Committee Communiqué

Feeding Prosperity

Foundation member Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have a unique business model which means they have a sound understanding of the most pressing issues in Australian communities.

Below Senior Manager Community Relationships, Michael Spiegel, who is a member of our Not-for-profit Taskforce, tells us about how Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia's largest social enterprise.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia’s fifth largest retail bank, with over 1.8 million customers and 7,500 staff.

Unique to our organisation, is that we operate a hybrid model with both corporate branches and Community Bank®️branches, which represent 322 independently owned franchises across Australia. These branches are locally formed and operated with the board of each company comprised of local volunteers. 

What we have come to realise, is that this model represents the largest social enterprise in Australia and probably, the world. In the last twenty years, we have returned over $200 million in community contributions, and hold business footings exceeding $35 billion.

Moreover, we are not-for-profit banking specialists and are the only Australian bank to have a dedicated bank in the not-for-profit space, our unique B Corp Certified, Community Sector Banking (CSB). In that area alone, we have 13,000 not-for-profit customers. CSB is a 50:50 joint venture between Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Community 21, a consortium of 38 progressive not-for-profits representing various key segments. This structure allows us to combine and leverage our financial expertise with the identified, ongoing changing needs of the community. 

Our goal, in addition to being a full-service, award-winning bank, is to build community resilience and prosperity. We believe that if the community is healthy, our business will thrive as a result.

"All power to Committee for Melbourne moving forward"

Our 2018 Annual Parliamentary Drinks event, which took place on 19 September at Parliament House, provided a rare opportunity for members of all sides of politics and senior representatives of our Foundation member organisations to gather together and discuss issues of importance to Melbourne in this informal, non-party political setting.

Committee for Melbourne members connect with MPs from all parties at Parliament House

Addressing Parliamentarians and guests on the night, President of the Legislative Council The Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, told Committee for Melbourne members that they have a "significant role to play in the advancement of our state and our country through the Committee for Melbourne" and wished us "all power moving forward".

The Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC 

Committee for Melbourne Chair Scott Tanner provided the vote of thanks on the night thanking Foundation members GHD and Telstra for supporting and making our flagship event possible. 

Scott Tanner, Chair, Committee for Melbourne addresses Parliamentarians and members

Members took the opportunity for informal networking and conversation with parliamentarians, making our fifth Parliamentary Drinks a resounding success.

Connecting in the Federation Room

Thank you to our presenting Partners:

View the events photos

East Coast Megaregion: Teaming up with Committee for Sydney

“Already a decade ago, the world’s top 40 mega-regions made up ‘only’ 18% of the world’s population, but produced 66% of global economic activity and 86% of patented innovation – megaregions are the New Competitive Unit.” 


A key finding from the Committee’s landmark Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce is the need for improved collaboration along the eastern seaboard of Australia to boost our global and regional competitiveness.

One year ago, Committee for Melbourne's Director of Policy and Research, Sander van Amelsvoort, articulated the need for an Australian megaregion at TEDx Melbourne.

An Australian East Coast Megaregion 

 Fast forward twelve months and we are excited to progress this idea with our colleagues in Sydney, and facilitators Phuel, at the second Megaregion Workshop on Tuesday 16 October in Sydney.

Together we will look to build on our workshop late last year and the Committee for Sydney’s Sandstone Megaregion report.

This is the start of a big and visionary journey for Committee for Melbourne and all the stakeholders along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Event details
Date: Tuesday 16 October 2018
Time: 12.00 - 2.00pm (lunch provided)
Venue: PwC - One International Towers, Watermans Quay, Barangaroo 

Arts & Culture roundtable

Last Wednesday, the Arts and Culture Roundtable gathered for the third time this year with a full agenda to cover.

The working group, Enabling Creativity in Melbourne, presented current progress including identification of three Needs to enhance creativity in our city:
1. increasing working spaces for artists
2. increasing exhibition spaces for artists
3. raising Melbourne's international profile particularly through residency

Suggestions from the floor added further avenues for investigation such as evaluating underutilised studio and display spaces in Melbourne and using GIS data to gauge current stock. Ideas from the conversation will be taken to the Chair, Nick Boulter, for consideration.

Studio and display spaces in Melbourne

With hotel occupancy rates over the July period dropping significantly in comparison to the rest of the year, Australia Accommodation Association of Australia (AAAoA) Business Development Manager, Michelle King, shared work by a group who are envisioning a method to reimagine and reactivate Melbourne in winter. By leveraging existing arts and cultural activities to create a ‘Melbourne in winter’ brand, the endeavour is an excellent example of how arts and culture enterprises can forge symbiotic relationships across industries.

Marriner Group's Jesse Cain presented exciting developments in Melbourne’s theatre scene including the overwhelming bookings following the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the release of a new musical Come From Away. The presentation was a positive reminder of the vibrant theatre scene in Melbourne. 

If you would like slides from the last meeting please visit the Arts and Culture page on our website. The next Arts and Culture Roundtable will be on 11 December.

Board Director Kee Wong says universities on brink of disreuption

Earlier this month, five industry leaders came together at our member PwC Australia's premises for the Churchill Club Australia’s inaugural Top Tech Trends Debate to debate their case for a trend that is not obvious today but will have an explosive impact in the next three to five years.

The five trends debated were: 

  • The future of education
  • Driverless cars as a transport service
  • The rise of diasporic ecosystems
  • Post-IoT and ambient intelligence 
  • Technology will save us from technology

 Pitching that Australia's higher education industry is on the brink of disruption, Committee for Melbourne Board Director Kee Wong was voted the winner of the debate – a replica of the Top Tech Trends event that has been successfully run by the Churchill Club in Silicon Valley for 20 consecutive years.

Kee Wong speaking at the Top Tech Trends Debate

In a blog piece for PwC, Partner Monty Hamilton perfectly summarised Kee's pitch explaining that Australian universities' current offering in conjunction with employers no longer wanting standard degree graduates means that Victoria's highest export revenue is about to be disrupted.

Monty exposes Kee's argument that in addition to Australian students looking overseas for their education, online platform providers from outside the education industry – such as Google, Facebook, Amazon – will provide new education options. Long term, Kee said he foresees a hybrid system where human contact is combined with innovative delivery methods and tailored content.

The speakers at the inaugural Top Tech Trends Debate included Kee Wong, Bec Martin, Bienna B. Chow, CFA GAICD, Paul Higgins and Ryan Ebert, with lively moderation from Nina Muhleisen.

Welcome new member

We are thrilled to Welcome our new Corporate member InfraPlan.

We asked InfraPlan Managing Director George Giannakodakis about his organisation and why they decided to join Committee for Melbourne:

"InfraPlan (Vic) has been engaged in Melbourne development and government projects for several years driven by the desire to solve complex challenges for its clients. We are keen to collaborate and contribute to the Committee for Melbourne’s vision and to shape policies that contribute to economic growth, community connections and environmental outcomes."

What's on our radar

Supporting Build-To-Rent In Victoria - Stop the press! Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has just released an announcement on build-to-rent which is a model Committee for Melbourne supports. We look forward to reviewing further developments on the policy and getting involved. 

Australia must recapture its sense of ambition - When one of Australia’s leading businessmen and philanthropists talks, people generally listen. In this compelling article, Frank Lowy provides his thoughts on the seemingly chaotic world around us and how Australia should respond. He touches on immigration, Trump and our US alliance, regional engagement, and critically, the need for Australia to recapture its sense of ambition! 

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) wins award - Our member MCEC was named 'Australasia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre' at the World Travel Awards 2018 for the seventh consecutive time, following the launch of their new expansion heralding the venue as Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space. MCEC’s Chief Executive, Peter King said “our people are the difference and this is another great recognition of the part they play in keeping us at the top."

The good news is...

Google launches new search engine to help scientists find the datasets they need - Google’s goal has always been to organize the world’s information, and its first target was the commercial web. Now, it wants to do the same for the scientific community with a new search engine for datasets.

Our vision for Melbourne:

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