From the CEO, February 2019

At the end of last year, almost everyone I spoke with was exhausted. Feeling tired and overworked, people, myself included, were looking forward to a break. And what a lovely time it was. Just after Christmas, family arrived from the UK and it was a treat to show them around Perth and the South West. I relished in their delight of the landscape, food, wine and amenity at some of our favourite places. As beach lovers, they spent many hours in the sun at Woodman Point, Bather’s and Scarborough beaches. They really enjoyed their day at Rottnest and four days in Dunsborough too. Never having visited a vineyard before, they soon got the hang of wine tasting, and the quote of the holiday would have to have been, ‘After tasting these beautiful wines the offerings on the top shelf at [supermarket] ASDA will just not cut it!’

Speaking to people since I’ve been back at work, many experienced the same thing over summer. After showing off Perth’s coming of age projects, friends and colleagues have agreed that they too now have a greater appreciation of how lucky we are to live where we do.

It has been a busy first week back as we shape the events program, research agenda and strategic and risk planning sessions.

In early February, Kate Lamont will chair the first meeting of the Board for 2019. The agenda is large with Directors considering the research agenda for the year and a proposal for our next major project. She will also welcome newly appointed Directors – Meath Hammond from BHP and Crown Perth’s Andrew Hill, who replace Stephanie Buckland and John Nicolaou, who stood down at the end of last year due to work commitments.

Also in February, Kate will host a series of forums with members to shape the 2019-22 Strategic Plan. If you haven’t already registered, please do so.

Over the past few weeks I have met with a number of Directors to conduct one on one interviews. As they have reflected on the performance of the current Strategic Plan, it is the quality of research, the independence of thinking and an apolitical approach that are intrinsic to our reputation and need to be entrenched as part of the next plan.

The Committee for Perth is renowned for the quality of the evidence base it produces. This year, we will add to our vast knowledge base in the areas of Perth’s reputation, positioning and capability as well as cost of living and gender equality.

Dr Terry Fitzsimmons, lead researcher of Filling the Pool, will return to Perth to release a FACTBase Bulletin on subject selection, which further advances the recommendations of the report. Terry’s work with collaborator Professor Victor Callan, provides new insights on how more girls can be encouraged to undertake STEM subjects.

In April, I will be attending the leading thinkers conference – TED, which will be held in Vancouver and is entitled ‘Bigger than Us’. During the week-long program, I will be treated to the latest and most provocative ideas from across the globe, and I can’t wait to share them with you in the May edition.

More on our research program in next month’s edition and until then, my very best wishes for 2019.

Marion Fulker

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow UWA

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.