It was in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis when the idea or the Victoria Summit 2021 was born. We didn’t know what was in store for us, but we knew that it presented an opportunity to reimagine what we could achieve as a State. Governments alone cannot shoulder the full responsibility for leading the change required. As the saying goes, “every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.

COVID-19 forced us to innovate and imagine a new way of doing things. It highlighted inequalities in our society and vulnerabilities in our economy. COVID-19 also showed us the way we have always done things is not the way things have to be. There can be a better way. A fairer way. A more ambitious way.

With this opportunity to do something different in mind, we brought together the best and brightest individuals from across the state to form our Reference Group and Working Groups. These groups generously gave their time despite their full diaries and it was humbling that such a diverse group of Victoria’s leaders – incredibly busy and in-demand people – engaged in this process.

Victoria is the relationship state, and not only did the Summit leverage existing relationships, it also led to new ones developing through a shared love of Victoria and an ambition to create a better future. We did not want the heavy lifting to be left to a few, as we knew that a broader community and business response was needed to provide substantive actions that would help lead Victoria out of the pandemic, while also providing the foundation for future growth.

The Summit articulates a shared vision for “Victoria to be the best place to live, learn, work and operate a business” by 2050. It may sound simple, but it requires bold action today to set the State up for success over the next 10, 20 and 30 years. Collectively, we need to remove barriers, tackle challenges, seize opportunities, play to our strengths and create our own future.

Overall, there is broad consensus on what Victoria should look like in 2050 and the actions required to get us there. However, due to the involvement of a broad cross-section of stakeholders, not every action is supported by every stakeholder and that is okay. This process showcased the importance of rich discussions containing a range of contestable views. It was about sharing views, not dominating views. There is no one right path to achieve our vision; our challenge is to find the best paths, the most uniquely Victorian paths. This could only be identified through collaboration and we hope that the conversations and actions developed through the Summit process will continue.

We want the Playbook to be a living document. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we must continuously adapt as the world around us changes. The Playbook needs to evolve too. While the vision, pillars and pathways should remain stable, the actions we need to take now and in the future will change over time.

The Summit and Playbook would not have been possible without the relationships and goodwill of everyone involved. We would particularly like to thank the members of the Reference and Working Groups for their time, insight and respectful debate to help shape and validate the Summit process and the Playbook. We would also like to thank all the guest speakers and attendees at the Summit public forum days, especially the former Premiers and young leaders for their perspectives on Victoria now and in the future. More than 10,000 hours of work from a range of individuals has gone into the Victoria Summit and Playbook, with the majority committed by our outstanding Reference and Working Group members. 

We would also like to thank Carmel Mortell from KPMG, along with the team at KPMG who helped navigate us through the many sessions as we gathered ideas and shaped the Summit.

Thank you to Victorian Chamber President Karyn Sobels, Deputy President Adrian Kloeden, the Chamber Board and Executive Council, who supported the Summit concept from its inception. Thank you also to our Major Partner, Global Victoria and Silver Partner, Pitcher Partners.

Finally, to the team at the Victorian Chamber who drove so much of the collation of ideas and the writing, we could not have produced this document without your focused and tireless dedication.

The Victoria Summit 2021 at times was unnerving, it was intimidating and it was bold. But it was incredibly exhilarating and it will make a difference. As the saying goes, “the best way to predict the future is to create it”.

Together, we can unlock the great potential of Victoria.

Paul Guerra
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chief Executive
Reference Group Chair

Louise Adams
Chief Operating Officer
Business and the Economy Working Group Co-Chair

Tim Piper
Australian Industry Group
Victorian Head
Business and the Economy Working Group Co-Chair

Emma King
Victorian Council of Social Service
Chief Executive Officer
Community, Health and Wellbeing Working Group Co-Chair

Debra Mika
Aware Super
Chief of Staff
Community, Health and Wellbeing Working Group Co-Chair

Luke Hilakari
Victorian Trades Hall Council
Future of Work Working Group Co-Chair

Prof. Pascale Quester
Swinburne University of Technology
Vice-Chancellor and President
Future of Work Working Group Co-Chair