Malcolm Turnbull's former digital tsar just joined fintech hub Stone & Chalk

Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Shetler (Source: YouTube/Malcolm Turnbull)

Former head of the federal government’s Digital Transformation Office, Paul Shetler, has reportedly joined Stone & Chalk in a part-time advisory role.

The role at the Sydney fintech hub represents Shetler’s first since departing the government agency last November after it changed into the Digital Transformation Agency and a much-reduced remit under the incoming digital transformation assistant minister Angus Taylor. Prior to that, in his native Britain, Shetler served as technology executive at the Government Digital Office within the Cabinet Office and the UK Ministry of Justice.

The AFR reports that Shetler will advise Stone & Chalk’s startup tenants and corporates on engaging with the new economy, as he says resistance to change is just as common in the private sector as it is in the Australian public service.

“Part of what we are talking about is re-skilling companies, so they can take charge of their destiny and make a decision for themselves, so they are not dependent on outside people all the time,” he told the AFR.

He said many Australian businesses don’t realise they’re now also internet companies.

“This is something a lot of companies don’t understand. It’s a worldwide thing, but Australia has, to some extent, been a bit more protected, unlike the US and UK, where digital business has heavily hammered the existing sectors,” Shetler said.

Stone & Chalk is a co-working venue in Sydney, billed as the largest fintech hub in Asia and “the centre of gravity” for the Australian fintech industry. As well as standalone startups, the company also has FinTech Australia, Reinventure and H2 Ventures as tenants.

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