From the CEO - December 2020

November 2020 will always be firmly in our minds as the month the WA Museum was reborn as Boola Bardip (many stories). It’s the museum we deserve to have, a breathtakingly beautiful marriage of heritage buildings and bold new architecture filled with carefully curated pieces to tell the stories of this land and its people. Well done to everyone involved for envisioning and then delivering a world-class facility that we can all be proud of. Special mention to CEO, Alec Coles OBE who has been tireless in his efforts over a decade and spanning two governments.

Another historic moment in November was the final hurdle being resolved so the Native Title claim by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council can be settled. Over the years we have heard at our boardroom events from Noongar leaders about the significance of the claim and the future it can create for its people, which will be more self-determined rather than government-driven. I was fortunate to follow Carol Innes, a proud Noongar woman, on ABC Radio on the day the court gave its decision. She spoke with such emotion about the fight to get this far undertaken by her generation and the ‘old people’ before. You can listen to Carol’s interview with Geoff Hutchison at

Also a proud member of the Noongar community, and a member and long-term advisor to the Committee for Perth, Dr Richard Walley OAM was named 2021 WA Senior Australian of the Year. The outpouring of love and respect for Richard following the announcement is testament to the high regard he is held in by so many people from so many different walks of life. As his nominee, I struggled to keep to the word count to describe the many facets of Richard’s life – as a musician, artist, activist, business and community leader. His generosity of spirit to share, to listen and to guide have had a profound effect on myself and others too. We wish him well on Australia Day when Australian Senior of the Year is announced by the Prime Minister.

November also saw our final Board meeting of the year at which Kate Lamont AM and Jon Smeulders were reappointed as Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively. At our Annual General Meeting we welcomed two newly elected Directors – Dr Andrew Crane and Prof. Amit Chakma, to read more about them see It was pleasing to have such a large turnout at the AGM Luncheon hosted by one of our Founding Members, Herbert Smith Freehills, at which we recapped on the research released to date for our Future of Work project and gained useful insights from our members about what data tells us from both professional and sectoral perspectives. Days later we released the high level findings of the results of surveys conducted by Ipsos with the community at large as well as business leaders to understand future opportunities and challenges.

As this is the last newsletter for the year, can I acknowledge the loyalty of our members who have stuck with us through what has been a difficult year for us all. To our contractors who kept focused and to my team who have gone above and beyond to find new ways of engaging that has seen our reach deepen with every member organisation.

The highlights for me this year have been- launching the final report in the Hashtag Perth project, Boorloo Kworp ‘Perth is Good’, in June and receiving widespread media coverage; Zooming with our members to stay in contact during lockdown and particularly the Sudden Impacts webinar series that saw leaders share their COVID-19 fears and challenges; and the strong support for our Future of Work project and high levels of engagement with the data by our members. Ultimately we’ve ended the year on a high as an organisation that has a significant role to play, doing what it does best – setting the agenda as WA’s leading think tank by taking an evidenced-based and solutions-focused approach.

In closing, I wish each of you a happy, safe and restful festive season.

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.