Geelong was recently given a message - our region needs to be
united in leading Geelong through its transformation. This
message was conveyed at two different events in Geelong by two
high-profile speakers in very different contexts.
Dr Kathy Alexander, Administrator (Chair), of the City of
Greater Geelong delivered the message as part of her speech at the
Committee for Geelong's Annual Dinner and Leadership Graduation
event at The Pier.
"Now is the time for civic leadership, based on good values that
will lead to good behaviours."
By good values, Dr Alexander was referring to open
communication, honesty and treating each other with respect, even
where you might disagree with a decision or opinion "Civic
leadership is not just the responsibility of those in city hall,
but the responsibility of all in our community".
'Civic' is defined as relating to the duties or activities of
people in relation to their town, city, or local area. Our
whole community, therefore, has the opportunity to be civic
"The research evidence is very clear that the most successful
cities are the ones which use their differences and their
diversity, who have strong civic participation, who broaden
engagement and who share resources to ensure social inclusion and
equity. They become safer, they become vibrant and they become
economically sustainable," Dr Alexander said.
The second time this message was conveyed was during a visit to
Geelong by the Victorian Defence Advocate, Greg Combet, a former
federal minister, who has been appointed to represent Victoria to
defence companies for major projects to be built in our state.
Greg spoke to an audience of business leaders about "the value
of a consistent and strong message from Geelong about its
capability and being a great place to live and work".
He urged all Geelong's civic leaders to be unified and relenting
in advocating for our region and said "the key focus in bringing
defence projects to Geelong is to lobby and work with our local
politicians to influence decision making in Canberra".
The recent announcement that the Land 400 project has
shortlisted the bidder from four to two is not detrimental to
Geelong. It simply means we have only two companies to
convince that they should be based in our region.
If we are to heed the words of Dr Alexander and Greg Combet, two
highly respected leaders, and specifically on issues such as Land
400, we need a unified civic voice to convince the remaining
A Geelong region delegation will be in Adelaide this September
for the 2016 Land Forces Conference where all senior army and
defence personnel will be present. There, Greg Combet, the
City of Greater Geelong, Committee for Geelong and Geelong
Manufacturing Council, together with other organisations and
businesses will be presenting one unified message that our region
remains a great place to invest, live, work and play.
We urge all Geelong region politicians, businesses and
organisations to join the delegation, and attend the conference to
amplify our city's unified voice.
As Geelong transforms, and future opportunities arise, it is
vital that all levels of civic leadership continue to present a
Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive
Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter