Amazon has officially opened its new state-of-the-art robotics fulfilment centre in Western Sydney, our largest single investment in Australia to date.

The fulfilment centre (FC) will create over 1,500 Australian jobs, ranging from entry-level customer fulfilment roles to highly-skilled roles in IT and engineering, with the opportunity to work alongside advanced robotics.

The FC is the largest warehouse in Australia, with capacity to store more than 20 million items and support thousands of Australian small-and-medium-sized businesses to seamlessly service customers around the country.

It’s been just over four years since - Amazon’s Australian retail store - opened for business, and more than 10 years since Amazon Web Services first arrived on our shores. Each year, we work hard to deliver for customers and partners, aiming to become one of Australia’s most trusted brands and one of its best employers.

To mark the opening of this landmark facility, we look at how Amazon’s family of businesses has contributed to the Australian economy and communities across Australia.

Amazon invests in Australia

Long-term careers

Amazon strives to be the Earth’s best employer. Here in Australia, we employ more than 5,000 people, with jobs across every state and territory. We are committed to supporting career progression and great working conditions for all our employees.

This includes creating secure jobs for Aussies displaced due to COVID. In 2021 alone, Amazon Australia created more than 1,100 permanent roles at our operation sites.

All our permanent employees have access to training, private health fund benefits, parental leave and flexible working arrangements.

Meet Siraj, Amazon Warehouse Associate

Amazon Warehouse Associates working at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre BWU1
Amazon Associates working at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre BWU1.
Photo by Justin Sanson

When the airline industry was grounded at the start of COVID, Siraj faced finding a new career in a difficult job market. He saw Amazon as the way of the future.

"I saw job security with Amazon. I realised I could future-proof my career because online shopping is growing."

Throughout the pandemic he was classified as an essential worker because of his position as a Warehouse Associate and Forklift Driver.

Unlike his previous job, Siraj now has a predictable roster and regular hours.

“It’s great that I get to have work-life balance at Amazon. I work 10-hour shifts for four days and get three days off,” Siraj said.

Siraj makes sure that one of those days off is for dedicated “daughter and daddy time”. He takes his four-year old to the pool to go swimming together and goes to the park for lunch.

Like all Amazon employees, Siraj has access to the company’s Step Up program where he meets with Area Managers once a month and can be cross-skilled into another department or encouraged to move up in the business.

“It’s one of the reasons I see a future with Amazon in terms of career growth,” he said.

Siraj is keen to develop his skills as an educator and is considering taking on education for a Learner Trainer role.

Building world-class infrastructure for Australian customers and SMBs

Since we launched in Australia, Amazon has invested over $5.3 billion across its businesses including retail, Prime Video, Audible and Amazon Web Services. This investment includes building state-of-the-art fulfilment centres and logistics sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Cost and Newcastle to store and ship products quickly to customers, and data centres and corporate offices to support businesses of all sizes across the country with cloud computing.

In the past year, Amazon has invested more than $1.9 billion invested across all its businesses in Australia.

As well as supporting more than 4,000 indirect jobs in construction in 2021, Amazon’s fulfilment centre infrastructure enables thousands of Australian small and medium businesses to store and ship their own products to Amazon customers in Australia and around the world.

Today, almost 60% of the Australian businesses selling in Amazon’s stores are expanding their business to reach global customers, resulting in more than 25 million products sold by Australian businesses to local and international customers in the past 12 months. Competitive shipping costs and faster delivery times mean increased productivity for our sellers and greater satisfaction for our customers.

Australian sellers using our Fulfilment by Amazon service saw an average 26% uplift in sales on the Amazon Australia store in 2020[1], a huge boost for businesses during the pandemic.

On top of our fulfilment and logistics support, Amazon has also directly invested more than $1.4 million in grants to help Australian SMBs and start-ups launch new products through our Amazon Launchpad program.

Meet Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits, Amazon Launchpad Alumni

Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits, Amazon Launchpad Alumni

As an inaugural participant on Amazon Australia’s Launchpad program, Lyre’s has become one of the fastest growing consumer products in the world with triple digit sales growth each year since launch.

Lyre’s choice to go with Amazon just made sense. “Amazon is a quick and cost-effective way to reach a wide audience” co-founder Carl explains. “Amazon allows you to surprise and delight your customers because of its infrastructure… it’s best practice, and to offer fast shipping from day one is really important.”

“Support from our Amazon partnership shortened a year of set-up frustration to less than a quarter of the time with Amazon Launchpad,” Carl explains.

Designed to help Australian entrepreneurs launch innovative and unique products, Amazon Launchpad was the perfect platform for Lyre’s to build awareness and directly reach consumers around the world. Lyre’s is now one of the most globally available Australian-made products ever, currently available in 65 countries and on track to be in 100 countries over the next 12 months.

Investing in the future of Australian innovation, creativity and sustainability

Our retail store is only one side of our business. Amazon’s family of businesses has also invested in Australia’s innovation and creative sectors, through AWS, Amazon Prime Video and Audible.

Since our launch, we have:

  • Launched AWS Skill Builder, a digital learning experience available in more than 200 countries and territories, which provides free skills training to millions of people around the world. Anyone with an internet connection and a desire to learn can quickly and easily access over 500 free on-demand courses—including nearly 60 new cloud computing classes added in the past year.
  • Trained more than 200,000 people across Australia with cloud skills since 2017.
  • Committed more than $150 million in original Australian creative productions.

We are also investing in becoming a sustainable business. In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge with a global goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. As part of this goal, Amazon is on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025—five years ahead of our original target of 2030.

Our renewable projects will supply energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, Amazon fulfillment centres, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres that support millions of customers globally.

In Australia, Amazon has invested in three projects: the Hawkesdale Wind Farm, Victoria; Gunnedah Solar Farm, New South Wales; and Suntop Solar Farm in New South Wales. Combined, these projects will generate 717,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, the equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of almost 115,000 average Australian homes.

Meet Shannen, AWS Data Centre Logistics Expert

Shannen AWS employee typing

Shannen never imagined she would work in cloud computing. Studying foreign languages at university, she is fluent in Japanese, German and French – now she is adding Javascript to the list.

“I feel really lucky to be working at a place like Amazon where I’m given the freedom to grow my skills and follow my passions,” says Shannen.

Starting as an intern last April, Shannen now has a permanent position in the data centre logistics team in Western Sydney, where she receives computer parts, works with engineers to configure them and ships them to customers across Australia.

“We’re the Swiss army knife of the data centre. If you’ve got a logistics problem, there’s someone in our team that can solve it.”

Her teammates come from all walks of life. Working alongside a former pilot, a veteran, a chef and a retail manager, Shannen says it’s their diversity of backgrounds and experiences that make them such a versatile and effective unit.

“The recruitment process is less about having the perfect skills, it’s about being the right person and having the right attitude. You need to be keen to learn, open-minded and ready to take on a challenge.”

Since starting at Amazon, Shannen has made the most of their free online training courses and is learning how to code. She has also been assigned a global mentor, who lives in Washington DC.

“Amazon is one of the best places to grow as a professional. It’s such a global company and there are so many opportunities to learn.”

[1] *Comparing performance of similar products with at least on sale 60 days pre and post a product’s enrolment in FBA in 2020. Future results may vary.