From the CEO - April 2021

In the month in which International Women’s Day has been celebrated for almost 100 years, March 2021 exposed a shocking amount of mistreatment of women in all parts of our society. Usually a glass-half-full person, I found this to be one of the most gruelling months I have experienced in my adult life. I hope it proves to be a watershed moment in which positive action and attitude change occurs.

March also provided the opportunity for our members to hear from our long-term Cultural Advisor, Dr Richard Walley OAM, on his thoughts as to why the date we celebrate Australia Day needs to change. As Richard said so eloquently, Aboriginal people make up only 3% of the country’s population and they are appealing to the other 97% for decency, to be willing to change the date, so we can celebrate nationhood rather than colonisation. It was a powerful event and an important conversation to be had.

Our events program was jam-packed with activities, including holding a Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon with members to discuss human capital and employment, and a Chairman’s 20 event to hear from the CEO of Western Power about the future of Perth’s Energy Network. Our online New Horizons series is proving to be extremely popular and we received briefings on the success of the State Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy and Infrastructure Australia’s most recent update to the Infrastructure Priority List.

During March, I addressed a number of forums on gender equality and shared the results of the Future of Work survey with academics undertaking a large study to understand the impact to mobility arising from COVID-19, particularly in relation to public transport. I also gave a presentation on the opportunities and challenges for Perth in the post COVID-19 era and had the occasion to address the Mayors and CEOs of the inner city councils to share the relevant research findings from our work between 2012 and 2020.

Perth’s two degrees of separation came to the fore when a former Committee for Perth Director, Michael Schoch, messaged from Canada to alert me to the opening of a dedicated Inuit art gallery in Winnipeg. Having emailed a friend who lives there, she put me in contact with the Chair of the Building Committee who took the time to talk about the project and the milestones over the ten years since the project was first mooted. The stunning purpose-built facility houses a three-storey glass vault containing 5,000 pieces of Inuit art. I encourage you to watch this short video to see just how beautiful and inspiring it is as a place to celebrate Canada’s first nation’s culture and art.

Key contacts in our membership base as well as people from all walks of life would have recently received a link to complete our three-yearly Perth Perception Survey. Our long-term research partner, Ipsos, has been undertaking these surveys on our behalf since 2012. The results will give us the locals’ perspective on life in Greater Perth and provide us with important longitudinal data that help shape our research and advocacy agenda. The data will be compiled and a report launched in late May. I can’t wait to share with you the top ten things people would do if they were Premier for the day, a key question in the survey.

Coming up in April is the launch of our next FACTBase Bulletin on the impact of COVID-19 on Greater Perth and Western Australia; a face-to-face event to discuss the Royal Commission’s report into the aged care sector; and our Executive Women’s Leadership Forum to hear from one of my current mentees – former Hockeyroo and sustainable clothing business founder, Lily Brazel.

Until next month,

Marion Fulker

CEO & Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at UWA

Image Left: Marion Fulker presenting at the International Women's Day event organised by UN Women Australia; Top right: HR Leaders Forum's speakers and attendees; Bottom right: briefing of the Inner City Mayors and CEOs

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.