Tag Archives: Australia

Driving success for Australian retail with digitalisation

In spite of the  significant disruption to the retail sector, we’ve seen firsthand how companies have accelerated their digital transformation journey to better differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.

In fact, the Google Cloud Retail Digital Pulse looked at the digital maturity across Australian retail and found the segment to be steadily advancing towards becoming more digitally resilient. The business sentiment is however still mixed and the market shows a split between those who have embraced digital and are thriving, and those that have not and are struggling. 

Among Australian respondents, almost a quarter (23.3 percent) said investment in digitalisation was driven by the desire to reduce costs and improve profitability, with 17.5 percent wanting to improve customer experience to drive revenue and/or increase KPI scores. Building customer data platforms, enhancing capabilities around marketing optimisation and the ability to drive personalisation are some priority use cases for Australian retailers. While challenges remain around budgets, inability to harness customer/operational data and lack of digital transformation roadmaps, more than half (58.3 percent) of respondents are looking to Cloud Services providers for help with digitalisation. 

We’re proud of the role we play in supporting the retail sector in Australia (and beyond) to enhance digital offerings and embrace the future of retail, empowering businesses to harness their data to achieve tangible business results and enhance customer relationships. 

Here’s a look at how some of our Australian customers are leveraging Google Cloud to transform their offering for customers: 

Country Road Group & David Jones: Unearthing data for digital growth

When COVID-19 forced the closure of storefronts, the Country Road Group and David Jones marketing teams sought to demonstrate the value of digital for both engaging customers and sales. After experiencing a 50 percent increase in requests for data analytics, pulling reports from multiple dashboards and structuring them to be meaningful and relevant, became extremely time intensive. 

Looking to Cloud Services providers for help with digitalisation, Country Road Group & David Jones engaged MightyHive to transform marketing for the business. The provider leveraged BigQuery as the business’s data source, connecting with Looker to better explore, share, and visualise the company's supplier and campaign data. 

Consolidating multiple disparate data sources into just three dashboards has minimised the volume of manual reporting, saving the team a full day per week. Looker has also delivered more comprehensive insights to inform the future growth of the business. 

Hanes: Data drives enhanced consumer experience

Hanes Australasia is home to some of Australia’s best-known apparel and lifestyle brands, including Bonds, Bras N Things, and Sheridan. It’s among the 40.8 percent of retailers who adopted technology for marketing optimisation. 

Hanes recognised that data was key to understanding consumer behaviour, preferences, and to driving revenue from its ecommerce investments. The company implemented Google Cloud services—including scalable and serverless BigQuery data warehousing, the Firebase mobile development platform, Cloud Functions to build and connect cloud services, and Pub/Sub event ingestion and delivery—to deliver on these opportunities. 

The business can now collect detailed in-store transaction data along with on-site transaction and customer event data, that is streamed in near-real time into Google Cloud. This data provides a wealth of information that can be transformed into actionable insights for marketing optimisation, and to help support wholesale partners.

JB HiFi: Personalisation drives transaction value

With 39.8 percent of Australian respondents leveraging technology for product discovery and search, JB HiFi is one example of how personalisation can be a powerful driver of success.  

Previously, JB Hi-Fi’s buying team would manually recommend products to visitors — a time-consuming process that meant recommendations of three or four associated products represented only a fraction of the more than  50,000 products available on its website. 

After deploying Recommendations AI, JB Hi-Fi found the average transaction value (ATV) for products recommended increased, when compared to manual processes. Furthermore, monthly average revenue from recommended products increased when compared to manually curated products, and the conversion rate for products offered on the JB Hi-Fi home page also improved. 

The adoption of Recommendations AI has also given JB Hi-Fi the ability to give its customers a more personalised online experience matching it to the personalised, expert experience delivered to customers in-store.

Continuing momentum in a 'post-COVID' world

Beyond the noise and challenges of COVID-19,  retailers are still navigating  what the ‘new normal’ looks like for them and how to manage the blurring of online and in-store interactions with customers. As ecommerce continues as the driving engine for growth, digital transformation remains central to retailers’ long term success.  Commitment to a digital strategy and investing to accelerate the journey to digital resilience is going to be the key. At the same time, it is a great opportunity for retailers to further build on their digital foundations to enable differentiation in the market.

Google Cloud is committed to leading the digital transformation of Australia’s retail sector. We’re continuing to expand our capabilities for merchants, offering tools and solutions designed specifically for the retail industry. Our aim is to empower partners with a scalable platform of innovation, digitisation and efficiency to ultimately give our retail customers the tools they need to thrive.


Country Press Australia titles to join Google News Showcase

For decades, Google has been a proud supporter of the Australian media industry, providing hundreds of millions of dollars to media organisations through our products and services, training programs, partnerships and assistance with digital transformation. 

Earlier this year, we introduced our biggest investment to support the news industry yet - News Showcase and have signed more than 100 titles from across Australia with talks continuing with dozens more outlets of all sizes.  

Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve significantly expanded the number of regional outlets on Showcase, having reached a new in-principle agreement with Country Press Australia

Dozens of regional media outlets across Australia join Google News Showcase

Country Press Australia represents almost 180 independently owned regional and local newspapers and online platforms  across Australia.

Under the agreement, it’s expected that Google will welcome over 70 regional Country Press Australia news publications to Google News Showcase - a product and licensing program that pays publishers to curate content and build deeper relationships with readers.

Kate Beddoe, Google’s Director of News Partnerships APAC, said the agreement would support many titles that have operated in their local communities for decades, providing vital news and information to their regions. “We are very pleased to reach this agreement and welcome Country Press Australia outlets to Google News Showcase,” Ms Beddoe said. “We are also working with Country Press Australia to support the ongoing digital transformation of its members, helping with the sustainability of these news businesses.”

“We’ve helped support the news industry for two decades and Showcase is our biggest investment yet. We look forward to continuing to build on this important work in partnership with the Australian news industry,” Ms Beddoe said. 

Andrew Manuel, President of Country Press Australia, said the agreement recognises the vital importance of local news media to their communities. “Country Press Australia member newspapers provide an essential service to local communities and are vital to the local democracies being able to assist in holding those responsible to account," Mr Manuel said.  

“Local newspapers are often the only source of local news and provide a platform for informed public debate. This agreement will help sustain public interest journalism across regional Australia well into the future with a monetary exchange, innovation changes as well as enabling a sustainable online model for traditional newspaper publishers," Country Press Australia President Andrew Manuel said.The CPA members bring the total number of publications on Showcase globally to nearly 1000.

Google News Showcase launched in October 2020

Our work to support regional journalism through GNI

This investment  builds on our efforts to help support regional journalism through the Google News Initiative (GNI), which has increased the capabilities and revenues of newsrooms through training programs, direct funding and Google products.

In the past year, GNI rolled out a new pilot program, led by Publishing Fellow Neil Varcoe, helping small newsrooms digitally transform through skills training and the development of new sustainable publishing models. The program provided training to more than 1,500 journalists and 200 publishers. 

Through Project Kookaburra, we worked with media consultant Megan Brownlow, Buzzfeed Australia founder Simon Crerar and AAP Studios to help five regional publishers experiment with new business models and strategies to thrive in the digital age. The results showed publishers recording an increase in subscribers, advertising revenues and audience reach. We also worked with the Victorian Country Press Association to create a new digital advertising network across more than 80 regional publishers, enabling them to attract larger advertising customers.  

We look forward to continuing to build on this important work in partnership with the Australian news industry. 

Supporting the future of computer science with the 2021 Google PhD Fellowships

Since 2009, Google has been supporting top graduate students who want to make an impact on the future of technology. The Google PhD Fellowship program recognises candidates doing important and innovative research in computer science and related fields. In Australia and New Zealand, the program focuses on early-stage candidates. Winners receive fellowships which include a monetary award of $15,000 AUD to cover stipend and other research related activities, as well as a Google Mentor who works on topics related to their field of study and provides guidance. In 2021, we’re pleased to announce four new PhD students in Australia who have been awarded fellowships for their outstanding efforts. 


Sampson Wong, Google PhD Fellowship in Algorithms, Optimisations and Markets, The University of Sydney

"Transport networks require regular monitoring and maintenance to sustain a high level of operability. As networks grow and as technologies improve, there is a rising demand for data-driven analysis of transport network data. This has resulted in governments and companies developing domain-specific tools to provide its citizens and users with the best recommendations. The speed and quality of these tools depend greatly on their fundamental building blocks. The goal of my thesis is to develop efficient algorithms for fundamental problems involving geometric movement data on transport networks. We use clustering and other algorithmic methods to detect commuting patterns in geometric movement data, and to select beneficial upgrades for a transport network."


Theekshana Dissanayake, Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Learning, QUT

"Deep learning has shown great success in solving biosignal-based medical diagnostic problems. However, present solutions cannot generalise across multiple datasets captured from different experimental settings. Furthermore, the black-box nature of current solutions hinders the trust associated with the predictions made from a clinical perspective. This PhD research focuses on the generalisability and interpretability of deep learning models designed for biosignal-based medical diagnostics and considers both single and multi-channel biosignals (such as heart signals and brain signals using EEG and ECG)."


Xinlong Wang, Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Perception, Speech Technology and Computer Vision, The University of Adelaide

Xinlong's research interests lie in computer vision and machine learning, specifically  in enabling machines to see and understand the environment. Xinlong’s research focuses on object-level recognition, including 2D/3D/video object detection and instance segmentation.


Yun Li, Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Learning, University of New South Wales 

"Deep learning has been demonstrating the potential to significantly revolutionise the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare. However, low volume, high sparsity, and poor quality of healthcare data and their diverse contexts may limit the efficacy of deep learning methods. In my research, we aim to develop a suite of robust and versatile few-shot machine learning methods to effectively discover personalised, transferable insightful knowledge with very limited data. Specifically, we have identified and proposed the solutions to 1) data-efficient methods for genomics sequencing; 2) medical image argumentation, 3) hierarchical multi-view data analysis; and 4) tinnitus diagnosis. We will continue to improve the explainability, transparency, and personalisation for better clinical translation. Our studies will have a broader impact on a wide range of practical scenarios such as genome study, medical diagnosis, drug discovery, and disease treatment."


In supporting these Australian Fellows we recognise their significant academic achievements and hope that they will go on to be leaders in their respective fields. We look forward to building even stronger links between industry and academia to help support important research in Australia. You can find out more about the Google PhD Fellowship program here 



Pixel and Android Enterprise connect National Australia Bank

Supporting the mobility needs of our employees has long been a top priority at National Australia Bank. As the IT team for a leading bank in Australia, we want our colleagues across all levels of the company to have secure access to the information they need.

When recently evaluating our device strategy, we wanted to reduce the time and costs of supporting legacy devices and multiple platforms. Pixel devices managed with Android Enterprise have been key to this strategic shift, benefiting our customer support teams who spent much of the last year working from home while continuing to support our customers remotely. 

Rapidly enabling teams

The IT team issued more than 2,000 Pixel devices to our customer contact teams, enabling them to continue serving customers remotely at the start of the pandemic. Vodafone helped rapidly launch the solution, using zero-touch enrollment to quickly set up devices with the necessary applications and configurations.

With zero-touch enrollment, each Pixel setup was 20 minutes faster than our previous device enrollments, saving our IT team and colleagues over 500 hours during the initiative. With our communication and collaboration apps available right out of the box, our teams could get to work right away to help customers.

Our contact center teams use Pixel devices that are fully managed, which allows us to provide the necessary security controls, and wipe and re-enroll them when transferred to a new employee. Branch Managers use Pixels with the work profile, separating work and personal applications. This gives employees the ability to use the device in a personal capacity while our IT team manages and ensures data security over the work profile.

Our IT team has received positive feedback from employees about their experience with the work profile. The simplicity and clear separation between work and personal profiles is a great benefit for those who want to build better balance into their day. Moreover, our IT admins have the security tools necessary to safeguard critical data. 

With managed Google Play, we have flexibility to assign the needed apps to our managed devices, whether they’re fully managed or using the work profile, through the admin console. Providing our teams the flexibility to assign apps to the right teams is a major time saver and ensures everyone has the resources they need. Branch managers can look up customer service records or answer a ping more quickly from their Pixel, instead of returning back to their desk and logging back on to their desktop computer. Android Enterprise has been a catalyst in a more mobile and responsive environment for our various teams.

Simplified management and security

Given the security requirements of the financial services industry, protecting customer data and preventing leakage is critical. Pixel security updates from Google provide a reliable cadence of ongoing protection as threats evolve, and the work profile hits the right balance between security and privacy for our teams.

The combination of zero-touch enrollment, consistent security updates and integration with device management tools has been a driving force for our IT team. We see Android Enterprise as a key component to our mobility strategy, providing the flexibility and security our teams require.

Pixel Buds A-Series: Rich sound, iconic design, just $159


When we first introduced our truly wireless Pixel Buds, we were most excited about how such a small product could pack so much functionality. Now, we’re making that same premium sound quality, along with hands-free help from Google Assistant and real-time translation, available at an even more affordable price. 
Introducing Pixel Buds A-Series: rich sound, clear calls and Google helpfulness, all in a low-profile design – for just $159. 

A premium audio experience 
Our research shows that most people describe great sound as full, clear and natural. This is what guides our audio tuning process and shows up in other devices, like Nest Audio. And Pixel Buds A-Series are no exception. Custom-designed 12mm dynamic speaker drivers deliver full, clear and natural sound, with the option for even more power in those low tones with Bass Boost. 
To experience the full range of the speaker’s capabilities, especially in the low frequencies, a good seal is essential. We’ve scanned thousands of ears to make Pixel Buds A-Series fit securely with a gentle seal. In order to keep the fit comfortable over time, a spatial vent reduces in-ear pressure. 
Each earbud also connects to the main device playing audio, and has strong individual transmission power, to keep your sound clear and uninterrupted. 
Sound quality can also be affected by your environment. The new Pixel Buds A-Series come with Adaptive Sound, which increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings. This comes in handy when you're moving from the quiet of your home to somewhere noisy like a city street, or while jogging past a loud construction site. 
And your calls will have great sound too. To make sure your calls are as clear as they can be, Pixel Buds A-Series use beamforming mics to focus on your voice and reduce outside noise, making your calls crystal clear (though of course, overall call quality depends on signal strength, environment, network, and other factors). Once your call is over, quickly get back to your music with a simple “Hey Google, Play my music.” 

Stylish and hardworking 
For Pixel Buds A-Series, we wanted to bring back the iconic Clearly White, but added a twist with new grey undertones. 
Pixel Buds’ design is inspired by the idea that great things can come in small packages: Pixel Buds A-Series include up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case. And with the ability to get a quick charge — about 15 minutes in the case gives you up to three hours of listening time — you can keep listening anywhere.1 
They’re comfortable enough for those long listening sessions, and don’t worry if some of that time is devoted to a sweaty workout or a run in the rain: The earbuds are also sweat and water-resistant.2 

Hands-free access to the best of Google 
Google Assistant is built right into the Pixel Buds A-Series. You can get quick hands-free help to check the weather, get an answer, change the volume, or have notifications read to you with a simple “Hey Google.” 

Added accessories 
To help protect your new Pixel Buds A-Series, there is now the Tech21 EvoSlim — a lightweight case to shield your smallest tech from drops and scratches. It is made with a built-in microbe-reducing formula and has an easy-to-attach carabiner to help keep your Pixel Buds A-Series safe and close to hand. Available on the Google Store soon. 
Pixel Buds A-Series are now available for pre-order in Australia from the Google Store, arriving to customers from August 25. Pixel Buds A-Series will be available online from August 25 at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Officeworks, and available at Optus and Vodafones later this year. Pixel Buds A-Series will also be available online at Telstra from August 27. For more country availability and waitlist options, visit g.co/pixelbudsaseries


1 All listening times are approximate and were measured using music playback with pre-production hardware and software, with fully charged Pixel Buds A-Series and case, and other features disabled. Case is used to recharge Pixel Buds A-Series when their batteries are depleted. Charging times are approximate. Use of other features will decrease battery life. Battery life depends on device, features enabled, usage, environment and many other factors. Actual battery life may be lower. 
2 Pixel Buds A-Series (earbuds only) have a water protection rating of IPx4 under IEC standard 60529. Water resistance is not a permanent condition and may be compromised by normal wear and tear, repair, disassembly, or damage. 

Inspired by her ancestors, artist Ryhia Dank creates Pixel wallpapers

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and commit to building a brighter future together. 

At Google, we have a vision of empowerment and equitable opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and commit to building Reconciliation through Google’s technology, platforms and people.

Today is the United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. In acknowledgement of the day and as a reflection of Indigenous Peoples contributions to our world, Google is launching a collection of new wallpapers on Pixel devices. These wallpapers were designed by Ryhia Dank – a Gudanji and Wakaja woman from Garranjini in the Northern Territory, Australia – whose paintings tell stories and pay respects to her heritage. 

Pixel’s Curated Culture collection of wallpapers celebrate different cultural moments throughout the year, and this collection includes colorful images that represent Ryhia’s story and land. We sat down with Ryhia to hear how her Country and ancestors inspire her work. 

Ryhia, tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re from. 

I am from Garranjini (Barkly Tablelands, Northern Territory, Australia) and my Kujiga is connected to Marrambarna songline. I am a Gudanji and Wakaja woman. 


So much of your artwork and the Pixel wallpapers you created are focused on the elements and the earth. What are you finding inspiration in now with the world around you? 

I find it very interesting the way the environment comes and goes into favor and the disjoint between human bodies and the earth body. As a Black woman, my body is as entangled with my Country as it is possible to be and it is also that entwined relationship that inspires me. If we think about the amazing body which is the earth, that body is the first one which we should always hold sacred. Once we damage that body, the damage to our human body is tenfold. I am inspired by the earth body — the whole of the earth body and not just my backyard. My Country inspires the grounding and informs my knowledge and acts of recording my storywork.


You call your painting “storywork.” What stories inspired you to create these wallpapers?

My ancestors didn't make art. They produced images and icons which told stories and taught us who and how we are. There is an important shift in aesthetics in the understanding that my images are storywork. My images act in the same way that an alphabet does — they hold secret and not-so-secret knowledge.

What wallpaper is on your phone? 

My current wallpaper is actually a collection of stickers I sell; they’re a part of a campaign I started to raise awareness of fracking on my Traditional land, something that directly impacts my Country. 


However, if I were to choose one of my Pixel artworks as a wallpaper, I would have Waterways. This one reminds me of fishing with my Mimi as a child on Country, a memory I treasure. 


Check out more of Ryhia’s work and try out the latest Curated Culture wallpapers on your Pixel today.

Inspired by her ancestors, artist Ryhia Dank creates Pixel wallpapers

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and commit to building a brighter future together. 

At Google, we have a vision of empowerment and equitable opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and commit to building Reconciliation through Google’s technology, platforms and people.

Today is the United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. In acknowledgement of the day and as a reflection of Indigenous Peoples contributions to our world, Google is launching a collection of new wallpapers on Pixel devices. These wallpapers were designed by Ryhia Dank – a Gudanji and Wakaja woman from Garranjini in the Northern Territory, Australia – whose paintings tell stories and pay respects to her heritage. 

Pixel’s Curated Culture collection of wallpapers celebrate different cultural moments throughout the year, and this collection includes colorful images that represent Ryhia’s story and land. We sat down with Ryhia to hear how her Country and ancestors inspire her work. 

Ryhia, tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re from. 

I am from Garranjini (Barkly Tablelands, Northern Territory, Australia) and my Kujiga is connected to Marrambarna songline. I am a Gudanji and Wakaja woman. 


So much of your artwork and the Pixel wallpapers you created are focused on the elements and the earth. What are you finding inspiration in now with the world around you? 

I find it very interesting the way the environment comes and goes into favor and the disjoint between human bodies and the earth body. As a Black woman, my body is as entangled with my Country as it is possible to be and it is also that entwined relationship that inspires me. If we think about the amazing body which is the earth, that body is the first one which we should always hold sacred. Once we damage that body, the damage to our human body is tenfold. I am inspired by the earth body — the whole of the earth body and not just my backyard. My Country inspires the grounding and informs my knowledge and acts of recording my storywork.


You call your painting “storywork.” What stories inspired you to create these wallpapers?

My ancestors didn't make art. They produced images and icons which told stories and taught us who and how we are. There is an important shift in aesthetics in the understanding that my images are storywork. My images act in the same way that an alphabet does — they hold secret and not-so-secret knowledge.

What wallpaper is on your phone? 

My current wallpaper is actually a collection of stickers I sell; they’re a part of a campaign I started to raise awareness of fracking on my Traditional land, something that directly impacts my Country. 


However, if I were to choose one of my Pixel artworks as a wallpaper, I would have Waterways. This one reminds me of fishing with my Mimi as a child on Country, a memory I treasure. 


Check out more of Ryhia’s work and try out the latest Curated Culture wallpapers on your Pixel today.

New from Google Nest: The latest Cams and Doorbell are coming

Google Nest’s mission is to build products that make a more helpful home. All of this starts with helping you understand what’s happening within the walls of your home and outside of it. 

One of Nest’s first goals was to simplify home security, and it helped millions of people across the globe do this. So when we started dreaming up our next generation of cameras and doorbells, we wanted to incorporate the way the connected home — and your expectations — were heading. That included smarter alerts, wire-free options for installation flexibility, greater value and beautiful designs, plus enhanced privacy and security. We wanted our newest line to give you the most comprehensive set of intelligent alerts right out of the box, and easily work with your other Nest products, like displays. 

Today we’re introducing our next-generation Nest Cams and Doorbell: Google Nest Cam (battery) is our first outdoor/indoor battery-powered camera ($329); Google Nest Doorbell (battery) is our first battery-powered doorbell ($329). Learn more about 11 things to love about the new Nest Cam and Doorbell
Meet the new Google Nest Cam and Google Nest Doorbell

Then there’s Google Nest Cam with floodlight, our first connected floodlight camera ($549) and finally the second-generation Google Nest Cam (wired), a wired indoor camera and our most affordable Nest Cam ever ($169). 

We’ve heard how much people appreciate it when their Nest products all work well together. These new devices are no different. With the new Nest Cams and a display, you can keep an eye on the backyard from your kitchen and get alerts when the doorbell rings. Our new cameras are also fully integrated with the Google Home app. The Google Home app works with any compatible Android or iOS device, giving you access to all your compatible home devices in one place, anywhere and anytime. 

The new battery-powered Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell will go on sale on August 25, and are available for preorder today from the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and The Good Guys. And for those who preorder, you can also secure an extra gift of a second-generation Nest Hub from selected retailers. 

Nest Cam with floodlight and the new wired indoor Nest Cam are coming soon. 

To learn more, visit the Google Store

Aussies can now save vaccination certificates on Android devices

Since the onset of the COVID-19, Australia has faced many seasons and surges of the pandemic. As we continue to battle the Delta variant across multiple states, Government and health authorities are working harder than ever to test and vaccinate people – and pave the way to safely open up communities. 

To support these efforts, we’ve been working with Services Australia to give you a convenient and secure way to view, save and show your vaccination status and information, straight from your smartphone. 


So, we just expanded our COVID Card feature to Australia – providing a simple, private and secure way to save and access vaccination information on Android smartphones after you’ve had your second jab. Vaccine information is only stored on your device (it is not stored by Google). 

To access your vaccination certificate, simply login to the Express Plus Medicare app or via the Medicare portal of the MyGov website and select the options to ‘View your COVID-19 digital certificate’ and ‘Save to Phone.’  

For added convenience, you can access your vaccine information even when you’re offline, which means you do not need mobile or wifi connection. If you have the Google Pay app on your Android phone, you can also access the certificate from the same place where you access your other cards and other passes.

Every time you access your certificate, you will be asked for the password, pin or biometric method that you have set up for your Android device. If you do not have this set up on your phone, you’ll be prompted to do so to strengthen security. 

The launch of the COVID Card feature in Australia builds on the many ways we’ve been working to help authorities, businesses and Australians stay safe and informed during the pandemic. This includes surfacing the latest updates, health and travel advice from authorities, and giving almost $5M AUD in ad grants to the Federal Government to support these public health initiatives. We’ve provided regular updates on Search trends and launched COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to offer local insights on the impact of social distancing. And to help meet the cost of the virus, we’ve offered $20M in ad credits to businesses to support their pivot to online trading during these challenging times. To keep across the latest news, check out our local COVID microsite featuring the latest updates and health resources: google.com.au/covid19. 

New program helps regional journalists develop digital skills

Today, we’re pleased to announce an initiative that helps support regional news publishers by providing vital digital skills training and new opportunities for young journalists.


Introducing the Digital News Academy

The Digital News Academy is a new program created by Google and News Corp Australia that will provide training in the latest digital skills to 750 local and regional news professionals from a range of outlets across the country, including Australian Community Media and several others.

The program, run over three years, will provide comprehensive tuition in skills including digital journalism, video and audio production, data journalism, audience measurement, reader revenue, digital business models and marketing. 

In addition to enabling crucial digital capabilities, the Digital News Academy will also create opportunities for young journalists, funding 60 new 12-month journalism traineeships in regional Australia over the next three years. 

This is a significant investment in training and skills for local news in Australia, and builds on the work we’ve been doing for years in support of regional publishers. We’ve long partnered with the news industry in Australia, and this new initiative will benefit and support hundreds of journalists from across the Australian news industry.


The Digital News Academy will launch in 2022

What our partners are saying

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the academy would provide essential skills at a crucial time for news media professionals.“The future of commercial news organisations rests on their ability to create and publish journalism that serves audiences in tangible, valuable ways and is consumed how and where those audiences choose,” Mr Miller said. “This task is the foundation mission as news organisations large and small develop business models built on high value journalism. I thank Google for working with News Corp Australia in establishing the academy and it’s further acknowledgment of journalism’s value and importance.”

Australian Community Media, Australia’s largest rural and regional publisher, will be a major participant in the program, receiving both training and trainees. “ACM is delighted to be involved in this initiative. The ongoing training and upskilling of our editorial teams to meet the ever changing demands on our consumers is a key priority for our business. This is evidenced by the recent appointment of Saffron Howden in the role of Editorial Training Manager. With Saffron's experience, and the global expertise brought together in this program, this bi-partisan initiative will be fantastic for ACM editorial staff and the strength of regional journalism more broadly,” says Tony Kendall, CEO of Australian Community Media.  

The Digital News Academy will launch in early 2022.