From the CEO - February 2021

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2021, the year in which we celebrate 15 years in operation. The start of what we hoped would be the full stop to COVID-19 and the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with it was unfortunately not to be. The festive period and the much longed-for break that many of us had was a salve, giving us renewed energy to face this year and whatever it may throw at us. My thoughts on Perth in summer and our ambition for the future were published in The West Australian and can be found here.

The team arrived back in the office on 11 January and we are busily activating the long list of things to continue to do plus considering exciting new options. This is the time of the year when the Board signs off on the annual research agenda, so our FACTBase Sub-Committee is busy developing the schedule, which will include more research for our major Future of Work project, along with bulletins, surveys and activities on other issues we believe are essential to pursue on Perth’s behalf in order for its future to be a bright one.

On 25 January, I was fortunate to be invited by Dr Richard Walley OAM and his family to attend the Australia Day Awards ceremony at the State Reception Centre to celebrate with him and Dr Helen Milroy, the Western Australian winners not travelling to Canberra. It was a lovely West Aussie style of event and we were able to tune into the ABC to watch the ceremony live in Canberra. Despite our Western Australian winners not going on to be named as Australian winner in their category, they are winners in our eyes. See my post.

You can also watch Richard's interview with the Governor of Western Australia, The Hon. Kim Beazley AC here.

As each winner was announced and accepted their award, the momentum built. The final two winners – Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, the Senior Australian of the Year, is an Aboriginal activist and educator from the Northern Territory, and Grace Tame, the 2021 Australian of the Year, is from Tasmania and is an advocate for sexual assault victims. All four winners were women – Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, Grace Tame, Isobel Marshall (Young Australian of the Year) and Rosemary Kariuki (Australia’s Local Hero) – and they are each determined to make a change. In this regard they may make us a little uncomfortable as a nation this year, which I think is a good thing. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Well done to our local governments throughout Greater Perth for coming up with innovative ways to engage with their communities around Australia Day, including Freo with its leading ‘One Day’ event, the City of Perth for ‘Shining the Light’ and the City of Stirling for holding a smoking ceremony at Scarborough Beach.

Coming up over the next couple of months, we will be releasing two new FACTBase Bulletins for the Future of Work project: FACTBase Bulletin 73 – Making Strategic Jobs Count and FACTBase Bulletin 74 – The Relationship Between Human Capital and Employment. Our members get a sneak peek the day before the public launch so look out for the upcoming FACTBase Talks.

Stay safe during lockdown.

Marion Fulker
CEO & Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at 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.