How to boost Melbourne’s appeal as an all-day destination

19 March 2024

Get to know the business experts who steer the city’s daytime economy as members of the City Economy Advisory Committee.

It’s a meeting of the minds designed to boost Melbourne’s appeal as an all-day destination.

The City Economy Advisory Committee comprises experts from Melbourne’s renowned retail and hospitality sectors, the innovation and social enterprise sectors, and one of Australia’s largest employers.

Together, they review the city’s economic conditions, identify opportunities for growth and find new ways to drive visitation and demand for city businesses. Scroll to meet the committee.

Gathering insights at the City Economy Summit

More than 350 stakeholders in the city economy met with the committee and councillors at the recent City Economy Summit over two sessions.

Participants included small businesses, peak bodies, trade associations, major employers and residents.

The committee identified 11 recommended actions to support the city economy.

These include sharing data insights to help traders plan, enhancing city safety and cleaning, and better connecting events with experience economy businesses, such as retail, hospitality and entertainment.

They also identified the need for more support for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and employability for international students, and new ways to reconnect with office workers and young families.

Participants at a summit sit at round tables, listening intently
City Economy Summit

Meet the committee

Hear direct from committee members on their vision for the city and what they discovered at the City Economy Summit:

Council has appointed Councillor Roshena Campbell to the position of Chair, with Councillor Kevin Louey and Councillor Jason Chang​ appointed as additional members.​

Dr Jaye Chin-Dusting

Owner, Mary Martin Bookshops

As a small trader, I am thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to the committee.

“We recognise that Melburnian workers, businesses and visitors all demand quality, user-friendly experiences in a supportive and safe environment.”

People browse a bookshop under an awning that reads Mary Martin Bookshop
Mary Martin Bookshop at Queen Victoria Market

We are focused on diversity and recognise that we are on Wurundjeri land. We have a rich diaspora of international students and a [culturally diverse] workforce within the City of Melbourne.

This is a vibrant, diverse, very cosmopolitan city which offers both visitors and residents rich lifestyle experiences.

We are well-situated to transition to a climate-conscious future.

Hakim Halim

Founder of Ripe Cheese – small business of the year, international student alumnus

I have the unique ability to understand the challenges faced by our community, and see different perspectives, having experience as a migrant and international student, and working in corporate as well as owning a small business.

“My vision is to have a combination of economic prosperity with an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, diverse and morally sound society in the City of Melbourne.”

A smiling man with short dyed blonde hair at a cheese shop. A neon sign reads: Cheese is perfect
Hakim Halim at Ripe Cheese

Insights from the City Economy Summit

I discovered that people generally see the success of an economy mainly through a financial lens.

There isn’t enough emphasis or understanding that environmental sustainability, inclusion of all backgrounds and cultures, and embracing creativity and diversity in our population, are also important metrics for a vibrant economy.

Aiman Hamdouna

Startup founder and CEO of Hatch Quarter, Docklands

My vision is to cultivate a dynamic and resilient economy that thrives on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, liveability and inclusivity.

“We can ensure Melbourne’s continued global leadership in economic growth and quality of life by crafting and supporting short-term activities to attract city workers and advocating for actions to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

A man in a shirt and name-tag, sitting at a round table at a summit, holds speaks into a microphone
Aiman Hamdouna (centre) at the City Economy Summit

We can also implement long-term initiatives to ensure that Melbourne continues to be the most liveable city filled with residents, workers and visitors, and is full of life.

Insights from the City Economy Summit

It’s great to see that the data collected at our City Economy Summit aligns with city initiatives, highlights priorities for short and long-term activities, and identifies priorities for sustainable growth.

This information will be crucial to City of Melbourne strategies as we tackle challenges and ensure Melbourne’s continued prosperity.

Caitlyn Hammond

Policy and public service strategist, Director Priority Projects, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions

I’ve spent my career in strategy, policy and engagement across public transport, education, science and economic development in both the public and private sectors.

“The city is the meeting point of so many critical parts of our economy – business headquarters sit among flagship retail stores and world-class education, research and healthcare facilities.”

All of this is complemented by a diverse dining and hospitality scene, world-class creative institutions and regular major events.

I’m interested in how we can both support the city to be its vibrant best and take a broader view to its role in our whole-of-Victorian economy.

Insights from the City Economy Summit

There’s great energy and passion around innovation.

Taking a forward-looking approach to the city’s economic development can help us to capitalise on emerging opportunities to grow an inclusive and sustainable economy.

Arabella Richards

Retail property executive, customer experience champion, Centre General Manager – Melbourne CBD, Dexus

Melbourne can build upon the already strong position it has as a world-leading city, continuing to evolve and adapt and be dynamic in how the city attracts workers, visitors, students and residents.

The City of Melbourne and City Economy Advisory Committee need to be innovative around how we approach these new opportunities.

Summit participants sit at a round table in conversation, in a room with many tables full of people
Arabella Richards (centre) discusses safety at the City Economy Summit

Insights from the City Economy Summit

It was wonderful to see so many passionate people wanting to collaborate to enhance the City of Melbourne’s economy.

With fantastic ideas and insights shared at the summit, I am confident that together, we will deliver an even more vibrant city retail experience through innovation and creative activations.

Rebecca Scott

Social enterprise specialist, co-founder and CEO of STREAT

I fell headlong in love with this city when I moved here in 2009 as an aspiring social entrepreneur.

And my vision for this city has remained unchanged since then – I want to help build a thriving and inclusive city where everyone gets to reach their potential, no matter what their starting point.

Obviously this needs to be done in deep connection with the environment and living within our planetary boundaries.

“This city has so many vibrant social enterprises that put people, places and planet at the beating heart of their businesses, and I’d love to see them thriving in our economy.”

Four summit participants workshopping ideas at a round table with other tables of participants in the background
Rebecca Scott, second from left, at the City Economy Summit

And they’ll bring so much extra texture, diversity and purpose to our economy.

I’ll be particularly proud when there’s a host of First Nations social enterprises in our city’s economy that not only help us to heal, to connect to narrm’s deep history, but also chart new shared futures.

Jason Tabarias

Economics and public policy leader, Partner at Mandala and Senior Advisor at the Susan McKinnon Foundation

Melbourne, like the world around us, is changing. New patterns of working, engaging with our economy and new relationships between people and place are changing our everyday lives.

My vision for the city is that we continue to be one of the best places on the planet to live, work and play, 100 years from now.

A man in a grey suit with tie speaks into a microphone at a seated summit
Jasan Tabarias

We can do this by embracing the new, leaning into innovation, thinking broadly about human, economic and environmental capital, and looking for opportunities to show leadership today.

Insights from the City Economy Summit

“The deep and diverse human capital in the room, the ideas and innovations brought forward by participants and the desire to make change. All of this sets Melbourne apart from other cities.”

The business and social sector leaders I spoke with across the two sessions were unwaveringly positive about the future.

Jo van Zeeland

Head of Communications – Enterprise Agreement, National Australia Bank

My vision for Melbourne is an always-on city that is accessible, inclusive and welcoming, whether it be night or day.

“A central district for work and play with an atmosphere that sets us apart and cements our future as one of the world’s most liveable cities.”

A place we all hold dear in our hearts with a strong sense of belonging, of community, of life, of togetherness.

An outdoor bar with customers cast in a red glow, with city buildings glowing in the background
Melbourne is inclusive and welcoming, by day and by night

Paul Waterson

Venue and hospitality expert, CEO of Australian Venue Co.

We need to continue to cement and grow the gains the city has made over the past three years.

“With a diverse hospitality and retail setting alongside unmatched infrastructure and a strong cultural and events-based culture, Melbourne will be unbeatable as the city to be in the coming 10 years.”

A man in a blue jacket and open-neck shirt smiles at night with twinkling lights of a building behind him
Paul Waterson

Insights from the City Economy Summit

I learned about the toughness and resilience of those participants in the daytime economy whose trade is yet to return to its best.

They have far from given up and remain energetic in making sure we bring city workers, residents and visitors back to the city, to continue to recapture what makes the city a great place to be.

City Economy Advisory Committee with the Lord Mayor

A group of people stand together inside Melbourne Town Hall
Back row (from left): George Karabatsos, Jason Tabarias, Hakim Halim, Paul Waterson, Rebecca Scott, Aiman Hamdouna, Lord Mayor Sally Capp. Front row: Cr Kevin Louey, Arabella Richards, Dr Jaye Chin-Dusting, Cr Roshena Campbell, Cr Jason Chang

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