15.04.202112 months on, 12 months ahead and ten steps members can take to help

The Committee for Melbourne has always focussed on shaping a better future for Melbourne. Exactly 12 months ago, in April 2020, things changed.

Facing up to the reality of COVID-19, we listened to our members and stakeholders to identify their immediate needs and concerns relating to the pandemic and its implications.

In a matter of days, we launched the Committee for Melbourne’s Road to Recovery taskforce and campaign, fundamental to the spirt of collaboration for which we exist.

Our Board formed a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce, chaired by Deputy Co-Chair Gerard Dalbosco, with three immediate priorities:

  1. Offer any support we could to our members
  2. Protect the future of the Committee as a Not-for-Profit organisation.
  3. Create a coalition of business, industry and community leaders to generate ideas and work with governments on a roadmap to recovery.

We identified 5 key steps we needed to address as a community:

  • Tackle the health and economic emergencies together
  • Secure a successful and safe return-to-work strategy
  • Create accountability, trust and confidence in our government and bureaucracy
  • Promote Government – Industry collaboration
  • Build confidence with good, bold projects

Eight working groups were coordinated by our members and stakeholders. This collective of Proud Melburnians helped champion greater collaboration and drive ideas to outcomes through the following working groups.

AI and Digital Economy Taskforce: Chair, Scott Tanner – CfM Board Chair
Transport Taskforce: Chair, Ishaan Nangia – Partner, McKinsey and Co and CfM Director
Affordable Housing Taskforce: Chair, Jane Hodder – Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills and CfM Director
Future Skills Taskforce: Chair, Derek Scott – CEO and Principal, Haileybury
Visitor Economy Reference Group: Chair, Clive Scott – General Manager, Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
Arts and Culture Taskforce: Chair, Martine Letts – CfM CEO
International Education Economy: Chair, Professor Michael Wesley – Deputy Vice Chancellor (International) University of Melbourne
Not for Profit Taskforce: Chair, Scott Chapman – CEO, Royal Flying Doctors Service Vic

Looking back, it has been an amazing to see what we have achieved. Our short-term recovery seems assured but there is much to be done as we restructure for the future.

Through our taskforce, members, stakeholders and Government agencies have created a new level of collaboration and comradery.

Reflecting on the past and planning the next steps

Since the taskforce launch in April 2020, the Committee has convened over 50 forums with 280 external organisations and close to 2000 Melburnians in attendance.

We have published 85 thought leadership pieces and submissions, but most importantly, allowed our members and stakeholders to share with each other. Our media members, The Age and Herald Sun, have also helped take this message to the Greater Melbourne community.

Recent months have seen an air of cautious optimism as we focus on our continued health security and an industry led economic recovery. Our members should be proud of our achievements including;

  • The Launch of the ‘Let’s Melbourne Again’ campaign, led by our member Clemenger BBDO, to encourage optimism in our city and a recent celebration of the re-opening of our world class theatres and major events.
  • The formation of tourism industry alliances through our Visitor Economy Reference Group, highlighting the fact that Melbourne was not being recognised as a key driver of the State’s $32 billion visitor economy and needed for specific and targeted recovery packages
  • Exciting new partnerships between our University members and community to highlight the importance of our International Students to our economy, workforce and community. The Committee’s creation of an inaugural International Students Festival will be an exciting legacy and our advocacy continues for an International Student ‘staged return’ to our city, when safe to do so.
  • Our recent Aviation forums with the Victorian Government, airlines and our two member airports highlighted ways to encourage capacity return, and called for dedicated government investment in to incentivise airlines to return. This is critical for our freight and passenger capacity as competition is fierce.
  • Our focus on central city activation included the recent JLL report on the return of City workers, support for the City of Melbourne’s FOMO campaign, as well as strategic reviews through member led reports including Newgate on consumer COVID-19 consumer sentiment, Urbis on Mission Fit Cities, Arup on Tactical Urbanism, to name but a few.
  • Member forums were held with the Governor, the Mayor, the Treasurer, the Business Council of Australia, members of both sides of politics at State and Federal level.
  • Subsequent policy submissions were presented to the Federal Government, Victorian Government, Infrastructure Victoria, Creative Victoria, the Victorian Tourism Industry Council, Visit Victoria, DJPR, Treasury and local Councils, sharing our member driven views and recommendations.
  • Through our E-ROOM, we provided free access to our virtual Road to Recovery forums for stakeholders to join our members in powerful conversations including:
  • The short- and long-term realities of Aviation
  • The challenges facing our Arts and Culture community
  • The Not-for-Profit sector
  • The challenges facing our International Students
  • Integrated transport and the impact of COVID-19
  • Forums with our aligned Cities and Regions organisations
  • The fate of the Melbourne Visitor economy
  • The Governors ‘Patrons Address’ to members on COVID-19
  • The impact of COVID-19 on Melbourne’s mind, mood and sentiment
  • Forums sharing Members specific Road to Recovery stories.
Ten steps you can do to get more involved.

Melbourne’s recovery depends on two things: good governance and collaboration. It is our ideas and our network that help drive outcomes for Melbourne’s future.

We will need more bold vision, collaboration, and partnerships with our governments to ensure longer term success.

The work of our Road to Recovery taskforce continues with your help and the next twelve months are critical,

Here is how you can get involved:

  1. Contribute your thought leadership through our fortnightly newsletters and forums; contribute an article, help deliver a forum
  2. Register your interest to be kept in the loop on the work of our various expert led taskforces and working groups.
  3. As we return to our unique face to face events, provide thought leadership and offer to host forums and board room briefings.
  4. Complete our Annual Survey next month and take a few minutes to help set our priorities for the coming years.
  5. Ensure your Executive Team is registered for our newsletter and LinkedIn to receive information and invitations
  6. Join other Proud Melburnians at our annual Gala Dinner which is returning in September 2021: reserve a table for your staff and clients
  7. Start thinking about whom you would like to nominate for the Annual Melbourne Achiever Awards
  8. Enquire about the next intake of our legendary Future Focus Group program. Your emerging leaders are also Melbourne’s future networked leaders
  9. Encourage networking by supporting our Annual Dinner, Connected Melbourne Board room series and signature events
  10. Nominate other like-minded organisations for a Committee for Melbourne briefing, they may be interested in having a seat at the table

If you would like to share your ideas or discuss your engagement, please contact Clive Dwyer, Director of Engagement.

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