Tag Archives: Australia

Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia


Every day, YouTube helps Australians learn new skills, start businesses, and enrich their lives. And this felt particularly true in 2020, when Australians turned to YouTube to learn, be entertainment or stay active with at-home fitness classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
I personally tuned into a lot of YBS Youngbloods to escape into the Aussie wilderness, I got tips from Self Sufficient Me to upgrade my veggie garden, and I followed Dr Matt & Dr Mike to learn more about COVID-19. 
Now, for the first time, we’re quantifying what happens on YouTube with the effects of the ecosystem in Australia comprehensively examined in a detailed study. The independent consulting firm, Oxford Economics, based in England, with a branch in Sydney, has compiled A Platform for Australian Opportunity: Assessing the Economic, Societal, and Cultural Impact of YouTube in Australia

So, what was the key finding? 
The YouTube creative ecosystem contributed A$608 million to the Australian economy and supported 15,750 full time equivalent jobs in 2020. 

YouTube creators (regardless of whether they are independent creative entrepreneurs*, media companies or the music industry) benefit from income that is generated directly via YouTube, for example, as advertising income or license fees. And we can see that the number of YouTube channels making five figures or more in revenue is up more than 30% year over year. 
In addition, YouTube helps many creators earn income from additional sources - whether that’s generating revenue by promoting a brand on video, or selling more of a product thanks to their YouTube profile. This off-platform income leads to further economic effects: for the creators themselves, across the corresponding Australian supply chains - as creators purchase goods for filming or pay for services like video editing - and, in turn, through expenses by employees. 

What did we learn about YouTube Creators? 
Australian creators are finding opportunities and audiences on YouTube, often leading to new doorways opening away from the platform. The report showed: 
  • 67% of creative entrepreneurs said YouTube has had a positive impact on their professional goals. 
  • 68% of creators agreeing YouTube gives them the opportunity to work in a way that suits their needs. 
  • 50% of creative entrepreneurs indicated YouTube had brought them additional opportunities away from the platform. 
Chloe Ting is just one of our homegrown stars and now one of the biggest fitness YouTube creators in the world. Her channel gained more than 14 million subscribers in 2020 alone, as she inspired a global movement of people staying healthy, connected and uplifted, particularly during COVID-19. Her accessible virtual classes and challenges not only help people move their bodies, but support their mental health by giving them a sense of belonging and a place to feel supported. 

How are businesses using YouTube? 
YouTube has become a significant tool for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Through their own channel, targeted adverts or simply from watching YouTube content, businesses use YouTube to grow sales, connect with customers, and become more competitive. 
  • 75% of SMBs who advertise on YouTube agreed that YouTube ads have helped them grow sales. 
  • 63% of SMBs with a YouTube channel agreed their YouTube presence helps customers to find them. 
  • 75% of SMBs agreed or strongly agreed that YouTube is a convenient and cost-effective way of providing staff training. 
  • 68% of users agree YouTube has helped them learn about new career paths. 
When Sanjna Pathania’s morning routine video working for "The Big Four" went viral on YouTube, the former risk management consultant set out to help young Aussies kick start their career by sharing her corporate lifestyle and the lessons she had learned along the way. Now, Success by Sanjna is a one-stop shop for young people to get job-ready, and her strategies and insights are so in-demand, she’s left behind the corporate world and used her channel to launch a professional development consulting service. It’s all part of her mission to support a generation of confident and ambitious goal-chasers. 

Who are our creators? What are they saying? 
Anyone can become a creator - all you need is an idea or a passion. YouTube offers people with different backgrounds, of any age and from all parts of Australia the opportunity to share their voice. Because of this open culture, YouTube has now become a kind of content library. This content not only has the potential to generate a social dialogue and build new communities, but also to drive social change. 
  • 76% of creators agreed that YouTube provides a platform for undiscovered talent that is not being surfaced by traditional media. 
  • 64% of creators who self-identified as a minority agreed that they feel like they have a place to belong as a YouTube creator. 
  • 77% of users agreed that YouTube is home to diverse content. 
Each day, YouTube allows millions of new voices to be heard and stories to be told, and provides a place to belong for people around the world. Feeling alienated and alone when she was diagnosed with autism, Chloé Hayden channelled her emotions into building a YouTube channel that welcomes - and celebrates - diverse Australian voices in a safe and comforting space. Chloé’s channel is a place for people to find safety, share their experiences and offer support to each other. And her 33 thousand subscribers are more than her audience - they’re her inspiration and championing their stories helps the 23-year-old change the mindsets of the wider community and normalise discussions around disabilities. 

Is local culture being exported? 
Australian creators and artists punch above their weight and are receiving local and global recognition. And we’re proud that, whether it’s amplifying local voices like Baker Boy or promoting uniquely Aussie content like Brinkley Davies, YouTube has enabled homegrown talent to access audiences around the world. In fact, the report has shown us: 
97% of music and media companies with a YouTube channel agreed that the platform helps them reach new audiences across the world. 
Over 90% of watch time on content produced by Australian channels came from outside Australia in 2020.

What did we find in terms of “learning”? 
More and more people are coming to YouTube to access information and learn something new, and with over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, there are constantly new learning opportunities at people’s fingertips. In both private and professional life, YouTube enables Australians to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge - to save money, gain qualifications or even make a career jump. 
Dr Matt & Dr Mike are one example of creators helping audiences expand their minds. The lecturers unpack the mysteries of science in front of hundreds of thousands of people and democratise education through their fun and easy-to-understand YouTube tutorials. They first created their short videos as extra student resources, but their simple and relatable style soon triggered a world-wide reaction, and the pair are now on a mission to give everyone free access to world-class science and medical education. 
From teachers to parents, to small businesses and students, YouTube is enabling Australian users to acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge. 
  • 70% of teachers who use YouTube agreed that the platform gives students the flexibility to learn at their own pace. 
  • 71% of parents who use YouTube agreed that YouTube (or YouTube Kids for children under 13) makes learning more fun for their children. 
  • 77% of users agree YouTube has helped them supplement their formal education. 
  • 92% of users said they use YouTube to gather information and knowledge. 
These acquired skills and knowledge don’t go to waste. Leo Bailey turned to YouTube tutorials to teach himself how to make a range of different products after buying his first 3D printer. But when he saw a call-out for health-care supplies during COVID-19, the 13-year-old focused his attention towards making essential PPE supplies for hospitals across the state. During the pandemic, Leo made more than 100 masks for health staff and touchless ‘button pushers’ for local residents to use in public spaces to avoid directly touching surfaces. 

To read more about Australian creators and the report findings at yt.be/howyoutubeworks

*The term creative entrepreneur here stands for YouTube creators, regardless of their gender identity, with at least 10,000 subscribers on their largest channel and for creators with fewer subscribers who receive funds directly from YouTube, generate funds from other sources with their YouTube videos and / or permanently employ other people to support their YouTube activities. 

About Oxford Economics: Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a joint venture of Oxford University's Business College to provide economic forecasting and models for UK companies and financial institutions planning to expand abroad. Since its inception, the organisation has grown into one of the leading global and independent consulting firms in the world, providing reports, forecasting and analysis tools in over 200 countries, 250 industries and 7,000 cities and regions. 
With headquarters in Oxford, England and regional centers in Frankfurt, London, New York and Singapore, Oxford Economics employs 400 full-time employees, including 250 economists, industry experts and business writers. The highly qualified team offers a wide range of research techniques and has groundbreaking expertise, including in areas such as econometric modeling, scenario framing and impact analyses, but also market surveys, case studies, expert panels and web analyses. 

New grants help Australian teachers build digital skills

In a world where technology is evolving rapidly, it’s vital that Australian teachers have the knowledge and access to the resources they need in order to equip students for the future. 

For the past ten years, we’ve been contributing to these efforts through Google’s Educator Professional Development Grants program providing teachers with skills and tools to confidently teach computational thinking and computer science concepts. In that time, over 20,000 teachers have benefited from the practical professional development workshops. 

This year, our grants aim to bring digital technologies training to teachers in regional and remote communities where access to these opportunities can sometimes be limited.

The impact of PD Grants for Educators

It’s been inspiring to see teachers build their skills and watch the impact this has had in local communities. 

”The ongoing provision of the Google Educator PD grants (3 years) has resulted in us being able to build a solid reputation in the North Queensland region as a provider of excellent quality Digital Technologies Teacher Professional Development,” said Leanne Cameron, a Senior Lecturer at James Cook University. “Additionally, the participants have learnt that they will continue to be supported and updated into the future.” 

Last year, COVID-19 delayed many of the ‘hands on’ workshops. But awardees found  innovative ways to deliver training safely and sometimes remotely. James Cook University overcame the challenges presented by the pandemic to hold a series of virtual sessions with indigenous students from remote areas, who were able to join from local learning hubs.

Once restrictions had eased, the university was able to bring a group of teachers together from the remote community schools to discuss the curriculum and conduct 'train the trainer' sessions.

“These teachers have now gone back into their communities to share what they have learnt, supported by the workshop leaders in optional weekly online sessions that will continue until the end of the current semester,” said Leanne. 

In 2021 James Cook University hopes to use their Educator Grant to offer practical workshops that will complement the more theoretical offerings of last year.

The best of Australian photojournalism is now on Google Arts & Culture

Discover 12 highlights from “Paper Tigers” 

Starting today, World Press Freedom Day, people around the world can discover 60 images from 60 of Australia’s best photojournalists online on Google Arts & Culture, thanks to a new partnership with Head On Foundation

To celebrate this new collection, we sat down with Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Founder and Artistic Director of the Head On Photo Festival, to learn more about the important moments these photographs capture and the incredible stories behind them. 

“The 60 images selected represent a small snippet of what Australia was like over the past four decades. Images that defined modern Australia, images that reflect the culture we live in, images that make political statements and images of diverse aspects of our world,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

With so many moments to explore, here are Moshe’s 12 picks to get you started: 
  • Mervyn Bishop's historic 1975 image captures then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring a handful of earth back into the hand of Gurindji elder and traditional landowner Vincent Lingiari. This image represented the Australian government’s recognition of Aboriginal land rights and became an icon of the land rights movement and Australian photography. 





  • Martine Perret’s beautiful image ‘Levi and Keneisha’, taken as a part of her project Ngala Wongga (come and talk): Cultural Significance of Languages in the Western Australian Goldfields it captures local woman, Glenys Williams grandchildren floating in the clay pan around the Wiluna Mission. 








“I am thrilled for Head On to partner with Google Arts & Culture - this is such an important platform that ensures arts and culture can continue to thrive and fulfil their vital role in our society. Anyone, anywhere, can see excellent photography in a COVID-19 safe way at a time and place that suits them,” said Head On Foundation Director, Moshe Rosenzveig OAM. 

Keep exploring the eight virtual exhibits, or in the Head On Foundation collection audiences can also explore 100 incredible images from the Head On Photo Award 2020 finalists. 


Make your home a little more helpful: new Nest features


Nest devices are changing the way we get things done at home - and the best part is that they keep getting more and more helpful over time with regular updates. You may have already noticed and started using new features like: 


Get access to award-winning original shows, movies and documentaries with the Apple TV app now on Chromecast with Google TV. You’ll now see Apple Originals in your recommendations on Google TV, and you can add them to your Watchlist. 


New to Chromecast with Google TV? 
Set up is quick and easy. Now you're on the way to discover even more content from many of your favourite apps, including 400,000+ movies and TV episodes, plus millions of songs. 


Guest Mode 
We introduced Guest Mode on Nest devices, an easy way to control your privacy on your speakers and displays, like Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max. You can enjoy all your favourite features, like asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers or playing music and your Google Assistant interactions will not be saved to your account. Just say, “Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode,” to turn it on. 


These are just some of the ways we are helping you to get more out of your Nest devices. Keep an eye out for more helpful features. 

*Chromecast with Google TV requires a TV with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi network, a Google Account, a nearby electrical outlet, and a compatible mobile device. Minimum OS requirements are available at g.co/cast/req. 
**Subscription required for Apple TV+.

Supporting a healthy digital ads ecosystem in Australia

Advertising plays a major role in sustaining the free and open web. It supports a universe of Australian creators and publishers — and underwrites the useful content and services that Australian internet users enjoy. Advertising technology creates opportunities for businesses, particularly small and medium businesses, to connect with customers. This helps facilitate competition, innovation and growth across the Australian economy. Research by AlphaBeta estimated that Google creates AU$32 billion in benefits annually for businesses and content creators in Australia through its advertising platforms.  


Google succeeds when our partners do — so we have a strong incentive to ensure a healthy digital advertising ecosystem. We’ve made significant efforts and investments in this, and always aim to do so in a way that balances the interests of consumers, advertisers, and publishers. We recognise that advertising technology is a dynamic area and we welcome opportunities to share more on how advertising technology works. 


Earlier this year the ACCC released its Interim Report on the digital advertising services industry. It recognises the considerable value of advertising technology in creating growth opportunities for businesses and publishers, while identifying areas for further improvement. We wanted to share some thoughts and suggestions we have in response to this. We expand on these in our submission to the ACCC here.

A regulatory approach that reflects the dynamics of digital advertising

We take seriously the ongoing need to maintain and improve trust in digital advertising and the ecosystem that supports it. We believe some key factors should be considered as the ACCC develops its final recommendations: 


  • Balancing the interests of different stakeholders:Advertising technology involves balancing the interests of consumers, advertisers and publishers, which may sometimes be in conflict. This is not unique to Google — it applies to everyone participating in the advertising technology space. This means that any interventions must be carefully designed to take into account these inevitable trade-offs. Well-meaning but misjudged interventions can cause unintentional harm to consumers and businesses. For example, measures that increase transparency for one group may put consumer privacy at risk. We firmly believe that privacy needs to be a core principle underpinning the development of any proposals. Our users trust us with their data and we take that responsibility seriously.

  • Supporting supply chain transparency:We provide information about our advertising technology to our customers and partners but recognise more can be done in support of a transparent ecosystem. We are working to improve supply chain transparency, including supporting the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Transparency Standard, SupplyChain Object, that aims to improve ecosystem quality by enabling buyers and intermediaries to see all parties who are selling or reselling a given bid request. We will continue to work with industry and other stakeholders on constructive and collaborative solutions. When it comes to our advertising technology, we’ve recently shared how our display advertising business works when advertisers and publishers choose to use our products. Even when ads flow through both our buy-side and sell-side services, publishers receive the majority of the revenue. Publishers keep about 70 percent of the revenue when using our products, and for some types of advertising, publishers keep even more.

  • Protecting innovation and competition: The ACCC has identified some potential areas for intervention that risk undermining benefits for advertisers and publishers. In particular, vertical integration of services within the industry provides significant benefits by making products easier to use, and reducing the time and effort customers need to spend to achieve their desired outcomes. Customers and publishers including SBS, WPP and The Guardian have recognised this (p21). Regulatory interventions that could reduce those benefits should be evaluated carefully and only implemented if there is clear evidence of competitive harm. Otherwise, the ability and incentive for advertising technology providers to improve product quality will be affected without achieving tangible benefits, to the detriment of advertisers and publishers.

  • Recognising the highly dynamic and multifaceted nature of digital advertising: The ACCC’s Report focuses only on web-based open display advertising, an artificially narrow segment that does not fully reflect industry dynamics or the breadth of services. There are many companies, large and small, working together and in competition with each other to power digital advertising across different technologies — including the Web, mobile applications and Connected TV. This competition has spurred Google and other advertising technology providers to innovate further and compete across pricing, service and product. Advertising technology players need to constantly innovate to adapt to these trends.

  • Avoiding inconsistent and overlapping regulation:Any ACCC recommendations should also consider the interaction with other regulatory regimes and ensure that interventions do not create inconsistency or overlaps which may undermine legal certainty for all stakeholders. In particular, the existing competition law framework already applies to digital issues and deals with any concerns relating to anti-competitive self-preferencing. And the Privacy Act 1988 is currently being reviewed by the Australian Government. We believe it’s in the interests of all stakeholders to ensure that any recommendations that might impact consumer privacy (for example, common transaction IDs or data interoperability proposals) will be consistent with the outcomes of this review and will not harm consumers. 

A collaborative approach to the future of digital ads 

We support the ACCC’s suggestions for industry-led initiatives. Industry participants have deep knowledge of advertising technology, industry dynamics and potential consequences of different interventions for different stakeholders. Google has a track record of working with other industry players to improve the digital ad ecosystem. For example, we co-authored and led industry adoption of the IAB’s ads.txt and app-ads.txt specifications, and more recently participated in the development of Sellers.json.  These were major steps forward in tackling ad fraud.  We are also working with industry organisations such as the Australian IAB on further measures to support the long-term viability and integrity of an ad-supported digital advertising ecosystem. 


We are confident that a collaborative approach will benefit consumers and businesses in Australia. You can read Google's submission here. We look forward to continuing to participate constructively in the ACCC’s Ad Tech Inquiry process — working collaboratively to help avoid unnecessary inefficiencies and barriers in a competitive, growing and innovative sector. 

How we’re helping Aussies in their search for support

Editor’s note: This post is co-authored by Rachel Bowes, Head of Crisis Services and Quality at Lifeline Australia and Jill Newby, Associate Professor at Black Dog Institute. 



Early intervention and access to mental health support services are now more important than ever, following a difficult 14 months for Australians with bushfires, drought and COVID-19. 

Search interest for "What is depression?" reached its highest peak in more than a decade in March 2020 in Australia, so there is a great opportunity to direct people to the support they need — right at the moment they are looking for information. 

Starting today, anyone in Australia searching for depression can not only view trusted information on the condition, but also opt to take a 9-question self-assessment that is based on a clinically-validated questionnaire called PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9). This questionnaire is used by healthcare providers to evaluate someone’s level of depression and identify resources that would be most suitable to their needs. 


After completing Google’s new self-assessment, people can see their risk for depression as well as connect with evidence-based resources, crisis hotlines, and additional support from our teams at Black Dog Institute and Lifeline. 

With over 3 million people in Australia living with anxiety or depression, the more access to support that is offered the better. 1 in 5 Aussies will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year – and roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help. So when organisations take steps to ensure people are aware that support is available and how to access them, we know it will help save lives. 

Over the past year, Lifeline’s Volunteer Crisis Supporters have been on the frontline, holding people safe as they battle the invisible effects of disaster – the impact on mental health. At Lifeline, the ‘new normal’ is responding to over 3,000 calls every day. That’s a person in crisis now reaching out for support every 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile the Black Dog Institute was quick to conduct research on how Australians were coping with the pandemic. Realising three quarters of participants said their mental health had worsened as a result of COVID-19, the medical research institute stepped up support through its online clinic offering telehealth support so everybody has the same access to support, no matter their location in Australia. 

Collectively, the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline welcome new resources that help people better understand their condition and empower them to seek out appropriate mental health support services. We are glad to work with Google to extend existing, clinically-validated tools to meet the needs of Australians, especially during this critical time.

Meet the new Nest Hub

Introducing the second-generation Nest Hub! Since we launched Google’s first smart display two years ago, it’s brought help to thousands of homes and we’ve been dedicated to exploring ways to make our devices even more helpful. 

The Nest Hub you love, but better 
The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub for a bigger, richer sound to fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify — or enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and Stan. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display. 
The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home. 

Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy family. See your calendar, set timers, and create reminders with Family Notes, digital sticky notes to share chores and to-dos so everyone stays on track. 


New sleep features for better rest 
The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness. 
As people have started to recognise the need for better sleep, sleep trackers have continued to become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep. 
We dug into the data, and because we also knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year. 
Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there's a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn't used for personalised ads. 
Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm. 


Sustainable design that matches any room 
The new Nest Hub will be available to Australians in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic. 

The second-generation Nest Hub is $149. It can be preordered online in Australia at the Google Store and other retailers from today.

Inspiring the next generation of Google engineers

One of the things I find most inspiring in life is the transformative potential of technology. 


The ability to solve complex real world problems, like contact tracing in a pandemic, and the way technology opens up completely new possibilities, like dramatically improving access to vital health services while reducing the cost. 


Technology and engineering are the means to these incredible achievements and it’s vital we continue to help young people across the country develop these skills. That’s why we were thrilled to launch a new high-tech classroom in the Montello Primary School, in Burnie Tasmania. 


Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, Lucinda Longcroft, Rosemary Conn, CEO of SchoolsPlus, students Murphy Mansfield and Mathew Dunn, and Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, launch the Makerspace at Montello Primary.

The Makerspace classroom will develop STEM abilities and create new opportunities for students. It will also equip teachers with skills in leading tech and engineering lessons, benefiting students for decades to come. 


The Makerspace is full of technology and equipment that promotes hands-on and problem based learning for students, who will explore new concepts like Robotics, Machine Learning, and Virtual Reality. 


It was a thrill to watch Google engineers guide students through their first lessons - helping them don virtual reality headsets and explore the floor of a remote, tropical ocean teaming with colourful fish.


Students take a lesson in Virtual Reality

Students take a lesson in Virtual Reality

Next, was a lesson on robotics where students played with small vehicles before an introduction to machine learning. Later, our engineers sat down for a Q&A session with students who asked thoughtful and inspiring questions about Google and the possibilities of technology. 


Google’s $33,000 donation was made through a program led by Schools Plus, a not-for-profit that exists to help bridge the education gap caused by disadvantage and create lasting opportunities in rural and regional areas.


It’s a partnership that’s extremely important to Google and has helped 11 schools across Australia 1,300 students and 485 teachers over the last three years.


An introductory class on Small Robotics

An introductory class on Small Robotics

Students will attend one lesson a week at the Makerspace, which all 15 teachers at the school will be trained to provide. 


In addition to what students will learn in class, the Makerspace will run an after-school ‘Code Club’. Parents will also have the opportunity to come along and share in what their children have been learning. 


It’s only the beginning of this great partnership. Teachers will benefit with professional development training and ongoing support from our engineers, who are looking forward to meeting with students again soon helping them develop practical knowledge and personal capabilities.


Montello’s students learn about the new Makerspace classroom

Montello’s students learn about the new Makerspace classroom

Australia has a long and proud history when it comes to technology and innovation. That’s true for Google in Australia too. We started in a Sydney lounge-room almost two decades ago, with some of our most well-known products created right here, like Google Maps.


The enthusiasm, wonder and positivity of Montello’s students was inspiring to watch. We hope the Makerspace will inspire the students to become the next generation of Google engineers.


Inspiring the next generation of Google engineers

One of the things I find most inspiring in life is the transformative potential of technology. 


The ability to solve complex real world problems, like contact tracing in a pandemic, and the way technology opens up completely new possibilities, like dramatically improving access to vital health services while reducing the cost. 


Technology and engineering are the means to these incredible achievements and it’s vital we continue to help young people across the country develop these skills. That’s why we were thrilled to launch a new high-tech classroom in the Montello Primary School, in Burnie Tasmania. 


Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, Lucinda Longcroft, Rosemary Conn, CEO of SchoolsPlus, students Murphy Mansfield and Mathew Dunn, and Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, launch the Makerspace at Montello Primary.

The Makerspace classroom will develop STEM abilities and create new opportunities for students. It will also equip teachers with skills in leading tech and engineering lessons, benefiting students for decades to come. 


The Makerspace is full of technology and equipment that promotes hands-on and problem based learning for students, who will explore new concepts like Robotics, Machine Learning, and Virtual Reality. 


It was a thrill to watch Google engineers guide students through their first lessons - helping them don virtual reality headsets and explore the floor of a remote, tropical ocean teaming with colourful fish.


Students take a lesson in Virtual Reality

Students take a lesson in Virtual Reality

Next, was a lesson on robotics where students played with small vehicles before an introduction to machine learning. Later, our engineers sat down for a Q&A session with students who asked thoughtful and inspiring questions about Google and the possibilities of technology. 


Google’s $33,000 donation was made through a program led by Schools Plus, a not-for-profit that exists to help bridge the education gap caused by disadvantage and create lasting opportunities in rural and regional areas.


It’s a partnership that’s extremely important to Google and has helped 11 schools across Australia 1,300 students and 485 teachers over the last three years.


An introductory class on Small Robotics

An introductory class on Small Robotics

Students will attend one lesson a week at the Makerspace, which all 15 teachers at the school will be trained to provide. 


In addition to what students will learn in class, the Makerspace will run an after-school ‘Code Club’. Parents will also have the opportunity to come along and share in what their children have been learning. 


It’s only the beginning of this great partnership. Teachers will benefit with professional development training and ongoing support from our engineers, who are looking forward to meeting with students again soon helping them develop practical knowledge and personal capabilities.


Montello’s students learn about the new Makerspace classroom

Montello’s students learn about the new Makerspace classroom

Australia has a long and proud history when it comes to technology and innovation. That’s true for Google in Australia too. We started in a Sydney lounge-room almost two decades ago, with some of our most well-known products created right here, like Google Maps.


The enthusiasm, wonder and positivity of Montello’s students was inspiring to watch. We hope the Makerspace will inspire the students to become the next generation of Google engineers.


Rising up to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather on Oxford St to celebrate Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. While this year’s event looked a little different, the 2021 theme called on the community to RISE up and celebrate loudly, proudly – and safely. 

Over the past 5 years, we’ve supported Mardi Gras’ vision to provide a platform for LGBTQI+ people and their allies to share stories, connect and express themselves. We’ve provided funding to individuals, community groups and not-for-profits through the Mardi Gras Community Grants Program to help organisations deliver their messages and dazzle during the parade. These organisations have advocated across a range of issues – from sport to health and the creative arts. 

Among our grantees this year are Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life, two Perth-based suicide prevention organisations with a mission is to empower people to connect with culture through traditional Aboriginal dance and the Māori Haka. 



This year, Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life paraded traditional costumes and powerfully performed Corroborees and the Haka across the Sydney Cricket Ground. 




We’re delighted to award grants to many other LGBTQI+ focused organisations, representing trans, regional and indigenous communities (and more).  This includes: 

ANTRA (澳纽彩盟) - Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance is a NSW registered community organisation advocating for the rights, livelihood and welfare of Australia and New Zealand’s Mandarin & Cantonese speaking LGBTQIA+ communities. 

Autism Spectrum Australia - A not-for-profit working in partnership with people on the autism spectrum to understand, engage and celebrate the strengths and interests of people on the autism spectrum, including the Autistic LGBTQIA+ community, as the Neurodiversity Rainbow. 

Point Clare Families - A grassroots community group from the Central Coast representing same sex parented, opposite sex parented and single parent families. They celebrate diverse families and safe spaces for youth and families to explore their identities. Their group includes participants living with disability.

TRANS GLAMORE - A night held monthly in celebration of transgender performers & friends. 

We are proud to support even more organisations with grants this year including; The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), The Colours of Our Community, Different Strokes, Dayenu-Sydney’s Jewish LGBTQ+ Group, Emerald City Kickball, Entry #2, Girl Guides, The Institute of Many, The Oz Fag Hags, The Pinnacle Foundation, Raio de Sol, The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association, Sydney Silverbacks Wrestling Club, Trikone Australia and Queer Zumba. 

While we had to navigate new rules and restrictions this year, Mardi Gras 2021 was no half measure. The spirit was high, the festivities were fabulous – and the community showed they are ready to RISE and shine. I’m already reliving the memories listening to the YouTube Mardi Gras playlist

Posted by Jes Kane, Social Impact Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand