The impacts of COVID-19 has accelerated the digitisation of our world, as businesses have been forced to adapt and offer online services. This has rapidly changed the way we communicate and created a new normal for accessing services.

Many Australians are still finding it challenging to access digital technologies and reliable internet and, with this shift towards online services, they will be unable to access them. This has created a gap within our community, but businesses and governments can bridge the gap by creating strategic partnerships to support these individuals. If you want to learn more about removing barriers to online participation, read this article.

Andy Penn, Telstra CEO & Managing Director and Gary Starr, EGM – Business, Government & International at Australia Post discussed who is most at risk of being left behind and the country’s digital divide. Stella Avramopoulos, CEO of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and Donna Stolzenberg, CEO of the National Homeless Collective, then joined the discussion to share what they’ve learned about the accessibility challenges of those facing disadvantage, before the group collectively discussed how businesses can ensure they have more inclusive access to their services.

Learn about our speakers

Andy Penn

CEO & Managing Director

Andy Penn became the CEO and Managing Director of Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, on 1 May 2015. At Telstra Andy is leading an ambitious change program transforming Telstra to be positioned to compete in the radically changing technology world of the future with 5G at its core.

Andy has had an extensive career spanning more than 4 decades across 3 industries - telecommunications, financial services and shipping. He joined Telstra in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer. In 2014 he took on the additional responsibilities of Group Executive International.

Prior to Telstra, Andy spent 23 years with the AXA Group, one of the world’s largest insurance and investment groups. His time at AXA included the roles of Chief Executive Officer 2006-2011 AXA Asia Pacific Holdings and Chief Financial Officer.  At AXA, Andy was instrumental in building one of the most successful Asian businesses by an Australian company sold to its parent in 2011 for more than A$10bn.

Stella Avramopoulos

Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand

Stella Avramopoulos has been the CEO of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand since February 2018. As the leader of this community services organisation, she is committed to disrupting cycles of disadvantage that hinder the wellbeing of women and families.

Prior to taking her appointment at Good Shepherd Stella was CEO of Kildonan UnitingCare for 9 years between 2008 and 2017. There she led the organisation through a period of significant growth and innovation. Stella understands community organisations, having worked through all levels of the sector, and feels passionate about ensuring women and children feel safe, strong and connected. Her experience spans from working in correctional services at the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety to being a case manager for youth and family service and working in local government youth services.

Stella is an influential leader in the community and government sectors. She has been a consultant for Consumer Affairs Victoria as the resident sponsor at the Berkeley Retirement facility in 2017. She has held advisory positions on the Office of Living Victoria’s Environment and Community Taskforce, the Ministerial Advisory Group Addressing Violence Against Women and Children and Australian Banking Association Customer Forum.

Donna Stolzenberg

National Homeless Collective

Proud Indigenous woman Donna Stolzenberg is a CEO, keynote speaker and trainer. In 2014, she had the simple idea of handing out 50 donated sleeping bags to homeless people. That idea has evolved into a nationwide charity.

The National Homeless Collective (NHC) is a grassroots Australian organisation that helps people affected by homelessness, domestic violence and social disadvantage.

A mother of five boys and a grandmother of two, Donna has lived experience of overcoming homelessness and hardship. Under Donna’s direction, NHC has created six sub-charities targeting different issues – Period Project, School Project, Plate Up Project, Sleeping Bags for Homelessness, and Secret Women's Business. It also runs Kala Space, an op shop employing women affected by domestic abuse or homelessness.

Donna’s generosity and resourcefulness have provided practical solutions in Australia’s most recent crises. This includes helping women to safely escape homelessness, people affected by bushfires, or those locked down in the Melbourne towers during COVID-19.

Event brought to you by

Australia Post

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM AEST
(11:30 AM - 12:30PM for SA participants)