Former Telstra CEO David Thodey will lead an industry advisory group to guide the NSW government on its multibillion dollar “Tech Central” precinct in Sydney.

The group, which also includes executives from Atlasssian, the City of Sydney, Stone & Chalk, AirTree Ventures and UTS Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs, met for the first time last week.

Tech Central is a designated  250,000 square metres of office space between Central Station and Camperdown, described by the NSW Government  as “Australia’s answer to Silicon Valley”. 

The state government announced $48.2 million in funding for Tech Central in June, hoping to attract start-ups, scale-ups and innovation ecosystem partners to the area, claiming the Sydney precinct will rival the famous Clifornian tech mecca. 

Australian tech giant Atlasssian has already committed as an anchor tenant and will build its new headquarters as the flagship building in Tech Central. The Software giant made plans for the building pre-COVID-19 and has since told its employees they are no longer required to work in an office if they choose. Earlier this month, executives reaffirmed their intentions to build the $1 billion plus offices to accommodate employees who still preferred or needed an office environment.

The 40 storey Atlasssian building will sit adjacent to a  $2.5 billion commercial redevelopment announced by Dexus and Frasers Property Australia unveiled two weeks ago by Frasers Property Australia and Dexus.

New advisory panel

David Thodey AO will lead the new advisory panel, announced by the NSW government on Friday. Thodey is a former CEO of Telstra and IBM Australia and current Chair of the CSIRO.  He also led a landmark review into the Australian public sector’s digital capabilities last year.

In a statement on Friday, Thodey said the new Sydney precinct will offer a new place for technology collaboration.

“I foresee, this will create a new place for startups, scaleups, high-tech giants, universities and researchers, to collaborate, solve problems and innovate,” Thodey said.

The full Industry Advisory Group members:

  • Mr David Thodey AO (Chair)
  • Ms Amy Glancey, Chief of Staff, Atlassian
  • Ms Monica Barone, CEO, City of Sydney
  • Mr Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Technology Sydney
  • Mr Daniel Petre AO, Founder/Partner, AirTree Ventures
  • Mr Alex Scandurra, CEO, Stone & Chalk
  • Ms Sally-Ann Williams, CEO, Cicada Innovations
  • Ms Mina Radhakrishnan, Co-Founder, Different

According to NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, “This Advisory Group will help join the dots between entrepreneurs, researchers, students, corporations and the wider community to help Tech Central fulfil its true potential, making the sum much greater than the parts.”

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