The sensorial smell of timber, craft and manufacturing at historic Laurens Hall in North Melbourne provided the setting for the Committee of Melbourne’s 2016 annual black tie dinner last Thursday. Among the 500 members from business, academia and the not-for-profit sector were special guests, including the Governor of Victoria as well as Committee for Melbourne and Future Focus Group Patron, The Honourable Linda Dessau AM, His Honour Judge Howard, The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, and senior ministers and shadow ministers. In his opening remarks, Scott Tanner, CEO of the Bank of Melbourne and Chair of the Committee highlighted Melbourne's transitioning economy, the changing nature of work, disruptive technologies and many other forces at play which will make the Committee's contribution more important than ever. As a result, the Committee will focus on four policy platforms - future economy, urban optimisation, infrastructure and liveability. In a world that is a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, he emphasised that by working together we can ensure that our city’s future is bright.
Recollecting and projecting
The Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AM provided us with her experiences of Melbourne’s ‘golden time’ in the 1950s. She illustrated how Melbourne has changed and developed into today’s vibrant city with bars and restaurants that rival anywhere in the world. The Governor challenged us to contemplate a vision for Melbourne in 2050 and highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship – that is increasingly younger and female – to support our growing population and where Asia is the hub of the new world order of knowledge. As the new Patron of the Committee’s Future Focus Group, the Governor mentioned the Open House Melbourne initiative as a clever example of projects spawned by Melbourne’s emerging leaders.
Optimising growth opportunities
In her address, Martine Letts, the Committee for Melbourne's new CEO highlighted her excitement about her leadership role and collaborating with members and other key stakeholders on the next phase of the Committee’s work on positive transformational change and to consolidate our status as one of the world’s great global cities. Building on Scott Tanner’s remarks about Melbourne’s transitioning economy, Martine Letts expanded on the profound challenges and opportunities that cities across the globe are facing. Therefore, over the coming months, the Committee will be working with its members and key stakeholders to help Melbourne prepare for what is increasingly referred to as the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'. Martine Letts also addressed the fact that the creative industries are at the forefront of Victoria’s future growth and prosperity, contributing billions to the Victorian economy and becoming a significant source of employment. As a key element in our high liveability standards, she mentioned that Melbourne’s reputation as an international sporting and events capital should be expanded to include international arts and design capital.
Melbourne – heart of the arts
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) was awarded the 2016 Melbourne Achiever Award for its significant and sustained contribution to Melbourne which will leave a lasting legacy. The NGV makes an important contribution to our cultural, educational and social wellbeing, while being a dynamic, vibrant and essential community asset. Housing more than 65,000 works, the NGV is the oldest and most visited public art museum in Australia and the 21st most visited gallery in the world. Presented by Chair Scott Tanner, the award was accepted by NGV Director, Tony Ellwood, on behalf of his organisation. Tony Ellwood said the organisation he leads aims to make a true and lasting impact on every visitor and has been delighted by the support and enthusiasm from the people of Melbourne. The NGV is truly Melbourne's own.