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Welcome to the National Telework Week and Telework Congress 2012!

Today the Australian and New Zealand Governments, along with founding partner, Cisco, officially open the inaugural Telework Week 2012. In Australia we are kicking the week off with The Telework Congress at Melbourne University, which will include presentations from an exciting lineup of speakers, including the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

(If you have not yet signed up for Telework week, it’s not too late, Australians can do so hereand New Zealanders can do so here)

Australian Prime Minister Gillard opens the Telework Congress and National Telework Week with a live Cisco TelePresence keynote from Canberra. Showcasing the technologies that underpin teleworking, Gillard is the highest possible champion for telework in Australia.

The Senator Hon Stephen Conroy, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, The Hon Jeffrey Bleich  (The US Ambassador to Australia also via Cisco TelePresence) and Ms Jennifer Dudeck (Cisco’s own Global HR Director) are among the other speakers exploring the benefits telework provides to employees, employers, communities and wider society. See the full speaker list here.

Telework is just one facet of Australia’s strategy towards a globally competitive digital economy. Embracing the activities and technologies that make up the digital economy will drive positive economic growth, foster beneficial social outcomes, and encourage international connectedness for Australia and Australians.

Telework Week celebrates the opportunities that the digital economy and National Broadband Network provide through increased productivity, cost savings, increased workforce participation, city transport and infrastructure benefits and regional and urban connectedness.

Today’s Telework Congress explores how telework is currently implemented in our workforce and what the future will hold for flexible workplaces. Jennifer Dudeck, Director of Global Employee Engagement at Cisco, will draw on Cisco’s own 20 year experience with telework. The focus then turns to the future, where can we see telework moving, and how can it support the future challenges in our transport, cities, geography, employment, and people. Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks, Senior Director, Public Sector (Asia-Pacific), Cisco will also sit on a panel discussing teleworks impact on Australian infrastructure.

Around 340,000 unemployed Australians have a barrier to employment which would be at be least partially overcome through telework. Telework is an undeniably important social evolution thats leads the way for fruitful, equitable and inclusive growth across our economy and society.

In the spirit of inclusivity, the Telework Congress is open to all (more details here), as it is also being broadcast via a free webcast (register and access here). If you wish to join to the Telework Congress conversation online use #NTWau or #telework. Also check out Cisco’s Twitter feed (@CiscoANZ) or webpage dedicated to telework here Cisco Work Your Way.

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