Never fear, postmen still delivering the goods in the digital age

WE'LL GET YOU THERE: We Know Travel travel consultant Peter McCredie.
 Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0717travel2

WE'LL GET YOU THERE: We Know Travel travel consultant Peter McCredie. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0717travel2

A POSTMAN with Australia Post for the past four decades, there’s no one more qualified than Gary Williams to talk about the changes that have faced his industry since the inception of what’s being dubbed the “digital disruption juggernaut.”

And Mr Williams says after 42 years the click of a button has brought about plenty of change.

“Mail volumes have definitely changed, but they’re made up of small packages now, the ones people order off eBay and the like,” he said.

“There’s always the older people who send Christmas cards, but now people can just click send and 20 people get a Merry Christmas message.”

The growth of the digital sector has changed the state of job security worldwide, and here in Australia, occupations - think postman, newspaper reporter, farmer or travel agent - are being transformed into iPhone or iPad applications or being hard-wired into computers.

A study by US job search site Career Cast has listed its top 10 jobs likely to bite the digital dust.

But steadfast in the face of change, each profession is determined to evolve.

We Know Travel Orange branch business manager Matt Stonestreet said the digital age acted as a double-edged sword for travel agents.

“There’s obviously more info out there now for clients. You can search cruises and there will be 50,000 different results,” he said.

“In-office it’s enabled us to enhance our research capabilities as well.”

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Central Western Daily managing editor Tony Rhead urged readers to remember the words of the great American writer Mark Twain.

“After reading in a newspaper of his own demise while on a tour out west, Mark Twain began one of his metropolitan lectures by quipping ‘Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated’,” Mr Rhead said.

“I have no doubt that the reported demise of newspapers and newspaper journalists is similarly exaggerated.”

Orange farmer Des Redmond conceded improvements in machinery technology had helped cap the amount of manual labour he had to conduct on his property, but was hopeful the farming profession would live on.

“I sincerely hope so. I still do the same amount of work today as I did 30 or 40 years ago,” he said.

“You’ve still got to get out there and do it.”

nick.mcgrath@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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