Some of the biggest names in Australian tech have joined forces to establish the Tech Council of Australia, which officially launches on Wednesday.
The council, which has been formed by 23 major players in the tech space, aims to grow the value of Australia’s tech industry to $250 billion over the next decade. Additionally, the group wants to employee 1 million people in the sector by 2025.
The council’s board includes Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar, Afterpay co-founder Anthony Eisen and Canva co-founder Cliff Obrecht. The board will be overseen by Tesla chair Robyn Denholm, with various other tech leaders involved in the group.
“The tech sector is very new in Australia, and it’s a really positive sign that the government are engaging with us now,” Obrecht told the SMH. “I think historically we haven’t understood each other as well as we could have and this is just a huge step forward.”
Some of the biggest names in the game like Google and Microsoft are involved in the council, but Facebook — which has had its fair share of issues in Australia — is noticeably absent. However, Obrecht said this is because the company doesn’t have a massive presence in Australia.
Considering the sector employs an estimated 861,000 Australians, the group aims to grow the industry, support local talent and influence regulatory policy to ensure the sector can continue to thrive.
“Our priorities are to boost growth of the Australian tech sector; support talent attraction and development; and ensure regulatory settings across the economy work for the tech-enabled economy,” the council said on its website.
“Our public policy priorities are underpinned by a desire to see an Australia where people and businesses have confidence harnessing the power of technology, where investors have confidence backing Australian technology companies, and where technology companies have confidence investing locally, including in research and development.”
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Tech Council will have a strong focus on improving the availability of skilled migrant visas to give Australian businesses access to some of the world’s best talent.
The full list of board members is:
- Scott Farquhar, Co-CEO, Atlassian (Director)
- Anthony Eisen, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Afterpay (Director)
- Cliff Obrecht, Co-founder and COO, Canva (Director)
- Mina Radhakrishnan, CEO, :Different (Director)
- Didier Elzinga, CEO, Culture Amp (Director)
- Wyatt Roy, Former Federal Minister (Executive Director)
- Kate Jones, Former Queensland Minister (Executive Director)
- Alex McCauley, former CEO, StartupAus (Executive Director)
- Kate Pounder, CEO, Tech Council of Australia
You can view the full list of companies involved on the Tech Council’s website.