Committee Communiqué

Melbourne Achiever Award nominations closing soon!

Nominations for the 2018 Melbourne Achiever Award are closing soon!

Committee for Melbourne members can submit nominations by COB Thursday 22 March. This year’s recipient, selected by the Committee’s Board of Directors, will be presented with the Award at our 2018 Annual Dinner on Thursday 10 May.

For information on selection criteria, contact us.  

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

Since 1993, 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.

View past winners.

CfM launches Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI), is one of the key drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; it is hard to overstate its importance, its impact and the implications for our economy and our community.

We made the case for the importance of building our digital capability in our Melbourne 4.0 report in May 2017. Last week on 7 March, our advocacy efforts brought together all sides of politics, industry and community to discuss the critical and transformative nature of AI. 

A bi-partisan approach is critical to help citizens understand the challenges and opportunities AI presents. Our Parliament is uniquely placed to respond in a way that AI will contribute to our future well-being and help ensure it is used as a force for good for Victoria. This includes an appropriate regulatory regime which allows AI to enhance our productivity while safeguarding our precious democratic freedoms. 
The day started with a Committee for Melbourne press conference launching the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (VAPPGAI) with co-convenors Minister for Innovation Philip Dalidakis and Shadow Minister for Innovation David Southwick. Both praised the leadership role taken by Committee for Melbourne on AI.


Minister for Innovation Philip Dalidakis
Photo: Parliament of Victoria 

Tasked with developing a sound and informed regulatory framework around AI, Victoria is now the first Parliament in the Southern Hemisphere to have an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, only 14 months after the UK established the first AI All-Party Parliamentary Committee.

“AI will play a huge part in how we do business and conduct our lives in the future, so it’s important that politicians are discussing the challenges and opportunities that will arise as this technology develops” Dalidakis said.

Shadow Minister Southwick added “AI is something to be embraced and encouraged, rather than feared. The more we learn about AI through the VAPPGAI, the more opportunity we have to shape policy that embraces its benefits for all Victorians”. 

Shadow Minister for Innovation David Southwick

Photo: Parliament of Victoria 

Coverage of the launch was extensive, reported in various media outlets throughout Australia. Read some of the coverage received.

Minister Dalidakis and Shadow Minister Southwick cheer RMIT robots Jan and Junior along with other senior Victorian MPs

Our heartfelt thanks go to our member, RMIT University, for generously providing the two robots - Jan and Junior - who stole the show at the press conference. A particular thank you to RMIT’s Dr Andy Song, Prof. John Thangarajah and their teams for their assistance on the day and in the lead-up to the launch.

We are thrilled that thanks to our advocacy efforts, and the assistance of John Breukel from the Victorian Parliamentary Library, the VAPPGAI is leading the way in the Southern hemisphere for a bi-partisan approach to AI.

Read up on AI.

Professor Genevieve Bell on AI

Following the press conference, Distinguished Professor and 2017 Boyer Lecturer, Professor Genevieve Bell addressed Victorian MPs where she provided a 'human scale' overview of AI and its implications. 
A technologist and futurist, Professor Bell shared her insights on AI explaining exactly what it is, its history and highlighting the fact that fully functional AI is still a largely unrealised goal. 
She said that understanding AI is only important in order to help us plan for how we can utilise it to support our future economy and liveability. Watch her talk.


Professor Genevieve Bell address Victorian MPs at Parliament Library Photo: Parliament of Victoria  

In the afternoon, Professor Bell addressed Committee members at our inaugural Open Mind Forum on the technology. Committee for Melbourne Open Mind Forums invite leaders from the public sector to connect with our members to share ideas on policy and planning for Melbourne and Victoria.


Professor Bell addresses Committee for Melbourne members 

Professor Bell was joined by DEDJTR's Director of ICT/Technologies, Kathy Coultas who discussed how the Victorian Government is embracing the technology, and the work government is doing to understand its implications on the economy and society at large. 
Professor Bell emphasised that we must give far greater thought to what AI will make possible in terms of larger scale transformations or our society, and plan for these transformations.

Professor Bell in conversation with Kathy Coultas

Committee for Melbourne is now liaising with the Victorian Parliament, Minister Dalidakis and Shadow Minister Southwick on the next meeting of the VAPPGAI. This will be scheduled alongside our Melbourne 4.0 ‘Digital capability’ workshop to ensure a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach.

If you would like to be involved in our Digital Capability Taskforce to help future-proof your city to master the exponential scale, scope and pace of rapid technological developments pace, let us know.

Smart citizens for smart cities 4.0

The industry’s annual Cities 4.0 Summit is running next week, 20-22 March, at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park and will bring together over 200+ smart city experts and enthusiasts, representing local cities and councils, smart city solution providers and more.

With more than 150 delegates expected to attend, delegates have the opportunity to share ideas, trends, and practical solutions with a distinguished line-up of futurists who will talk to the future of urban mobility.
In addition to chairing day two of the summit, Committee CEO Martine Letts will moderate a Melbourne 4.0 panel on laying the foundations for smart societies. 

Together with panellists Professor of Urban Futures at the University of Melbourne, Mark Burry and Future Cities Catapult Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, Jarmo Eskelinen they will discuss:

  • What the building blocks for a smart society are
  • How governments, industry and policy makers nurture a smart society
  • A charter for becoming a smart society
  • The role of the private and academic sectors in this endeavour

As a Presenting Partner for this event, Committee for Melbourne members are entitled to take advantage of a 15% discount on conference tickets up until the start of the conference. Cities 4.0: Request for Committee for Melbourne 15% discount code

Put youth homelessness to bed and sleep at the 'G!

Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Unfortunately, this is a reality for over 6,000 young people in Melbourne and Victoria right now. This is not acceptable for the 'World's Most Liveable City', even less so on the day the World Happiness Report ranked Australia 10 out of 156 countries it regularly evaluates for the satisfaction and cheerfulness of its citizens.

Through its 'Sleep at the 'G' event – which brings 1,000 compassionate people together each year – Committee for Melbourne member Melbourne City Mission (MCM) is hoping to raise $800,000 to support young people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. All funds raised will be directed to MCM’s world-first disruptive early-intervention site, designed to support Melbourne’s most vulnerable young people.

For the sixth edition of the event on 17 May, MCM is encouraging corporate teams – as well as individuals – to get involved, join the conversation on a really important societal issue and get powerful insights on how to put an end to it.

Each year participants at the event want to learn more and more from those who have experienced homelessness first-hand. On the night, you will hear from young people who have experienced homelessness and from MCM’s incredible team of youth workers. 

Being a participant means committing to actively fundraise. To make it simple for you to do this, you will have a personal fundraising page on the Sleep at the ’G website. For more information, email MCM or call 1800 626 572.

AAMI Park named finalist for international venue of the year award

Melbourne’s iconic rectangular stadium is in the running against five of the world’s leading sporting venues in the US, UK and Australia to take out the 2018 Stadium Business Awards top accolade. 

This is a tribute to AAMI Park's outstanding performance in 2017, hosting a grand total of 58 major public events and welcoming over 784,666 patrons through its turnstiles while undergoing phenomenal transformations to host international major events and mega-star concerts. 


Photo: Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust

Recognising leadership, innovation and achievement in the delivery, operation and management of sports facilities globally this accolade is testament to our member Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust who manage Melbourne's sports and entertainment precinct – one of the best and most unique in the world right on the city's doorstep.

Inaugurated in 2010, the Awards are the first (and only) awards for the industry, by the industry and are presented each year during TheStadiumBusiness Summit. This year the awards will be presented in Manchester in June. 

More information about the awards and the finalists

What's on our radar

You can now 3D print a house in a day. New Story, a house-building charity, and Icon, a robotics company, unveiled the house at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The house cost around US$10,000 to build, but the company hopes it can reduce that price to around US$4,000. Read more.

In case you missed last month's Apple Fed Square debate run by Committee for Melbourne member, Open House Melbourne, and featuring Committee CEO Martine Letts on the affirmative side, fear not as it's all online. The event served as an opportunity to better understand both sides of the argument.  While the opposing side handsomely won the day, a poll of participants showed that the affirmative side gained some support as a result of the debate. Read more.
The #melbourne hashtag on Instagram is a glorious celebration of food, design, hidden gems, food, art, sport, people, and, did we mention the food? See more.

The good news is...

Australia is on track to become the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer. The Human Papillomavirus causes 99.9 percent of cervical cancer cases, and researchers at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne say the free national immunisation program is behind the dramatic decline in infection rates to just one percent. Read more. 

Our vision for Melbourne:

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