Deputy Ombudsman, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Scheme
Business Manager, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Scheme
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) Scheme, which
is an industry-based and funded alternative dispute resolution
scheme, identified diversity training as potentially offering
benefits in terms of both client services and internal culture.
As a consumer protection agency, the TIO handles telecommunications-related
complaints brought by residential and small business consumers.
Accessibility to the TIO's service is critical, and ensuring
any barriers to access were identified and rectified was a key
factor in the TIO's diversity training. Accordingly, a program
was developed by MyriaD in close consultation with TIO staff,
so that core cultural issues could be aired and addressed.
As a process, the TIO found its diversity training both challenging
and energising. The workshops generated a list of four key areas
which were potential barriers to diversity, and a short and tightly
outcome-focused action plan was developed to address these barriers.
As a learning experience, the TIO came to a much greater understanding
of its strengths and weaknesses. As a motivational exercise,
the enthusiasm generated and the positive initiatives which resulted
have to date been most encouraging. The great unknown at present
is whether long term improvements in work practices and output
Deirdre joined the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Scheme
as the in April 1999. She brought with her over 12 years' experience
in telecommunications, with five years as Manager, Regulatory
Strategy for Cable & Wireless Optus, plus several years at
the industry regulator, the former AUSTEL (now the Australian
Communications Authority), and at the former Telecom. Prior to
joining the telecommunications industry, Deirdre taught for over
10 years in Victorian high schools as well as in France and Italy,
and has qualifications in foreign languages and education. She
also has an MBA from Melbourne University and is presently studying
commercial law, with a focus on dispute resolution.
Jane Hill is the Business Manager and Company Secretary for
the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Scheme. Jane completed
an Arts/Law degree at Melbourne University in 1990 and has since
completed a Graduate Diploma of Marketing and an MBA. Prior to
working in telecommunications, Jane managed a professional association
for pharmacists. Jane is a Fellow of the Australian Institute
of Company Directors and in her spare time works for a number
of local charities.
30 min paper