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Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Transforming Geelong

When the Premier Daniel Andrews launched the Transforming Geelong Roadshow in Melbourne on Tuesday, he spoke with enthusiasm about Geelong, the fact it was taking the initiative to sell itself to the world and that it was doing so with a unified voice.

"Geelong is not just a great city in our state, it is one of Australia's great cities," the Premier said. "Geelong is special. Geelong is unique. Where Geelong goes, so goes our state."

He went on to recognise how pleasing it was to see such diverse organisations coming together and showcasing our city with a single voice; one clear agenda to grow jobs, investment and prosperity.

"It is a rarity to have such a clear focus and it is a real point of difference for the great city of Geelong," the Premier said. "It sets (the city) up well for investment and the public sector collaborations that you need."

Premier Andrews was right. The room was full of Geelong voices singing in harmony - a choir intoning the virtues of our great city, and there is plenty to sing about!

The objective of the roadshow was to educate corporate executives and potential investors about the exciting business and lifestyle opportunities that lie just 80 kilometres down the highway in the city on Corio Bay.

The five key economic and strategic strengths the roadshow highlighted were Geelong's emergence as: a corporate and government headquarters hub; a knowledge, innovation and research centre of excellence; a health and allied services hub; a transport and logistics hub; and a lifestyle and tourism destination.

Both government and industry speakers at the launch event, including Federal MP Sarah Henderson, Deputy Mayor and Enterprise Geelong portfolio holder, Cr Bruce Harwood, together with Murray Vitlich a Director of the ports and stevedoring specialist, Patrick - part of the Asciano group, clearly articulated enthusiasm for Geelong. Many of our Melbourne guests walked away having seen Geelong through new eyes.

We have received many positive messages about Geelong following Tuesday's events and, in that regard, the roadshow was a success.  Communicating important messages about Geelong to a new audience and breaking down misunderstandings about the buoyancy and vibrancy of our city was a key aim of the roadshow.

But perhaps more important was the combined efforts of so many contributors - diverse Geelong voices - so united and passionate about our city. It provided an even greater reason for optimism about Geelong's future.

The roadshow brought together many partners including the City of Greater Geelong, Committee for Geelong, Victorian State Government, Viva Energy Australia, Geelong Port and Victorian Regional Channels Authority, together with support from other groups such as G21 Geelong Region Alliance, Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Geelong Manufacturing Council.

However, without the efforts of the many volunteers and the Committee's Leaders for Geelong project team, the roadshow would not have been such a success. We therefore acknowledge Adam Cunningham (Barwon Water); Amy Gillett (GMHBA); Martha O'Sullivan (Target); Helen Butteriss (Crowe Horwath) and Ben Broadhead (Harwood Andrews).  They are a fine example of Geelong's emerging leaders.


Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter @Comm4Geelong




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