Author Archives: anzprteam

Resources to help Aussie businesses manage through COVID-19 uncertainty

Small businesses are the backbone of Australia. They power the economy, keep people in jobs, and support local communities. But right now, these businesses are facing some significant challenges as they respond to the recent devastating bushfires and now disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Today, Google Australia launched a new Google for Small Business ( online hub to provide helpful resources to small and medium businesses as they navigate these challenging times for them, their employees and customers.

The resources are designed to help business owners communicate effectively with their customers and employees, and maintain business operations and continuity planning in response to fast changing external conditions.

It includes step-by-step advice and links so business owners can adjust their existing arrangements as needed - for example, in response to having to temporarily close shopfront operations or moving employees to remote working arrangements.

COVID-19 and the recent bushfires have created unprecedented challenges for Aussie businesses and we’re keen to make sure the best of Google’s business resources are available to help these businesses get through this period.

The new resource builds on steps we’ve already taken including making video conferencing and productivity tools available free of charge for customers working remotely and for educational purposes, and providing online tips to small businesses and all Australians through the existing Grow with Google digital skills training program.

A summary of the tips and resources are below (available at

Communicating with your customers 

  • If you have moved business operations to online, takeaway or delivery, edit your Business Profile on Google so customers know how to buy from you. 
  • If your business or one of your locations has temporarily closed, mark the location as temporarily closed on Google Maps and Search. 
  • Use Posts to tell customers on your Business Profile what is happening and if there are changes to how you are operating - for example, if you are now offering online sales or delivery or special offers. 
  • If you have a shopfront which is closed but you’re still taking phone calls, update your business phone number to your mobile phone, so you can answer business calls remotely. 
  • Set an email auto-reply to share your latest updates with customers - for example, if you are temporarily closed, or taking phone, online or delivery orders. 

Communicating with your employees 

  • Put contact information for your employees, vendors, and clients online in a system like Google Contacts so it’s accessible from any location. 
  • Make a business continuity plan, and share it with employees via an email address they can access it outside of the office. 
  • If you have more than one business location, provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions in your business continuity plan based on outbreak conditions at their location. 

Working remotely 

  • Help you and your team to effectively work from home with these tools and resources from Grow with Google. 
  • Collaborate with your co-workers using online tools and platforms - for example using a shared document, a quick conference call, or by creating an email list or a chat room
  • Make sure you’re able to access important documents from anywhere by uploading them to the Cloud through tools like Google Drive or downloading to your mobile phone or computer for offline access. 
  • If you’re using Chromebooks, ensure they have the right policies in place to access company resources from home and to keep devices and data secure. 

Modifying your advertising (if necessary) 

  • Edit your ads as needed to let customers know whether you're open for business and if you offer helpful services like expedited shipping. 
  • Pause campaigns if your product availability is impacted by supply chain issues or increased demand.  
  • If your business relies on customers from countries most affected by the virus, consider prioritising your ad budget to other locations

This is a challenging time for Aussie businesses and our wider community - we’ll continue to explore ways we can work together to provide help and support.

Posted by Richard Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing, Google Australia 

Please note: 
For the most timely information and guidance on COVID-19 for businesses, please refer to the relevant Australian Government resources; for economic assistance, to understand workplace obligations and for coronavirus information and support.

How we’re supporting Research in Kiwi Universities

Whether it is better tracking and trapping of introduced predators in our native bush, or improved breast cancer screening technology, more and more researchers, organisations and businesses are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help tackle big problems.

In fact, we believe that there are numerous other challenges that could be addressed with AI and have made it our mission to make the benefits of these technologies available to everyone. Helping foster Kiwi AI talent with programs like digital readiness courses for teachers is a key component of that.

Today, we’re excited to announce two new programmes arriving in New Zealand.

Launch of exploreCSR
We're launching exploreCSR in New Zealand in April which aims to enhance the undergraduate experience and to motivate more women to pursue graduate study and research careers in Computer Science and related fields. Throughout the year, the awards programme promotes the design, development, and execution of regional research-focused workshops. This will be the first time the programme has been run outside the US.

Google Faculty Research Awards
In September 2019, we opened our annual call for the Google Faculty Research Awards, a program focused on supporting world-class technical research in Computer Science, Engineering and related fields at some of the world’s best computer science departments.

One outstanding Kiwi researcher will now be supported with funding for one year to help them advance their research in areas like algorithms and security:

  • Kelly Blincoe, from the University of Auckland. Kelly aims to investigate the impact of non-inclusive behaviour that happens during software code review. Her study will enable a better understanding of the impacts of a toxic code review culture, enabling better code review guidelines and tools and paving the way for future research on interventions.

For the 2019 awards, we received 917 proposals from about 50 countries and over 330 universities, with all proposals undergoing an extensive review process involving 1100 expert reviewers across Google who assessed the proposals on merit, innovation, and alignment with our research philosophy.

Congratulations again to Kelly!

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Grow with Google takes digital skills training to the Illawarra community

Grow with Google has headed out on the road again for 2020, taking our specialist digital skills training program to the Illawarra region of New South Wales for the first time.

More than 250 Illawarra locals joined special training workshops at Shellharbour Civic Centre where they learned tips and tools from Google’s own digital experts to help them grow their businesses, careers and education.

Caption: Google Australia’s Richard Flanagan with Stephen Jones MP and Mayor Marianne Saliba 

We were joined by Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones MP, and City of Shellharbour Mayor, Marianne Saliba - who officially opened the event.

The Grow with Google program - which features in person training and online resources - is designed to help address the digital skills gap in Australia.

 Caption: Local Illawarra businesses picked up online tips and tricks 

At today’s small business workshop, Illawarra businesses learned how to have a strong presence online to attract new customers and gain better insights into what their customers wanted - and individuals at all stages of the digital journey picked up new skills.

We know that digital tools and skills can open up new opportunities for communities and businesses across the Illawarra. But many people are unsure what to do or where to begin, so we created Grow with Google to help bridge this gap.

One Illawarra business that is using digital tools to help grow their business is catering and fine foods company Culinarius. Business owner Rebecca Armstrong said they’ve focused on updating their online profile, responding to customer reviews, and learning insights from their web traffic.

Since 2014, Google has trained more than half a million people across Australia through online and in-person digital skills training, as well as curriculum integrated through school and partner programs.

We look forward to taking Grow with Google to every state and territory in 2020.

Posted by Richard Flanagan, Head of Small Business Marketing

Investing in the Aussie cloud with the launch of a new cloud region in Melbourne

At Google Cloud, we’re committed to building the most secure, high performance and intelligent public cloud for regulated industries, businesses and government agencies across Australia.

Since opening our first cloud region in Sydney in July 2017, we’ve continued to invest in secure and sustainable infrastructure to support our growing customers.

From new regions across the globe to cables under the sea, we’re dedicated to building infrastructure that helps our customers connect with more people than ever before.

Regions are the cornerstone of our cloud infrastructure, enabling customers such as Australia Post, Macquarie Bank, Optus and Woolworths to deliver high performing, low latency cloud-based services to their users, no matter where they are around the world.

Today, we take another step forward by announcing that a new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region is coming to Melbourne. Projected to come online in 2021, the Melbourne region will have three zones to protect against service disruptions, and will launch with our portfolio of key products.

The opening of the new Melbourne region strengthens our long-standing investment in Australia. Our services are designed for millions of users and the new region will bring lower latency to businesses and offer the infrastructure to support disaster recovery and regulatory needs. Our infrastructure is certified for a growing number of compliance standards and controls and has undergone several independent third party audits to test for data safety, privacy and security.

A great example of this is the work we’re doing with financial services institutions in Australia to advance their multi-cloud strategy:

“We aim to shape a world where people and communities thrive and Google Cloud is key to the transformation that enables us to achieve this purpose. Google Cloud’s Melbourne region presents opportunities to further enhance a cloud-based technology environment that incorporates integrated governance controls and service management, as well as consistent security controls,” said Gerard Florian, Group Executive, Technology, ANZ Bank.

“At NAB, we’re in the midst of a company-wide digital transformation to simplify our business and improve the experience customers have with us. Technology is both an enabler and foundation in our transformation and our multi-cloud approach, incorporating Google Cloud services, is a key differentiator for us. Having a GCP region in Melbourne will certainly help our availability, durability and resilience requirements,” said Steve Day, Executive General Manager Infrastructure, Cloud & Workplace at National Australia Bank.

In addition to security, latency and openness, we believe that sustainability is important. At Google, we match 100% of the energy consumed by our global operations with renewable energy and maintain a commitment to carbon neutrality. That includes our data centres and cloud regions. When customers choose Google Cloud to run their compute, store their data and develop their applications, their digital footprint is offset with clean energy, making the services they run in our Cloud net carbon neutral.

Catering to the cloud demand 
The demand for cloud services across Australia continues to grow. Recent research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) commissioned by Google Cloud revealed that locally the public cloud is gaining significant momentum.

Cloud adoption in Australia is expected to contribute a sizable US$108 billion of GDP and create as many as 26,000 jobs over the next five years. However, these benefits can only be realised with the investment of supporting infrastructure.

Our Google cloud regions in Australia will play an instrumental role in facilitating this growth, and will empower businesses and governments to securely and sustainability digitally transform and create value for years to come.

Posted by Rick Harshman, Managing Director, Google Cloud Asia Pacific Mark Innes, Vice President, Google Cloud in ANZ and APAC Industry Verticals

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2020

Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras brings together people from all over Australia and around the world to celebrate - this year was no exception with thousands coming together over the weekend to celebrate “what matters” (this year’s Mardi Gras theme).

We are proud to be a part of these celebrations with support for the Mardi Gras Community Grants Program and our Grow with Google digital skills training for small businesses.

Community Grants 
Through The Mardi Gras Community Grants Program we provided funding to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit groups to deliver their messages loudly and proudly during the Mardi Gras Parade. This is the third year we’ve supported the program.

Recipients include:

  • Haka For Life - a non-profit created to provide a platform to communicate and raise awareness of mental health  and suicide prevention through conversation, community, sharing, and the power of the Maori Haka. 
  • Jopuka Productions - a Central Coast youth arts company advocating for young artists who identify as LGBTQIA+. 
  • NSW Trans Youth Alliance - representing 200 young people who are mostly trans and aged 16 to 20. 
  • People with Disability Australia - representing people with disabilities through a strong ongoing connection with Mardi Gras. 
  • Aspect Conference Room - representing LGBTQIA+ people with Autism to increase disability awareness. 
  • Positive Life NSW - a state-wide peer-based organisation that speaks for and on behalf of all people living with HIV (PLHIV), partners, friends and family affected by HIV to promote the voice and diversity of PLHIV in NSW and break down stigma. 
  • Bentstix Hockey Club - Bentstix provides the LGBTQIA+ community an opportunity to learn and play hockey and promote acceptance of diverse sexuality and gender within the broader community. 
  • Runway Movement - a collective of LGBTIQ+ people of colour from all parts of Brisbane(Meanjin) aiming to close the gap from indigenous and first nation cultures and how we identify amongst these binaries of gender. 
  • The Institute of Many - a grassroots community group bringing together people living with HIV to provide peer support and advocacy and break down HIV stigma. 
  • Black Dog Institute - a mental health research institute dedicated to improving the mental health of all Australians, especially vulnerable and at-risk groups like the LGBTQI+ community. 
  • Out For Australia - providing visible role models and mentors to support aspiring LGBTIQ students and professionals. 
  • Central Coast Pride - volunteer run organisation that supports LGBTQIA+ communities on the Central Coast. 
  • Party Passport - representing the Northern Territory's LGBTQIA+ people. 
  • Selamat Datang Indonesian Community - representing the Indonesian LGBTI community and providing a networking environment for LGBTI Indonesians in Australia 
  • Trikone Australasia - providing social support and a safe, nurturing environment for LGBT+ people of South Asian origin. 
  • Trans Pride Australia - a social and support group for trans and gender diverse people and their loved ones in Australia, with a vision for all trans and gender diverse people to live their best possible life. 

Digital Skills training for LGBTIQ+ businesses 
We also hosted a Grow with Google for Mardi Gras 2020 skills training event at the Google office in Sydney in the lead up to Mardi Gras for LGBTQI+ individuals and allies who own or manage a SMB.

Partnering with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, participants heard how to get started with digital marketing, including our free online skills training platform, and other digital tools to help their business be found online.

Putting Digital Skills training into action 
It was during a visit to the Northern Territory to see the work of the Fred Hollows Foundation that James Hill witnessed the impact the doctor shortages have on remote communities. It inspired him to create a medical recruitment agency, Prescript, focused on addressing inequality in health care access. Prescript helps to tackle the problem by placing permanent and locum doctors in regional hospitals and practices all around the country.

James has used online tools to grow his business. Since attending a Mardi Gras Grow with Google event in 2019, he’s engaged a Google Partner, optimised his Google My Business profile and improved the performance of his Google Ads campaigns. In just 6 months, the campaigns have attracted 700+ new leads and most importantly, placed eligible doctors in regional and rural communities, getting help to people who need it most.

Business owner, James Hill at Lumiere Cafe

We are proud to support Mardi Gras and help more individuals and communities get involved.

Supporting LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and business owners with digital skills training

More than 100 entrepreneurs and business owners from the LGBTQIA+ community picked up vital new digital skills at a special workshop hosted at our Sydney office this week.

Google experts shared digital tips, tricks and tools to help attendees better connect with customers and grow their businesses — especially during the busy Mardi Gras season. The session covered topics like how to be found online and have a strong presence, how search works, and how to gain better insights into what their customers want.

 Caption: Google Australia’s Head of Small Business Marketing, Richard Flanagan opens the event. 

We are grateful to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association who we partnered with us for the event — and which coincided with this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.

Research from Deloitte shows that there is a digital skills gap in Australia — with a divide between future opportunities and the digital skills Australians need to realise these. It found that Aussie small businesses with high digital engagement are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, seven times more likely to be exporting, and eight times more likely to be hiring. Despite this 90 per cent of small businesses aren’t taking the steps needed to realise this potential. The free workshop was designed to help address this gap for the LGBTQIA+ community.

 Caption: Kate Wickett and Adrian Phoon, Co-Chairs of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

We know that digital tools and skills can open up new opportunities for members and businesses of the LGBTQIA+ community. But many people are unsure what to do or where to begin, so we created these ‘Grow with Google’ workshops to help close this gap.

 Caption: Google Yash Godbole provides advice to a small business owner. 

Since 2014, Google has trained more than half a million people across Australia through online and in-person digital skills training, as well as curriculum integrated through school and partner programs.

Grow with Google aims to provide all Australians with access to digital skills training online and in-person, to help them make the most of the Internet and help close the digital skills divide. It includes an online learning hub accessible from anywhere, on any device, with hundreds of handy training modules.

Posted by Jake Evan, Small Medium Business Marketing Manager, Google Australia

Ten tips to help you and your family stay safe online

Safer Internet Day provides a timely reminder to check your privacy settings and speak to your family about staying safe online. Below are some simple tips for you to create stronger passwords, manage your settings, and browse the Internet securely.

1. Take control of data saved in your Google Account 
You can find your info, privacy, and security settings all in one place – your Google Account gives you transparency over data collected from your activity across Google services.

2. Choose the settings that are right for you with Privacy Checkup 
In just a few minutes, you can manage the types of data we collect, update what you share with friends or make public and adjust the types of ads you would like us to show you with Privacy Checkup.

3. Take the Security Checkup 
A step-by-step tool to give you personalised and actionable security recommendations to help you strengthen the security of your Google Account.

4. Manage your ads preferences with Ad Settings 
In Ad Settings, you can control what data is used to personalise ads to you.

5. Take your content anywhere with Download Your Data Your photos
Your emails. Your contacts. Even your bookmarks. You are in control of the data saved in your Google Account. That is why we created Download Your Data – so you can make a copy, back it up, or even move it to another service.

6. Create family rules about what to share 
Set clear expectations for your family about what not to share online, like photos or private info.

7. Establish boundaries for your children online with Family Link 
Family Link helps parents manage their child's Google Account and Android device so they can set digital ground rules that work for their family. You can keep an eye on screen time, limit daily access, remotely lock your child’s device.

8. Set a timer on YouTube Kids 
To put limits on how long your kids can spend watching videos with YouTube Kids and allow them to watch only collections of channels selected by trusted third parties or the YouTube Kids team.

9. Manage your child’s access to websites with Chrome 
You can manage your child’s access to websites when they are using the Chrome browser on their Android or ChromeOS device and block sites that you don’t want them to visit.

10. Discover our safety programs
The eSmart Digital Licence program, provided by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation with funding from Google. helps to prepare children for the best and worst of the web.

To find out more, visit the Google Safety Centre for updated resources, easy security tips and information dedicated to educating and empowering people on important topics like data security, privacy controls and how to use technology in a way that is right for your family.

Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet. We hope that you take the opportunity today and regularly throughout the year to use these tools to stay safe online.

Helping Parents and Families this Safer Internet Day

Today is Safer Internet Day globally and to kick things off here in New Zealand, we hosted a breakfast to talk about online safety for families and children. We welcomed media and parents into Google to participate in a discussion about some helpful ways that parents can check their safety settings and teach their children about online citizenship.

Lucian Teo, User Outreach and Education Manager from Google’s Trust and Safety team, delivered the workshop and we were joined by Netsafe’s CEO Martin Cocker who also spoke about the incredible work they’ve been doing for the past 20 years to keep Kiwis safe online. We shared Google and Netsafe’s five top tips to teach your kids about online safety:

  1. Be mindful of what and to whom you are sharing your information with. Encourage thoughtful sharing by treating online communication like face-to-face communication.
  2. Don’t trust everything you see online. Be discerning and ‘think before you click’.
  3. Safeguard your personal information & take a privacy check up.
  4. Being kind online creates a brighter and safer place for everyone on the internet.
  5. If you see something, say something. When in doubt, talk it out with someone you trust.

While today is a great moment to pause and think carefully about how we’re keeping our families and kids safe online, this is also something that we should be considering all year round. To find out more, visit the Google Safety Centre for updated resources, easy security tips and information dedicated to educating and empowering people on important topics like data security, privacy controls and how to use technology in a way that is right for your family.

Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet. We hope that you take the opportunity today and regularly throughout the year to use these tools to stay safe online

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Google New Zealand Blog 2020-02-06 15:00:00

In 2005, we set out to map the world. Since then we’ve pushed the limits of what a map can do: from helping you easily navigate from point A to B to helping you explore and get things done in the world. With more than 1 billion people turning to Google Maps to see and explore the world, we're celebrating our 15th birthday with a new look and product updates based on feedback from you.

A fresh look from the inside out
Starting today, you'll see an updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives you everything you need right at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates.

  • Explore: Looking for a place nearby to grab lunch, enjoy live music or play arcade games? In the Explore tab, you’ll find information, ratings, reviews and more for about 200 million places around the world, including local restaurants, nearby attractions and city landmarks.

  • Commute: Whether you’re traveling by car or public transit, the Commute tab is there to make sure you’re on the most efficient route. Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times and suggestions for alternative routes.

  • Saved: People have saved more than 6.5 billion places on Google Maps—from the new bakery across town to the famous restaurant on your upcoming vacation. Now you can view all of these spots in one convenient place as well as find and organize plans for an upcoming trip and share recommendations based on places you've been.

  • Contribute: Hundreds of millions of people each year contribute information that helps keep Google Maps up to date. With the new Contribute tab, you can easily share local knowledge, such as details about roads and addresses, missing places, business reviews and photos. Each contribution goes a long way in helping others learn about new places and decide what to do.

  • Updates: The new Updates tab provides you with a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers, like The Infatuation. In addition to discovering, saving and sharing recommendations with your network, you can also directly chat with businesses to get questions answered.

Our five new tabs provide easier access to everything you need in Google Maps.

We’re also updating our look with a new Google Maps icon that reflects the evolution we’ve made mapping the world. It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning, the pin, and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.

And because we can’t resist a good birthday celebration, keep an eye out for our celebratory party-themed car icon, available for a limited time when you navigate with Google Maps.

Look out for our new icon on your phone and browser!

Made for you, on the go
We’re constantly evolving to help you get around—no matter how you choose to travel. Our new transit features in the Google Maps app help you stay informed when you’re taking public transportation.

Last year, we introduced crowdedness predictions to help you see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. To help you plan your travels, we’re adding new insights about your route from past riders, so you’ll soon be able to see important details, such as:

Temperature: For a more comfortable ride, check in advance if the temperature is considered by past riders as on the colder or warmer side.
Accessibility: If you have special needs or require additional support, you can now identify public transit lines with staffed assistance, accessible entrance and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED.
Women’s Carriage: In regions where transit systems have designated women's sections or carriages, we'll help surface this information along with whether other passengers abide by it.
Security Onboard: Feel safer knowing if security monitoring is on board—whether that’s with a security guard present, installed security cameras or an available helpline.
Number of carriages available: In Japan only, you can pick a route based on the number of carriages so that it increases your chances of getting a seat.

These useful bits of information come from past riders who've shared their experiences and will appear alongside public transit routes when available. To help future riders, you can answer a short survey within Google Maps about your experience on recent trips. We’ll start rolling this out globally in March, with availability varying by region and municipal transportation agency.

New trip attributes help you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

A sense of direction
Last year, we introduced Live View to help you quickly decide which way to go when you start a walking route with Google Maps. By combining Street View’s real-world imagery, machine learning and smartphone sensors, Live View in Google Maps shows you your surroundings with the directions overlaid in augmented reality.

Over the coming months, we’ll be expanding Live View and testing new capabilities, starting with better assistance whenever you’re searching for a place. You’ll be able to quickly see how far away and in which direction a place is.

Live View will soon help you get oriented in the right direction in new ways.

A big thank you to everyone for placing your trust in us and for being with us on this wild ride over the last 15 years. We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years bring!

New Zealand native birds inspire today’s Doodle

Diversity and individuality are at once something that defines and unites the people of New Zealand. The same can be said for the breadth of interesting, colourful and quirky native bird fauna we have on our three islands. So today, as we pause to recognise the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Google Doodle pays tribute to some of our iconic native birds.

Inspired by the variety, colour and brilliance seen in native birds of New Zealand, the artwork depicts three of our most precious birds. Kiwi’s popular namesake, the iconic bird sits at the centre, with the Tūī and the Kererū either side.

New Zealand’s bush is home to around 168 different native birds. And astonishingly over half of these are species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Tūī, treasured for its imitation skills, is able to use two voice boxes to mimic nearby sounds. The Kererū’s distinct sound of its wing beat in flight would be recognised by many. And of course the Kiwi, which instead of just being a popular nickname for people from Aotearoa, is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the end of its long bill.

Our rich collection of bird fauna has developed these individual characteristics from evolving on our remote South Pacific island shores. Look up into the sky, or down to the ground, and enjoy these wonders of biodiversity.

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