From the CEO, End of Year 2019

In signing off for the year, I thought I would share parts of my speech from our end-of-year celebration that neatly encapsulates our work during 2019.

Each year I pick a word which I aim to define my year. In 2019, I chose ‘remarkable’. On reflection, it has certainly been so.

We had a seamless transition between our previous Chairman, John Langoulant AO, and our new Chairman, Kate Lamont.

At the end of last year we launched Perth’s Pathway to Prosperity, the final report in the Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project, which has seven recommendations – six of which were reflected in the government’s DiversifyWA Strategy. A significant and quick win for our evidenced-based research and solutions-focused advocacy. View our analysis report.

Earlier this year we launched our Hashtag Perth project, born from findings of Perth’s Pathway to Prosperity. I am pleased to advise that with a strategic yet impatient Chair Kevin Brown, we have completed all the research on Perth’s reputation well ahead of schedule. We have already started drafting the final report and associated recommendations, which we will share with members in the first week of February. I’d also like to acknowledge the Hashtag Perth funding partners and contributors including Perth Airport, the City of Perth, Programmed, Westpac, UWA, Woodside, ATCO, WA Super, City of Armadale, Hawaiian and the cooperation of two arms of government – the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and Tourism Western Australia. I have enjoyed working with all of you so much.

In our quest to have on-the-ground knowledge, this year I revisited two of my favourite cities that have many of the qualities that Perth has – Seattle and Vancouver. I am pleased to announce that our collaborators – Lyle Bicknell from the City of Seattle and Gordon Price, a former Councillor with the City of Vancouver – will visit Perth next year.

Aside from undertaking the research for Hashtag Perth, we released the What We Thought Would Kill Us: Learnings and Recommendations report, eight FACTBase Bulletins and the Perth Reputation Survey undertaken by Ipsos – which generated a mind-boggling 87,500 data points!

The Committee for Perth remains committed to reconciliation with a number of highlights this year, such as the ongoing cultural awareness training with Dr. Richard Walley OAM and his son Alton. Secondly, a Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon to explore the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a Voice to Parliament for Indigenous people at GHD, where we heard from special guest speakers David Collard and the Hon. Fred Chaney AO. More recently we held our first talking circle with women from the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute facilitated by Co-Chair Robyn Smith-Walley.

In April this year, we farewelled Georgie Harford-Mills and welcomed two new researchers, Alice Leggett and Hayley Campbell, who are both making a good start as early-career researchers. In September, we created a new position with Bianca Parent joining as Executive Support Officer. And Holly Fulker, our Manager of Member Services & Operations, racked up 10 years of service. Holly began working for us part-time, doing any tasks that were required, whilst studying Commerce at Curtin. She was offered a full-time role by our former Chairman when she graduated and has been the glue that holds our tight knit team together ever since, as well as our internal member champion.

The end of the year is when I present the Outstanding Contribution by a Member Award, which this year was awarded to Justin Carroll at PwC. I would normally present this at our end-of-year celebration, however Justin was travelling, so I had the pleasure of presenting it to him earlier. PwC joined as a member of the Committee for Perth in 2010, and a few years later Justin Carroll was appointed Managing Partner for Western Australia and became the key representative for the membership. A regular attendee at events, his relationship with the Committee strengthened when he led a proposal for PwC to become the Core Funding Partner of our Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project. As Chair of the Project Steering Committee, Justin instilled a collaborative and inclusive approach, which created an irrefutable evidence base to grow and diversify the region’s economy. He contributed his time and effort, in addition to PwC’s extensive resources, to ensure that the final report – Perth’s Pathway to Prosperity – contained actionable recommendations. The award acknowledges Justin’s personal and professional commitment to the Committee for Perth, and particularly to the Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project, to which he has made an outstanding contribution. In his typical humble style, Justin acknowledged that it was a team effort but was incredibly chuffed with the award.

On a personal note, earlier this year – with support from the Committee for Perth – I was accepted to study a Masters in Cities at London School of Economics and Politics. I have now completed my first unit and, as you read this, I have just completed the second week of intensive study in London. It has also recently been announced that I have been appointed to the Board of Infrastructure Australia.

All in all – a truly remarkable year!

Congratulations to the winners of the annual Passion for Perth photographic competition, as judged by staff, Directors and members of our Reshaping Working Group. These quintessential Perth pics will be given as gifts to speakers at our events throughout 2020.

In closing, thank you to my team for a brilliant year, to our members for their ongoing loyalty and engagement, and to our stakeholders in government for the collaborative working relationships.

Best wishes for the festive season.

Marion Fulker

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.