We are pleased to present to you the City of Melbourne’s annual report for 2012–13


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Event calendar summary 2012–2013

Docklands Fireworks

6, 13, 20 and 27 July 2012

Melbourne Awards Gala Dinner

18 August 2012

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week

3–9 September 2012

Melbourne Women in Business Lunch

21 September 2012

Melbourne Music Week

16–24 November 2012

Christmas Festival

30 November 2012 to 4 January 2013

New Year’s Eve

31 December 2012

Sunset Series: Fitzroy Gardens

12, 13, 19 and 20 January 2013

Sunset Series: Docklands

2 February 2013

International Women’s Day Breakfast

7 March 2013

Moomba Festival

8–11 March 2013

Note: No Lord Mayor’s Commendation Presentation Ceremony in 2012–13 due to change of event timing.

City visitation
The City of Melbourne promotes visitation though its first-class tourism facilities and destination marketing campaigns. The organisation’s seasonal advertising campaigns use mainstream and local print, radio and digital channels targeting the greater Melbourne community.
One of the first places many visitors seek out is the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square. Fully funded and operated by the City of Melbourne, the centre celebrated its 10th birthday in October 2012. Over the decade of its operation more than 8.7 million visitors have connected with Melbourne Visitor Centre staff and volunteers, many of whom have worked at the centre since it opened. Almost 3000 visitors stop in at the centre each day and event managers can now showcase their events and attractions on the new Melbourne events wall.
Many visitors to Melbourne are from regional centres. A new Southern Cross Station visitor information service was trialled to gauge demand in that area. The trial recorded 11,799 visitor contacts and will help inform decisions regarding the addition of a service at this location.
The free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle continued to help visitors make their way around the city. Almost 38,000 passengers boarded the bus in March, some of whom were among the 22,000 cruise ship passengers arriving in that month, making it the busiest month on record.

The City of Melbourne also presented the findings of an innovative new tourism research project at an industry forum co-hosted with the Victorian Tourism Industry Council. The research explored how digital technology has changed the way tourism operators communicate and influence visitors. The forum generated considerable interest from across the sector, both locally and regionally.

City business and event promotion
Melbourne is a great place to do business and the City of Melbourne implements a variety of strategies to support a thriving and diverse economy.
The City of Melbourne’s celebration events are a group of events that celebrate and promote the people, places and businesses that make Melbourne one of the world's most liveable cities. The events continue to enjoy significant growth, enjoying sell-out success and increased entries. Melbourne celebration events include:
Melbourne Awards 2012 – The awards celebrate the people and organisations that dedicate their time and energy for the benefit of the city. Nine inspirational organisations and individuals were honoured at a gala ceremony held at the Town Hall in August 2012:

  • Contribution to sustainability by a corporation – KeepCup

  • Contribution to sustainability by a community organisation – The Sustainable Living Festival

  • Contribution to sustainability by an individual – Vasili Kanidiadis

  • Contribution to community by a corporation – Melbourne Heart FC

  • Contribution to community by a community organisation – Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic

  • Contribution to community by an individual – Dr Elaine Saunders

  • Contribution to profile by a corporation – Australian Open 2012 and Tennis Australia

  • Contribution to profile by a community organisation – Open House Melbourne

  • Contribution to profile by an individual – Hatem Saleh.

Melburnian of the Year 2012 – Michael Gudinski AM received the city’s highest accolade at the Melbourne Awards gala ceremony in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Melbourne’s music industry and philanthropic work staging the historic Sound Relief and Bushfire Recovery benefit concerts.

Melbourne Women in Business luncheon 2012 – The luncheon celebrates the role women play in business. Hosted by TV personality Todd McKenny and featuring guest speakers Maggie Taberer AM and her daughter Amanda Taberer, the luncheon was a sell-out with 480 people in attendance. Funds raised at the event supported the official event charity partners: Women’s Cancer Foundation and Women’s Property Initiatives.

In addition, the City of Melbourne continued to support and promote local businesses through a range of marketing channels. In May 2013 the City of Melbourne launched a new marketing campaign titled ‘Visit the land of inbetween’. The campaign encouraged the discovery of unique Melbourne moments which take place in the cracks and gaps of the city, when least expected.

We also supported businesses and events in the city through numerous destination marketing channels including:

  • What’s On website event and business listings

  • What’s On email

  • That’s Melbourne Facebook

  • @That’s_Melbourne Twitter

  • What’s On Google+

  • City of Melbourne Pinterest

  • City of Melbourne Flickr

  • City of Melbourne YouTube.

Businesses and events within the municipality can list for free on the What’s On website event and business listings, be featured in the What’s On blog and weekly email, or use the hashtag #inbetweenmelb to see their own content appear on the What’s On social hub. They can also get help and training in how to maximize their effectiveness in marketing on the web.

City connection

Beyond the boundaries of the municipality, the City of Melbourne is also keen to ensure Melbourne has a good international reputation and presence in global markets.

In 1978 the City of Melbourne joined hands with the Japanese city of Osaka to forge the municipality’s first sister-city partnership. Since then the City of Melbourne has established five more international sister-city alliances:

  • Tianjin, China (1980)

  • Thessaloniki, Greece (1984)

  • Boston, United States (1985)

  • St Petersburg, Russia (1989)

  • Milan, Italy (2004).

The City of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation joined forces to promote the excellent quality and diversity of Victorian food at the Food Tech 2012 trade show in Osaka, Japan. The booth’s ‘Melbourne Cafe’ theme allowed visitors to enjoy coffee from Padre Coffee and Barista’s Own UHT milk by Murray Goulburn. More than 13,600 visitors from a range of food-related industries attended the trade show.

The promotion of fine food and beverages from Melbourne and Victoria continued in China where the City of Melbourne’s Tianjin office helped to arrange for over 90 Victorian and Melbourne food and beverage companies to meet with over 100 north China firms. This massive business matching event was part of the City of Melbourne’s support for the Victorian Government’s SuperTrade mission to China.

Back in Melbourne the annual Tianjin government leaders work placement program once again saw four leaders take part in a 12-week work placement in the areas of higher education, financial services and media. The program, which has run for nine years, had strengthened the working relationship and cultural understanding between the City of Melbourne and the Tianjin Municipal Government, and enabled personal and professional connections to develop between the emerging leaders in Tianjin and Melbourne.

A delegation from the free market zone Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area visited the Town Hall in July 2012 for a roundtable luncheon with local industry representatives. Prominent Melbourne urban design companies gave presentations to the visiting group.
The City of Melbourne’s ties with India were strengthened following the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Bio Melbourne Network and India's premier business association the Confederation of Indian Industries. With more than 90,000 member companies, the MoU will encourage and promote information sharing, strengthened research and trade cooperation between Melbourne and India.
Leaders from industry sectors with a presence in India shared their knowledge of emerging business opportunities in India with the City of Melbourne. Their insights will form the basis of a targeted program for the International Engagement Framework – India Statement and help determine the organisation’s contribution to Indian business.
The City of Melbourne also collaborated with the Victorian Government and Design Institute Australia to produce the Melbourne Mumbai design map in which design-based destinations of the two cities are featured. The aim of the project is to provide visitors from both cities with an opportunity to discover the unique design locations and showcase Melbourne’s capability in the creative industry. The map is available at the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square and in Mumbai.

Outcome 3.2 Business is diverse and sustainable
Business support
The City of Melbourne has a range of business support programs to build the capacity of small and medium enterprises and support international conferences.

The Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006–2012 is a joint initiative of the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government and aims to position Melbourne as Australia’s leading retail city. The strategy’s final report card reflected on how Melbourne’s retail scene has changed and grown over the past six years. Since 2006 there has been an impressive 18 per cent increase in retail establishments and an industry survey revealed almost 90 per cent of stakeholders believed the retail strategy had been effective in contributing to the retail health of the city.

One of the main activation projects of the strategy was the popular Look.Stop.Shop series. The series started in 2011 and has had numerous event-themed reincarnations since then, supporting both hospitality and retail businesses. The events included:

  • Look.Stop.Taste. A program to encourage people to explore food and wine offers in support of the State Library’s Gusto! exhibition in August and September 2012.

  • Look.Stop.Shop. A fashion-focused program run in conjunction with Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in September 2012.

  • Look.Stop.Shop. A photographic exhibition referencing local retail, music and hospitality businesses in support of Melbourne Music Week in November 2012.

  • Look.Stop.Swap. A clothing exchange to celebrate low-carbon lifestyles at the Sustainable Living Festival in February 2013.

The Melbourne Hospitality Strategy 2008–2012 was developed in 2007 in conjunction with the inaugural Melbourne Hospitality Advisory Board. The strategy formalised our connections with the sector and is a key focus of Enterprise Melbourne, the City of Melbourne’s economic development initiative. Hospitality continues to boom in Melbourne, and the 2012 report (the final for this strategy period) highlighted some of the industry’s latest achievements under the strategic themes of collaboration, recognition, positioning, services and sustainability.

Extensive stakeholder consultations were also undertaken to inform and develop the next iteration of the Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006–2012 and the Melbourne Hospitality Strategy 2008–12, which both concluded in this financial year.

Looking ahead, and following an internal review, Council endorsed the establishment of a new Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Advisory Board in March 2013 to provide expert, industry-based advice to Council on retail and hospitality issues and opportunities. The new approach combines the previous two separate boards (Melbourne Retail Advisory Board and the Melbourne Hospitality Advisory Board), acknowledges important synergies shared by the sectors and generate valuable operational efficiencies for the City of Melbourne.

The new City of Melbourne Precincts Program 2013–17 was endorsed by Council in March. The program will provide annual financial support to traders in specific precincts throughout the city to assist with consumer marketing campaigns and business development activities for traders in the areas.
Small businesses play a key role in the city’s economic prosperity and make up 83 per cent of all businesses in the municipality. The City of Melbourne’s Grants and Sponsorships Program includes two grants designed specifically for small businesses:

  • small business grants

  • social enterprise and micro business grants.

The small business grants scheme started in 1996 and aims to support businesses with innovative services and products or business models. Since its introduction, the program has supported close to 300 businesses with $6.6 million in funding. Council approved 12 applications under the small business grants scheme in 2012–13 for a total of $222,215 in funding. Recipients included Melburnalia, Tane Furniture, Ivory Coast and Punt Tours.

Four applications were approved by Council under the social enterprise and micro business grants scheme for a total of $87,500 in funding. Some of the 2012–13 grant recipients include The Difference Incubator and Good Cycles.
The City of Melbourne and the Australian Taxation Office teamed-up to offer tax advice sessions and seminars to give small businesses in the municipality access to relevant, up-to-date tax information and advice. Over 70 people attended Tax Basics and Record Keeping workshop seminars and a further 25 people took advantage of the one-on-one sessions.

The City of Melbourne also took the opportunity to promote Melbourne as a desirable location for the head offices of large mining companies during a Business Consultation Program luncheon. Attended by 15 representatives of the mining and minerals sector, the luncheon provided the perfect platform to outline the city’s many benefits to big business and to listen to ideas from the industry experts on how to improve our attractiveness to the industry.

Conference delegates continue to provide a captive audience for tourism in Melbourne. The City of Melbourne provided support, advice and special retail offers to over 4000 delegates from Amway India, almost 3800 delegates from the International Council of Nurses conference and many more. A new delegate information desk for conferences held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre helped to ensure delegates were informed about all the city had to offer during their stay.
A joint project with the Victorian Government Cultural Precinct Enhancement Program came to a conclusion with the launch of Stories from the Heart of Melbourne in December 2012. The 253-page book contained stories of the characters that shaped Melbourne’s three cultural precincts: Chinatown, Lonsdale Street’s Greek precinct and Lygon Street. Street pillars printed with the stories were unveiled and the book was added to the collections at all City of Melbourne libraries. The enhancement program included over $10 million to preserve the cultural character of the precincts, while highlighting each precinct’s unique charms.

Social enterprise support
The City of Melbourne is keen to build the capacity of partner organisations to contribute to social enterprise endeavours within the municipality.

A Social Enterprises Expo was held in the Town Hall by the City of Melbourne in conjunction with Social Traders and Social Firms Australia. Twenty-five social enterprises from a variety of areas showcased their goods and services and over 200 people attended, including representatives from state government departments, universities, corporate partners, Melbourne businesses and other local government representatives. The expo provided a forum to hear about the many positive employment outcomes these enterprises generated and discuss how the City of Melbourne’s procurement processes could be used to generate positive social outcomes.

The City of Melbourne also sponsored the Global Shifts 2012: Social Enterprise Conference hosted by RMIT. The conference aimed to bring together leaders from the Australian social enterprise sector to stimulate discussion. The event was attended by approximately 400 delegates, including over 90 speakers from Australia and overseas. The City of Melbourne was identified as a leading council due to our social enterprise strategy and encouragement of social procurement.

Strategic indicators








Community satisfaction rating for overall performance of economic development







Average number of daily visitors to Melbourne municipality on a typical weekday







Number of visitor contacts at the Melbourne Visitor Centre







Number of businesses located in Melbourne municipality






 17, 709

Level of investment by recipients of Small Business Grants








In response to feedback from local councils, Local Government Victoria introduced methodological and content changes to the Community Satisfaction Survey in 2011–12. Methodological improvements to the Community Satisfaction Survey in 2011–12 and 2012–13 included increasing the sample size from the previous minimum of 350 respondents per municipality up to 400 respondents so the sample better reflects the demographic composition of a municipality. The survey also allows for respondents to be ‘residents over 18 years of age’ instead of restricting respondents to ‘head of household’. For these reasons, direct comparison with previous Community Satisfaction Survey results is not possible.

In both forms of the survey, the response to each of the standard 'scale' questions above is assigned a value. These values are then averaged across all respondents to create an 'index score'. However, the values assigned changed in 2012:
2010–11 Response scale and values

100 – Excellent: outstanding performance

80 – Good: a high standard
60 – Adequate: an acceptable standard
40 – Needs some improvement
20 – Needs a lot of improvement
Excluded – Don’t know / can’t say
2011–12 and later response scale and values

100Very good

75 – Good

50 – Average

25 – Poor

0 – Very poor

Excluded – Can't say

Goal 4 – A knowledge city

Melbourne's appeal to the international education market and its world-class research facilities provide an excellent foundation to expand its potential and reputation as a knowledge city. Enhancing Melbourne’s education sector, industry innovation, research, development, business and information technology capabilities will ensure it remains a world-renowned knowledge city.

Our work to position Melbourne as the city of choice for international students continues. The city's international students have access to a wide range of services and facilities that make Melbourne a global leader in the provision of education.

Outcome 4.1 Local and international students choose Melbourne
Student support
Providing support for international students is an important role for the City of Melbourne.
The Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne Airport is a one-stop shop of information for students arriving in Melbourne and was open for seven weeks during the peak arrival times for international students in 2013. The 2013 program was officially launched on 1 February at Melbourne Airport by the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and representatives from program partners the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport. Staff at the welcome desk provided information on temporary accommodation options, helped students find transport options to the central city or their education institutions and answered any other questions of students on their arrival. Over 12,000 information packs were distributed at the airport and over 3000 students assisted in 2013.

The City of Melbourne supported and welcomed international students in a variety of other ways including the Lord Mayor’s Welcome event held in March and August. Social activities and support is available for students at The Couch International Student Lounge and 70,000 copies of the Insider International Student Guide were distributed to assist students find their way around Melbourne and link to services, events and activities. Student leadership and volunteer opportunities are provided through the InterCoM3 student committee and by involving international students in the City Ambassador program as volunteer tourism guides.

A new leadership program developed for international students, the EDGE, was awarded one of Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence at a ceremony at Government House in December 2012. The award recognised the contribution of the program’s outstanding achievement in promoting the linguistic and cultural diversity of Victoria’s communities. The name ‘EGDE’ represents the four stages of the program – Experience, Develop, Generate and Execute. A rigorous selection process identified 20 students to participate in the intensive inaugural program in 2012, with students representing a diverse range of countries including China, USA, India, Vietnam, Iran and Kazakhstan. 

India is Victoria’s second largest market (behind China) for inbound international students. The Bangalore/Delhi Melbourne School Leaders Exchange Program aims to build lasting links and partnerships between staff and students of primary and secondary schools in Melbourne, Bangalore and Delhi. School leaders from India came to Melbourne as part of the program to learn about Victoria’s education system and best practice approaches in areas such as assessment, teaching evaluation, learning evaluation, school innovation and leadership. The program is delivered by the Asia Education Foundation and the City of Melbourne contributes as part of a long-term investment in building Melbourne’s reputation as an educational provider attracting prospective students to the city.

In March 2013 the City of Melbourne sponsored the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference which saw over 2000 university students gather in Melbourne for the world’s most diverse youth summit. Volunteers and staff from Tourism Melbourne and the International Student Welcome Desk program worked together to run a Melbourne information service at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Speaking with hundreds of delegates attending the conference, volunteers were able to share their experiences of Melbourne as a desirable place to visit, live and study. The Lord Mayor also addressed delegates at a free barbeque luncheon on the final day of the conference, run by the City of Melbourne in conjunction with the Victorian Government’s Study Melbourne team.

Outcome 4.2 High quality knowledge infrastructure
Knowledge building
The 2012–13 year signalled an important commitment by the City of Melbourne to actively explore our knowledge culture and economy through the Knowledge Melbourne initiative. Knowledge Melbourne aims to deepen and broaden the collective understanding of the knowledge sector and create a wider public discourse about what a knowledge city is and why it is valuable.
To find out more about what it means to be a ‘knowledge city’ the City of Melbourne commissioned a report on Melbourne’s knowledge industries from economic consulting firm ACIL Tasman. The report found that in 2010, organisations in the knowledge sector contributed $28 billion to Melbourne’s estimated gross regional product of $53.29 billion. The report also found that of the 428,000-plus people who worked in organisations located in the municipality, approximately 67 per cent were employed in knowledge-related industries. These industries include research, information and communications technology, advanced manufacturing, digital-game and special-effects design, biotechnology, financial services and tertiary education. The Future Melbourne Committee adopted the recommendations of the report to help build Melbourne’s reputation as a knowledge city.
In August 2012 the City of Melbourne invited over 75 leaders and experts representing Melbourne’s diverse knowledge sectors to a stakeholder breakfast at Town Hall to strengthen our connection and collaboration with the industry.

The City of Melbourne continued to enhance the profile of Melbourne Knowledge Week as the signature event for the city’s knowledge sector. The third iteration of the week-long festival featured an interactive, augmented reality experience in Federation Square which enabled users to play with virtual Soma cubes or be pin-pointed by a giant magnifying glass.

As part of the Knowledge Melbourne strategy a Knowledge Melbourne microsite was developed to increase the organisation’s online knowledge assets. A number of world-renowned knowledge experts were also hosted to share and increase the city’s knowledge capital.
In June 2012 the City of Melbourne hosted the final event of the Melbourne CleanTech Network series at the Melbourne Town Hall. Keynote speakers included the CEO of Commercialisation Australia, Doron Ben-Meir and Clean Technologies Supplier Advocate, Dr Marc Newson. In October 2012 the City of Melbourne and RMIT University hosted 10 leading Indian automotive designers to create high level links between the Indian and Melbourne/Victorian automotive and industrial design industry.
At a local level the development of a local library in Docklands has begun and the new local library at Southbank (as part of Boyd) was completed. In Southbank, since the opening of the new library and community centre, the number of local Southbank residents who are members of the Melbourne Library Service has grown by 42 per cent.

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