From the CEO - December 2017


2017 has been a year of intense activity, culminating with the launch of this year’s FACTBase Special Report - Perth as a resilient economy. The report documents the development of the region’s economy since the end of WWII and makes for a fascinating read. Importantly, it dispels the myth that Perth is nothing more than a boom and bust economy that lacks diversity. In fact, the report shows that the economy recovers from shocks quickly and although underpinned by the mining, resources and energy sectors it has a number of additional strengths.

Perth as a resilient economy is an important input into our Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project and builds on the research already undertaken this year starting with a 2,000-person community survey and the release of FACTBase Bulletins on higher education and vocational training; tourism; and the opportunities of an ageing population.

This year’s body of work adds to more than 100 pieces of research released over the past eleven years, which is thanks to the efforts of our combined research team of UWA academics and in-house researchers plus academics from other leading universities. It has been a delight to oversee the creation of such a knowledge base which has been funded by our members and a number of government departments.

My own on-the-ground research received a huge boost this year with visits to Scandinavia, the UK and Israel, to focus on economic diversity, gender equality, public and active transport, innovation and technology.

Because we are so rigorous in our approach to research we find it has impacts that linger, so it was pleasing to present the findings and recommendations of Get a Move On! at a Roads Australia forum, a year on from the report’s 2016 release, and draw upon my study tour findings too. There is nothing like having such a large evidence base to draw upon to talk from a perspective of what we know, rather than what we think.

In November, our team delivered nine events which made for an exciting array of activities for our members to be involved in. During the month we held the Annual General Meeting and luncheon. At the lunch, guest speaker John Carey MLA, Member for Perth presented the top 10 ideas arising from the Perth City Summit and launched Activate Perth. His presentation was evidence of his passion for Perth and desire to see vibrancy right across the city, a city of distinct neighbourhoods.

This year, Curtin University placed a number of interns with us and we have certainly benefited from having extra capacity from their marketing, writing and MBA students. We have also grown the membership base which has enabled us to move to a larger and more fitting office at London House and employ a Manager of Research & Policy.

In closing, from my perspective it’s been a brilliant year and that is thanks to our members, Directors, researchers, contractors and staff – we make a great team of people motivated to create a bright future for Perth.

Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season.

Marion Fulker
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, UWA

Other articles from Insight, December 2017 (view email newsletter):