From the CEO - March 2021

Like most of Perth’s corporate sector, the Committee for Perth team spent the first two weeks of February working from home – a relatively easy adjustment from the office and the Boardroom to the dining room table and Zoom. As many surveys have shown, including our own, most people who can work flexibly would prefer to continue to do so, seeking a balance between the office, client and home working environments. We are yet to fully understand the impacts of this, not only for the workplace but also for cities and hubs.

Cities, the once bastions of agglomeration, may or may not return to what they once were pre-COVID and the jury is still out amongst academics, policy makers, building owners, tenants and workers.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the past 18 months to have studied for a master’s degree in Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Part way through the program, COVID-19 hit and it has provided an incredible backdrop in which to study cities and think about their future.

Being amongst a global cohort of city makers, shapers and commentators has been a highly rewarding experience, as have the units and learning opportunities. From my perspective, I really enjoyed the walking tours; getting out and about in London to better understand its history and seeing the projects underway that will shape its future. Challenging though they were, the group projects were deeply beneficial and my favourite was creating an emergency climate change response for London. It was a once in a lifetime experience and now that I have handed in my final assignment I can look forward to a virtual graduation in July.

Our Reshaping Working Group has also been hard at work completing a submission for us on the Activity Centres Policy and receiving a briefing on draft medium-density policy.

Our Future of Work project continues to be the catalyst for further research and during February we launched two FACTBase Bulletins: FACTBase Bulletin 73 – Making Strategic Jobs Count and FACTBase Bulletin 74 – The Relationship Between Human Capital and Employment, which examines the relationship between education and employment. You can read the bulletins or watch the briefing video by clicking the links below.

Also during February, Dixie Marshall, Managing Director of Marketforce kept attendees of our Executive Women’s Leadership Forum enthralled as she shared her career and life journey, and Tony Chong, Managing Partner, Perth of Squire Patton Boggs chaired a Food for Thought Leaders Luncheon, which explored Western Australia’s role with Asia. On that note, we have plenty of opportunities for members to be involved in shaping the future with upcoming topics such as reconciliation and the future of work.

In the meantime, March holds two dates of significance – International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March and the State Election on Saturday 13 March. The first provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made since the release of Filling the Pool, the report on our study into gender inequality, and the other for election nerds like me to be glued to the TV watching the results come in seat by seat.

The February lockdown gave us a glimpse of just how tough it has been for people elsewhere in the world and it served as a timely reminder of the quality of life we enjoy in Perth. There is still no other place I’d rather be!

Until next month.

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.