Committee Communiqué

From the CEO

Welcome back! The 'Happy Slam' rounded out our summer and broke attendance records for the second year running, pumping $280 million into the economy. This proves once again how important the sport and the visitor economy is to our city.

Here are some highlights to mark the start of 2018:

Australia Day Honours
The Committee warmly congratulates members and stakeholders recognised at this year’s Australia Day Awards ceremony: 

Professor Mark Burry AO for distinguished service to spatial information architecture as an academic, researcher and author, and as an innovator in the application of digital manufacturing and construction methods.

  • Adam Fennessy PSM for outstanding public service to a range of government departments in Victoria.
  • Peter Jones AM for significant service to the tourism and hospitality sectors, particularly through event management, as an advisor, and to the community.

We thank you all for your help and support as we strive to shape a better future for our great city!

Bourke Street Mall tragedy

It has been one year since the tragic Bourke Street incident. I was honoured to be invited to speak on behalf of Committee for Melbourne at the Community Vigil at Fed Square after this tragedy to honour the emergency response services, the public who bravely stepped in to assist, and the resilience of Melburnians in the face of disaster. Tragedy struck once again in December 2017 at the intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets. The response from Melburnians was once again magnificent. Our thoughts are with all who were affected by these tragedies.

Apple Global Flagship at Federation Square

In this issue we feature an article by our member, Federation Square, on the recently announced construction at the Square of the first Global Apple Flagship in the Southern Hemisphere. Currently there are two other global flagships in Washington DC and Milan.
We are receiving a lot of feedback from our members about this initiative, which proposes to create a vibrant and creative public space for the community, and which aims to educate and entertain as well as offering a better connection to the Yarra.
The Committee sees great potential in this proposal for the best possible utilisation of this important public space in the heart of Melbourne. We note, however, that public engagement on function and design will be a critical factor in securing community support. 

Farewell and thanks to John Merritt, outgoing CEO of VicRoads

John Merritt served as CEO of VicRoads for three years where he made a lasting contribution to running Victoria’s road network. He led a program of substantial organisational change while overseeing the launch of the biggest capital works program VicRoads has ever undertaken. 
We thank John for his great support of the Committee and its work, most recently for the Committee’s Future Focus Group Equal Crossings initiative. This saw the installation of female pictograms on traffic lights – free of charge to the taxpayer – at a busy CBD intersection as a means of drawing attention to the issue of unconscious gender bias. We are very grateful to him for backing this project, which will leave a permanent and positive public legacy in Melbourne. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Happy reading!

Vale Ron Walker by Clive Dwyer

Ron Walker AC, CBE was a passionate Melburnian who helped shape our city with his drive and inspirational leadership.

Ron was awarded the Committee for Melbourne’s Melbourne Achiever Award at our 2003 Annual Dinner for his outstanding contribution to Melbourne.

Our Award recognised his contribution as Lord Mayor from 1974 to 1976 and his business and philanthropic achievements through the tough economic times of the 80s and early 90s.


Extract of the 2003 issue of Committee for Melbourne's eNewsletter 'Interaction'
Image: Committee for Melbourne archives 

Between 2003 and 2006 that I had the privilege of working for Ron on the delivery of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

I witnessed firsthand his ability to coordinate all levels of government, business and community to deliver the ‘best games ever’. There was never a doubt that this was going to be the case. His generosity, passion and drive were infectious.

For me, Ron Walker was the epitome of the Committee for Melbourne’s vision; shaping Melbourne’s future by taking ideas to outcomes.

His legacy will be widely celebrated and our condolences go to his wife Barbara and his family.

Clive Dwyer
Director, Engagement

Airport link: from concept to commencement

The Committee’s submission Airport link: from concept to commencement has been completed and tabled with the responsible Ministers in the Federal and State governments.
Our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce identified a high quality, mass transit link to Melbourne Airport as a key contribution to helping solve wider network congestion. 

We held two forums last year with experts from our membership base and key public and private sector stakeholders. The forum established five guiding principles which should underpin the business case for the link to which the Federal and Victorian State governments have now committed themselves. Read my OpEd on why Melbourne needs an airport link.

Airport link: from concept to commencement forum in October 2017

Our submission calls for a high capacity, efficient and reliable mass transit link which puts the customer at the centre. The key to maximising the value of any investment in an airport link is to make it as attractive as possible for travellers to encourage them to choose a mode of transport ahead of more congestion causing modes.
Successive Victorian Governments have conducted feasibility studies on an airport link for almost 50 years and Melbourne can no longer wait. Failure to adequately address the issue now will continue to cost the city.
We thank all of our members and stakeholders who contributed to the development of the Committee’s submission and look forward to continuing our advocacy for this critical piece of urban infrastructure.

Member news: linking industry & students in Melbourne's North

NORTH Link’s Northern Industry Student Placement Program (NISPP) is helping businesses benefit from new expertise and giving students valuable workplace experience. The NISPP is delivered in conjunction with Committee members La Trobe University, RMIT University, Melbourne Polytechnic and Bendigo Kangan Institute.

Executive Director of NORTH Link, Chris James, said the program benefits everyone involved.

“Students on placement gain more context to their courses and increase their employability skills,” he said. “It works well for businesses too as they can draw on temporary talent to undertake a specific project while taking a look at potential employees of the future”.
Last year, 117 students took part in the program. Six of these students worked on a project of major regional significance, the North Eastern Program Alliance (NEPA) – a partnership between the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Laing O'Rourke, Fulton Hogan as well as members Metro Trains Melbourne and Jacobs. NEPA is currently delivering level crossing removals and associated works on the Hurstbridge and South Morang railway lines. 

HR/IR Manager at NEPA, Rob Maroney, said they worked with NISPP – and would continue to do so in the future – to find a diverse range of talented and motivated engineering students willing to learn while supporting Victoria's infrastructure boom. 

NEPA HR/IR Manager Rob Maroney with engineering students on placement.
Photo: NORTHLink 

“We offered them full-time paid work experience over summer and an opportunity to apply for positions with NEPA partner organisations upon graduation,” he said.

Cities 4.0 Summit sets pace of reforms

The industry’s annual Cities 4.0 Summit is off to a flying start with 35+ award-winning case studies and projects being showcased at the event, 20-22 March 2018.

Over three information-packed days, the agenda will spotlight leading Australian, European, North American and New Zealand best practice cases showcasing investments in connected, tech-savvy, citizen-centric and innovative projects.

As a Presenting Partner for this event, Committee for Melbourne members are entitled to take advantage of terrific discounts.

A 15% discount on conference tickets up until the start of the conference. If you buy your tickets before Friday 2 February you can take advantage of the early bird pricing and the 15% discount.  Request the 15% discount code. 

With more than 150 delegates expected to attend, delegates have the opportunity to share ideas, trends, and practical solutions from a distinguished line-up of futurists including Jarmo Eskelin from the London-based Future Cities Catapult, Clayton Banks from the New York-based Silicon Harlem and Ludo Campbell-Reid from Auckland Council who will talk to the future of urban mobility.

Delegates at the 2017 Cities 4.0 Summit 
Photo: Cities 4.0 Summit 

For more information download the event brochure and register for the event 

Member news: Fed Square fit for the future

Now in its sixteenth year, Federation Square has plans to reimagine its future.

As recently announced, Federation Square will also be home to an Apple Global Flagship Store - the sixth worldwide and the second outside of the United States.

Apple Global Flagship Store
Image: Fed Square 

Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe said Apple Global Flagship stores are unlike conventional retail Apple stores.

“This is so much more than a retail store. Global Flagship Stores are specifically designed to be places for people to visit, meet, discuss, dream up new ideas and discover what technology makes possible,” he said. 

Through a series called 'Today at Apple', the Federation Square Global Flagship Store will host a daily program of free cultural events in partnership with Fed Square’s existing cultural tenants such as ACMI and the Koorie Heritage Trust, alongside local artists and cultural and educational organisations.  

The program will include everything from app development workshops, to digital photo workshops and arts seminar; teacher training, coding seminars and events especially for children and families.  

Adding two million footfall to Fed Square, the increased attendance will benefit all, including the existing hospitality and cultural venues.

The development will create 500 square metres of new public space, including a new performance space, increased public seating, trees and grassed areas, improved accessibility and pedestrian access to the Yarra River.

In addition to the Apple Global Flagship Store, a number of developments and activations are taking place to increase footfall and public participation including the recent Arboria installation; the upcoming Disney Marvel Avengers exhibition, construction of Metro Rail in St Pauls Court, and the installation of a digital art gallery on the Transport Building. 

Member news: the evolution continutes for Chadstone

Australia's number one retail destination, Chadstone, has chosen AccorHotels to manage its new $130 million luxury hotel under its boutique accommodation brand, MGallery by Sofitel.

Future Chadstone hotel
Image: Vicinity Centres

With Chadstone's masterplan of capitalising on the 23 million annual visits to the Fashion Capital – including 350,000 international tourists – who collectively spent in excess of $1.85 billion at September 2017, the continual evolution of Chadstone is a perfect example of integrated place-making in metropolitan Melbourne. 

The hotel will be an integral part of a world-class retail, dining and entertainment destination, will create new jobs and drive local tourism, further contributing to the economic and social viability of a new CBD hub for the Chadstone-Monash corridor. 

Designed by leading Melbourne-based architects and Committee member Bates Smart, and due to open its doors in late 2019, the MGallery hotel will join AccorHotels’ collection of unique boutique hotels and complement one of Melbourne’s finest luxury hotels, the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, a property with sophisticated elegance and a Committee member.

Creative Melbourne

Creativity will become one of the top three skills every worker will need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution - a key issue we identified in our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce and one that was highlighted by the recent World Economic Forum.

After a successful inaugural event last year, Creative Melbourne 2018 will be taking place at RMIT University from 19 to 21 February. 

This is a unique chance to work and play with senior people and thought leaders from home and abroad including from NASA, Cirque du Soleil, Arup, Université Catholique de Lille, the Russian SOMAR Network and the South East Asia Institute of Knowledge Innovation.

Creative Melbourne's vision is to develop and amplify Melbourne's co-creation ecosystem within a globally networked creative community. Together, you will optimise your capabilities and create new future opportunities so that you can apply your new skills in your own place of work.

The three-day hands-on, immersive and interactive experience is designed to connect open-minded doers to collaborate with the growing international creative community, to generate projects that will be implemented by the Melbourne community after the event.

The Creative Melbourne team are offering Committee for Melbourne members tickets at a discounted rate. Request your discount.

"You will experience more of a mindset shift through your intensive three days at Creative Melbourne than many achieve in multiple years of university education" 
- Dr Arthur Shelley, founder Creative Melbourne 

Find out more.

What's on our radar

December 2017 saw Committee for Melbourne member Melbourne Airport welcome 10 million international passengers in a calendar year for the first time in the airport's 47-year history. The continued international passenger growth experienced by Melbourne Airport highlights Melbourne's strong market and its status as a desirable international destination. Read more.

The mid-sized city of Chattanooga in Tennessee has the fastest internet speeds in the world and how it came about is an interesting story of civic engagement, creative energy, urban renewal, and a tech boom. Read more.

The City of Helsinki has created a board game to help public officials facilitate true public participation – without the jargon. Read more.

The good news is...

2017 was the safest year ever for air travel, with no passenger jet crashes anywhere in the world. Find out more.

The hole in the ozone layer is the smallest it’s been since 1988 - the year of Australia's bicentenary. Find out more. 

Upcoming events


Friday 9 - Sunday 11 February
Future Focus Group 18-19 induction weekend

Tuesday 13 February 
Leading Thinker series: Arjan van Timmeren

Wednesday 14 February
Not-for-profit workshop #2

Tuesday 20 February
Transport Series: Infrastructure Victoria policy workshop

Friday 23 February
Infrastructure Australia Future Cities report launch

Thursday 1 March
Arts and Culture Roundtable 

Wednesday 7 March
Open Mind Forum: Artificial intelligence

Wednesday 14 March
Leading Thinker series: Dr Jim Chalmers MP 

Tuesday 27 March
Leading Thinker series: Dr David Rees

Request more information 



Thursday 10 May 
Committee for Melbourne 2018 Annual Dinner

20 - 22 March
Cities 4.0 Summit ​

7, 14 and 21 March 2018
Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program - Executive Level:
'Think big and adapt for the future in just three days'
View the full information

Our vision for Melbourne:

Global city of choice for people and organisations, due to its distinct blend of prosperity, opportunity and liveability.