From the CEO, August 2019

Mid-year is an important time at the Committee for Perth as we hold our Annual Chairman’s Lunch in June or July. This year’s event was Kate Lamont’s first as Chairman and she was delighted with such a big turnout. She updated members about the goals of our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, while Kevin Brown, Chair of the Hashtag Perth Project Steering Committee, also provided a progress report. I had the opportunity to share key learnings to date too.

Our research efforts for the Hashtag Perth project have already provided illuminating insights into the region’s reputation from local, national and international perspectives. Of concern is the lack of positive promotion from Perth people in general, and specifically from our business leaders. To that end we will be holding a series of forums with members to attempt to understand why, and importantly, to propose solutions.

Another revelation has been the lack of ‘one big thing’ in Perth that acts as an iconic drawcard to attract visitors. Since the launch of our landmark report into arts and cultural life in Perth, A Cultural Compact, we have been advocates for the need for a World Centre for Indigenous Culture. I am therefore delighted to share that as a result of recent forums convened by the Governor with the aim of making Perth a more culturally vibrant city, our proposed World Centre is back on the agenda. It is an ambitious concept because there is nothing like it. Perth’s unique opportunity is to lead the development of a living centre: a place for art, artefacts, oral history, stories, indigenous food, research, reconciliation and more. Dr Richard Walley OAM is leading the effort on this and we will do all we can to support the concept becoming a reality.

Since 2008 we have been fortunate to have Richard Walley as our Cultural Advisor. Recently I had the pleasure of being part of UWA’s Social Impact Festival, which had the theme this year of Danjoo Koorliny (Walking Together). Richard, along with Colleen Hayward, Carol Innes and Noel Nannup, led a series of discussions about the vision for the 200th anniversary of Perth’s colonisation – and how this event can be acknowledged in an inclusive way.

As part of the festival I also appeared on a panel with Richard Walley and Mike Mouritz. Richard’s nephew who is a policy maker in the State government, joined in too. We had a fruitful conversation about Perth becoming a city that acknowledges, respects and celebrates its Wadjuk heritage and people.

To acknowledge NAIDOC week early in July our team attended the premier of The Final Quarter, a documentary consisting of archival footage which covers the controversial treatment of Adam Goodes in his final years in the AFL. The film shines a light on the role the media played in the controversy and aims to answer the question: was the booing of Adam Goodes racially motivated? If you missed the broadcast of The Final Quarter you can find it on 10Play.

During the month our Reshaping Working Group was busy too. At the beginning of July they heard from Rachael Kalajzich — who was joined by colleagues Daniel High and Gillian El-Hoss from the City of Perth — to give a briefing on the draft City Planning Strategy. Reshaping Working Group members then helped to prepare a submission in response, with an emphasis on creating a vision inclusive of people across the region in line with Perth’s capital-city status.

In closing, I pay tribute to Committee for Perth Deputy Chair Michael Schoch, who has resigned from the Board as he is taking up a role with Shell in Calgary. Active and engaged since Shell joined the Committee in 2010, Michael has been a member of the Reforming Working Group, Chair of the Filling the Pool Steering Committee — and the resulting report’s greatest advocate — and became a Director in 2015. At his recent farewell, he said of his time at the Committee: “I have been a net beneficiary”. I know that we have certainly benefitted from his tireless contributions: as a member and Director ‘Schochy’ has given it his all. I am sure he will be watching us from afar, and you never know, my 2021 study tour might just include a visit to Calgary!

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.