the social world.”


oe is undertaking a Bachelor of Communications (Public Communications) degree with two majors, Public Communications and Social and Political Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney. Public Communications is careers based, while Social and Political Sciences are more theoretical. For Zoe, “These combinations should equip me for a career in Public Relations—which is my calling—

Zoe has a talent for linguistics and enjoys reading and writing so a career in Communications was a given. After studying Journalism for a year, Zoe realised that the subject wasn’t for her. She deferred university—working to earn money and getting bored—and returned to study with renewed vigour and mindset. “I hope to work with an NGO or an activist organisation that promotes social awareness of the disadvantaged in our society and my subject choices will allow me to do so,” Zoe says.

Public Communications is divided into semesters. “We learnt about public communications theorists in the first semester and will learn more in my second year of study,” Zoe says. “We studied Social and Political Sciences in both semesters— concentrating on the history and core concept of different ideologies in the first semester. In the second semester we were involved in practical and sociological work, which we combined into a final report.” Outside her studies, Zoe is a singersongwriter, whose love for linguistics has found an outlet. She also enjoys yoga, jogging, bushwalking, dancing and going to the pub. Zoe’s part-time job is flipping burgers.

Nicole Gundi Nicole is ASG’s Media and Communications Adviser in the Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations department. In her role she coordinates national and international media campaigns such as the ASG Parents Report Card across Australia and New Zealand, manages social media, writes blogs and contributes stories to this newsletter. She also works with various departments within ASG to support their business and public relations’ initiatives. Nicole studied a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Economics at The University of Queensland.


o one day is like the other, so I really enjoy the variety of my role and I thrive on the challenges and opportunities that come my way. I can be working on many different projects at the same time, which is demanding and requires a lot of concentration, but seeing the final product is very rewarding and personally satisfying.” Nicole grew up watching news and current affairs and really liked the way Ray Martin interviewed and presented himself. “So by the time I was 11 years old I knew I wanted to pursue a similar career. I also liked public speaking and was never one to shy away from oral presentations at school.” After Nicole graduated from university, she actively pursued work experience opportunities. After eight months of

14 | ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017

networking and knocking on doors, she landed a job at Network Ten in Brisbane as the Librarian/News Assistant. “I was prepared for hard work and that’s what I did. I worked in a small room by myself and I had to shotlist the previous night’s news bulletin into a database. I prepared file vision for journalists—on the road—for their stories; worked in the newsroom to help prepare scripts for the news presenters and support the control rooms. I was also given the opportunity to interview, write and present stories for both the news bulletins and The Total News—a weekly news and current affairs program aimed at primary school children. After almost two years, Nicole moved across to radio as a program producer.

Nicole says she’s been blessed with a very diverse career, working with wonderful colleagues and mentors and she’s has been able to continue her passion for storytelling in her various roles. She loves the chase of finding extraordinary and special stories to share and being able to tell them in a compelling and intriguing way across various media platforms. “I love the creativity and the free license I am given to generate new ideas and create content, which speaks to different audiences.” Nicole relaxes by baking for her family and friends and some mornings wakes up thinking ‘what am I going to bake today?’ “I must admit lazy Saturday mornings are my favourite and I love sitting out on the front patio with a large pot of tea, watching cars and people go by.”


Q&A with Libby Hay Libby is a senior communications professional with some 20 years strategic communications, stakeholder engagement, advocacy and media experience. She is Director Corporate Affairs at Sensis. partnership with RUOK? (a charity that promotes conversations to help people deal with mental health issues) I feel I bring out the best in what a company can offer or do to support its communities. I have also worked on really meaty issues and love the tussle in trying to get the best outcomes in quite difficult situations.

What do you like about your career?


ibby studied a Bachelor of Arts degree in Perth before taking off for London where she based herself for 2 ½ years—travelling when the sun came out and working as a nanny during the winter months. On her return Libby worked in hospitality as she didn’t really know what she wanted to do, before ‘falling’ into event management and public relations. She went back to university to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations (minor in Marketing) and started a role as marketing officer with the WA Farmers Federation. Her career has grown from there.

Why did you choose this career? While I say I ‘fell’ into a career in public relations, it was actually my year 9 English teacher who first suggested I should consider a career in this field. I have always loved meeting people and believe I have strong interpersonal skills—a key requirement for working in communications. Over time my passion to help manage reputations and get the best outcomes for companies and the community has really cemented itself as reasons why I love working in communications.

My career has been so diverse that I’ve been able to do many different things during the past 20 years all within the field of communications. I helped launch the ground-breaking iPhone in New Zealand for Vodafone as literally the ‘first in the world’ (by time zone, which attracted huge media attention); I’ve helped the media better understand the $2 milk issue; I’ve led an internal communications program to help with significant business changes; and I’ve managed the media strategy to deal with industrial action at a milk manufacturing site at Christmas time. I’ve also worked on a number of business acquisitions—both from an internal and external (media, stakeholders, brand) communications perspective and been a spokesperson for ALDI supermarkets. This meant many appearances on A Current Affair and other TV programs.

Once you have a foot in the door you need to keep thinking about the skills you need to build and find those roles as you progress through your career. Find a mentor—someone who does what you would like to do and is happy to impart their wisdom and meet every couple of months. They will also help with introducing you to other people so you can build your networks and contacts.

What are the job opportunities? Many and varied. You will be able to find a role that suits your interests— whether it’s internal communications, public relations, government relations, corporate social responsibility, or corporate communications. Communications roles are found in all sectors, including not-for-profit, government, corporate, small to large size companies, and across all industries, from tourism to agriculture to telecommunications, energy and health— and more. You will be able to find a role and company that fits your values and passions.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt and would like to share? That no career is linear, and often it’s when you step outside your comfort zone to do something that scares you that you really learn and thrive.

What makes your career special?

What advice would you give to students looking to do this career?

I get to make a difference. Whether that’s by helping a government department launch a new program to help a particular sector of society, or working with farmers who are passionate about the food they produce, or helping employees understand the business changes that are happening around them, or influencing my current company to embark on a long-term

Practice your writing. And if you do choose to study Public Relations, find ways to keep practising, whether that’s writing the newsletter for your sports club or managing the Facebook page for your community organisation (I manage the Facebook page for the Barwon Heads CFA). It is a competitive industry to get into at the very beginning, so persistence is the key.

Entry requirements Bachelor of Communications and Media: University of South Australia Course length: Three years full time Entry requirement: Selection Rank (Guaranteed): 70.00 (for 2018) TAFE/RTO (Guaranteed): DIP More: Bachelor of Communication Studies: The University of Waikato Course length: Three years full time Points: 360 More: bachelor-of-communication-studies ASG’s Scholastic Issue 4 2017 | 15

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