What are some of the things you love about living in Wollongong?
I love the community that Wollongong City Council encourages and develops – there are tons of activities for university students, families, and empty-nesters alike. And it’s fun to see those three groups co-living in harmony.
Being able to ride the bicycle to and from the office along the beach front is fantastic. It provides time to reflect on the day and to prepare for an evening with the family.
The fruit and vegetable markets and the night markets in Wollongong are great too!
How does being based in Wollongong help with your work-life balance?
I can leave the office at 5, get home to prepare a meal and sit down as a family at 6.
We are so, so fortunate! We don’t have a long commute and it is easy to meet the kids at the beach after school for an ice cream.
Benefits beyond the immediate family are that our mates are in a similar situation, so we get the chance to catch up with them more frequently than when we were traipsing around Sydney and where we would be exhausted after a ‘quick’ trip to see friends.
If a company was thinking of establishing their business in Wollongong, what would you tell them?
Wollongong has a supportive community that is constantly trying to improve itself. You’ll find great talent and you will want to pay them more than their capital city counterparts. This is because they have more energy and are more productive when they are in the office.
What advice would you give to a new business exploring establishing in Wollongong?
I would recommend you set up in the centre of town so you and your staff can enjoy all the convenience of shopping, food, and commuting.
Join Siligong Valley to connect yourself and your team with the local tech community. There are monthly events and it is a great way to find talent that are working on honing their craft.
What has been the company’s biggest achievement from operating in Wollongong?
Two thousand customers from a hundred countries, and only 2 per cent of our customers are in the local time zone.
We have been able to connect directly with people at council and government which was always too hard in capital cities. They’ve been instrumental in helping us accelerate our growth.
“We’re building a global company from day one, billing in USD, and reaping the rewards of being in a beautiful location where we can have a great family/community/work balance.”
What is the advantage of living in Wollongong yet having Sydney so nearby?
International flights are 60 minutes away by car or 90 minutes on the train.
If you’ve got the family or are packing event material for a work trip, then park with the valet at the International terminal and save yourself the hassle. If you’re flying solo, just take the train.
You can get up to Sydney easily enough (and get out of there once you’re exhausted!). Even if you want to head up to the Opera House (Vivid or Herbie Hancock) it is super easy.
How would you describe the people of Wollongong?
Wollongong has a great mix of people and they are friendly, relaxed and just moving through life.
It is a great place for entrepreneurs from larger cities who are looking for a balance in their life and a better place to start a family and company.
“In Wollongong you will meet community minded people – that’s what sticks out the most.”
What kinds of local activities do you/your family enjoy doing?
Some locations we love to enjoy as a family are the Early Start Discovery Space, Towradgi Beach, going to Diggies at North Gong for Sunday breakfast.
We also enjoy doing the coast walk to Thirroul followed by lunch at South Sailor, watching the diesel locomotives at Port Kembla shunting coal cars, playing in Mangerton Park or visiting the Symbio Wildlife Park.
What would be your top must see things in Wollongong for newcomers?
For a young couple – check out North Gong for breakfast, then walk north through Puckeys Estate to Towradgi beach, then head onto Thirroul for lunch.
For a young family – enjoy the Early Start Discovery Space and then get fish and chips from Fishnets in East Corrimal and have lunch on the beach.