Last week, the Committee for Geelong
hosted our annual Leadership Breakfast with preeminent guest
speaker Her Excellency, Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda
Dessau AC, our state's 29th Governor.
Despite her busy schedule, Governor Dessau made time
to visit Geelong and admitted to having a soft spot for Victoria's
second largest city. Although Governor Dessau has a deep
respect for the Geelong Football Club, she has not yet been
recruited as a Cats supporter! Governor Dessau was the second woman ever
to serve on the AFL Commission and her allegiances to the Essendon
Football Club saw her instigate the Essendon Women's
Governor Dessau's life beyond
football exemplifies diversity and social cohesion. The Committee
for Geelong attributes these qualities as core not only to
personal, but wide ranging commercial and regional
Governor Dessau's extensive community
engagements through sport, the Arts and heritage protection
together with her involvement with a wide cross-section of the
public during her international legal career, stand her in great
stead to comprehend opportunities for societal
During her presentation, Governor
Dessau articulated that
organisations like the Committee for Geelong were an example of,
"members coming together toachieve long term strategic improvements".
She highlighted the importance of
the Committee's role in actively providing thought leadership for
Geelong, sharing that, "The
essence of what makes us 'us' is likely to comefrom 'us'."
Governor Dessau commented that,
rather than complaining and waiting for others to solve Geelong's
challenges, tangible action to address our community's needs is
required. From this, it is evident that Geelong will continue its
transformation only through identifying long term strategic
objectives and building collaboration.
"We cannot expect our
communities to flourish if
we simply expect that our elected officials… doevery single thing onour behalves… WhatI like most about the Committee
for Geelong…is that itis innately about 'doing something',"Governor Dessau
The Committee for Geelong has
indeed been 'doing something' for our region. With support from the
Commonwealth Bank, we collaborated with the United Nations Global
Compact - Cities Programme and RMIT's Centre for Urban Research to
undertake international research on how other global cities have
made transformative changes in the face of challenging economic
The Committee's '
'Winning from Second'
research paper was commended by Governor Dessau: "When I consider the important work initiated
by the Committee on
what Geelong can learn from International Second Cities - a collaborative undertaking in itself -I see that a consistent finding was of the importance ofa unified or collaborative approach tothedevelopment of the cities."
Governor Dessau also commented
that there "must be a
strategic vision, embraced by both the public and private sectors,
and the bringing together of government, industry and knowledge
institutions… to achieve unity and co-operation in economic development." Utilising the
experiences of other cities similar to Geelong, our research has
already underpinned the City of Greater Geelong's "Our Future" long
While the Committee is
optimistic that this work can support our city's future successes,
a "One Geelong" collaboration approach remains key.