Joyful young web developer drinking coffee while taking break from work in home office
Joyful young web developer drinking coffee while taking break from work in home office

REVEALED: Queensland’s 21 best places to work

Tech firms SafetyCulture and Sentrian, both started in Queensland, have been recognised among the 50 best places to work in Australia.

SafetyCulture, founded by chief executive Luke Anear in his Townsville garage in 2004, has become one of the country's biggest IT success stories, creating a global market for its workplace inspection and checklist app iAuditor.

This week the firm, which has offices in Townsville and Sydney as well as overseas, was included among the 50 companies in the 2020 Best Places to Work in Australia study. It was one of 21 companies with offices in Queensland.

SafetyCulture earlier this year raised $60.5m in net funding to give it a valuation of $1.3bn. It employs 202 staff and was No 4 out of 25 in the 100 to 999 employees category.

Brisbane-based Sentrian, which provides IT infrastructure support, ranked 10 out of 20 in the under 100 employee category.

Zrinka Lovrencic, the managing director of research and consulting firm Great Place to Work (GPTW), which compiled the list, said during COVID-19, SafetyCulture had launched a number of initiatives to boost morale and keep its employees both mentally and physically healthy, such as ClassPass which gave staff access to online fitness videos.


Luke Anear founder of technology company SafetyCulture.
Luke Anear founder of technology company SafetyCulture.


"A new employee assistance program with a mental fitness app was launched to help their employees access professional help (and) support during the challenging period," she said.

"On Friday nights SafetyCulture created a virtual bar. The bar comprises a variety of different online rooms which include activities such as board games, raves (and a) wine cellar."

Ms Lovrencic said the study was based on data collected prior and during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over the past 12 months, (GPTW) surveyed 39,156 Australian employees from 124

companies for the 2020 report.

"COVID-19 has adjusted the way we will work forever," she said. "Overnight, our workplaces radically changed. No industry, organisation, team, or individual was immune to the new challenges this global pandemic has brought about."



She said the 50 companies which made the cut this year, all sprang in to action early in the pandemic. They showed clarity and confidence in leadership and also demonstrated care for their employees by being supportive, communicative and flexible during a time uncertainty.

"The best (companies) found a way to replace the water cooler in the office with a virtual one," Ms Lovrencic said. She said some companies sent branded clothing to employees homes as a reminder of the workplace culture and teams they were still part of even thought they were working from home.

She said while its employees were working from home during COVID-19, Sentrian wanted to replicate the morning stroll to the coffee shop with colleagues.

So it introduced a channel on Microsoft Teams called 'Coffee Banter' which opens at 8am each morning for 30 minutes.

Ms Lovrencic said on Friday afternoons this becomes an end-of-week catch-up, where the Sentrian team can relax and often have a drink while sharing stories.

The 2020 Best Places to Work list includes 21 companies which have offices* in Queensland:


Cisco Systems Australia


SAP Australia

Mars Australia

DHL Express






OMD Australia




Starlight Children's Foundation

Nova Group





Recovery Partners

Invest Blue


Macquarie Cloud Services

Bluefin Resources


*Based on company website searches

Originally published as REVEALED: Queensland's 21 best places to work