David Thodey to lead new Tech Central push

James Riley
Editorial Director

The New South Wales government has appointed CSIRO chair and former Telstra chief David Thodey to head a powerful new steering group to advise on the state’s ambitious Tech Central precinct that is being developed around Sydney’s Central railway hub.

Mr Thodey had previously led a review of the Sydney Tech and Innovation Precinct in 2017-19, as part of an ambitious plan to unlock 24 hectares of government land between Central and Eveleigh as a home for tech startups, scale-ups, multinational tech businesses and researchers.

TechCentral has attracted Atlassian as an anchor tenant – the company is building a 40-storey world headquarters on the site – is a cornerstone development for the project. The Atlassian HQ will sit opposite a $2.5 billion redevelopment announced by Dexus and Frasers Property Australia unveiled two weeks ago.

Tech Central
Tech Central: Artists impression of the multi-billion dollar development

The new Tech Central Industry Advisory Group met for the first time late last week to “guide development of Sydney’s global innovation hub” (although the state government might be tempting fate by declaring the project “Australia’s answer to Silicon Valley”.)

The Industry Advisory Group members are:

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

“Technology and innovation will play a key role in restarting growth after the global pandemic and we’re putting Sydney right at the centre of that,” said NSW Jobs and Investment minister Stuart Ayres.

“Tech Central will provide a focal point for our fantastic tech innovators, attracting investment and talent from all over the world and establishing NSW as a global leader in this space,” he said.

“This Advisory Group will help join the dots between entrepreneurs, researchers, students, corporations and the wider community to help Tech Central fulfill its true potential, making the sum much greater than the parts”.

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1 Comment
  1. Given a new post Covid 19 world whereby social distancing and working from home will become the new norm i am not sure that spending up big to build a centralised Innovation hub and creating another crowd around Central and Redfern stations is a great idea, office space like warehouse space did 25 years ago will radically reduce in value as no-one wants to travel ( waste of time and possible exposure to virus) and no-one wants to meet ( other than via Zoom) – cheaper, more economical, better use of time, safer environment etc

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