From the CEO, July 2020

June 2020 is likely to go down in history for lots of reasons. In our corporate history it will go down as the busiest month we’ve had since the Committee for Perth was established in 2006.

At the start of the month we held an event to mark the five-year anniversary since the launch of our gender equality report, Filling the Pool. A research report that culminated in a roadmap of 31 interlocking recommendations that addressed the barriers to women participating in the workforce and progressing their careers. It was exciting to celebrate with so many of the women who were interviewed for the project, along with the male champions for change. We were particularly delighted to have the Minister for Women’s Interests, the Hon. Simone McGurk, participate in the webinar and share her thoughts about what still needs to be done.

In the intervening years, the Committee for Perth has continued to tackle difficult yet important issues including transport and congestion, economic diversity and more recently, Perth’s reputation.

Mid-month saw the launch of the final report in our Hashtag Perth project – Boorloo Kworp, Noongar for ‘Perth is Good’. Making nine recommendations with 30 actions, the report contains a two-year roadmap to reposition Perth by enhancing its reputation. As Perth and WA emerges from COVID-19 we need to embrace a renewed sense of pride in our city and tell the world about Australia’s best-kept secret.

Despite Perth having many of the right ingredients to be a city of global renown, the lack of year-round vibrancy is a criticism both from locals and visitors alike. We have recommended a collaborative working group is formed by Tourism WA to ensure the vibrancy that occurs across Perth during the summer months maintains momentum year-round.

However, it is the lack of Perth’s ‘one big thing’ (our key finding from Boorloo Kworp) that caught the media’s attention and resulted in coverage across TV, print and digital platforms. It was incredibly pleasing to have vocal support for the concept of a World Centre for Indigenous Culture from the City of Perth, the Governor and the State and Federal Members for Perth. They joined a strong chorus of voices across the community, including our long-time Cultural Advisor Dr Richard Walley OAM who guided us in our advocacy, calling for the World Centre to be developed as a unique, one-of-a-kind Perth drawcard.

The Steering Committee held a dinner to celebrate a job well done. A job that the Steering Committee Chair, Kevin Brown, reminded us was not yet over. In the coming months we will convene meetings with those that can take action, to offer support and receive progress reports.

As Hashtag Perth has come to an end, we have received Board approval and confirmation of a Core Funding Partner for our next project , which will focus on the future of work – specifically, with an emphasis on what it will mean for Perth and WA and its people.

Throughout June we continued to hold webinars for our members, including the final two events in our Sudden Impacts series. Russell Bricknell, CEO of Baptistcare in WA, and Julie McKay, a Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at PwC, discussed how the impacts of COVID-19 have changed people, teams and society. In our final event Acting Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support, Sue Young from WA Police and Jay Watson, State General Manager of Commercial Banking for Westpac, shared the challenges of providing front line services to the community during COVID-19.

We also held the second in our New Horizons series which saw us return to what the Committee for Perth does best – future-focused discussions. Locally-based heads of Corporate Affairs for BHP, Meath Hammond, and Wesfarmers, Naomi Flutter, presented on the impacts of the pandemic and importantly the pivots that businesses made including rapid decision making.

Our Reshaping Working Group also met over Zoom to receive a briefing from the WAPC and DLPH on planning reforms introduced to parliament to expedite approvals that fuel economic stimulus activities.

Given webinars have proven to be so popular with our members, next month we will hold the first in a new series FACTBase Talks, where our researchers will present the key findings of their research, followed by a group discussion to examine public policy implications, as well as growth and development opportunities.

Over June we interacted with so many of our members and I thank you for your support as we navigate this extraordinary time of our lives. In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver such a busy program of work and thank my team and our loyal group of contractors who would walk over hot coals for me, and often do.

Marion Fulker
Chief Executive Officer

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.