Ahmed Fahour: the turning point for Australia Post


Australia Post’s traditional letters business is declining 6% year-on-year. So what’s the future for the postie in a digital world? The agency’s managing director outlines the strategy.

I’ve been in this role as managing director for four and a half years now. My most vivid memory of starting in this role actually comes from the day before I went off to work at Post for the first time. I was talking to my daughter about this new job I was starting, when she looked at me with this really quizzical expression on her face and she asked, “Dad, what do postmen do?”.

So I started talking about Postman Pat and his black-and-white cat but she stopped me — and said, “dad, I know about the cat but what does the Postman actually do?”.

Now, this is a whip-smart, 8-year-old girl who had already started communicating via a computer and mobile phone. But she had, in reality, completely bypassed traditional mail when she communicates. So, it really hit me — in that moment — that I was entering a business that was facing a generational shift away from THE product that it had been built on over the previous 200 years. My “communication world” when I was growing up was all about stamps, post offices and posties. The mail system connected with my world. Her world is about Instagram, iMessages, WhatsApp and eBay.

Thankfully, my initial reaction of fear quickly turned to determination.

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    Mr Fahour, I’ve just sent you a letter by post. I wondered how long it is going to take to get to you. (I am one of the people who still like to use letters)

    S