Kickstarting 2021 by Making Time for our Mental Health and Wellbeing
2020 was undeniably one of the most challenging years for everyone. Home, work and learning life, as we knew it, was flipped on its head. Pivoting, connection and digital were words frequently in the spotlight as the world tried to understand and navigate sudden change. Underpinning this came a new sense of awareness and increased conversation about how our mental health is interconnected and integral to our overall wellbeing.
Nearly 78% of Australians said their mental health had worsened since COVID-19 and nearly 60% said mental health concerns had impacted their productivity in the past year.
What was life like at Primary in 2020?
At Primary we completely shifted the way we worked; from regular face-to-face meetings with clients and the team (including our beloved brainstorm sessions), to going completely remote (where Zoom fatigue became a real thing).
With this change came initial fear, doubt, confusion, and stress. The reality of the quick shift looked different for everyone – some were managing little ones at home, others were sharing workspace with roommates, and the occasional lucky person appeared to be attending a meeting from Hawaii (thanks to Zoom backgrounds).
It also brought something special, a keenness to stay connected and an alertness to each other’s mental wellbeing. One of the greatest things we implemented were morning catch ups where we got to see one another’s faces, hear about everyone’s projects, and have a laugh.
We have returned to work in 2021 feeling refreshed and energised, but also conscious of the still present and lingering uncertainty around what the future holds for home, work and learning environments.
Towards the end of last year, we were lucky enough to work alongside the National Mental Health Commission and people living with mental illness, to develop an online community-led initiative encouraging all Australians to prioritise their mental health during summer by #MakingTime for things that matter to them.
During the development of this initiative, the Commission had conversations with people experiencing mental illness and those who care for them about their challenges over the past year and what has helped them through. What did we find? Everyone’s experience has been different, and so too is what helps them get through, but what they make time for matters and can positively impact their mental wellbeing.
Working alongside leading organisations on pivotal initiatives provides the opportunity for our team to look within. Based on our learnings from last year and our desire to thrive personally and professionally, here is what the Primary team is #MakingTime for to support our mental wellbeing in 2021:
- Conversation: the morning team catch ups continue, but teams are also heading into the office once a week so we can chat over lunch together.
- Creativity: encouraging one another to try new things and pursue passions. If 2020 taught us anything it is that trying something new can result in hidden gems and talents.
- Celebration: sometimes we can move quickly onto the next thing without recognising the time, effort and success of our work. We are making a conscious effort to recognise the amazing work our team does, even if it results in blushing!
What are you, your workplace and your family making time for this summer?
The Commission is encouraging people to share what they are making time for with the rest of Australia, so together we can inspire and support one another in difficult moments. You can get involved and find out more by visiting www.nmhcmakingtime.com.au.
By Danielle Cuthbert, Primary Communication
Hydrogen – the silver bullet in Australia’s future energy mix
It has been a big week for hydrogen in Australia.
Starting off with the launch of Australia’s first hydrogen conference with more than 60 speakers from across the globe including the Hon. Angus Taylor MP and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Alan Finkel; and boosted mid-week with Prime Minister, Scott Morrison highlighting Australia’s hydrogen export potential in a meeting with new Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga.
With the Australian Hydrogen Council wrapping up its conference today, the message is being heard loud and clear. Hydrogen will be an essential part of Australia’s future energy mix and has a unique combination of advantages to influence and drive the global hydrogen economy.
The conference heard from an array of international hydrogen experts from Germany, France, Korea, New Zealand and the United States.
With many of Australia’s international trading partners moving to net zero emissions, hydrogen presents an opportunity for Australia to capitalise on its wind and solar capacity, its existing trading relationships and technical expertise.
The aim of the conference was for the industry to collaborate, share information and develop relationships at this crucial stage in the green hydrogen industry.
How do we understand policies, educate communities and crack the nut of this pre commercial phase?
Bringing down cost for large scale deployment has been a theme running through the conference and the Australian Hydrogen Council has called for a 2030 target date for Australia to reach its H2 under $2 target.
Congratulations to the Australian Hydrogen Council and everyone involved in making it a success. We are delighted to have been a part of it.
Rallying behind the teaching community in 2020
It’s been a challenging year for the Australian teaching community. We have been amazed how they have rallied together to support students during this unprecedented pandemic – and continued to deliver high quality teaching in the classroom and remotely.
This World Teachers Day on 30 October, we wanted to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all teachers including student teachers, teacher aides and retired educators. We also wanted to recognise those working behind the scenes in various education and curriculum authorities, who are involved in developing resources, training and other support measures for schools.
Primary has been working with teachers for over 15 years – particularly in our work managing Electricity Safety Week each year on behalf of Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy in NSW and Energy Queensland across QLD.
There were many unique aspects of Electricity Safety Week 7-11 September 2020 – and we were proud to maintain high levels of participation despite the challenges.
Quick thinking was required as students moved towards home-based learning. Working with Energy Queensland, we created “Heroes at Home” – an adapted version of the classroom Safety Heroes program with fun activities targeted at families and parents.
While face-to-face school visits from staff members were a popular addition to the ESW program in previous years, to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, schools were offered the option to receive a staff presentation virtually via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
So a big thank you to the teaching community – we’re looking forward to continuing to work with you in 2021!
Cybersecurity: Awareness is critical in defence
Perhaps one the fastest growing internet economies in the world, Australia’s digital contribution soared to AUD $122B billion in 2019(1). With the advancement of 5G technologies, the digital space is developing rapidly and it’s changing the way Australians live, work and do business.
These advancements provide us with opportunities yet challenge industries and communities alike.
The upshot, more will be required for Australians to reap the full benefits of digital innovation in a sustained and safe way.
Recently, the Australia Government its 2020 cybersecurity strategy revealing a staggering $1.67 billion investment aimed at enhancing Australia’s cyber security over the next decade.
While some were already-known initiatives within the strategy, the highlights are:
- Focus on collaboration techniques to build Australia’s cyber skills pipeline
- New ways to investigate and shut down cyber-crime, including on the dark web
- Stronger defences for Government networks and data
- Increased situational awareness and improved sharing of threat information
- Advice for small and medium enterprises to increase their cyber resilience
- 24/7 cyber security advice hotline for SMEs and families
Importantly, a security framework is being introduced to bolster the nation’s resilience and quicken its response time in an emergency. The framework includes security obligations for critical infrastructure providers and government assistance to industry in response to immediate and serious cyber-attacks on Australia’s most critical systems. These crucial strategies will be delivered through amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act.
The focus on critical infrastructure will ensure assets are properly defended during a cyber-attack. To that end, the Government has committed to assisting operators to ‘enhance their cyber security posture.’
It is currently proposed that $62.3 million will be invested in situational awareness capabilities funded through the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to respond to threats against critical infrastructure.
What that means is infrastructure operators will be able to share intelligence about malicious activity through the government’s cyber threat-sharing platform, which has been in the works for several years.
While our Governments are ramping-up efforts on cyber policies and businesses are attempting to keep up with global regulatory changes, the security threats that surround us are now less visible, have become underestimated and overlooked.
Investing in reputation capabilities for security will support, grow, and improve Australia’s cybersecurity posturing at scale.
Cybersecurity Public Relations
Cybersecurity firms in Australia tap public relations as part of their go-to-market strategy because it better informs prospects on their brands attributes, but it also guides them through the tough times.
The rising prevalence of high-profile cyber-attacks in the past few years also places a premium on crisis management and communication to deal with the inevitable fall out.
Cybersecurity PR in Australia typically sit across government and policy, media relations and thought leadership.
Primary Communication is pleased to represent the Code Red network across Australia and New Zealand providing strategic publicity and advocacy campaigns across retainers and projects. Every day our team articulate technology requirements and standards providing texture and authenticity to stories which enhance reputation in thoughtful ways.
This week, Primary Communication Senior Account Director, Elaine Banoub co-hosted a webinar with prominent Asia Pacific PR and cybersecurity experts including leading technology journalists Victor Ng and Stuart Corner, to discuss key success factors for effective communication across the whole Asia Pacific cyber security market.
Click here to see the recording of the webinar held August 12, 2020.
#GettingThroughThisTogether: supporting mental health & wellbeing
Primary Communication is proud to work with the National Mental Health Commission in its launch of #GettingThroughThisTogether – a national conversation to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians as the uncertainty around COVID-19 continues.
#GettingThroughThisTogether builds on the success of #InThisTogether launched in response to the pandemic in March, and acknowledges the continuing challenges for many Australians, as we navigate the compounding impacts of the pandemic.
The program was developed in collaboration with more than 20 mental health and social service organisations and provides practical advice and ten tips to help Australians to get through these extraordinary times.
- There is no place for domestic or family violence – help is here
- Caring for yourself helps you care for others
- Financial stress is real stress – seek free support today
- It’s better not to bottle up your feelings – Take steps to change your drinking habits
- Make a routine that works for you
- Your support can make a difference – connect with people each day
- Choose me time over screen time
- Play your part – feel good by doing good
- Help is available if you reach out
- Make a break a regular thing
To learn more about #GettingThroughThisTogether – https://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/GettingThroughThisTogether>