Committee Communiqué

From the CEO

It might be cold outside but things are heating up in Melbourne at the moment! Below are some of my favourites, and a special welcome to a new member of the CfM team.

Australia's newest event space is here!
Earlier last month, our Foundation member Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre unveiled its expansion site, with in a 25 per cent increase in event space for the world-class facility.


The new event space is expected to attract an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, resulting in an annual $167 million boost to the Victorian economy. On full display at the launch were C2's experiential labs which will help reframe delegates' thinking during conferences.

Lunch with the our Patron, Governor Dessau
Our Patron, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, has been working hard to spread the word about the extraordinary opportunities for Melbourne’s economy and global profile as host of the C2 conference from 17-19 October, the very first time it is being held outside its home of Montreal. At a lunch she hosted at Government House with Melbourne leaders from business, government, the community, arts and culture sectors, the Governor spoke enthusiastically about her personal experience at C2 Montreal. She described the unique nature of the business networking format of C2 as stimulating, fun and financially rewarding in equal parts. 
The last C2 reportedly raised $700 million in business deals, with 61 countries represented from 27 industries. Support your business and your city by participating and seeing for yourself at C2 Melbourne. Committee for Melbourne members can use the discount code 'C2LOVESCFM' to benefit from special rates.

Open House Melbourne 2018: the largest edition ever!  
Last weekend, over 220 buildings around greater Melbourne opened their doors to the public to celebrate architecture, the built environment and our city. Open House Melbourne was an initiative of our business and civic leadership program, Future Focus Group, over a decade ago and we could not be more proud of how far this event has come, becoming a staple in our city's events calendar. Since 2008, the weekend has injected over $20 million into our economy and provided access to some of our city's hidden treasures.

Experience a different type of runway where culture meets fashion
Another spectacular Melbourne event which is well worth discovering is The Indigenous Runway Project which celebrates the creativity of Indigenous women from around the world.
Part of the 2018 Melbourne Fashion Week and under the theme of 'Our Women', this year indigenous fashion designers will collaborate with artists and musicians to deliver a unique 60-minute indigenous cultural spectacular honouring the strengths and talents of female creators. Join us on Sunday 2 September in the National Gallery of Victoria's Great Hall to celebrate and support tribal culture from around the globe. Get your tickets!

Welcome aboard David!
Finally, I would like to welcome the newest addition to the Committee for Melbourne team, David Prior.
David sits within our Policy and Research team to provide research and project management support for the Committee’s policy and project creation. Most recently, David worked for The Boston Consulting Group at the Centre for Knowledge and Analytics in London. He brings experience across a range of sectors to help realise the Committee’s ambitious Melbourne 4.0 agenda.
Happy reading!

Martine Letts

Victorian Government details plan for Integrated Transport System  

In a recent Committee member survey, an overwhelming 95% of members ranked an integrated transport system as the highest priority the Committee should focus on in the lead up to the Victorian election in November.    

In response, the Committee invited DEDJTR Secretary Richard Bolt PSM and Transport for Victoria Head Dr Gillian Miles, to address members on the work the Victorian Government is undertaking on this issue.

Richard Bolt PSM

Kindly hosted by Foundation member Transurban last week, two of Victoria’s leading public servants described the importance of an integrated transport system, as well as their plans for implementation; stressing the need for flexibility, and utilising data as evidence when determining transport investments. 

Dr Gillian Miles

Transurban’s Wes Ballantine, City of Port Phillip’s Bernadene Voss, PwC Australia's Robert Williams and Toyota’s Mario Filipovic joined Richard and Gillian on stage to share their views on network planning challenges as well as emerging transport trends and technologies which will impact on our transport future.

Q&A with the audience

View the event photos.

Fishermans Bend needs a sense of place and identity

Last week, Committee for Melbourne partnered with Foundation member AECOM to present 'Transforming Melbourne’s Innovation Precincts'.

The event explored key issues in precinct transformation, looking at global examples and their potential application to the Fishermans Bend transformation project.

AECOM’s James Rosenwax outlined key requirements for successfully developing new precincts to make them attractive areas, citing examples from university precincts in Philadelphia and Boston, to technology precincts in San Francisco and Seattle.

AECOM Senior VP and Global Director of Cities, Stephen Engblom, identified a set of ingredients needed for successful precinct developments. This included the need for an ‘anchor’ institution such as the University of California at Mission Bay.  Stephen also highlighted the need, at conception stage, to plan for organic growth, exemplified by the start-up to unicorn design at Pier 70.

Committee for CEO Martine Letts moderates the panel discussion

A panel discussion about precincts in Melbourne followed, with contributions from  La Trobe University's Natalie McDonald, Victorian Planning Authority's Paul Byrne, and AECOM’s Tim O’Loan.

Natalie emphasised that the La Trobe precinct, Cluster, has access to affordable housing but lacked strong public transport connections; challenges quite different to the Fishermans Bend precinct. The proposal for a further tram connection to Fishermans Bend was questioned by the panel which suggested limits on public funds means other areas which currently lack strong transport connections, such as the La Trobe Cluster, may be more of a priority. Questions from the audience offered further stimulating discussion.

Melbourne International Arts Festival 2018 will take over the city

Featuring the best international and local artists working in dance, theatre, circus, music and visual arts today, the Melbourne International Arts Festival will once again take over the city this October, celebrating both acclaimed and new work and demonstrating why Melbourne is such a culture hot spot.

From epic dance productions such as the romantic tragedy; Layla and Majnun, to the daring and seductive circus performance of Lexicon this year’s festival will have new experiences for people of all ages. There is also a plethora of contemporary and classical music performances that incorporate pieces from hundreds of years ago as well as some of the most acclaimed electronic and experimental artists working currently. 

Melbourne and the Royal Botanic Gardens will also be lit up like never before at Fire Gardens, where mammoth spheres of leaping flames and sculptures that flicker and dance will make for an unforgettable experience.

Fire Gardens

Tickets are now on sale!

Overcoming MENtal health 

Our 2017-18 Future Focus Group participants are busy working on their projects and along the way making a difference to our city. 

This week we showcase Team 1 and its project aiming to support men's mental health and wellbeing – a Men’s Shed at the Parkville Precinct.

With men less likely to seek help than women, Men’s Shed is a community based non-profit organisation established to support programs to improve men’s health and wellbeing.

While Australia counts approximately 1,000 Men's Sheds, this would be the first Men's Shed in a Victorian hospital. Over 215,000 patients visit the Parkville precinct each year, of these:

  • 1 in 8 male chronic disease patients suffer depression 
  • 1 in 5 will experience anxiety


A Men’s Shed at the Parkville Medical Precinct would offer visiting men an opportunity to meet other men undergoing treatment or caring for someone with similar health experiences.

Open to all visitors to work shoulder to shoulder on small projects such as building wooden toys, bike repairs and health education sessions, the Men's Shed aims to reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing.

Men's Shed 

The group is currently engaged in grant funding applications with the Victorian Government's 'Pick my Project' program. If shortlisted, the project will go to public vote in August. Good luck to FFG Team 1 with their project!

How IBM and Salesforce are using AI to grow their business 

The AI revolution is rapidly changing every Australian workplace and profession.

The one-day Digital AI Summit, a featured partner of the Digital Innovation Festival of Victoria, 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 strategist, author and internationally-renowned speaker Larry Quick, the following global organisations have put forward their expert line up:

  • IBM Watson Health (Annette Hicks) on the opportunities in health tech today
  • Salesforce (Robert Wickham) on the democratisation of AI 
  • carsales.com.au (AI team) on developing its image recognition tool 'Cyclops'
  • Microsoft (Blair Bryant) on the company's changing ecosystem (from CEO to CIO)
  • NVIDIA (Fernanda Foertter) on hardware of AI, particularly in the healthcare space


Committee for Melbourne members can access special rates for tickets and tables (offer closes 17 August or until sold out):

- Individual tickets: $499 for CfM members. Use the code 'CFM'.
- Premium tables (seating 8): $3,779 for CfM members. Use the code 'CFMTABLE'.

Book now! See the website for full program details.

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

Contact the organisers.

Welcome new member: Hume City Council

We are thrilled to welcome our new Corporate member: Hume City Council

We asked CEO Domenic Isola why Hume City Council joined Committee for Melbourne:

"Hume City Council is one of Australia's fastest-growing and culturally diverse communities, and is currently home to more than 200,000 residents. By 2041, it is predicted that our population will almost double in size. This is one of the many reasons why Hume City Council joined Committee for Melbourne. We are excited for the opportunity to learn from others, share our ideas, and work together to continue ensuring that Melbourne retains its reputation as a leader in liveability."

What's on our radar

Facebook share price tumbles -- Investors appear to be concerned about the longevity of Facebook’s business model, given the global concerns around privacy, and its role as a platform for “fake news”. This development reflects the low-tech scenarios outlined in our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce, where we depict a future in which the Fourth Industrial Revolution turns out to be more of an evolution, given the push-back from governments, business, and society at large.  

Globalism on the brink - From the Brexit result, to the election of Donald Trump as US President, to technology transforming entire economies, it is difficult to make sense of the chaotic nature of world affairs, and the undercurrents that have precipitated our current operating environment. For an outstanding analysis of current world events impacting your organisation, take the time to listen to world-leading political scientist, Ian Bremmer, in this podcast. 

The good news is...

Telstra claims world first with 5G call on a commercial network - our Foundation member Telstra's 5G call took place at its 5G innovation centre on the Gold Coast using its 5G network and licensed 3.5GHz commercial spectrum using a personal Telstra SIM card.

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