Committee Communiqué

GDV embraces change and innovation with the Future in Sight

Not-for-profit member Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) is in the business of changing lives.

Below CEO Karen Hayes, who is a member of our Not-for-profit Taskforce, tells us about how GDV is innovating and looking to the future. 

For over 60 years, Guide Dogs Victoria has been supporting people living with blindness or vision loss to achieve independence. 

Right now, in Victoria alone, there are over 200,000 people living with permanent vision loss or blindness, and this number continues to rise. As a result, the need for Guide Dogs Victoria’s services is greater than ever before.

With this increased pressure, Guide Dogs Victoria has taken steps to innovate and to diversify our revenue streams. We have invested in resources to harness the opportunity of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for our clients. Over the past 18 months, our Support Coordinators have assisted over 500 clients to navigate the NDIS, and a growing number of those clients are now receiving funding approvals.

Last year, we opened our first social enterprise: Dialogue in the Dark (DiD). DiD currently employs 20 people living with low vision or blindness and has educated over 10,000 people to improve access and inclusion in Melbourne. 

Finally, we have embarked on a transformational capital campaign to create the world’s first Sensory Campus. By 2022, our Sensory Campus will be home to: 

  • Doggy daycare and Café
  • Veterinary Clinic  
  • Education and training Centre  
  • Low Vision Clinic 
  • Sensory Garden 
  • Children’s area and playground 
  • Dog walking plaza 

L: the GDV campus in 1960; R: the GDV campus in 2022

By 2022, Guide Dogs Victoria’s business model will set a new benchmark for the not-for-profit sector and we will be able to change the lives of more people than ever before. 

-    Karen Hayes, CEO Guide Dogs Victoria

Trimmed bragging right for Melbourne

The release of The Economist Intelligence Unit (the EIU) Liveability Index results have confirmed that Melbourne has lost its bragging rights as the 'World's Most Liveable City', narrowly coming in second behind Vienna.

While our overall score grew, and being in the top 3 is a great result, it should also act as a wakeup call against complacency, and that progressing with a 'business as usual' approach will not ensure a bright future for our city.

Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing city and we are now operating in a disrupted, technology-driven environment which is challenging our future prosperity and liveability. We must make sure our city progresses and develops in concert with this changing environment while leveraging the opportunities it brings.

This is exactly why, through our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce, we are working with our members to future-proof our city by advocating for nine priorities, or Strategic Needs, for Melbourne. These include a healthy and affordable housing mix; competitive internet, skills fit for the future and quality integrated public transport links.

Let's learn what we can from Vienna and work to get our crown back!

Read our media coverage in The Age, The Herald Sun and The Australian.

Sunshine route: the way to go?

Addressing our members earlier this month, Melbourne Airport MD and CEO, Lyell Strambi, stated that although talk about an airport link for our city started in 1965 and much remains to be done, we have never been closer to having a mass transit link to Melbourne Airport.

Last week at our third Airport link forum kindly hosted by member K&L Gates, the Committee discussed the merits of the four proposed routes as well as strategic priorities for delivery with members and stakeholders. 

Melbourne Airport Chief of Parking and Ground Access, Lorie Argus, briefed our members on the merits of the Sunshine route, and why this option best matched our five guiding principles which the Committee submitted to the Federal and State governments in January this year. Read Lorie's presentation.

Lorie Argus addresses members

Lorie’s address was followed by a panel discussion with K&L Gates’ Zac Kerr and Infranexus (Southern Cross Station) Management’s Colin Chanter. The conversation covered all bases from funding models, to prospects for private sector investment, to the potential for remote check-in facilities.

Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts and panellists

The forum identified the Sunshine route as the preferred option subject to detailed further analysis on project funding and execution to ensure it will provide a world-class solution for Melbourne. Further clarity is needed around:

  • travel time and pricing
  • adaptability to rapidly changing technology
  • flexibility to service the airport’s needs for the long-term
  • customer-centricity
  • opportunities to unlock broader benefits for Melbourne and Victoria

'Brand Melbourne' needs this asset – a visitor’s experience and impression of Melbourne starts and ends at the airport.

Read our media release.

View the event photos.

The biggest strategic need facing our city and society

In a first for Australia, Victorian MPs from all sides of politics met on Wednesday 8 August at Parliament House to discuss what is arguably the greatest strategic issue facing our society, Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Co-convened by the Victorian Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP, and Shadow Minister for Innovation, David Southwick MP, the inaugural Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (VAPPGAI) meeting featured Matt Kuperholz, Partner and Chief Data Scientist at PwC Australia. 

Matt Kuperholz briefs the audience

Voted by his peers as Australia’s number one Analytics Leader, Matt briefed representatives on the nature and complexities of AI, including its various uses, opportunities, impacts and implications for Victoria, and Australia.

During the meeting both Dalidakis and Southwick acknowledged that how government will respond to AI will impact all aspects of the Victorian community, hence the importance of discussing the challenges and opportunities that will arise as this technology develops.

Shadow Minister Southwick and Minister Dalidakis at the the first VAPPGAI meeting

Recognised as a Strategic Need in our Melbourne 4.0 report, the Committee recently formed an AI Taskforce to create a set of recommendations for State and Federal governments to adapt to, and benefit from, the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.

To get involved, contact us.

View all the event photos.


Nominations open for 2019-2020 FFG program

Nominations are now sought from member organisations for the 2019-2020 Future Focus Group program, which commences formally with an Induction Weekend in early February 2019. A document containing key information on the Program can be accessed here.
Do not hesitate to contact General Manager Future Focus Group, Matt Gaffney, via email or 0403 053 198 with any queries. 

Expressions of interest via email would be appreciated by Thursday 27 September for planning and intake management purposes, and completed Nomination Packages are required by Friday 19 October. The Nomination Form for the program can be accessed here.

Thoughts from our Patron at C2 Montreal earlier this year

On National Science Week, we capture the thoughts of Her Excellency The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Committee for Melbourne Patron speaking at C2 Montréal earlier this year.

The Governor is an avid supporter of the need to bring science and art together and has been instrumental in developing the Science Gallery Melbourne, a new space designed to explore the collision of two worlds, set to open in 2020.

Governor Dessau believes in the synergy of art and science, the power of creativity and commerce and the value of an event such as C2 Melbourne to challenge leaders whose great minds 'don't think alike'.

As a proud 'Partner from Day One', Committee for Melbourne has a special discount code, contact us to get the code.

Read more.

AI Digital Summit: VIP offer for Committee for Melbourne members

The one-day Digital AI Summit, a featured partner of the Digital Innovation Festival of Victoria is 11 days away!

The Summit will present experts from across AI who will provide their insights into the current business applications of AI, including Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.

In addition to learning from experts from global organisations such as IBM, Salesforce and Microsoft, attendees will also hear from Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts on a panel with government and industry experts on the key role AI will play in our future economy and liveability.
Committee for Melbourne members can now access special VIP rates for tickets ($199 reduced from $599) by entering code 'CFMVIP' into the promotional code section of the popup when purchasing tickets here.

Event details
Tuesday 28 August 2018
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Melbourne Room 1 and 2, Melbourne Convention Centre

Welcome Chadstone

We would like to welcome our new Corporate member: Chadstone 

We asked CEO Fiona Mackenzie why Chadstone decided to join Committee for Melbourne:

"Chadstone are keen to work with Committee for Melbourne on planning our city’s future and shaping policy. In particular we’re keen to connect and collaborate on projects surrounding transport, tourism, placemaking and contribute to innovative solutions to challenges currently facing us, and also to network with your wonderful member base."

What's on our radar

A new Australian dream: Why Melbourne and Sydney need to be more like New York - Australia’s rapidly growing capital cities must start to look more like New York, or disaster beckons. This stark warning from some of Australia’s leading urbanists comes amid growing public concern about housing affordability and congestion. Embracing build-to-rent, and the densification of Melbourne, are two initiatives which Committee for Melbourne will continue to advocate for. 

Watch out for our Housing Mix Taskforce which will consider these issues in greater depth.

The good news is...

Adidas has sold 1 million pairs of sneakers made from ocean trash - Adidas recently revealed it has sold more than one million pairs of sneakers made from ocean plastic (each shoe uses an average of 11 plastic bottles per pair) with its partnership with Parley.Footwear made from sustainable sources is starting to gain serious prominence, with more companies jumping in.

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