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Committee for Geelong Weekly Opinion Piece: Victorian Governor's Key Note Address

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 Network.

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 success.

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 development.

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 said.


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 climates.


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 term plan.


While the Committee is optimistic that this work can support our city's future successes, a "One Geelong" collaboration approach remains key.



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"Opened the doors for our business......"

Nick Stahl, General Manager, Boundary Bend Olives

"Putting local Geelong Businesses in front of key decision makers......"

Andy Mathers, General Manager, K-Rock/Bay FM

"The more united we are in business the more successful the transformation......"

Mathew Burns, Brewery Ambassador, Little Creatures