City of Melbourne Annual Report 2015-16

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Goal 4: A knowledge city

Melbourne will be a place where ideas and talent thrive, based on a well-resourced education and research sector and knowledge networks. It will have a dynamic online culture to amplify our knowledge capability.


  • 4 projected outcomes

  • 4 progress indicators

  • 7 priorities identified

  • 9 actions for 2015–16

  • Delivered via 7 service areas, 5 strategies/plans

Our approach

The City of Melbourne supports those at the forefront of knowledge and innovation to ensure the fruits of that knowledge benefit the whole city. We know that tomorrow’s success depends on growing our capacity today to participate in the currency of ideas. We also recognise that participation in lifelong learning is intrinsic to individual wellbeing and the growth of ideas that enrich our society as a whole.

Building a ‘knowledge city’ is about capitalising on our knowledge-city credentials to foster new businesses and grow our networks of talent. This includes supporting international students to have a positive experience, investing in our infrastructure, and facilitating knowledge sharing between people and businesses.

Issues and challenges

In order to transition the annual timing of Melbourne Knowledge Week, from October to May, we held two festivals this year. To make this possible, we significantly reduced the size and scope of the 2015 program. Melbourne Knowledge Week 2016 was delivered in line with the development plan, which identified areas of focus to grow and progress the festival.

Future directions

A major initiative in the coming year is to co-create a smart city approach.

Future Melbourne snapshot

How the city measures up as a ‘knowledge city’ based on: Skilled and talented professionals: workers employed in highly skilled occupations in the municipality as a proportion of the total workforce.

The proportion of residents in highly skilled occupations remained stable at about 49 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

Residents employed in highly skilled occupations:

49.1% (2011, based on last available data)

Goal 4 service areas: Libraries, Visitor and resident information, Building, development planning, Urban policy and design, International connections, Research, Information technology

Major initiative

  • Implement stage two of the open data program, including increasing the capacity of the quarterly services dashboard

We completed all eight actions in our Open Data program this year, including holding an engagement and training program to address internal data capability, literacy and culture. We also implemented an Open Data Roadmap of datasets, with almost 1000 high-value datasets now available for release. Working alongside other metropolitan councils through the MAV and IMAP, we provided leadership to enable more Open Data programs. Our Quarterly Services Dashboard has also been enhanced with a live to the public beta platform available. The Dashboard is a set of measures to show the community how we are performing:


  • Melbourne Women in business lunch

Megan Quinn, Chief Executive Officer of Q&CO, co-founder of Net-A-Porter and named one of Australia’s most powerful women in retail by Inside Retail, gave an engaging and inspiring keynote speech at the annual Melbourne Women in Business lunch. The event, hosted by the City of Melbourne, addressed the theme ‘Creating your personal brand’.

  • International visitors learn about the urban forest

A delegation, led by the President of Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, was hosted by the City of Melbourne to learn about our urban forest strategy and the goal to cool the city by four degrees, with the aim of using this knowledge in Guangzhou. A visit was also hosted for a delegation from Los Angeles that was seeking to mitigate the effects of an unprecedented drought there.

  • Urban Water project splashes down

We launched the Urban Water website to help the community understand the importance of sustainable water management. The interactive digital platform is designed to share information on our Integrated Water Cycle Management projects with the water industry and the community.

  • Platinum certification for our smart city

Cementing Melbourne’s reputation as a smart, resilient and liveable city, we achieved platinum level (highest possible) of certification according to the world’s first standard on city indicators, ISO137120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life. This accolade also contributes to our open data agenda.

  • Melbourne knowledge week 2015

Melbourne Knowledge Week 2015 was a huge success with more than 50 events, including 18 curated by the City of Melbourne, celebrating the most innovative trends, ideas and inventions coming out of our city. Highlights included more than 150 festival-goers trying out virtual reality and businesses sharing expertise on all things digital to prepare for the future economy.

How we’re performing against our indicators or progress

The City of Melbourne aims for several outcomes over the four years of its Council Plan 2013–17. We measure progress by the indicators below.

Projected outcome

International students to have a positive experience

The proportion of student service users who feel their participation in selected City of Melbourne programs increased their positive experience of Melbourne, per year.

Students participating in our programs who had a more positive experience of Melbourne

2013–14: 89.4%

2014–15: 85.7%

2015–16: 82.3%

Our progress

There appears to have been a decline, over recent years, in the proportion of student participants and volunteers who feel their involvement in student activities has increased their positive experience in Melbourne.

Projected outcome

Infrastructure that supports knowledge and learning

The proportional increase in the number of visitors to City of Melbourne libraries per year.

Change in the number of visitors to our libraries per year

2012–13 to 2013–14: 0.6% increase

2013–14 to 2014–15: 2.7% increase

2014–15 to 2015–16: 30% increase

Our progress

The number of library visitors has increased from 1,142,025 in 2014–15 to 1,482,920 this year. The increase in visitation of 30 per cent for the City of Melbourne libraries is attributable to the opening of the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre in July 2015 and to significant increases in visitation at Library at the Dock (74 per cent increase) and North Melbourne Library (32 per cent). City Library is the most visited of Melbourne’s libraries with over 800,000 visits last financial year – an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year.

Projected outcome

People to participate in knowledge-related activities

The proportional increase in the number of attendees participating in City of Melbourne knowledge events.

Change in number of participants to our knowledge events

2012–13 to 2013–14: 62.6% increase

2013–14 to 2014–15: 4.5% increase

2014–15 to 2015–16: 254% increase

Our progress

More than 19,300 people participated in knowledge-related activities developed and delivered by the City of Melbourne through Melbourne Knowledge Week and Melbourne Conversations. Figures are significantly higher this year as two Melbourne Knowledge Week festivals were delivered within the one year due to the transition to a new date from October to May.

Projected outcome

Businesses that are better informed about the knowledge sector

The proportion of Knowledge Week participants who feel more informed about the municipality’s knowledge sector, per year.

Knowledge Week participants who feel more informed about the municipality’s knowledge sector

2013–14: 79.6%

2014–15: 85%

2015–16: 82.5%
Our progress

More than 82 per cent of participants surveyed reported that Melbourne Knowledge Week activities made them feel more informed about the municipality’s knowledge sector. This result is from Melbourne Knowledge Week held in October 2015.

Priorities and actions

A total of nine actions and activities were completed under Goal 4, a knowledge city.

Our 4-year priorities are…

Our 2015–16 focus was…

Over the next year we will…

Develop programs, relationships and initiatives to support the wellbeing of international students

  • Implement Year 3 Actions of the International Student Strategy 2013–17

Status: Completed

  • Continue to meet with tertiary providers and peak bodies to discuss housing accommodation options for international students

Provide high-quality municipal data and information to the knowledge sector and public

Status: Completed

  • Implement selected actions from the Smart City Strategy

Status: Completed

  • Implement stage three of the Open Data Program and release new data sets on the City of Melbourne's open data platform

  • (Major Initiative) Co-create a smart city approach for Council

Support the development of knowledge precincts and innovation hubs as part of the City North Structure Plan

  • Complete the University of Melbourne-led Carlton Connect Planning Scheme Amendment

Status: Completed

  • Progress the development of an innovation precinct to the north of the central city in partnership with the University of Melbourne, RMIT, the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) and 'smart city' stakeholders

Continue to provide comprehensive high-quality libraries and support neighbourhood learning programs


  • Work supporting this priority is included in our regular business for the year

Develop a strategy for Wi-Fi hotspots in the municipality

  • Continue to help the State Government with the city-wide Wi-Fi roll-out and associated opportunities

Status: Completed

  • Work supporting this priority is included in our regular business for the year

Encourage knowledge sector engagement and promote the municipality’s knowledge sector

  • Continue to implement Knowledge City Strategy actions, including a knowledge city benchmarking framework, redeveloped website including a knowledge asset map, and a feasibility assessment related to hosting inbound delegations

Status: Completed

  • As part of the Melbourne Knowledge Week development plan, partner with key organisations and individuals to curate the program of events and activities

Status: Completed

  • Work supporting this priority is included in our regular business for the year

Develop strategies in partnership with the knowledge sector to attract experts to the municipality

  • Provide a second City of Melbourne knowledge fellowship and determine the future of this program

Status: Completed

  • Run Knowledge Melbourne events and activities

Status: Completed

  • Review the Melbourne Conversations program to determine its future direction

: SiteCollectionDocuments
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Year one progress report
SiteCollectionDocuments -> City of Melbourne Annual Report 2012–13
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Year one key achievements Melbourne Music Symposium 2015
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Annual Report 2014–15
SiteCollectionDocuments -> We are pleased to present to you the City of Melbourne’s annual report for 2012–13
SiteCollectionDocuments -> World War One memorials in the City of Melbourne by Dr Michael Cathcart
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Learning Objective Activities Areas of Learning
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Queen mary 2 Fact Sheet
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Discussion Paper on Ecosystem Services for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Final Report
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Transport/movement re theme: leaders

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