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Westpac opens new 200-job tech hub on the Coast

Surfers Paradise

May 19, 2022

Big four bank Westpac has officially opened a new technology engineering hub on the Gold Coast, which is set to create up to 200 new jobs over the next few years.

The opening of the Westpac technology engineering hub on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast’s fast-growing economy and global connections helped attract the major bank to open the new facility in Surfers Paradise. Now that the hub is open, Westpac will begin expanding its technology, engineering, and training capabilities, as it ramps up a broader digitisation agenda.

“The hub will focus on bringing together software engineers, technologists and data specialists who can work in partnership with our digital teams to make banking simpler and faster for our customers and bankers through new technologies,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac Chief Executive Consumer & Business Banking.

“It also gives residents the opportunity to join a large-scale organisation and build a career in the banking sector,” he said.

The plan to open a software engineering hub on the Gold Coast initially started as an experiment to try and find workers based outside of Sydney and Melbourne. After many high-quality job applicants flowed in, Westpac decided to expand the project from recruiting 20 software engineers to filling 200 technology roles, in order to meet the rising demand for digital transformation skills.

Paul Bari, Chief Information Officer of Westpac’s consumer business bank, said that around half of those applying for jobs at the new hub to date had been Gold Coast locals, which reflected his initial talent mapping analysis that showed around 6,000 software engineers lived in south-east Queensland – the largest number outside Melbourne and Sydney.

“Australia has much more talent than just sits in a couple of capital cities. Hubs like ours can show the rest of the country that we can do amazing things in the regions,” Mr Bari said.

“We’ve chosen the Gold Coast to combine the best lifestyle, career and growth opportunities into what we see as Australia’s own ‘Silicon Beach,’ where tech and innovation meets the sun and surf, he said.”


A team of colleagues
The team from Westpac tech hub in Surfers Paradise

Alanna Pardy, the first of the hub’s initial dozen employees, who joined in December, had moved to the Gold Coast a few years earlier from Sydney, attracted by the lifestyle and comparative housing affordability.

Pardy said she jumped at the opportunity to be part of the founding team at the new hub, despite the big industry leap from aviation to banking.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be part of building this whole culture and workplace, within such a large company, where there’s opportunity to move into different areas, departments, teams, and have an employer that invests in you,” she said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate added the bank’s new hub was “both significant and welcomed” for the Gold Coast region.

“The Gold Coast is enjoying a period of growth, not just through domestic population growth, but through increased international investment in industries such as film and television, medical research and IT,” said the Mayor, noting the city had been “redefined as a true lifestyle city” during the pandemic.

“Westpac’s decision will give locals more choice so far as career employment and I believe, will attract similar engineering/employee hubs from other large public, and private, sector firms,” he said.

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