It is a real privilege to be here to give some brief remarks at the Inaugural Showcase of Google at Parliament House.

First, I would like to acknowledge my colleague Ed Husic, who has just addressed you. Good to see you Ed.

I would also like to acknowledge Mel Silva Managing Director of Google Australia, Lucinda Longcroft Google’s Director of Public Affairs and Public Policy and Sherrill Nixon Director of SchoolsPlus.

It is really great to see so many leaders who are women here with us today.

As the Shadow Minister for Women that is something I am really invested in supporting especially across the tech sector. So full marks to Google Australia.

I was asked to reflect on the role of tech and its capacity to help us meet the challenges that confront us today but first we can’t do that without giving Google a bit of a plug.

It would be an understatement to say Google has changed the way life is lived on Planet Earth and that certainly is the case here in Australia.

Tonight’s event is focused on so much more than just Search, but we should not blow past just how much Google has altered our lives for the better.

Because we have all felt that anxiety that comes with having to rush to grab a coffee with someone, but you can’t remember if it was called the Eighty Twenty or Twenty Eighty

Or the stress of having to drop the kids at that party only you don’t know the way there and it started 10 minutes ago.

Or what it is like when we just can’t remember which year the mighty Sydney Swans won that grand final, and your uncle claims it was 2011 but you think it was 2013.

It was 2012 of course. Go Swannies!

And we all have all had that moment where we see something new, perhaps an interesting plant or a weird looking bug or a satellite that hurtles overhead off into the stars, sparking that innate human curiosity.

We have all lived those moments and when we are confronted by them what do we do? Who do we turn to?


Google is a constant companion and good mate.

It is almost an assumed service, it is baked into our lives, but I know that it is only achievable through the efforts of tens of thousands of Googlers.

In fact, my staff reliably inform me Google is full of Australians, both here and over in Mountain View.

So, I like to think that Aussies have rubbed a little bit of our character into Google over the years, not to mention Google Maps, which is a lifesaver, got its start right here in Australia.

So, thanks Google for being there and for being a good mate.

Just some brief reflections on technology and the future.

Today the challenges that confront us are legion.

From climate change to political and social disruption and the revolutions we are seeing in economic and information systems across the world.

The scale and speed of changes humanity faces are immense.

These changes can be scary and if left to their own devices their impacts could be catastrophic for billions of people.

What are we to do in the face of these challenges, challenges that seem too big for any one person to solve?

As we can see tonight the answer is technology.

Even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges we know that today technology holds hope and promise for a better future, here in Australia and across the world.

We know that the right technology in the right hands driven by the right values is our greatest hope for taking that human curiosity, I was talking about before, and scaling its impact.

Tonight, we see that hopeful curiosity manifest in the partnerships showcased around us.

From helping Australian communities to build climate resilience, to giving our unique Australian animals a helping hand as they recovery from bushfires, to empowering Australians to hear the world around them for the very first time – tonight in the partnerships around us we see the most human of emotions, hope, channelled through technology and innovation.

I think that is pretty cool.

The wonder of technology is it can help us with the big and the small challenges.

When I was Environment Minister, we launched a partnership between the Australian Government’s Parks Australia and Google to document 360 degree footage of Christmas Island National Park and the red crab migration to raise awareness of this ecological phenomenon through open access on Google.

It is a small but amazing project and captures a sliver of the wonder our natural world.

Isn’t it incredible that thanks to technology those little armies of migrating red crabs on the far-off shores of Christmas Island can be beamed into classrooms in Chicago, or Cork, or Copenhagen?

I think that is pretty cool too.

From helping track the movements of the smallest crab to arming humanity with the keys to fighting climate change, technology is our best bet on a better future.

And when I come to events like tonight, I am inspired by what smart and compassionate people are able to achieve when they start asking questions and work together to solve problems.

So thank you to everyone for what you are doing.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight.

Thank you Google.

And go the Sydney Swans!

Good night.