20.03.2020From the CEO

Dear Committee for Melbourne friends,

At our Committee for Melbourne dinner last year, our keynote speaker, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said: “the rate of change will never be as slow as it is today”. He was talking about the exponential impact of technology on our way of life. He could have been talking about the impact of the COVID-19 (C-19) pandemic on our economy and community.

As I write this, thousands of Australians, maybe even tens of thousands, have already been affected, in their health, livelihoods and safety. This figure will rise exponentially.

Committee for Melbourne has pledged to support its staff, friends, guests and colleagues in whichever way we can as we navigate these very uncharted waters.

We know every decision in the months ahead will be complex and require significant reflection. For example, tonight many of us will watch the launch of the AFL football season, wishing we could be there. AFL is so important to our Melbourne culture, but the decision process our community leaders had to navigate this week has drawn our attention to how fraught with risk every decision of this nature can be.

As an organisation focused on the future, we have a great opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of our diverse membership to find ways in which the Greater Melbourne community can work together to build resilience through adversity.

Remember that the Committee was established during the economic crisis of the 1980s to do precisely that: to work with government and community to re-establish Melbourne’s status as a city which was successful and liveable.

We look forward to working with our members to identify how we can work together to recover from this unprecedented health crisis and its severe economic repercussions.

The road to recovery will be a leading theme in our communications with you over the months to come.

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