From the CEO - August 2021

As I am writing this article, I am well rested having returned from a week’s holiday in Broome on Yaruwu country. However, while there I couldn’t help but recall the West Australian’s exposé Blak Deaths in Custody by Rangi Hirini. As a team, we watched the first episode during NAIDOC Week. This episode featured local 'Charlie boy', a 10-month-old baby who lost his life in the most harrowing of circumstances.

Another series worthy of watching is Annabel Crabb’s latest work for the ABC, Ms Represented. This four-part series features women from all sides of federal politics sharing their stories. Their perspectives resonated with the findings of our Filling the Pool gender equality study.

Both series make for uncomfortable yet essential watching.

With regard to the Treasury’s perspective on Australia over the next 40 years, the 2021 Intergenerational Report makes for interesting reading. Most importantly, the skills shortage we are currently experiencing is not likely to be met through large-scale international migration, with a cap forecast to remain in place for decades to come.

International education was a mainstay of the Western Australian economy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest report released by Study Perth, the Economic Contribution of International Education in Western Australia, outlines the impacts on this sector since the start of the pandemic.

Some of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking work the Committee for Perth has done in recent times has been with Business News in our co-branded series, Promoting Perth. Edition four was recently published and focuses on Perth as a place of world-class education.

Through this series we are providing the evidence to talk Perth up, something us locals haven’t been particularly good at. If you have missed any editions, visit the Business News website and look out for further issues over the coming months.

In July, we explored WA’s relationship with China – an important trading partner of WA – as part of our New Horizons webinar series. The Committee for Perth is fortunate in having a pool of experts amongst our members, with Stuart Crockett, Strategic Counsel for CGM Communications’ trade and investment communications practice and former Government of Western Australia’s Commissioner to Greater China, well placed to provide a briefing and answer questions during the session. Also in this series, Matthew Prindiville from Main Roads provided an update on Smart Freeways and their role in transforming our major road network.

The transformation of Perth’s CBD was the topic of conversation at the COVID Recovery & Resilience session ‘The Perth City Deal’ at our Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon. I thank Professor Steve Chapman CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Sonia Mackay-Coghill, Vice President Enterprise & Development at Edith Cowan University, for providing a briefing on the role the university will play in activating the site adjacent to Yagan Square.

During August, we will be putting the finishing touches to our final report of the Future of Work project ahead of its launch on 1 September. We will also hold webinars on the draft 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy with Infrastructure WA’s CEO Phil Helberg, and explore where Australia’s future population might settle with academic Dr Julian Bolleter from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre.

I am very pleased that Noongar leader Carol Innes will share her career and life journey at our Executive Women’s Leadership Forum later in the month. This event series started in 2009 as a way for women to be inspired by each other and the appetite to share and learn has not diminished in the 12 years since!

Perth has a rich tapestry of people learning, sharing and collaborating. It is a privilege to play our part in stitching it all together to create something larger than the sum of the parts.

Photo: NAIDOC Week's Committee for Perth team breakfast; New Horizons, WA’s relationship with China; Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon, The Perth City Deal.

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.