Committee Communiqué

Melbourne Achiever Award Nominations

Our 2018 Annual Dinner is coming up... save the date - 10 May 2018
Nominations are now open for the 2018 Melbourne Achiever Award.

     Melbourne Achiever Award winner 2017  - Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)

Since 1993 the Committee for Melbourne has recognised the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations through the Melbourne Achiever Award. The Award acknowledges and celebrates significant and sustained contributions that will leave a lasting legacy on our city.

Committee for Melbourne members can submit nominations by COB Thursday 22nd March to cfm@melbourne.org.au. This year’s recipient, selected by the Committee’s Board of Directors, will be presented with the Award at our Annual Dinner on Thursday 10 May.

For information on selection criteria, please email Clive Dwyer, Director, Engagement.

Airport Link: time for action is now

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. 

Last weekend, the Sunday Herald Sun reported on our airport link submission, quoting our CEO Martine Letts who said Melbourne cannot afford to wait another 10 to 15 years for a connection to and from the airport. 

Echoing Martine's comments that the time for action is now, Melbourne Airport Chief of Parking and Ground Access Lorie Argus – a panellist during our Airport Link forum which established the five guiding principles for an airport link business case in our submission – pointed out that roads such as the Tullamarine Freeway only delay the inevitable congestion. 


Airport link: from concept to commencement forum in October 2017

L to R: 

Adam Fennessy, Partner – Advisory, Government and Public Sector, EY; Judi Zielke, Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development; Alan Davies, Editor, The Urbanist; Lorie Argus, Chief of Parking and Ground Access, Melbourne Airport.


Committee for Melbourne will continue our advocacy efforts as failure to adequately address the issue now will continue to cost the city. You can read our Airport link: from concept to commencement submission.

Read Martine Letts' OpEd on why Melbourne needs an airport link.

RFDS CEO Scott Chapman on the 'third sector'

Not-for-profit forum held on 14 February 

Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria CEO Scott Chapman is the facilitator of our Not-for-Profit Taskforce, a group reviewing the sector with a focus on addressing the impact of future disruption that has been identified through our Melbourne 4.0 work. The Taskforce met again this week and Scott shares his thoughts:

"The not-for-profit taskforce has already identified a number of trends and challenges facing the sector which are clearly linked to the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution such as:

  • changes to the operating environment 
  • clarifying strategic direction
  • diversifying income sources and increasing own-source income 
  • measuring and reporting actual impact and outcomes of their endeavours


With over 60,000 registered not-for-profit organisations in Australia, the space for 'cause' is crowded yet needed more than ever as our society is faced with unprecedented growth in social isolation and barriers to affordable housing, health services and employment.

More research is needed in combating disease and intervention support services for domestic violence and substance abuse are just some of the examples where the not-for-profits are being called upon.

While addressing these social challenges, the sector also plays a significant role in creating a more connected society and makes a significant contribution to the economy, employment and purposefulness – particularly among its large volunteer workforce.

Taking place quarterly, not-for-profit forums are focused on advancing knowledge though collectively sharing intelligence, hearing from expert guest speakers and strengthening professional relationships by working closer together, thereby bringing strategic and policy issues we can have an impact on to the fore. 

It is only through collaboration within the sector that we can move forward on strengthening the performance and contribution of this important 'third sector'."

Apple store #FedSqDebate

The Committee sees great opportunity in the announcement that Melbourne will be home to Apple’s first global flagship store in the southern hemisphere, but we do recognise that the decision has been controversial. Earlier this week, Committee member Open House Melbourne held a public debate on the topic, in partnership with PIA, AIA, and AILA, and we were delighted to take part.

It was an entertaining and engaging debate that dealt with complex issues, include consultation, vision, and future planning.

Arguing for the affirmative were Professor Donald Bates, Director of LAB Architecture Studio – the architects of Federation Square – Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner, Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe, and Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts. Arguing for the negative was City of Melbourne Councillor Rohan Leppert, architect and Citizens for Melbourne President Tania Davidge, landscape architect and urban designer Ron Jones, and National Association for the Visual Arts Executive Director Esther Anatolitis. The debate was moderated by architectural writer and publisher Andrew Mackenzie.

Martine argued that we should hold Apple to its promise that this store will be a place to foster community, through public events, live performances, and as a place for children and adults to learn about technology and design. It will bring more visitors to Federation Square’s cultural institutions and provide direct access to the Yarra River and Birrarung Marr.

Martine noted that even places and buildings we treasure for their cultural value can face mounting pressure for redevelopment. When private money can preserve heritage and amenity that no one else is prepared to pay for, then we should engage with it. This combination of an economic benefit to a company that also improves social and environmental conditions is known as shared value. Apple’s arrival can transform Federation Square and, in the process, preserve it. If Melbourne 4.0 has told us anything it’s that we need to move before being disrupted – and Fed Square is about to be disrupted.

FFG class of 2018-19 off great start

Last weekend, the Future Focus Group class of 2018-2019 commenced the program with an Induction Weekend at Mantra St Kilda Road.

The 30 participants from 18 member organisations and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, represent Melbourne's dynamic young leadership talent pool! 

The four diverse project teams will identify and work on projects that can make a positive contribution to the future economy, infrastructure, urban densification or liveability in Melbourne. 
Recruitment of the 30 participants for the 2019-2020 program will be launched in August.

Leading Thinker Arjan van Timmeren: Water under pressure

Professor Arjan van Timmeren 

We were fortunate to have world-renowned water expert Professor Arjan van Timmeren as our first Leading Thinker for 2018, hosted by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Professor Van Timmeren is the Chair in Environmental Technology and Design at the faculty of Architecture at TUDelft and the lead Principle Investigator of Amsterdam-based Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). Two of Melbourne’s own water experts, David Snadden, General Manager of Strategy and Community at Yarra Valley Water, and Dr Nigel Bertram, Practice Professor of Architecture at Monash University, were on hand to add their own insights to the panel discussion which followed.

Professor Van Timmeren said cities must change their relationship to water if they are to be sustainable in the future. He gave innovative examples of how this can be done, such as analysing social media to determine where severe flooding occurs, and using the plastic pollution collected from waterways to create public seating in local parks – and even a footbridge over a canal in Amsterdam. Great possibilities come from what Professor Van Timmeren calls the “quadruple helix” – that is, working together in a partnership between academia, industry, government, and civil society.
David Snadden discussed the deeper insights Yarra Valley Water gained when they engaged a citizens’ jury to help shape future services and prices in a way that was fair to everyone, and Nigel Bertram highlighted that better outcomes can be achieved by incorporating local geomorphic characteristics into a regional solution. 

This was followed by a panel discussion which included panellists,
    Dr Nigel Bertram, Monash University
    David Snadden, Yarra Valley Water
    Arjan van Timmeren

Welcome new member, Vanguard


Vanguard is one of the world’s leading investment management firms, helping millions of investors globally achieve their long-term financial goals. Vanguard Australia has been serving retail clients, financial advisers and institutional investors for over 20 years.

Rather than being publicly traded or owned by a small group of individuals, The Vanguard Group is owned by Vanguard's US-domiciled funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This mutual structure aligns Vanguard’s interests with those of its investors and drives the culture, philosophy and policies throughout Vanguard globally.
Vanguard Australia offers a comprehensive range of managed funds, ETFs and tailored investment solutions that are all built to support long-term investment success for investors.

What's on our radar

Warm congratulations to Committee for Gippsland CEO Mary Aldred on her new appointment as CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia.  As Committee Gippsland Chair Harry Rijs said in a recent statement, Mary has made a tremendous contribution to the Gippsland region in her capacity as CEO of the Committee for Gippsland over nearly 7 years, taking the organisation from an 11-member start-up to a respected and effective advocacy organisation with almost 100 members. Mary was a highly valued colleague in the 16-member Committee for Cities and Regions Network throughout Victoria, Australia and New Zealand.  We will miss her wise council and support and wish her all the very best in her new role.

Seattle’s chief traffic engineer Dongho Chang’s enthusiasm for social media shows how small actions can lead to large improvements in civic engagement and the increased use of public transport.  Read more

Sydney’s housing affordability problem has forced key workers such as teachers and police officers to the city’s fringes, and a group of researchers has proposed five interesting strategies to help deal with the issue. Read more. The Committee for Melbourne is establishing a Housing Taskforce to tackle our city’s own affordability issues, so stay tuned to Communique for details. 

Boston Dynamics released footage this week of the SpotMini, a miniaturised four-legged robot that can open doors, and the video is truly wondrous. Read more. Keep an eye out on Wednesday 7 March for a Committee announcement involving a local robot, and make sure you attend our Open Mind Forum on Artificial Intelligence on the same day.

The good news is...

In 2016 the number of people without access to electricity fell below 1.1 billion for the first time. Read more. 

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative reports that, as of 7 February 2018, there are only 3 cases of polio in the world. Read more

Upcomming events


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

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.