July 2020 Newsletter
July 2020 Newsletter
A golden surprise
Five-time Olympian and Sydney Olympics beach volleyball Gold Medalist Nat Cook OAM OLY was a welcome surprise at the inaugural meeting of the Committee’s Brisbane 2033: Olympics and Paralympics Legacy Taskforce.
Nat, also a Bronze Medalist in Atlanta in 1996, dropped into the offices of Patron member Corrs Chambers Westgarth to speak about the Olympic values and their direct relevance to a legacy for greater Brisbane – with a focus on excellence, solidarity, teamwork and being the best you can be.
The Taskforce was meeting to start work on legacy planning for the region, should south east Queensland be successful with its candidature for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.
We’ve called our Taskforce “2033” – the year after a 2032 Olympics and Paralympics. If we look back one year later, what should our legacy be?
Importantly, the Taskforce agreed that any legacy planning should remain relevant even if the candidature was unsuccessful.
Discussions centred around confirming the Purpose for the Taskforce and the Vision for a greater Brisbane legacy – to ensure we stay on track over the long haul towards 2032 and beyond.
There’s a lot more work to be done and updates will be provided as the Taskforce dives deeper into identifying and nominating specific legacies to benefit the region.
Advisory Council meeting
The Advisory Council has asked the Committee to look to engage with other peak bodies and industry associations to explore a project on regional connectivity (road, rail, air) as well as data connectivity.
The Advisory Council met in June as part of its quarterly review of the Committee’s progress against its four core themes of connectivity; outdoor lifestyle, arts and culture; enterprise and innovation; and Equitable Brisbane.
A discussion was also held about the Committee’s Vision of “greater Brisbane as the world’s greatest and most liveable region” and the challenge for Brisbane to actually rate at the top of various indices which assess and rank liveability.
There was general agreement that current indices (eg The Economist’s liveability index that rates Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city) are biased against sub-tropical cities like Brisbane.
There was agreement that the Committee should initiate discussions with universities and other research partners to explore the opportunity to develop a new, more relevant set of assessment criteria.
To see our Advisory Council members view here.
Art for art’s sake?
No. Art for our sake.
Metro Arts CEO and Artistic Director Jo Thomas – the 2020 Telstra Business Woman of the Year for Queensland – shares her thoughts on Brisbane’s arts and culture sector and how it is faring during COVID-19.
I have a great job. I head up a small, vibrant multi-disciplinary arts organisation based in Brisbane.
Like many of us, the pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for our business and our sector.
Even in “normal” times, our organisation, our sector and its artists are often at-risk and rely on a strong business approach to ensure sustainability – so I’m very conscious of the huge challenges faced by the creative sector at this time, both in urban centres and regionally. Arts organisations are vitally important to the broader ecology, and to the vibrancy of a thriving nation, and all levels of government need to provide more support during this destabilising pandemic to recognise the tremendous value of our cultural sector.
I acknowledge recent arts and culture funding announced by the Federal and Queensland Governments – any assistance is always welcome – but, in truth, it is just not enough.
How much of the funding will make its way to unemployed artists and arts workers remains to be seen – many of whom are also not eligible for JobKeeper payments. They have been left behind. I urge governments to increase their support to the cultural sector at this critical time, so we can reopen with strength, post-lockdown.
Brisbane City Council, the State Government and the Federal Government need to create well-designed, long-term stimulus measures for the arts and creative industries to avoid industry collapse, significant long-term unemployment, and devastation to the night-time economy. With input from the sector, governments could inspire innovation, including impactful public campaigns to rebuild confidence and raise awareness.
The arts are a great leveler – inviting everyone in to be a part of something bigger – offering an opportunity to ask questions and find solutions. The arts bring us together, the arts brighten our mood, our day and our lives; and they bring us through the tough times too. There are countless studies supporting the value of arts, creativity and a thriving culture.
The most recent report from A New Approach shows clear evidence in terms of educational outcomes and improvements in health and happiness.
And yes, the arts also contribute significantly to employment and the economy.
For example, Brisbane’s (pre-COVID) night time economy is the largest of any capital city in Australia, with more than 6,300 establishments employing 68,750 people for an annual turnover of $8.14 billion. And that’s just one part of our arts and cultural sector.
The creative sector is going to be crucial to re-establishing community spirit, rebuilding economies and bringing back a sense of hope.
I believe in art and I believe in hope. Art is hope itself – it’s a hopeful process to start with an idea and look for a result – so experimentation and failure need to be supported in a healthy environment.
Art is crucial to a healthy society, a healthy Australia, and a vibrant, alive city!
It deserves support.
( Image by Darren Thomas, PhotoCo).
New events venue Partner
The Committee is pleased to advise that Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has been selected as our preferred events venue following a call for proposals from four Brisbane venues.
BCEC proposed a suite of food and beverage, audio visual and management support services that will ensure the Committee’s larger scale events will be delivered to the highest standard.
We can’t wait to announce when our first post-lockdown event will be held.
Progressing economic recovery with Brisbane City Council
The Committee for Brisbane is continuing its engagement with Brisbane City Council on recommendations and ideas for economic recovery and reform.
The Committee’s Recovery Strategy Group, which recently presented BCC and the State Government with a suite of fast-tracked projects and policy and funding levers, is a member of BCC’s Economic Recovery Taskforce External Consultation Group.
Committee CEO Barton Green recently met with the BCC Taskforce Chair, Cr Adam Allan, to continue discussions about the Committee’s economic recovery recommendations.
Read more about the Committee’s COVID-19 recovery strategies here.
We welcomed seven new members in June (for a total of 32 new members for the half year to 30 June – a great outcome in the circumstances).
• Laing O’Rourke
• Bond University
• Murray Hancock (Brisbane Dialogues)
• James Hepburn
• Chetana Andary (UAP)
It's invoicing time
Members will have recently received an invoice for membership fees for 2020/21.
We encourage any member who would like to discuss their membership fee to please email email@example.com or call Director – Members and Partnerships, Annie Macnaughton, on 0499 977 023.
The Committee for Brisbane relies on membership fees and income from events (when we can hold them) to operate and drive its agendas for greater Brisbane. We receive no government funding, which enables the Committee to maintain its independent and apolitical position.