• +61 2 9492 1000
  • launch@launchgroup.com.au


launchgroup.com.au > Blog > News
8 Dec

DJ Decibel game makes STEM learning fun

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 1 News, Uncategorized



DJ Decibel game makes STEM learning fun


Splash launches three mathematics-learning games


Australia 21 October 2014: Digital education site Splash has put a spin on maths and STEM education with today’s launch of DJ Decibel. Produced in association with Hackett Films, the latest interactive game to join the Splash portfolio is matched to the Year 8 mathematics curriculum, and is available via the Splash website or as a mobile app for Android or iOS.


As DJ Decibel keeps the music thumping, high school students solve problems to keep the fans jumping. Students can rig the show with very loud speakers, wrangle three-metre high robot dancers and fire lasers to explode fireworks from a flying DJ pod, learning about volume, spatial reasoning, problem solving, pi and the Cartesian plane in the process. As Problem-Solver-in-Chief at DJ Decibel Stadium F(x), all issues must be fixed in order to max-out fan numbers.


Today’s launch follows on from another STEM game launched by Splash this month; Choose your own Statistics, which was produced in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission. A third game, Mixed-Up Maths is scheduled for release in early November.


Choose your own Statistics enables Year 5 to 8 students to gain a better understanding of human rights issues via statistics. Students can customise and publish their own graphs, and all of the data is available for download to Excel to enable further exploration. Teachers will also find a wealth of information to support them in engaging their students as they introduce topics from the Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business curriculums.


Mixed-Up Maths is a series of highly entertaining, wacky and fast-paced short videos created specifically for primary school children from the YouTube generation, using memorable visual storytelling to explore mathematical concepts from the Australian curriculum. This 13-episode series uses an exciting mix of hand-drawn animation, motion graphics and live action footage to transport students to a range of wild and exotic locations. The journeys students will be taken on include Daredevil Geometry, The Giraffe ate my Homework, Treasure Hunt, and Strawberry Warrior Milkshake Princess. The series is matched to the F-6 mathematics curriculum.


Director of ABC Innovation, the developers of Splash, Angela Clark, said: “STEM resources, and maths in particular, have been a core focus for Splash, so we’re pleased to see that the launch of these games coincides with the Government’s commitment to provide more funding and focus on STEM subjects in Australian schools.


“We know that teachers are keen to find engaging ways to teach these subjects, and what better way to do that than by giving them free interactive learning games that students love. Furthermore, we know that Australia’s long-term success in the digital economy will depend in large part on the education students receive in STEM subjects.”


The DJ Decibel and Choose your own Statistics games are available for free on the Splash digital education website, with Mixed-Up Maths available early next month: http://splash.abc.net.au  






About ABC Splash!

Launched in March 2013, Splash is a ground-breaking free education website which helps students, teachers and parents embrace online and digital learning. It was developed by ABC Innovation in conjunction with Education Services Australia, supported by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Department of Education. It is one of the largest digital projects ever undertaken by the ABC and delivers world-class interactive educational resources for primary and secondary school students, their teachers and parents. 


About ABC Innovation:

ABC Splash is a department of ABC Innovation which manages the ABC website abc.net.au and core mobile offerings including the ABC iPhone, iPad and Android apps. ABC Innovation also creates digital media content and services for online, mobile and emerging platforms.


For images, further information or interviews: 

Sarah Bond: T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181

Ashford Pritchard: T 02 9492 1040 / M 0411 020 680


8 Dec

Top digital leaders support next generation of Aussie startups

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 1 News, Uncategorized



Top digital leaders support next generation of Aussie startups


Startup community backs Macleay College’s aspiring entrepreneurs


Australia, 12 November 2014: Leading entrepreneurs are backing Australia’s youth startup generation in association with premier independent education provider, Macleay College.  


Today’s Macleay Enterprise Exhibition Day will see 17 groups of entrepreneurial students pitch their business ideas to a panel of industry experts before proceeding to display their product in round two of the startup initiative. Here the panel will evaluate their business idea, their exhibition stand and the group – and along with course leaders – they will identify the top five business ideas.


The event is designed to introduce students into the Australian startup space through their ventures shaped under the guidance of established international business leaders, specially drafted in to lead the course. The practical program has proven a success to date, with lecturer, entrepreneur and VC, Andrew Robinson, having already invested in a Macleay student’s business initiative.


Today’s entrepreneur-led judging panel includes:

  • Anthony Farah, CEO of digital innovation company Vivant, the company behind the Commonwealth Bank’s award-winning mobile wallet application Kaching, and TEDxSydney app
  • Brian Housten, Founder and Director of VideoSift, voted best video aggregator by PC World Magazine
  • Trevor Lindars, Founder and Director of innovation consulting firm Sigma Rose
  • Ilse Vanhulle, Manager at Deloitee Cloud Services
  • Andrew Robinson, founder of one of the world’s first knowledge trading social networks and News Entrepreneurship lecturer at Macleay
  • Ronan Healy, Executive Coach, Startup Mentor and current Entrepreneurship lecturer at Macleay

Anthony Farah, CEO at Vivant, which has its own digital Ventures arm, is dedicated to finding and supporting local entrepreneurs and startups and is keen to help pioneer the next wave of business leaders, stating: “Some of Australia’s, and indeed the world’s, best business talent comes from our younger generations. It is vital that we, within the industry, nurture them and continue to develop and sustain our nation’s startup eco-system.” 


Macleay head of business Dr. Jane Hession added: “It’s refreshing to see so many of our established entrepreneurs actively investing in the growth of Australia’s startup community, and naturally this would extend to backing the next generation.


“As StartupAUS’ Crossroads report noted, if Australia is going to compete on an international scale with established entrepreneurial economies including the USA, UK and Ireland, we need to encourage kids, parents and students of all ages to celebrate the entrepreneurial mindset.


“At Macleay, we advocate a practical learning environment to get our students ready to step straight into the industry – and even better with a ready-made product. Having an idea is one thing, having the knowledge and acumen to execute it is another. That’s what our teachings are all about.”


Macleay will host the event as part of the college’s investment in entrepreneurship. The event is an extension of the college’s unique Entrepreneur unit, in which students develop a business idea and then fund and grow that venture.


For more information visit: https://macleay.edu.au


– Ends –


For more information:

Sarah Bond

02 9492 1041 / 0449 543 181



About Macleay College:

Macleay College is Australia’s premier independent college, with a focus on making careers happen. The college prepares students for job opportunities in the real world by providing the latest industry skills and education, connections and practical work experience. Macleay offers a comprehensive advertising diploma, as well as accelerated journalism and business degrees and diplomas. Business courses are developed around specialist interests such as real estate, event management, sports management and travel and tourism with entrepreneurial courses also part of their unique offering. Macleay’s tertiary courses have an emphasis on multi-media qualifications, and offer students a hands-on approach, which ultimately helps fast track their career within just 12 months. The boutique college has a primary campus in Sydney and a Melbourne campus, which specialises in journalism education.

8 Dec

It¹s time to address Negative Gearing issues

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized

Media Release


It’s time to address Negative Gearing issues


Onthehouse.com.au Consulting Analyst says mechanisms already in place for Government to rectify negative gearing’s adverse affect on housing market


Australia, 24 November 2014: With recent estimates from ratings agency Moody estimating that negative gearing, the tax break given to investors who rent property at a loss, has pushed up property prices by 9 per cent, Onthehouse.com.au Consulting Analyst John Edwards today argued that it is time for the government to take action. However, with probably more than 1.25 million Australian’s benefiting from negative gearing, he cautioned that scrapping the tax break is not the best way forward for Australia. He said “The volume of deductions being claimed is probably in the order of $20 billion per annum plus.”


In a paper coming soon to the Onthehouse.com.au website, Mr Edwards, said that removing the Negative Gearing benefit from property investment but not other investments would create a market distortion and could have a jolting affect on Australia’s property market.


Instead, Mr Edwards believes that the government should take four steps to correct the market imbalance caused by negative gearing:

  1. Instruct the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that transactions which are geared past an untenable level and produce tax losses annually for an unreasonable period of time (say five years) should be challenged under PART IVA – the section of the tax code that deals with tax avoidance.
  2. Ask the Tax Commissioner to issue a general tax ruling indicating that any party investing in residential property who borrows in excess of 80 per cent will be subject to scrutiny.
  3. State that, upon the sale of an investment property, if at no time during a reasonable pre-sale period did the rental income exceed the interest and other deductions, the tax office would consider the transaction was in effect purchased for the purpose of trading in residential property and hence the Capital Gains Tax benefit of only having to pay tax on 50 per cent of the gain would not be available.
  4. Follow these rulings up by taking action in the courts against a few very clearly very over leveraged transactions to confirm its position. 

Mr Edwards said: “Negative gearing is a necessary mechanism, in effect acting as a subsidy for people who are renting and encouraging the provision of rental stock for people who cannot afford to buy. It is also a risk minimiser for the investor when interest rates increase. However, there are increasingly cases where it is being allowed by Federal Government authorities when it should not be, and this is distorting the market, causing higher house prices and making it harder for first time buyers.


“Simply removing negative gearing would result in property being treated differently from other asset classes, which in itself could have long term negative effects.


“In fact, tax legislation is quite clear in that investors are not permitted to enter into a transaction with the main purpose of reducing their tax liability – and similarly that if an investor is buying a property with the sole aim of making profits from capital gains and not rentals, then this constitutes property trading, that is, the investor was in the business of buying and selling residential property for a profit and is therefore not entitled to benefits in terms of the capital gains tax legislation. Clearly, the current reality on the ground is that many property transactions should be challenged.


“It is not the fault of the Tax Office that there hasn’t been stricter management of residential property investment, the Tax Office is the instrument of the Federal Treasury, acting on their direction and requires the staff to implement rules and regulation.”


Equally he said: ”There will be many ordinary Australians who have no idea about the limitation in terms of negative gearing. There is simply so much hype about it that many will just simply think there is no limitation and will not be getting any tax advice and doing their own tax returns.


“We are calling on the Federal Treasury to work with the Tax Office to clarify the current situation when it comes to negative gearing, and to take steps to correct how negative gearing is being enforced.”


He continued: “Financial planners and mortgage brokers who are encouraging negative gearing to excessive levels need to recognise their obligations and potential liability in providing their clients with inappropriate advice and make sure that their client is such that the tax deductions they are relying on are not disallowed when the transaction is reviewed by the commissioner.”


For more information and further data please visit www.Onthehouse.com.au.




Media contacts

Ashford Pritchard: E ashford@launchgroup.com.au  / T 02 9492 1040 / M 0411 020 680

Sarah Bond: E sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au  / T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181


About onthousehouse.com.au

www.Onthehouse.com.au is Australia’s most transparent and comprehensive real estate portal, empowering consumers to make informed property decisions by providing them with free access to information. Over 1 million unique browsers visit onthehouse.com.au every month to search listings and view in-depth property data, making it Australia’s third most popular real estate platform.


Onthehouse.com.au is the flagship consumer offering of Onthehouse Holdings (ASX:OTH), the 360-degree property market services group that provides comprehensive real estate agency solutions, information and analytics services. Onthehouse Holdings businesses together help over half of Australia’s real estate agencies, as well as being used by financial institutions and other property-related professionals.

8 Dec

Valtech ANZ appoint Morten Sorensen as Business Director

by launch-admin Dec 8, 2014 0 News, Uncategorized


Media Release


Valtech ANZ appoint Morten Sorensen as Business Director


Sydney, 03 December 2014 – Leading global digital marketing and technology firm Valtech has appointed Morten Sorensen as Business Director and Head of its Digital Marketing and Commerce Practice in Australia.


Mr. Sorensen joins the Sydney office from Denmark, where he was an Account Director and Senior Advisor at Valtech’s Aarhus office. A commercial, digital marketing, commerce and customer experience expert, he has spent over 12 years rolling out digital projects and helping International clients such as Lantmannen Unibake, Bestseller, Danske Commodities and Leaseplan.


Prior to working at Valtech, he held senior management roles at online marketing agency No Zebra and software provider DynamicWeb. He has also co-founded two digital marketing companies, and lived and worked in Denmark, Germany and South-eastern Europe.


Valtech ANZ GM Chris Flintoft said that the appointment of Mr. Sorensen leveraged the organisation’s global expertise and scale to bring new skills to the Australian market:


“Beer and classic furniture design aren’t the only great exports to come out of Denmark. Morten is a key hire for us, bringing with him vast technical and product expertise as well as in-depth knowledge of best practice globally. He will lead the establishment and growth of a new Digital Marketing and Commerce practice in Australia – building on our existing stellar work with clients such as CBA, QANTAS, Hoyts, FOXTEL and Telstra.


“The ability for our Sydney office to call on specialist expertise from practitioners like Morten is part of a new suite of opportunities for us as part of Valtech’s growing worldwide business. We’re excited to be able to bring new ideas and approaches to the Australian market, and help both our existing and new clients chart new courses on the digital frontier,” he said.


Mr. Sorensen is the first senior management hire for Valtech in Australia following the acquisition of Sydney-headquartered video-on-demand and connected objects startup Neon Stingray in August this year. He will spearhead the adoption of Valtech’s Agile Marketing approach and have a particular focus on working with major marketing cloud providers such as Adobe and Hybris.


He commented: “It is great to be joining Valtech in Australia at a pivotal time in its evolution, and to help connect startup innovation culture with our global intelligence and capabilities. My passion is to help brand owners and market leaders navigate the digital landscape, and take their digital strategy to the next level.


“I have first hand experience of how this has helped major brands evolve in Europe, and look forward to helping Australian businesses do the same.”

Mr. Sorensen will officially take up his role on 5 January 2015. 


– Ends –


Media Contacts


Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1040 or 0411 020 680

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 or 0449 543 181


About Valtech


Valtech is a digital marketing agency pioneer in technologies with a presence in nine countries (France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, USA, India, Australia, Singapore) and 1,500 employees. As a full-service digital agency, Valtech brings value to its customers at all aspects of their digital activities: Strategy consulting, service design, technology services, and optimisation of business-critical digital platforms for multichannel e-commerce and marketing.


In August 2014, Valtech acquired Sydney and Stockholm-based digital technology consultancy Neon Stingray to bolster its development in the ASIA-PAC region by creating a key hub to further expand its technology expertise and client portfolio. Valtech’s Australian clients include QANTAS, FOXTEL, Telstra, Hoyts, CBA and Google, as well as some of the leading companies from the media, entertainment and retail sectors.

5 Dec

Andrew Johnson announced as new ACS CEO

by launch-admin Dec 5, 2014 1 News, Uncategorized

5 December 2014: Australian Computer Society (ACS) President Brenda Aynsley OAM today announced the appointment of current ACS Chief Operations Officer Andrew Johnson to the role of Chief Executive Officer.


“It is a testament to the strength of the Society that for the first time in our almost 50 year history, we are able to elevate one of our own to the role of CEO. Andrew joined the ACS in October 2011 as General Manager for Strategic Initiatives and was appointed COO in March 2013. In that time he has overseen continued growth of the Society and spearheaded the development of a suite of products which have enhanced the Society’s position in the ICT professionalism space.”

“I am confident he will ably lead the Society as we build towards our 50th anniversary in 2016.”


Ms. Aynsley also paid tribute to CFO Kim Finch, who has held the role of CEO whilst an executive search was undertaken.


“Kim has done a great job of leading the Society through this transition. I want to extend my thanks to her, as well as the thanks of the staff and volunteers. Managing an organisation in transition is always a challenge, and Kim has met that challenge head on.” 


Andrew Johnson has extensive senior management experience servicing both the higher education and VET sectors, including in membership based professional associations. His career has seen him work in a diverse range of markets across the Asia Pacific region. 


In his time at the ACS he has delivered significant growth results in the SFIA and education space, all while improving member engagement, particularly among professional partners. He was instrumental in the development of the organisation’s current three-year plan and product offering. 


Mr Johnson holds a Masters degree in Technology Policy and Management, He is an ACS Certified Professional and an accredited MySFIA Consultant. 


“It’s a great honour to be able to lead an organisation like the ACS” Mr. Johnson said.


“With the incredible growth of the digital economy, the ACS will continue to be a trusted source of knowledge for the Australian ICT sector.  That we can do this is a testament to our staff, volunteers and members. I look forward to working with them all in the coming years to keep up the great work done so far”.


Kim Finch will remain in the role of ACS CEO until December 31. Mr Johnson will commence in his role from 1 January 2015.




Media Contact

Thomas Shanahan / thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au / 0449 902 130


About the Australian Computer Society 

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

Warning: getimagesize(http://web26.sky.studiocoast.com.au/wp-content/themes/maniva-home-yellow/images/back_top.png): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in D:\Sites\launchgroup\launchgroup.com.au\home\wp-content\themes\maniva-home-yellow\template_inc\inc-footer.php on line 16