Our events foster dialogue and connections between government, senior business leaders and influential Melburnians, generating ideas that shape strategies for Melbourne's future success.

Our events

2018 Annual Dinner

Save the date! Our 2018 Annual Dinner will take place on Thursday 10 May. 

2017 Annual Dinner

The sleek contemporary atmosphere of the iconic Touring Hall at the Melbourne Museum provided the perfect backdrop for the Committee’s 2017 annual black tie dinner on Thursday 11 May. It was especially fitting that we came together in a space that promotes understanding of our past, to help us prepare for our future.

At this year’s dinner we celebrated our collective efforts in LEADING MELBOURNE 4.0 as we highlighted the work achieved through our flagship Taskforce and shared our vision for a prosperous and liveable Greater Melbourne moving towards 2030. On the night, Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts unveiled the Melbourne 4.0 summary report. Read the Melbourne 4.0 summary report.

Among the 450 members and guests from our cross-sector membership were special guests such as former Premier of Victoria, John Cainl, Life Members as well as senior ministers and shadow ministers including:

  • Minister for Tourism and Major Events; Sport and Veterans, The Hon. John Eren MP
  • Secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Richard Bolt
  • Shadow Minister for Planning, The Hon. David Davis MLC
  • Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon. Luke Donnellan MP
  • Lead Deputy Secretary, Economic Development, Employment and Innovation, Justin Hanney

Sharing our vision, Foundation Member PwC Australia contributed to the success of the evening as our Melbourne 4.0 launch partner.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, VicHealth was awarded the 2017 Melbourne Achiever Award in recognition of
its significant impact on the Melbourne and Victorian communities while cementing our city’s reputation as an innovative global health promotion leader.

Read Committee for Melbourne Chair, Scott Tanner's speech

View the event photos  

We thank our 2017 Annual Dinner major sponsors for their contributions:

Annual Parliamentary DrinksFoundation members only

The Committee’s Annual Parliamentary Drinks provide 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.

2017 Annual Parliamentary Drinks 

Our fourth Annual Parliamentary Drinks at Parliament House, on 19 October, was a sell-out event, attended by senior representatives from our Foundation Member organisations and Members of Parliament from all political parties.

Parliamentary guests included:

  • Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas MP
  • Minister for Planning, The Hon. Richard Wynne MP
  • Leader of the Nationals, The Hon. Peter Walsh
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. David Hodgett
  • President of the Legislative Council, The Hon. Bruce Atkinson MLC
  • Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Colin Brooks MP

We thank member GHD for generously supporting the 2017 Annual Parliamentary Drinks as the event 'Presenting Partner'.

View the event photos 

Our Meet the Minister Series provides members with access to state and federal politicians to deepen their knowledge on issues of importance to Melbourne, influence the broader debate about Melbourne’s future, and connect with other senior business leaders from our member organisations.

In 2017 we heard from:

Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Major Projects, The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP

The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP shared shared her insights on the Andrews Government’s transport and infrastructure agenda and vision.

She led a discussion on the delivery of a number of public transport projects in her portfolio including the removal of 50 of Melbourne’s most dangerous level crossings, the Metro Tunnel and the purchase of new metro and regional rolling stock.

She also discussed the role of innovation and technology in the transport network.
View the event photos 

Treasurer of Victoria, Mr Tim Pallas MP

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas MP joined Committee Foundation Members over lunch to discuss the third Victorian Budget he delivered.

The Treasurer provided an overview of the Victorian economy’s growth trajectory, and discussed how the government is positioning the state to cope with a population expected to reach 10 million by mid-century.
View the event photos 

 In 2016, we heard from:

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy
View the event photos

The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP
Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Major Projects

The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP 
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade,

The Hon. Richard Wynne MP
Minister for Planning

Mr Tim Pallas MP
Tresurer of Victoria

Our Leading Thinker Series provided members with access to experts who provided new and thought provoking insights into current and long-term issues of importance to the Committee’s agenda for Melbourne.

In 2017, we have heard from: 

Nobel Laureate, Dr Harold Varmus

Nobel Laureate Dr Harold Varmus shared his thoughts on the future of research as we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and what needs to be done to ensure innovation and curiosity are nurtured.

He explored the importance of place making and precinct management as crucial catalysts for research communities.
In particular, the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct was recognised and benchmarked against similar precincts in the US and Europe as a hub of world-class significance.

The impact of restrictive visa policies, housing affordability, seamless transport, and innovative ecosystems and skills training were key discussion points, all relevant to our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce.

ANZ former Chief Executive, Mike Smith OBE

In his capacity as Chairman of York Butter Factory, Mike Smith OBE discussed the concept of innovation – what it is, why it is important, and what Australia must do to become better at it.

He shared the startup incubator’s vision for putting Australian startups on the global map by providing access to funding and mentoring.

He also discussed how the private sector can get involved in fostering new entrepreneurial talent, thereby stemming
the tech exodus.

His analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead reinforced the need for Melbourne to prepare for the disruption resulting from the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Non-Resident Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking at the Brookings Institution, Julie Wagner 

Joining us on her first visit to Melbourne, Julie Wagner discussed the role of innovation districts and outlined what strategic efforts can be made to ensure Melbourne remains competitive with other global cities.

A globally recognised leader on innovation districts, she noted that Melbourne, with its series of high-class assets in close proximity, has a fantastic base from which to succeed but needs convergence.

She also took this opportunity to share her trials and tribulations in providing strategic guidance to advance the competitiveness of cities.

Australia Digital Transformation Agency former Chief, Paul Shetler

Paul Shetler discussed how large organisations – in both government, and the private sector – can digitally transform themselves to create better digital products and more satisfied customers in today’s internet era.

Noting that the business strategy can no longer be separated from the digital strategy, he shared his decades’ worth of experience on digitally transforming to meet user needs.

He reinforced the need for our city to future-proof itself and prepare for the disruption brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
View the event photos 

Foundation for Young Australians CEO, Jan Owen AM 

Jan Owen AM gave an insightful presentation on what the future of work will look like for Australians.

She emphasised that teaching and learning must change to prepare young Australians for a fundamentally different work and life environment as we are not yet set up for what FYA calls “the new work order”.

She emphasised that we must change our mindset now and realise that the so-called ‘soft skills’ are in fact the
enterprising skills of the future.
View the event photos

Lord Mayor of Melbourne, The Right Honourable Robert Doyle AC

Serving his third consecutive term as Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle AC shared his insights on the City of Melbourne’s four year Council plan as it relates to our Melbourne 4.0 agenda.

During his engaging presentation, he addressed the importance of planning very carefully for growth if Melbourne is going to be a city of eight million and remain liveable. He neatly summed up his thinking by noting that planning should be people-centric and backed by data.

While he noted that the City of Melbourne’s 38 km² is the job generator of the entire state, he outlined the societal issues this can create and how to address these.
View the event photos 

Arcadis Global Cities Director, John Batten

Visiting from New York, John Batten shared his expertise on building climate resilient cities and the lessons learned from New York post Hurricane Sandy.

In his absorbing address, he called attention to how leading cities are redefining risk and using risk-based planning to promote resilience, prioritise investment and engage the community.

As cities experience the impact of natural disasters firsthand, John Batten emphasised the importance of investing in resilience now to avoid being vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

AECOM Cities Global Director, Stephen Engblom

Visiting from San Francisco, Stephen Engblom gave an insightful presentation to our members on lessons Melbourne can learn from other cities – and in particular New York – grappling with the challenges of growth, complexity and resilience.

He emphasised that what is required is an evidencebased urban design with a vision to create a platform for interagency discourse. Collaboration between entities, professions and the community will achieve sound city development and avoid the pitfalls and longer term damage of a haphazard and piecemeal approach.
View the event photos

 In 2016, we heard from:

Business Council of Australia Chief Executive, Jennifer Westacott
View the event photos 

General Electric Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea CEO, Geoff Culbert
View the event photos 

Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson 
Read Professor Linda Kristjanson's presentation 

Deloitte Access Economics Consultant, Ian Harper 
View the event photos 

The Conversation Executive Director and Editor, Andrew Jaspan
Read Andrew Jaspan's presentation
View the event photos

Transport SeriesMembers only

Our Transport Series aims to uncover the challenges and opportunities facing Melbourne’s long-term transport future. At each event, panels of key players in Melbourne’s transport sector outline their organisation’s ‘master plans’ for the development of Melbourne’s transport as our city continues to grow. The goal of this series is to develop an integrated transport vision for Melbourne based on input from our members.

Following the following two Transport Series events in 2016:

  • Transport Series 1: Roads
  • Transport Series 2: Public transport

In 2017, the following took place:

Transport Series 3: Future of transport and the sharing economy

Visiting from the US, Uber US Head of Transportation Policy and Research, Andrew Salzberg, discussed the role of technology in addressing Melbourne’s transport congestion and improving mobility, the controversial topic of road pricing and examples of big data informing infrastructure planning.

Focused on making Uber an integral part of the future of urban transportation through research, partnership and policy developments, he also addressed:
- the sharing of real-time data across service providers
- increased mobility through integrated end-to-end passenger services
- innovation in providing the ‘last mile’ of the customer journey
- the future of dynamic road pricing
- the infrastructure implications of autonomous vehicles
- integrated transport solutions for major events

Transport Series 4: Innovation

Visiting from France, Keolis Executive Director, Marketing, Innovation and Services, Laurent Kocher reflected upon ways in which Melbourne’s transport system could adapt in an age of significant disruption. He covered a range of issues impacting cities:
- the rise of autonomous vehicles
- mobile applications and ride sharing service providers
- the need for operators to respond to changing societal trends

He emphasised the need for authorities to appropriately regulate mobility activities and ensure data is open and available for all stakeholders. He also noted the importance of mobile applications being integrated with adequate payment systems.

Transport Series 5: Urban mobility

Launching the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, the speakers - Arcadis Melbourne City Executive, Pru Sanderson and Public Transport Research Group Director, Professor Graham Currie -  explored how cities can, and should, balance the three competing priorities of ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Profit’ when seeking urban mobility solutions.

Cities are facing enormous pressures as they seek to meet today’s mobility challenges: they are struggling with rapid urbanisation, climate change, pollution, asset performance and competing with one another to attract commercial business and financing.
View the event photos 

Arts and Culture Roundtable

Since mid 2016, a number of meetings have taken place with members from key arts and culture organisations  to develop an integrated vision and strategy for the city as a vibrant, globally recognised destination for arts, culture and design on a par with Melbourne’s status as a global sports and events destination.

The roundtable is developing two major initiatives to further improve Melbourne’s arts and culture

1. a business case for extending Melbourne’s Free Tram Zone to include some of Melbourne’s most important cultural and sporting institutions.

2. the creation of Melbourne’s Next Creative Landmark, to lift Melbourne’s creative profile and productivity and to make it “next-gen ready”.

4 meetings will take place in 2017 in:

  • February
  • April
  • September
  • December



These are formed when major policy initiatives require significant expert input from our members and assist in developing strong, factual and forward-looking policy platforms.

Recognising the profound and unpredictable changes that will shape Melbourne’s future economy, the Committee for Melbourne launched its Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce in September 2016 to:

  • Develop a clear understanding of – and shared language around – the future economic environment of Melbourne, across the city’s key stakeholders
  • Provide credibly informed policy programs to help our city and our member organisations prepare for the ‘over the horizon’ challenges and opportunities.

Find out more about Melbourne 4.0.

Read the Melbourne 4.0 summary report

Watch our short animation about Melbourne 4.0

Image gallery

"Connecting Melbourne's people and organisations to influence the city's decision-makers with practical initiatives."

Committee for Melbourne Chair and CEO