From the CEO, August 2020

The Committee for Perth is proud of its engaging webinar series that has now grown to include FACTBase Talks. This month we reflect on how we continue to engage our members online while stimulating meaningful discussions around Greater Perth and its future.

Much of my July was spent online, a familiar occurrence for us all of late. As regular readers will know, I am studying at the London School of Economics in their Cities program. Without the ability to travel to London and convene in person, our global cohort worked across Zoom with experts from Athens to think about that city’s future in a post pandemic world.

Our considerations included tourism, density, mobility, along with infrastructure and governance in a world that feels less certain by the day with the role of cities under threat. As a self-confessed lover of cities, I remain concerned about their future and explored this topic for UWA’s Public Policy Institute.

Our working groups and project steering committees have also been busy online in order to keep the Committee for Perth’s research and advocacy agenda moving. Our Reshaping Working Group received briefings from WALGA President Tracey Roberts on the impacts of COVID on local government and another from Chairman John Langoulant AO and Acting CEO Lance Glare from Infrastructure WA. The group’s agenda for August shows no signs of slowing with briefings and presentations scheduled on the proposed World Centre for Indigenous Culture and plans to activate the rooftop of the Art Gallery.

Our online events program has benefited enormously from a return to focusing on the future under the banner of ‘New Horizons’, with Nick Ellery from Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Chris Alcock from Six Ideas by Dexus discussing returning to the office. In addition, Sally Braidwood from Ipsos shared some fascinating global insights about COVID and its impact on our work lives. July also heralded a new online event series ‘FACTBase Talks’ with long-term contract research Gemma Davis sharing key findings from our Perth as a region of 2 million people report.

We have enjoyed having a few smaller meetings in the office however, until it is safe to do this at scale, we will continue to offer a rich program of events in the virtual world.

With the many freedoms that West Australians are enjoying compared to the rest of Australia and the world, the July school holidays provided a welcome break for many. Destinations across the state experienced a flurry of visitation from families keen to explore more of what WA has to offer. Our recent FACTBase Bulletin on agritourism highlighted people’s eagerness to connect to local food and local people and to truly understand the domain of origin of their food. The high quality of WA’s produce was a key finding of our Hashtag Perth project, something perhaps better understood and promoted by others up until now.

An implementation plan for Boorloo Kworp ‘Perth is Good’ has been prepared and in the coming months, meetings with key stakeholders will be convened to keep momentum going. At the same time, work on our next project has commenced. The Future of Work: Equipping WA and its people for the changing world of work is a project that our members are excited about given it is such a topical issue. I can’t wait to share the first research ‘Has the Future of Work Arrived?’ next month.

It hasn’t been all work and no play though, and I was fortunate enough to sneak away to Broome for five days in the sun. There is nothing quite like Broome Time with warm sunny days starting with a walk on Cable Beach and ending watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. I never tire of the white sand, blue sky and red dirt, a truly remarkable place where five days feels like five weeks of R&R.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge Prof. Deborah Terry AO who has left Curtin University to return to Queensland, and in doing so, leaves the Board of the Committee for Perth. An ardent supporter of all that we do, Deb has been a particularly strong advocate for the evidence base the Committee creates that reshapes, reforms and revitalises Perth. Quite simply, there is no other organisation that has the depth and breadth of knowledge on the issues and solutions for Greater Perth than we do!

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.