update Search giant Google will this summer launch a student internship program that will see Australian university students work on projects in its new Sydney headquarters.
The company's local head of engineering Lars Rasmussen told ZDNet Australia around 5-10 spots would be made available, with both technical and non-technical positions on offer.
Google will eventually expand the programme into a year-long endeavour, Rasmussen told press at the launch today of the new HQ by federal ICT Minister Senator Helen Coonan.
"We are also starting a full-time campus recruitment program," he added.
Google will also expand to Australia a scholarship program for women in the computer science field that will allow winners to attend a key international women in IT conference.
The moves are part of Google's ongoing plans to operate a fully fledged research and development centre in Sydney. The spacious new office next to Google's old quarters in Sydney's Darling Harbour will give those plans a boost.
"There is a tremendous amount of talent in computing and related fields here in Sydney, around Australia and the entire region, but frankly very little exciting opportunities for those people," Rasmussen told press this morning.
"That makes Sydney a smart place to build a centre. This is particularly true after the tech wreck five years ago," he added. "We are hiring as fast as we can find qualified candidates."
"Also, our operations team told us that they could take advantage of having a research and development centre here, because they could put an English-speaking team of operations people in the Asian time zone which would ensure that Google was available around the clock and around the world."
Rasmussen said the local engineers were "not just here to localise Google's many services", but would in the main focus on original research and development.
The local developments will also see well-known Google software engineer Rob Pike split his time between Australia and the United States in an effort to help build Google's Australian engineering offices.
Pike is known for his work on the original Unix, Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems at Bell Labs.
GMail gets rubber stamp
Google also revealed today that it had given Australians the option of signing up to use Google's popular "GMail" Web e-mail service.
"Starting just today, we've extended SMS signup of GMail to Australia. Anyone with a mobile phone can open a GMail account," Google's head of sales and operations for Australia and New Zealand Kate Vale said.
The service has previously required Australians to signup to the service through receiving an invitation from an existing member.