Committee Communiqué

2018 Dinner: what's next

Melbourne Next

What a night! This year’s dinner celebrated our city's remarkable past, embraced our vision for what's next and celebrated amazing contributions to our city.


Forum Melbourne 

The atmospheric Forum Melbourne provided the ideal backdrop for our flagship gala dinner themed 'Melbourne Next' and served as a powerful symbol of our changing city. 

Among the 400 attendees from our cross-sector membership, special guests included Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Committee for Melbourne Patron; Minister for Major Projects and Public Transport, The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP representing the Premier Daniel Andrews;  Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. John Eren MP; members of the Diplomatic Corps; senior Ministers and Shadow Ministers.

Committee for Melbourne Chair, Scott Tanner; Mr Anthony Howard; Governor Dessau; The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP; The Hon. John Eren MP

We were also joined by our Life Members Pamela Warrender OAM, Jack Smorgon AO and Roger Poole.

In his opening remarks, Committee for Melbourne Chair Scott Tanner highlighted the remarkable speed of the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their implications for our economy and our community.

Scott Tanner delivers his keynote address

As digital capability was one of the greatest issues facing Victoria and Australia, Scott drew attention to the Committee’s significant advocacy which led to the establishment of the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (VAPPGAI), launched earlier this year with Minister for Innovation, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP and Shadow Minister for Innovation David Southwick MP. 

Melbourne 4.0

Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts then reported on what our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce has already delivered including:

  • The creation of the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, only the second in the world of its kind
  • Ensuring that an airport link is now firmly on the State and Federal governments’ agenda
  • Advocating consistently for an integrated transport strategy for Melbourne
  • Partnering with the Foundation for Young Australians to develop a blueprint for the skills our young people will need to succeed in the new economy


Martine Letts updates guests on progress made 

Martine also underlined the significance of Committee for Melbourne’s role as a trusted, non-partisan conveyor of messages from its broad membership during an election year.

View the night's photos.

2018 Dinner: achievements

Our flagship gala dinner was the perfect forum to celebrate the significant achievements of organisations and individuals to Melbourne.

Melbourne Achiever Award

Joining an exclusive list of winners, two Melbourne Achiever Award recipients were recognised for their outstanding contribution to Melbourne that will leave a lasting legacy. See past winners. 

In presence of Governor Dessau, Melbourne and Olympic Parks received the 2018 Melbourne Achiever Award celebrating its crucial role in cementing Melbourne’s brand as the sport and entertainment capital of the world.

Accepting the Award on behalf of Melbourne and Olympic Parks, Chief Executive Brian Morris said: “we take great pride in delivering the Australian Open, world’s best concerts and an unbeatable calendar of incredible sport. It’s a privilege to be operating arguably the best sport and entertainment precinct in the world".

Brian Morris 

Founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and MPavilion, Naomi Milgrom AO received the prestigious Melbourne Achiever Award for her significant role as a committed investor and thought leader to the world of arts, health, science, education and community life.

Naomi Milgrom AO 

Upon receiving the Award, Naomi Milgrom AO commented: “many partnerships, organisations and individuals have helped bring to life my ideas and projects that have enriched and enlivened our beautiful city. I proudly accept this award, not only for myself but for all of us”.

Read the related coverage

Committee for Melbourne Life Member

On the night, Tom Fricke was inducted as a Committee for Melbourne Life Member in recognition of his exceptional service to Committee for Melbourne.
Tom retired as a Committee for Melbourne Director in 2016, following nine years of service and outstanding contribution to the Committee across all of its policy platforms.

Committee for Melbourne Life Member Tom Fricke 

Drawing on his significant expertise in infrastructure, Tom oversaw many of our infrastructure initiatives, including:

  • Principal author of our influential ‘Melbourne Beyond 5 Million’ report
  • Committee for Melbourne Presenter to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into ‘Effective Decision Making for the Successful Delivery of Major Infrastructure Projects’
  • Principal reviewer of our 2015 report which made the case for an Independent Infrastructure Victoria

A tireless advocate for the Committee and its vision, Tom has proven himself to be of great counsel to the Board and Secretariat over the years.

Following a decade in leadership positions at GHD, Tom is now an Executive Consultant for the firm where he continues to contribute its success. 

Your vote on our priorities

In a State election year, we wanted to hear what our 140 members think are the priorities for shaping Melbourne’s future.  

We sent members a short survey to inform the Committee’s contribution to the discussion on key policy issues for Melbourne and Victoria during the election period. 

The survey ran from 24 April to 8 May, and the results are now in!

We thank all our members who completed the survey. We had a very good response from a wide cross section of our Foundation, Corporate and Not-for-profit members.

While some progress has been made in addressing 4 key areas for Melbourne’s future – Future Economy, Urban Optimisation, Infrastructure and Liveability – respondents were clear that more needs to be done in all areas. 
We asked members to rank the highest priorities for the Committee to focus on for in the lead up to the Victorian election.

  Highest priorities %
1  An integrated Melbourne Transport Plan 71
2  An efficient mass transit airport link 52
3  Globally competitive internet speeds for Melbourne’s future economy 50
4  Support transforming Melbourne into a 30-minute city 47
5  A Future Skills Education Platform for the digital economy 32


These results correspond closely to the Committee’s agenda, including our Melbourne 4.0 findings.

We will share the results of the survey with the Victorian Government.

With your help, we will continue to advocate for good policy in all areas of priority listed in the survey via our: 

  • Melbourne 4.0 Taskforces  
  • Transport Forum
  • Not-for-profit Taskforce
  • Arts and Culture Roundtable
  • Engagement with leaders from politics and government, and
  • Events, communications and advocacy programs 

Click here to access:
1. the survey's key findings 
2. your detailed responses to the survey's four questions  

Welcome Lord Mayor Sally Capp

Our 104th Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Cr Sally Capp, has been sworn in as Lord Mayor at Town Hall today.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp

A past Committee for Melbourne CEO (2007-2010), Cr Sally Capp has become our first female popularly elected Mayor. 

We warmly congratulate Sally on her election and are confident she will take on this role with vision, passion and energy to the benefit of our great city and all Melburnians. We look forward to working closely with her.
Here is a snapshot of her policies and our take on them:

1. Delivering for Business 

  • The Regulation and Red Tape Review is practical and sensible
  • Melbourne’s regulatory environment should be conducive to business growth and development, and remain attractive for foreign businesses to invest
    • Aligns with our policy pillars (particularly Future Economy and Liveability)
    • Aligns with Melbourne 4.0 agenda (particularly Innovative Ecosystem)

2. Our Bold Melbourne Committee

  • Collaboration between industry, academia, and government is fundamental to the growth and development of Melbourne, particularly in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as highlighted in our Melbourne 4.0 report.
  • Committee for Melbourne is an established and trusted forum with a record for bold, strategic ideas for shaping Melbourne’s future.
  • Committee for Melbourne looks forward to working with the Lord Mayor and City of Melbourne to support this initiative.

3. Promoting Diversity

  • Melbourne has benefitted significantly (socially and economically) through its multi-cultural society.
  • This is an important policy platform to help boost our international engagement, and help our economy to remain globally competitive.  
  • The Committee also strongly believes that to remain economically competitive, we must continue to attract highly-skilled foreign talent.

Al Taskforce underway

Yesterday, the Committee launched its Artificial Intelligence Taskforce at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with the participation of 30 senior leaders from our membership.

A first for Melbourne, and hosted by McKinsey and Company, members of the Steering Committee met to discuss the impact and ramifications of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Committee for Melbourne Chair Scott Tanner chairs the AI Taskforce hosted by McKinsey and Company

While AI will potentially disrupt employment markets and society, attendees listed the inherent opportunities it presents such as its capacity to:

  • drive productivity, growth and investment
  • influence many policy areas, including the importance of full and productive utilisation of data; building fit for purpose infrastructure and skills; mainstreaming AI in major project procurement, and accountability and legal safeguards.

Participants recognised that AI is a critical issue which must be addressed as a matter of urgency by leaders from business, the knowledge sector, “for-purpose” organisations and government.  The Committee for Melbourne has an important role in shaping the discussion.
The creation of this taskforce is part of our Melbourne 4.0 work and coincides with the establishment of the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence on 7 March with Minister for Innovation, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP and Shadow Minister for Innovation, David Southwick MP.
For more information about the AI Taskforce and if you would like to get involved, please contact the Committee for Melbourne Secretariat.

Sleeping at the 'G

On Thursday 17 May, a record number of Melburnians spent the night on the cold concrete floor of the MCG – with only the comfort of a cardboard box – in a public show of support for young people experiencing homelessness in Victoria.


Melburnians sleeping at the 'G
Photo: Melbourne City Mission 

Over one million dollars was raised at the sixth edition of our member Melbourne City Mission's Sleep at the ‘G event. All funds raised will go towards building a world-first fully integrated response to youth homelessness: a  24/7 centre providing emergency accommodation, health, education and employment support all under the same roof.

Based in King Street in the CBD, Frontyard Youth Services will expand to include a crisis accommodation service, boosting its current support services to young people with the aim of breaking the cycle of homelessness and preventing them from falling into long-term adult homelessness.
Ending youth homelessness is particularly important in the face of recently released ABS figures which show an 11% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Victoria now nearing 25,000. Two of every five Victorians counted as homeless are under the age of 25.
Sleep at the 'G is the community’s chance to come together and put an end to youth homelessness.

You can still make a huge difference by donating to Sleep at the 'G here.

Melbourne LIVE

Our member Destination Melbourne's Melbourne LIVE Tourism Forum is returning in 2018 for its third year, bringing the concepts of leadership, innovation and the visitor experience to the fore under the central theme, 'Under the Skin'.

melbourne live picture

As we move into a future of automation and potential social disconnection, this year Melbourne LIVE will focus on creating meaningful experiences for our visitors, delving under the skin of our city to surprise and captivate our visitors.

Taking place on 31 May at Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne LIVE is a full day program of engaging speakers, both local and international – such as Burkhard Keiker from Visit Berlin – addressing the issues facing the visitor industry. 

Not your usual 'death by PowerPoint' conference, Melbourne LIVE is a dynamic event that includes panels, plenaries and break out sessions, to really allow you to network and collaborate.

Find out more.

Welcome new member Quickar

Quickar is a future mobility consultancy that believes getting from A to B should be easy, convenient and sustainable. Mobility as a Service is an emerging global mega-trend where people are seeking better ways to create more liveable communities and they are turning to empowering technology for ways to access and achieve low cost and sustainable private mobility solutions. Quickar offers thought leadership and development of practical strategic solutions for affected entities seeking to remain relevant through the disruption journey to ultimately leverage these evolving technologies and consumer attitudes.

What's on our radar

How would you use a driverless car? Infrastructure Victoria wants to know. Complete their five-minute survey

Proud of our member, Cornwell, for winning 2 Gold and 5 Silvers at the DRIVENxDESIGN Melbourne Design Awards. Cornwell is the creative studio behind our Annual Dinner collateral. Check out their 15 shortlisted projects, including their work on for the Melbourne Prize Trust, which Committee for Melbourne is a Founding Partner of. 

A partnership between Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and creative powerhouse C2 International was recently announced. A world first, this union signals a dramatic shift ahead for the future of business events. Read more.

Our vision for Melbourne:

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