[Audio recording below]
Good afternoon Madam Chairman, Lord Mayor and Councillors.
My name is Liz Parker. I’m own and operate 121 Temps, however today and I am here on behalf of Australian Association of Virtual Industry Professionals which is the first not for profit association for Virtual Assistants in Australia.
Thank you for inviting me today to give you a bit of an insight into the virtual assistant industry in Australia.
So, “What is a Virtual Assistant?” you might be asking? Virtual Assistants save time, money and stress for the businesses that hire them, the majority of which come from the small business sector. If the virtual assistant industry continues to grow at its current rate it is clear we need more sectors to include virtual assistants in their staffing strategies and solutions.
The virtual assistant industry has been operating in Australia for over a decade however over the past 3 years we have seen the number of participants triple in volume. It is a new and emerging industry and one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. The reason for this massive growth is because of its attractiveness, especially to working women.
A typical virtual assistant would be seen as female with 10 – 15 years work experience in their particular expertise, giving them an in-depth knowledge and skill set that they can provide as a fee for service and continue to further develop these skills to help their clients.
Virtual Assistants work from their own home office, during the hours that suit them and their families. You may not be aware that they strengthen the social fabric of each of your electorate communities because they have a work/life balance that allows them the flexibility to have hands-on involvement in their communities – at local schools, charities, and not-for-profits.
Before they became a virtual assistant, they were employed, across a wide range of businesses and yes some virtual assistants once worked for Brisbane City Council and other public sectors.
Most virtual assistants begin their micro business after taking a break from regular employment, for instance, maternity leave or ill health. Returning to the workforce they find they face a large range of challenges. Research shows that full time working Mothers are extremely time-poor. Once they have children and so much more to organise and do to be able to get into work, their working day becomes not 8 hours but more than double that. This is the main attraction to becoming a virtual assistant – the ability to change their lifestyle landscape which gives them more time, less stress and the control over when and how they work.
The most obvious entry for virtual assistants into the larger industry and government sectors would be by providing casual and project support.
As virtual assistants come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences likewise they have a wide range of talents and skills to offer. From admin, accounts, writing, social media marketing, and web support to more specialised areas such as workplace health and safety compliance and project management.
As micro business owners they manage all the risks of their own business primarily in setting up in accordance with Australian laws and insurance. AAVIP has also developed a quality business program that provides this level of support.
Virtual Assistants can save corporate, Government and non-Government agencies time, money, stress and efficiency. I believe that they are an immense untapped resource that can make an immeasurable difference. The major benefits include drawing on a pool of readily available local workers with a wide range of experience, knowledge and skills. This can be at call or on a more regular basis. There are no hidden or added costs and they are charged a fee for service with no expectations of added benefits such as leave and professional development costs.
The virtual assistant industry is present in every electorate and has a beneficial impact in the day to day lives and health of the communities in which they live and participate. Your electorates.
Thank you Madam Chairman, Lord Mayor and Councillors for your time today.
If you would like to send a copy of the transcript to your local member please download a letter template here.