Tag Archives: Australia

Anil Sabharwal announced as new engineering site lead of Google Australia

Anil Sabharwal, Vice President of Product at Google, has been appointed the new lead for Google’s 700 engineers in Australia.

Having recently relocated to Sydney from the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Anil will also continue to lead Google’s global efforts in personal communications and photos.
Anil returns to Sydney from Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, where he led the team that created Google Photos.
Anil joined Google Australia in 2009 and spent four years in Sydney before relocating to Mountain View, where he led the team that conceived, built, and launched Google Photos in 2015. Google Photos has grown more than 500 million monthly active users, who upload more than a billion photos and videos daily. More recently his responsibilities expanded to Google’s connectivity and communications portfolio, which includes products and efforts such as Duo, RCS and Project Fi.

Anil said: “I’m thrilled to be home! The site has grown tremendously in the last five years and I can’t wait to jump in and support the amazing work that’s being done across projects like Chrome, Maps, and our products for the Next Billion Users. Australia has some of the most talented engineers in the world, and our Sydney office will continue to work on efforts that make big impact at a global scale.”
Alan has led the engineering team in Australia since 2007, overseeing its growth from just 20 engineers to more than 700 today.
Anil will replace director of engineering Alan Noble, who is departing Google Australia after 11 years to focus on the expansion of his non-profit organisation AusOcean. Alan has been site lead of the engineering corps at Google in Sydney since 2007, during which time it has grown significantly in size and scope.

Alan Noble said: “It’s wonderful to have Anil back in Australia - his presence here presents a fantastic opportunity to further showcase the amazing work done by Australian engineering teams across Google globally. For me, the decision to leave was not easy, let alone saying goodbye to the many incredible people I get to work with every day. But I felt that after 11 wonderful years at Google, and a few more decades tinkering around technology, the time was right to turn my focus towards my other great passion - protecting our oceans!”

Building robots and future STEM careers with Balga kids

Computer science and robotics can lead to a world of opportunities. But you don’t have to just be interested in them to make the most of them - Google, for example, employs lots of people who come from all kinds of backgrounds: people who love everything from music, to medicine, to motors!

At Google, of course, we do love technology, and we think that computer science will be a key part of the future of everything from education and health to government, transportation - even music and art!
Google's Sally-Ann Williams (left) with Senator Michaelia Cash (centre-left) and Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn (centre-right) get a robotics demonstration from students at Balga Senior High School. 
So we were thrilled to announce today - at an event attended by Senator the Honourable Michaelia Cash, Federal Minister for Jobs and Innovation - that we have partnered with the nonprofit organisation Schools Plus to support a STEM-themed after school program and Robotics Club at Perth’s Balga Senior High School.

We’re providing $25,000 in funding as well as mentoring and professional development with some of our amazing Google colleagues as Balga SHS aims to introduce at least two hours' a week of STEM education for its Year Seven students.
Balga SHS aims to introduce at least two hours' a week of STEM education for its Year Seven students.
Over the past fifteen years, Google and its 1,300+ employees have partnered with a number of nonprofit organisations across the country, and we look forward to working with Schools Plus, a group backed by David Gonski and other prominent Australians that calls for a stronger focus on philanthropy in education.

We've long been supporters of computer science and STEM education in Australia. Future innovations and inventions in Australia will come from students gaining skills in computer science today, and blending that with other disciplines to solve challenges the world faces now, and in the future.

We’re grateful to Schools Plus for bringing this exciting opportunity to us and we can’t wait to work with the Balga kids and teachers to do great things with technology.
Google, Schools Plus and Balga announced the funding and additional support at an assembly attended by staff and students.

More than just a way to pay: the new Google Pay app arrives Down Under

Fast, simple checkout. Easy access to rewards and offers. One spot for purchases, passes, and payment methods. All of these are ways we’ve been working to make paying safer and easier for everyone, everywhere. And you can make the most of these features with the new Google Pay app for Android. 



The app, which begins rolling out today, is just one part of everything we’ve got planned. We’re currently working on bringing Google Pay to all Google products, so whether you’re shopping on Chrome or with your Assistant, you’ll have a consistent checkout experience using the cards saved to your Google Account. We’re also working with partners online and in stores, so you’ll see Google Pay on sites, in apps, and at your favourite places around the world. 

As we continue to expand to even more devices and services, the new app offers an exciting glimpse of what’s to come. Here’s a closer look.


Helpful info while you shop 


Google Pay’s new “Home” tab gives you the info you need, right when you need it. See your recent purchases, find nearby stores, and enjoy easy access to rewards. 



A new spot for your stuff 


The “Cards” tab is an easy way to keep everything you need at checkout organized and at the ready. From credit and debit cards to loyalty programs, offers, and even that stack of gift cards from last year’s birthday, you’ll never miss a chance to save with Google Pay. 


A faster way to pay your fare in London (and others soon)


Use Google Pay on transit when you travel in London (with more cities soon), and stop worrying about your pass once and for all. Now all you need at the turnstile is the device that’s already in your hand. 


Google security and encryption 


Like all Google products, Google Pay comes with strong security protections at its core to safeguard your account and personal data from security threats. In other words, it’s got your back. 


All your favourite features 


Longtime Android Pay fans, fear not: the features you love aren’t going away. You’ll still get all your bank’s perks and protections, plus an extra layer of security, since Google Pay doesn’t share your actual card number when you pay in stores. And those online forms that take forever to fill out? Just choose Google Pay at checkout and pay with a few quick clicks instead. 

We’ll continuously be working to bring you new features in the app. For instance, if you live in the US or the UK, you’ll be able to use it to send and request money within the next few months. In the meantime, the Wallet app is now called Google Pay Send, and we’ve given it a fresh coat of paint to go with the Google Pay brand.



And if you’re a developer or business owner interested in accepting Google Pay, you’ll find all the tools you need on our developer site — or you can work with Shopify to make integration even easier.


To use Google Pay you’ll need to download the Google Pay app on Google Play, and have an eligible Mastercard, Visa, American Express or eftpos card from one of more than 50 supported banks and credit unions including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac. More banks are being added all the time.


Ready to try the Google Pay app? Get it on Google Play today


Posted by Gerardo Capiel Product Management Director, Consumer Payments and Varouj Chitilian Engineering Director, Consumer Payments

Promoting pride and respect with artificial intelligence

At Google, we think everyone should be able to express themselves online, so we want to make conversations more inclusive. Sometimes the labels we use to describe ourselves and our loved ones can be used to harass people online - but technology can help.

We launched Project Respect at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day.
We’re kicking off Project Respect at the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to help make conversations more inclusive. We’ll be asking people to write a statement about themselves, or someone they love and respect, to help reclaim positive identity labels.

Googlers Kirstin Sillitoe and Sam Worne help to launch Project Respect.
These statements will contribute to an open source data set, which coders, developers and technologists all over the world can use to help teach artificial intelligence models how the LGBTIQ+ community speak about themselves.

One of those AI algorithms is called Perspective, a tool that is currently being offered on a limited basis to international news websites to assist them in their moderation efforts. One of its uses is to highlight the toxicity of a comment to you, while you’re writing it. That gives you, as the writer, an opportunity to reflect, reconsider and edit your comment, making conversations more inclusive.

Perspective helps to highlight the possible toxicity of a comment, while you're writing it.
And while Project Respect began in Sydney, it’s also being rolled out to places like New Zealand and India, meaning the data we gather will represent the LGBTIQ+ community on a global scale. Google is a proud supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community through our sponsorship of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Community Parade Grants.

At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our offices around the world we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive.

We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, and for LGBTIQ+ communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are, both in the world around us and online.

The Google team behind Project Respect.
It’s been so great working alongside such a talented, passionate team to bring Project Respect to life. Many of us on the team identify as LGBTIQ+ - including me - and so we’ve experienced both the pride of being part of that community, and some of the challenges, first hand.

I grew up in an era when the word ‘queer’ was being (rightly!) reclaimed - and because the people who’ve gone before me fought that fight, I can now use that word with pride!

So I’m shouting about Project Respect to everyone … the more data we have from our own community, the more our online conversations will be a true reflection of the language we are proud to use.”

Don’t forget to visit Project Respect and share your statement.

Safer Internet Day: Create, connect and share respect

The theme for Safer Internet Day this year is particularly meaningful to us here at Google.

From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.

This year's theme - "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you" - is a call to action for everyone to play their part in creating a better internet for all web users, in particular the youngest out there. More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience.


This year we invited some of Australia’s most popular YouTubers - Elly Awesome, Slaiman and Kate, Jayden Rodrigues, Jamie and The Scran Line - to talk about the ups and downs of sharing their lives online - and in return we shared some love from their fans!

YouTube has always encouraged you to report content you think is inappropriate. Once you’ve flagged a video, it’s submitted for review to YouTube staff who then carefully look at the content to determine whether there’s a violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines to see if it should be removed. You can also flag individual comments under any video for abuse or spam.

Perspective uses machine learning to try to measure the impact of a comment, and see whether it might be perceived as toxic.
We are also training machine learning algorithms to proactively identify toxic comments. “Perspective” is an early stage API and can be used to highlight the toxicity of a comment to you while you are writing it which provides an opportunity to reconsider your comment.

In addition to promoting a culture of respect online, we have always believed that you should have the ability to take control of your digital experiences, and have invested in tools and resources to help you do just that.

YouTube encourages viewers to flag content they feel is inappropriate.
We recognise that children may share your home computer or frequently use the apps on your phone, and we have developed Safe Search and Restricted Mode on YouTube to filter out mature results from appearing in searches.


And of course we work closely with organisations such as The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Project Rockit, Kids Helpline and ReachOut to ensure that children and young people are receiving the best advice about being safe and respectful online.

Please take some time, not just today but everyday, to consider how your words and actions can impact others; a better Internet starts with you.

Back to school with Google for Education

As the 2018 school year kicks off we’re counting down some of last year’s education highlights 

Bag packed, pencils labelled and lunchbox ready… As students start returning to school this week, we’re taking a look back at five of the top Google for Education moments from 2017 in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2017...


  1. Educators were empowered to teach digital skills, with new professional development programs and resources. We awarded 22 Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) grants in Australia and 5 CS4HS grants in New Zealand and launched Careers with Code 2017 to every high school in Australia and New Zealand. We also saw 20,000 teachers enroll in the CSER MOOCs
  2. In New Zealand, we worked with the government to implement the digital technologies curriculum and hosted a ceremony for recent graduates of Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy - a program which provides new teachers with a year of teaching and training in a full immersion digital environment.  
  3. Online safety is front and centre for students, parents and teachers and we supported partners to develop online wellbeing programs for young people, including Project Rockit TV; a series of short videos addressing issues such as bullying and online behaviour. Kiwi students also had access to an online cyber bullying quiz to gain their digital license with the launch of the program in New Zealand, while the Generation Next seminar series and accompanying YouTube channel provided resources to empower students as ambassadors for mental health and wellbeing within their schools. 
  4. Schools told us that they wanted to learn more about Google’s education tools, so we visited classrooms from Bendigo to Rotorua during the Google Reimagining Education with Technology tour across 12 cities. Thousands of educators shared and learned together at Education On Air and EduTECH
  5. Last but not least, Chromebooks arrived in more classrooms, helping students access learning opportunities and supporting innovative teaching approaches. In New Zealand, Chromebooks were named as the number one selling education device in schools, while in Australia, all secondary students across Canberra Public Schools will receive a Chromebook, starting in Term 1 2018. Globally, more than 25 million students are using Chromebooks and over 30 million teachers and students use Google Classroom. 
We’re always inspired by the great work that educators and students do - both inside and outside of the classroom - and we look forward to supporting innovation in education in 2018 and beyond.

There goes the school bell!

Posted by Suan Yeo, Head of Education, Google Australia and New Zealand

Explore Victoria’s treasured national parks with today’s Google Doodle




January 26 holds different meanings and memories for Australians. You might be solemnly reflecting on our history, firing up the barbie – or perhaps, it’s just an ordinary day.


Whatever your walk of life, what binds all Australians is our love of our nature. Our bush, our parks, oceans and wildlife have shaped us – both physically and culturally.


Last year, our Doodle celebrated our big blue backyard, the Great Barrier Reef. Today, we’re continuing our Street View journey to Port Campbell National Park and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park.  With guidance from Parks Victoria, today’s Doodle celebrates the unique terrain, flora and fauna of these precious parks.


Located along the southwest coast of Victoria, the park’s cliffside viewpoints overlook its most iconic sight: seven pillars of stacked limestone, battered by wind and waves, that rise above the crashing surf. Below the surface is a seascape of canyons, caves, arches, and fissures – which are home to marine life such as sea urchins, lobsters, and abalone.  On the beach, visitors may spot the rare hooded plover at the water’s edge – one of many endemic species found only in Australia. Today’s Doodle depicts a trio of hooded dotterels and is framed by the vibrant, endemic purple clover glycine.

However you choose to spend today, we invite you to click on the link below today’s Google Doodle to explore the trails, cliffs and vistas of Port Campbell National Park and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park on Street View.

Posted by Camilla Ibrahim, Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Google Australia & New Zealand

Increasing our investment in Creators for Change

Since launching YouTube Creators for Change in September 2016, we’ve partnered with 39 inspiring creators from around the world, helping amplify their voices to counter hate and promote tolerance. Over the last year they’ve released dozens of thought-provoking videos that show the power of video to encourage empathy and understanding around the world.

Today, over a hundred YouTube creators are gathered in London for the annual Creators for Change Summit. The summit celebrates last year’s progress and fosters collaboration between leading advocates of social change for the year ahead. These creators include:

  • L-FRESH the LION, an Australian rapper of Sikh descent, who created a two-part track to challenge racism. 
  • Dina Tokio, a beauty vlogger from the U.K. who was recently named as one of Vogue’s “New Suffragettes,” uses her interview series #YourAverageMuslim to challenge perceptions about Muslim women including meeting with a hip-hop dancer, a powerlifter and a prison community development worker. 
  • Rosianna Rojas who, in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, travelled to a remote part of Colombia to help refugees learn about the power of YouTube to document their stories and share them with the world. 


A look back at 2017 
In 2017, global audiences viewed Creators for Change videos tens of millions of times, spending hundreds of thousands of hours watching this content.

Creators for Change collaborated with social impact organizations and experts in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, France and Belgium. One example of this is the Indonesian chapter campaign #1Indonesia where YouTube creators Cameo Project teamed up with the Maarif Institute, a local NGO, on a cross-country project to encourage over 2,000 high school students from ten cities to create videos for positive change on topics that affect their communities. Topics included tolerance for ethnic and religious minorities, and digital literacy around online hoaxes.

Through Creators for Change, we’ve educated over 15,000 young people in over 200 locations through local grassroots efforts, including workshops and school programs. In fact, students surveyed in Germany and the United Kingdom reported a significant increase in confidence in their ability to identify and counter hate speech online as a result of the workshops. And we’re just getting started … 

Increasing our investment in 2018 
In 2018, we are continuing to invest in Creators for Change, including providing production and marketing support with a value of over $5M to diverse voices harnessing the power and scale of YouTube in groundbreaking, positive ways.

We will engage more creators in the program, arm the wider YouTube community with new tools and education on how to create change, and empower more young people to use their voices to encourage positive social messages.

In the coming months, we’ll announce the global recipients of the production grants we’re making available through this renewed investment.

Video is a powerful medium to open minds to new perspectives and shared experiences. Creators prove that to us every single day. And we think Creators for Change in 2018 will reach and inspire even bigger audiences.

“Ok Google, read my book”… Introducing audiobooks for Google Assistant devices with Google Play

“Read more.” Every year it’s one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions. But with all the time spent battling traffic, working out, or picking up groceries, there often doesn’t seem to be a minute to simply sit down with a book.

With audiobooks on Google Play, rolling out today in Australia and around the world in nine languages, you can get stuck into a page-turner without lifting a finger.

Find your next great read at an affordable price, and enjoy it across devices that include the Google Assistant – like Google Home and many others – as well as Android, iOS and the web with Google Play Books. Here’s what you need to know:



Enjoy your audiobook with your Google Assistant


Just say “Ok Google, read my book” to listen to your favorite audiobook hands free with the Google Assistant on your Google Home device, smartphone or speaker. Try “Ok Google, who is the author?” if you need a refresher, or “Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes” to set a timer for bedtime reading. The Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android and smart speakers in Australia.


Listen without a subscription


On Google Play, you can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments. You can also get a free preview of the book to make sure you’re hooked by the story and enjoy listening to the narrator’s voice.


Weave reading into your day across multiple devices


Start your morning by listening to “Ready Player One” with the Assistant on Google Home, and continue listening with the Google Play Books app on your Pixel. You can pick up where you left off no matter what device you're using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app—on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop. And share your favorite audiobook with everyone in the family through Family Library for no additional fee—even if they’re using a different device.


Now, when you want to curl up to Australian classics like May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, learn Astrophysics For People In A Hurry from Neil Degrasse Tyson or spend a Sunday with Love your Sister by Samuel and Connie Johnson, all you have to do is say “Ok Google, read me my book….” to settle into the sounds of your new favorite audiobook.

“Ok Google, read my book”… Introducing audiobooks for Google Assistant devices with Google Play

“Read more.” Every year it’s one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions. But with all the time spent battling traffic, working out, or picking up groceries, there often doesn’t seem to be a minute to simply sit down with a book.

With audiobooks on Google Play, rolling out today in Australia and around the world in nine languages, you can get stuck into a page-turner without lifting a finger.

Find your next great read at an affordable price, and enjoy it across devices that include the Google Assistant – like Google Home and many others – as well as Android, iOS and the web with Google Play Books. Here’s what you need to know:



Enjoy your audiobook with your Google Assistant


Just say “Ok Google, read my book” to listen to your favorite audiobook hands free with the Google Assistant on your Google Home device, smartphone or speaker. Try “Ok Google, who is the author?” if you need a refresher, or “Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes” to set a timer for bedtime reading. The Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android and smart speakers in Australia.


Listen without a subscription


On Google Play, you can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments. You can also get a free preview of the book to make sure you’re hooked by the story and enjoy listening to the narrator’s voice.


Weave reading into your day across multiple devices


Start your morning by listening to “Ready Player One” with the Assistant on Google Home, and continue listening with the Google Play Books app on your Pixel. You can pick up where you left off no matter what device you're using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app—on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop. And share your favorite audiobook with everyone in the family through Family Library for no additional fee—even if they’re using a different device.


Now, when you want to curl up to Australian classics like May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, learn Astrophysics For People In A Hurry from Neil Degrasse Tyson or spend a Sunday with Love your Sister by Samuel and Connie Johnson, all you have to do is say “Ok Google, read me my book….” to settle into the sounds of your new favorite audiobook.