Tag Archives: Australia

Google Home says G’day!

There’s never a dull moment at home – from getting the family ready in the morning to unwinding after a long day, and everything in between. Wouldn’t it be great to get some extra help?
Starting July 20, Aussies can enjoy Google Home, our voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With a simple “Ok Google”, you can get answers, turn up the music, manage your everyday tasks or even turn on or adjust your compatible smart lights. And we’re also launching Google Wifi, giving you seamless internet coverage for homes of any shape or size.
Tap into the power of Google with your Assistant
Need to solve a problem? Ask questions, translate phrases, run simple maths calculations and get definitions. Too busy to stay on top of the news? Ask and you shall receive the latest stories from sources such as Fox Sports, ABC NEWS, The Australian, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and SKY NEWS. Need a helping hand in the kitchen? Get substitutes, nutritional information and unit conversions without having to wash your flour covered fingers.
Google Home speaks ‘Strayan
With a distinctly Aussie voice, your Assistant on Google Home speaks and understands your language. Ask it for brekkie ideas or where the nearest servo is. You can also ask it what sound a Kookaburra makes, and it’ll cue the laughter we all know and love. And of course, we’ve hidden a few Aussie treats for you to discover along the way. Why not try asking your Assistant on Google Home “Are you going to Bonnie Doon?”
Get personalised help for your everyday tasks
Whether you’re stirring pots, matching socks or brushing hair, we know Aussie homes are busy ones. That’s why your Assistant on Google Home has been designed to help you get more stuff done when you have your hands full. With your permission, it will help with things like your commute, your daily schedule and more. And the best part? Up to six people can connect their account to one Google Home, so if you ask your Assistant to tell you about your day, it can distinguish your voice from other people in your family, and give you personalised answers. Just ask “Ok Google, tell me about my day” or say, “Hey Google, how long will it take to get to work?” and you’ll get up to speed on everything you need to know. It can wake you up in the morning (or let you snooze), set a timer while you’re baking, and more.
Turn up your tunes
Find the right beat for every occasion, whether you’re doing sunrise yoga, hosting a dinner party or having a dance-a-thon with your little ones. You can play songs, playlists, artists, and albums from your favourite music subscription services like YouTube Music, Google Play Music and Spotify.* With Google Home, we’re offering 6 months of YouTube Red for free to customers who are new to Google Play Music and YouTube Red**, so you can enjoy a premium YouTube experience, allowing you to listen to official tracks, albums, remixes and more - all completely ad-free.
Control your smart home Google
Home can help you keep track of everything going on in your home--you can control your lights, switches and more, using compatible smart devices from brands like Philips Hue and IFTTT. Just ask, and your Assistant will turn off the kitchen light. If you have a Chromecast, you can also use voice commands to play Netflix, Stan and YouTube on your TV or binge watch your favourite show. Enjoy Multi-room by grouping Google Home devices together (with Chromecast Audio or Chromecast built-in speakers too) to listen to the same song in every room.
A speaker designed for any room
Whether you’re hosting a dinner or a solo dance party, Google Home delivers crystal-clear sound and creates an enjoyable listening experience. Plus, we designed Google Home to fit stylishly into any room. And you have the option to customize the base with different colors to reflect your home’s style.
It’s just the beginning...
Your Assistant on Google Home will continue to get better over time, as we add more features. And soon, Google Home will be open to third party apps for the Assistant, giving you access to even more of your favourite services and content.
And there’s more...
We’re also launching Google Wifi, giving you seamless internet coverage for homes of any shape or size. Some Wi-Fi routers haven’t always been built to support the increasing number of devices we use or high bandwidth activities like gaming or watching videos. Google Wifi is a connected system that replaces your current router to bring smarts, security and simplicity to home Wi-Fi to give you consistently strong coverage in your home.
Google Wifi uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different Wifi points work together to determine the best path for your data. The result is Wi-Fi coverage even in hard-to reach areas, not just right next to the router.
Google Home is available for $199 starting on 20 July from The Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Telstra, Optus and Qantas Store. Google Wifi is also available on 20 July for $199 for a single-pack and $499 for a three-pack from The Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, and Officeworks.

*Subscription may be required
**See http://Yt.be/red/home for terms. Offer ends 15/1/18.

Hop aboard! Real time information for public transport in New South Wales is now available on Google Maps

Since 2005, we’ve collaborated with transit authorities around the world to make a comprehensive resource for millions of riders to find out which bus, train, tram or ferry can take them to their next destination.


Starting today, commuters in New South Wales will be able to get real time bus, train and ferry information in Google Maps. Google has teamed up with Transport New South Wales to add real-time information about routes and schedules across the region on Google Maps – for the first time in Australia.  Whether you are taking the train from Kings Cross to Killara, or boarding the ferries Fishburn or Friendship, you now have all the information you need to plan and adjust your journey at a glance, in one place.

If you're planning a trip between, say Bondi Junction and Circular Quay, you can simply type the two locations into Google Maps to get the latest information about which bus, train or ferry to catch. In addition to bus routes, you’ll be able to see when the next bus is arriving at your stop and an estimation of how long your trip is going to take. If your bus is delayed, Google Transit will automatically update the times in line with the new conditions. Routes that have real-time information available are marked in Google Maps in green.


Know when your bus or train actually arrives with real time information in Google Maps


Google Transit is a feature of Google Maps designed to help you plan your public transport trips quickly and easily. Just search for where you want go and Google Maps will show you how to get there using public transport from your current location. Google Transit is available on Google Maps for Android and iPhone as well as the Web. If you’re using the latest version of Google Maps, you can also compare public transport options to work out when you need to leave to arrive at your destination on time.


Residents of New South Wales who would like to find out when the next bus, train or ferry is arriving or directions to somewhere using public transport using Google Maps should follow these three simple steps:
  • Open Google Maps apps on your Android device or iPhone
  • Enter your destination and click the "get directions" icon. If it’s not already selected, tap the "transit" icon (the little tram) to view times, bus/train numbers, routes and more
  • You can change the destination by selecting a different end point at the top of the screen


Google Maps globally provides over one billion km worth of transit results every day and has schedules for more than three million public transit stops worldwide. Google Transit is now available for hundreds of cities across dozens of countries, with new partners joining all the time.

Posted by Cayden Meyer, Google Transit Product Lead

The butcher, the baker and the website maker… regional businesses gain new skills at the Digital Garage

The butcher, the baker and the website maker... Businesses of all shapes and sizes across regional New South Wales took part in Digital Garage workshops this month to gain new digital skills and learn how they can use the web to grow their business.

Google joined forces with the NSW Business Chamber and the local chambers of commerce and councils to host events in Wollongong, Wagga Wagga and West Wyalong designed to help local businesses make the most of the web.

The Minister for Small Business and Member for Riverina, Hon Michael McCormack MP spoke at this week's Digital Garage events in Wagga Wagga and West Wyalong and urged local businesses to get online.

Minister McCormack said digital platforms present huge opportunities for Australian businesses to reach new customers and grow their operations.

Minister McCormack with West Wyalong business owner 

In Wagga Wagga and West Wyalong, more than 160 local businesses took part in the workshop and heard from local business champions, including Matt Beaver from Carry Them Close, who started a baby carrier business after having his first child and now ships across Australia from their home in Wagga Wagga.

Google’s Duncan McGrath and Richard Flanagan with Wagga Wagga business owners Jill Tucker and Matt Beaver

Another local business leader, Jill Tucker spoke about how the internet has enabled her to reach new customers. Jill started Erilan after identifying a gap in the market to provide quality products and understanding for women who have undergone a mastectomy. Jill now has customers across Australia with 90 per cent of sales through the e-commerce site.



Local businesses at The Digital Garage in West Wyalong 



Earlier this month, we worked with the NSW Business Chamber and Illawarra Business Chamber to host a Digital Garage event at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus.

Parliamentarians Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services; Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications; and Sharon Bird MP, Member for Cunningham joined small businesses from the South Coast and Illawarra to hear more about getting online.

Google's Richard Flanagan, Stephen Jones MP, Senator Katy Gallagher and Sharon Bird MP




Local business, Jamberoo Action Park spoke about how they used digital tools to promote their offering and reach new customers, resulting in increased ticket sales and ongoing growth.

These stories from local businesses across NSW are consistent with research from Deloitte which shows highly digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be growing revenue, creating jobs and exporting.

However, more than 90% of businesses are not taking full advantage of digital tools. At Google, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to succeed online, that’s why we launched The Digital Garage to help close the gap in digital skills and help small business make the most of the web.

The final stop for The Digital Garage this month is Tamworth on Thursday 29 June - register now to attend or check out The Digital Garage in your own time!

GCP expands to Australia with new Sydney region – open now

Starting today, developers can choose to run applications and store data in Australia using the new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Sydney. This is our first GCP region in Australia and the fourth in Asia Pacific, joining Taiwan, Tokyo and the recently launched Singapore.



GCP customers Down Under will see significant reductions in latency when they run their applications in Sydney. Our performance testing shows 80% to 95% reductions in round-trip time (RTT) latency when serving customers from cities in New Zealand and Australia, such as Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, compared to using regions in Singapore or Taiwan.

The Sydney GCP region is launching with three zones and several GCP services, and App Engine and Datastore will be available shortly:





Google Cloud customers benefit from our commitment to large-scale infrastructure investments. With the addition of each new region, developers have more choice on how to run applications closest to their customers. Google’s networking backbone, meanwhile, transforms compute and storage infrastructure into a global-scale computer, giving developers around the world access to the same cloud infrastructure that Google engineers use every day.

In Asia-Pacific, we’re already building another region in Mumbai, as well as new network infrastructure to tie them all together, including the SJC cable and Indigo cable fiber optic systems. 

What customers are saying 
Here’s what the new regions means to a few of our customers and partners.

"The regional expansion of Google Cloud Platform to Australia will help enable PwC's rapidly growing need to experiment and innovate and will further extend our work with Google Cloud. It not only provides a reliable and resilient platform that can support our firm's core technology needs, it also makes available to us, GCP's market leading technologies and capabilities to support the unprecedented demand of our diverse and evolving business." 
Hilda Clune, Chief Information Officer - PwC Australia



"Monash University has one of the most ambitious digital transformation agendas in tertiary education. We're executing our strategy at pace and needed a platform which would give us the scale, flexibility and functionality to respond rapidly to our development and processing needs. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and in particular App Engine have been a great combination for us and we're very excited at the results we're getting. Having Google Cloud Platform hosted now in Australia is a big bonus." 
Trevor Woods, Chief Information Officer, Monash University



"Modern geophysical technologies place a huge demand on supercomputing resources. Woodside utilises Google Cloud as an on-demand solution for our large computing requirements. This has allowed us to push technological boundaries and dramatically reduce turnaround time."
Sean Salter, VP Technology - Woodside Energy Ltd


Next Steps 
We want to help you build what’s next for you. If you’re looking for help to understand how to deploy GCP, please contact local partners: Shine Solutions, Servian, 3WKS, Axalon, Onigroup, PwC, Deloitte, Glintech, Fronde or Megaport.

For more details on Australia’s first region, please visit our Sydney region page where you’ll get access to free resources, whitepapers, an on-demand training video series called ‘Cloud On-Air’ and more. These will help you get started on GCP. Give us a shout to request early access to new regions and help us prioritize what we build next.

Four steps we’re taking today to fight online terror

Editor’s Note: This post appeared as an op-ed in the Financial Times earlier today.
Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.
While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done. Now.
We have thousands of people around the world who review and counter abuse of our platforms. Our engineers have developed technology to prevent re-uploads of known terrorist content using image-matching technology. We have invested in systems that use content-based signals to help identify new videos for removal. And we have developed partnerships with expert groups, counter-extremism agencies, and the other technology companies to help inform and strengthen our efforts.
Today, we are pledging to take four additional steps.
First, we are increasing our use of technology to help identify extremist and terrorism-related videos. This can be challenging: a video of a terrorist attack may be informative news reporting if broadcast by the BBC, or glorification of violence if uploaded in a different context by a different user. We have used video analysis models to find and assess more than 50 per cent of the terrorism-related content we have removed over the past six months. We will now devote more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new “content classifiers” to help us more quickly identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content.
Second, because technology alone is not a silver bullet, we will greatly increase the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger programme. Machines can help identify problematic videos, but human experts still play a role in nuanced decisions about the line between violent propaganda and religious or newsworthy speech. While many user flags can be inaccurate, Trusted Flagger reports are accurate over 90 per cent of the time and help us scale our efforts and identify emerging areas of concern. We will expand this programme by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme, and we will support them with operational grants. This allows us to benefit from the expertise of specialised organisations working on issues like hate speech, self-harm, and terrorism. We will also expand our work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalise and recruit extremists.
Third, we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.
Finally, YouTube will expand its role in counter-radicalisation efforts. Building on our successful Creators for Change programme promoting YouTube voices against hate and radicalisation, we are working with Jigsaw to implement the “Redirect Method” more broadly across Europe. This promising approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential Isis recruits, and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining. In previous deployments of this system, potential recruits have clicked through on the ads at an unusually high rate, and watched over half a million minutes of video content that debunks terrorist recruiting messages.
We have also recently committed to working with industry colleagues—including Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter—to establish an international forum to share and develop technology and support smaller companies and accelerate our joint efforts to tackle terrorism online. Collectively, these changes will make a difference. And we’ll keep working on the problem until we get the balance right. Extremists and terrorists seek to attack and erode not just our security, but also our values; the very things that make our societies open and free. We must not let them. Together, we can build lasting solutions that address the threats to our security and our freedoms. It is a sweeping and complex challenge. We are committed to playing our part.

Google Flights has landed down under

Pack your bags! Whether you’re traveling from Wollongong to WA, or Tullamarine to Townsville, Google Flights will give you travel inspiration and surface the best available flight options. Starting today, you can search on Google for flights to a destination by searching for things like “Flights to Cairns” or “Flights to New Zealand”. Or, you can go directly to google.com.au/flights to quickly and easily compare and book flights in $AUD — from your mobile device, tablet or desktop.


AU_FlightSearch_Christchurch.png

Still daydreaming about your next trip? Try using Explore to get ideas on where to go based on popular destinations. If you want to get away for a holiday next month just choose “July” and a trip duration like “2 weeks” to see the dates with the lowest prices to visit each place.
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Once you select your departure and return dates, you’ll be presented with a list of ‘Best flights’; which represents the best tradeoff of convenience and price. Before you select a specific flight, you may see a notification bar with tips on how to find the best price for this route. Tips can include things like recommendations for alternate airports, suggest the cheapest dates to fly, or tell you about an expected price jump based on historic prices for that route.
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If you’re not ready to book yet, you can choose to track a flight and receive email notifications when prices are expected to change or when the price actually does increase or decrease significantly.
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Whether you’re ticking off your bucket list or taking a quick business trip, our goal is to help you find the best flight with confidence so you can plan, book and take off in a couple of clicks.

Happy travels!

Posted by Nabil Naghdy, Product Manager, Google Flights

Experience the songlines of Uluru with Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres

In the heart of Australia’s red centre lies the UNESCO World Heritage site, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is deeply sacred to the Anangu people, who have lived there for more than 30,000 years. It’s also home to a wide range of species, 21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds—and Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluru.

Starting today, people across the world will be able to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park on Street View, walk on the desert sand and enjoy the vibrant hues of the rock—from ochre to rust to wild plum and charcoal.
 
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku on Street View

Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colours and contours of Uluru stir a sense of reverence. While visually and geologically extraordinary, the physical features of Uluru hold a deeper meaning for its traditional owners. For Anangu, the land carries sacred songlines—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.

   Traditional Owner of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Reggie Uluru

All aspects of Anangu life are governed by Tjukurpa,the knowledge which guides relationships, values and behaviour. At the core of Tjukurpa law is a deep respect for the land. Anangu believe that if they look after the land, it will look after them. These teachings are passed down from generation to generation through stories, songs and inma (ceremony).

‘’Sometimes visitors come here and they see a beautiful place, but they don't understand the Tjukurpa, the culture and the law and the knowledge and the history that this place holds…. It’s the living keeper of our culture, ” says Sammy Wilson, Anangu traditional owner of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. “We want to teach those visitors about the Anangu understanding of this place.”
Traditional owner, Sammy WIlson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Over the past two years, we collaborated with Anangu Traditional Owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Parks Australia and the Northern Territory Government to capture the park for Street View according to Tjukurpa law. The Street View journey ventures to the vista of Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, the winding trail of the Kuniya Walk, the cool respite of Kapi Mutitjulu (waterhole) and ancient art at Kulpi Mutitjulu (Family Cave). It invites you to zoom in on the curves, crevices and textures of Uluru—and gaze up at its glowing gradient of colour.  


Lindsey Dixon, of Northern Territory Tourism, captured the Street View content at
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in accordance with Tjukurpa law


Since 2007, Google has mapped imagery of unique locations across 83 countries, including heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and transit locations across the globe.  In the case of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Tjukurpa warranted a more nuanced approach.  For Anangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate. People, earth, plants and animals are inextricably connected. This means that Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.

We knew we had to bring these cultural and spiritual dimensions to the Street View experience. So we used the Story Spheres platform to add immersive audio stories and songs of Anangu traditional owners to the 360° Street View imagery. The result is an interactive, audio-visual guided tour, narrated by Sammy Wilson and with song and music by Traditional Owner and Anangu Elder, Reggie Uluru.  

 
                                         The Kuniya Walk on Story Spheres

Because Tjukurpa teachings are traditionally handed down through an ancient oral tradition, Anangu stories, songs and ceremonies are largely unrecorded. The generosity of traditional owners has made a rare and revered piece of culture available to, and archived for, the world.

                     Traditional owner, Sammy WIlson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Together with our partners, we’re privileged to help celebrate and preserve Anangu culture through technology. We hope this model will lead to stronger partnerships with indigenous communities across Australia—to share more sacred sites and instill greater value and respect for the land.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres project in our video:


The power of video to help #ShareSomeGood

Video affects us like no other medium. It can heighten our passions, stoke our fears, awaken us to new experiences, make us laugh and cry. It can educate, build understanding and even change the way we see our world.
Last year we launched the Share Some Good initiative, bringing together more than 100 creators and activists to the YouTube Pop-up Space in Sydney to inspire them to use their voices to promote tolerance and inclusion.
The talented artists who participated in Share Some Good at the premiere of their stories.
We challenged these people to come up with an idea or a story that tackles difficult issues such as hate and extremism, and that seeks to spread a more positive message. Today we’re privileged to share these 15 Australian stories with you:


We hope you will be as impressed as we were by the diversity of perspectives and the creativity behind each of these stories.
Share Some Good is the Australian chapter of YouTube Creators for Change, a global movement that amplifies the voices of YouTube role models who are confronting tough social issues through committing US$1 million in equipment and production grants and the appointment of champions from different areas around the world to work on social impact projects.
From combating hate speech, to countering xenophobia and extremism, to simply making the case for greater tolerance and empathy toward others, these creators are helping generate positive social change with their global fan bases.
YouTube Creators for Change fellow L-FRESH the Lion and ambassador Natalie Tran
We’re thrilled to have Australia’s Natalie Tran among the 11 Global YouTube Creators for Change ambassadors, as well as L-FRESH the Lion appointed as a Creators for Change fellow.
We partnered with social change agency Love Frankie, the Foundation for Young Australians, the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Vice, which generously offered mentorship, training, and broader support to these creators.
Our goal is to enable a chorus of voices using digital platforms such as YouTube to drown out content that promotes violence, hate, or fear. We hope that Australians share these creative stories are motivated to contribute to this growing community of Australians who are seeking to Share Some Good.

Our next step on the path towards reconciliation

Reconciliation Week in Australia is a time when all of us celebrate and build on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

We think of proud peoples who for tens of thousands of years have been maintained a deep connection to the land - with an incredible history and proud culture.

This year, Reconciliation Week marks two important milestones: It is 50 years since the 1967 Referendum in which indigenous Australians were legally allowed to vote, and 35 years since the historic Mabo land rights decision.

Jason Pellegrino, Google Australia managing director, welcomes employees to the Reconciliation Action Plan launch.
The theme for Reconciliation Week in 2017 is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’ and today Google is taking a big next step by launching our first ever Reconciliation Action Plan.

Last year we promised to create a plan to take practical actions, build respectful relationships and open up new opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are happy to say that we have done just that, and we’re grateful for the support from the people at Reconciliation Australia, who have played an integral part in our reconciliation journey so far.

Gadigal elder Uncle Max performs a traditional smoking ritual.
But it is just the start of that journey, because there continues to be unacceptable gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the rest of Australia. We can’t ignore the past and must face the fact that past policies and European settlement had a devastating impact on Aboriginal communities.

At Google we believe we can best serve Australians by embracing and striving to understand the many diverse, complex and ancient cultures of our vibrant community.

We recognise that we can’t sit idly by in the path towards reconciliation - it must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all of us at Google, regardless of background.

This RAP, developed by a cross-section of passionate Googlers on behalf of their colleagues, articulates our joint vision for reconciliation in Australia and the actions we will take to be better partners with Indigenous Australia.

There are three main goals of the RAP:
  • Relationships - Partner with, and learn from, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities
  • Respect - Raise Google employee awareness of, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and achievements, in order to build an appreciation of life in Australia from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.
  • Opportunity - Provide better access to technology for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and a greater focus on building a pool of future technologists that better reflects Australia’s diversity.
Singer Christine Anu performs her song 'My Island Home' at the ceremony.

Our objective is help build stronger and more respectful ties with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - and help ensure that all Australians can share in the opportunities created through technology.

Digital skills download at the Balmain Bowlo

More than 100 small business owners from Sydney’s inner west gathered at the Balmain Bowling Club this morning to gain new digital skills.

Research suggests digitally engaged SMBs are more likely to be growing, accessing new markets and hiring staff, which is great news for the local community and national economy.

Today's Digital Garage event - supported by the NSW Business Chamber, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Leichhardt and Annandale Business Chamber, and Balmain Rozelle Chamber of Commerce - brought together the local business community, along with local Member of Parliament, Anthony Albanese; Google Australia Managing Director, Jason Pellegrino; and Vice-President of the Balmain Rozelle Chamber, Kate Moriarty.



Member for Grayndler, Hon. Anthony Albanese MP spoke to local businesses about the importance of gaining new digital skills.

“The inner west is home to many great businesses of all sizes. And these business owners are creative - they are responsive to technological change and are determined to succeed,” Mr Albanese said.

“With higher internet uptake in our area than any place in Australia, online presence and accessibility is crucial for our businesses.

“Today’s workshop encourages local business owners and leaders to not only continue to adapt, but also to come together and talk about how we can make the most of digital opportunities.”




Some great small businesses owners also shared their experiences of using digital tools - including local marriage celebrant, Stephen Lee, owner of Stephen Lee Celebrancy who uses Google My Business and YouTube to connect with new customers and Deepak Munsami, owner of The Tattoo Movement who uses digital advertising to reach clients online.



At Google, we think all Australians should have the opportunity to gain digital skills and we want to make that as easy as possible. That’s why we launched The Digital Garage: a free online training platform to help small businesses make the most of the web.

The Digital Garage will be hitting the road in coming weeks, visiting more locations around New South Wales - check out our events page to find out more.