Speech by the Governor of Victoria at the Club Melbourne Annual Dinner
First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this evening.
Tony and I are delighted to be with you at this, Club Melbourne’s 14th anniversary dinner.
It is interesting for me to look back to when I last spoke at one of your dinners. It was four years ago, on your 10th anniversary. I had just recently commenced as Governor, and as Club Melbourne’s Patron in Chief.
I spoke then of the work done by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Club Melbourne and the Club Ambassadors in bringing many thousands of people to Melbourne, and in promoting Victoria’s standing around the world.
I have lost count of how many times I have attended this Centre since then, or how many Conventions I have had the privilege to officially open. But I do know that I have significantly more first-hand experience of what you all contribute to our State than I had at that earlier dinner.
Victoria – you may not be shocked to hear its Governor say - is a very exciting place to be!
Even if you suspect me of some bias, I am satisfied that all of you in this room have a ready appreciation that I am justified in making that claim.
Our population is growing faster than in any other State, and soon Melbourne will be the most populous city in Australia.
But our economy too is growing.
Victoria has experienced 25 years of year on year growth, this last year stronger than in any other part of the country.
We have a diverse and highly skilled workforce, and the strongest average employment rate across the past decade.
We have much else in our favour as well.
Consistent recognition as one of the world’s most liveable cities, with perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure.
The only city in the world to host both a Grand Slam tennis and Formula One Grand Prix event, amongst so many other major sports and arts events.
Home to 10 world-class universities, including the University of Melbourne, (the nation’s top), and Monash University (the nation’s biggest).
And global recognition for strengths in biosciences and med-tech, defence, agriculture, design, fintech and water management, to name just a few.
In fact, so many areas that attract significant business events to our shores.
Club Melbourne is a unique collaboration that brings these international conferences and events to us.
Thanks to the partnership between the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government, Victoria has enjoyed more than $900 million in economic benefit.
I am particularly conscious of the impact of the Club Melbourne Ambassadors: those who, in their diverse fields of expertise - across medicine, science, the environment, technology, engineering, business and education - help to secure and host international events here in Melbourne.
Just last year alone, Club Melbourne Ambassadors secured international conferences expected to deliver nearly 64,000 delegate days, generating an estimated $95 million in economic impact to the state of Victoria.
It will be a pleasure this evening to welcome and congratulate new inductees to join the 123 current Ambassadors.
Finally, I am pleased for this opportunity to congratulate Club Melbourne on all its successes, including the 2018 City of Melbourne Award, which it received for its contributions to the city.
Thank you to all those connected with it.
And we look forward to another enjoyable evening.