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The Inner Metropolitan Partnership is an advisory group established by the Victorian Government. The Partnership is a way for local communities to engage directly with state and local governments and advise the Victorian Government of the top priorities across the region. This advice ensures a community voice in government decision making.

The Inner Metropolitan Partnership’s vision for the region is to harness the opportunities growth provides in a way that supports a strong economy, a sustainable future and greater social inclusion.

Meet our members

The Inner Metropolitan partnership is in its second term, with the current membership appointed in August 2021. Each partnership is made of community and business representatives with varied backgrounds, experiences and networks, the CEO of each of local government in the region and a Deputy Secretary from the Victorian State Government.

Anna is currently CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Initiative, a non-profit focusing on research and policy reform for the Australian news media industry.
Anna is the former Chair of YWCA National Housing and Deputy CEO of Philanthropy Australia. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of ShareGift Australia, a philanthropic fund drawn from the Australian share market and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mohammed is the founder and CEO of Culture and Co, a cultural consulting and training organisation. He served as a community representative Commissioner to the Victorian Multicultural Commission from September 2019 – 2021.
Mohammed is an entrepreneur and advocate with a passion for supporting multicultural communities and young people.  He is a Youth Leadership Trainer at the Centre for Multicultural Youth, and a member of multiple advocacy and advisory boards to government and nongovernment bodies. Mohammed has completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours from the University of Melbourne and worked as cancer research scientist with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Tim is CEO of Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse. Tim is experienced in leading and motivating business owners and franchisees, staff, contractors and stakeholders. He is a business owner with experience in the sporting industry. Tim has strong board experience with a focus on outcomes.

Charmaine is an experienced financial industry professional and community leader with experience in stakeholder engagement, relationship management, strategy development, and industry mentoring and coaching. Charmaine is currently employed at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as Relationship Executive for the Not-For-Profit industry. She is also currently the President and Chair of Incubate Foundation.

Martin has a long association with local government as both an elected representative and a professional. Martin is a former councillor of the City of Melbourne and was Regional Director, ICLEI Oceania (Local Governments for Sustainability). He is a Senior Fellow, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. The focus of his interest and work is on addressing sustainability and resilience challenges and the role of local and regional governance in undertaking actions.

Hemant has over 15 years of experience in domestic, international marketing and customer engagement, across both the higher education and vocational sectors. He is currently the Executive Director of Student Experience at Box Hill Institute. Hemant’s experience covers university administration, student services, sales and marketing, corporate strategy and stakeholder management. Hemant genuinely believes that education changes lives and has a passion for working with providers to deliver impactful business outcomes.

Rohini is a corporate entrepreneur and non-executive board member with over 25 years of experience in working across Australia and Asian markets. Rohini is currently the General Manager at the Immigration Museum and a member of the Executive Leadership Team for Museums Victoria. Rohini has held roles with KPMG and private enterprises including Swinburne Innovation Precinct, International Womens Federation of Commerce and Industry and is a former Chair of the Multicultural Ministerial Business Advisory Council. Rohini is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The Chief Executive Officers of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Yarra City Councils are ex officio members of the Inner Metropolitan Partnership.

Lill Healy is Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills, Department of Education and Training. She has held multiple senior executive roles in the Victorian public service and across the private and community sectors. Lill was previously Deputy Secretary, Service Systems Reform, at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. In recent roles, she has overseen industry recovery, supply chain and logistics, pandemic border relations, and the transition of industry under climate change.

What we've heard

We undertake a range of engagements to understand the issues and opportunities faced by the communities of inner Melbourne.

The partnerships held three online engagements in November and December to address key issues facing all Melburnians:

  • Melbourne and the suburbs: Recovery, resilience, and our re-imagined future
  • Jobs and skills: Emerging economies and pathways to employment for young and old
  • Inclusive and diverse communities: Learning and supporting social cohesion

You can read more about these engagements, and watch recordings of the panel discussions, by visiting the 2021 Flagship Engagements webpage.

Building upon the listening and research of the Partnership in its first term (2017 to 2020), the partnership also initiated three projects through the Metropolitan Development Fund in 2021 - a program to increase the digital inclusion of culturally diverse Melburnians, and placemaking activities in the cities of Yarra and Port Phillip.

In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Partnership moved all engagement activities online, ensuring that community voices continued to be heard by the Partnership.

A mapping exercise was undertaken to understand the local impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to surface local ideas to help neighbourhoods through recovery.

Surveys were distributed among stakeholders to understand opportunities for economic growth and recovery, and how to strengthen inner metropolitan communities through connection, services and support.

The partnership also held a panel discussion on Economic Growth and Recovery in September to source expert advice to complement the local insights gathered. Danielle Wood, CEO, Grattan Institute and Stuart Moseley, CEO, Victorian Planning Authority, explored how economic recovery can be supported, what was working and what lessons could be learned and what the workplace of the future looked like. Representatives form more than 40 businesses and organisations attended, collectively providing 26 ideas for economic growth and recovery in response to the session.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought to prominence a number of issues that the Metropolitan Partnerships had already advocated upon – loneliness, mental health and homelessness. The Inner Metro Partnership revisited homelessness by holding the Inclusive Futures Roundtable in September to generate short and long-term opportunities to address the issue

Youth Engagement – Festival of Learning

The Partnerships held a two-day online engagement with diverse young people from across metropolitan Melbourne. The engagement sought to understand the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upon young people and to seek their ideas on what the road to recovery might look like.

We formed a co-design committee of young Melbournians to ensure the event was structured in a format that appealed to young people.

We heard that the pandemic had worsened the existing issues that young people already faced – especially employment and mental health.

Participants shared recommendations to address these issues, some of which included:

  • A Youth Mental Health Strategy
  • A Statewide Youth Jobs Strategy
  • An increased focus on International Students
  • Connected services for young people

You can read a summary of the engagement by downloading the summary report.

The findings of these engagements informed the partnership’s advice to government in 2020.

The Inner Metropolitan Partnership dove deeper into issues of the economy and environment with two events:

  • Making Melbourne: Planning Precincts and Places

    More than 80 stakeholders from across the business sector and local government came together in September to better understand ways to develop Melbourne’s key precincts and places.

  • Circular Economy Round Table

    Held in October, the engagement sought to understand what industry support is needed to address challenges in waste and recycling systems in the Inner Metropolitan Region.

The findings from these engagements informed the Partnership’s 2019 advice to government.

2018 Inner Metropolitan Assembly

The Partnership held its second annual Assembly where participants reviewed the 2017 priority outcomes of the partnership: energy; active transport; built environment; engagement and inclusion of migrant communities; public transport.

Participants then identified the top four priorities for the region om 2018: rough sleeping and affordable housing; engagement and inclusion of migrant communities; improving public transport at all hours; youth mental health.

You can read a summary report to see how the issues explored in greater depth.

Youth Assembly

Young people aged 15-19 years from school and youth organisations across Melbourne’s six regions, including the inner metropolitan region, came together in a Youth Forum hosted by the Metropolitan Partnerships at the State Library of Victoria.

The full-day engagement included small group discussions, a panel seminar and region-specific breakouts to discuss life in their regions. The three top priorities nominated by young people from Melbourne’s inner metropolitan region included:

  • rough sleeping and housing affordability
  • mental health
  • cycling and pedestrian safety

You can read in greater depth about the discussions and outcomes of the engagement in the 2018 Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Forum report and watch some of the highlights from the Inner Metropolitan breakout discussions in the video below.

How the Victorian Government responded

Our community engagement work informs our annual advice to government. You can read how the Victorian Government responded to our advice on the priorities for the Inner Metropolitan Region by downloading How Government is responding: The 2019 Report Back.

2017 Inner Metropolitan Assembly

The Partnerships inaugural engagement event brought together more than 140 people from local communities, business and government to determine the key priorities for the Inner Metropolitan Region.

Through a series of activities, five priority outcomes were defined by participants:

  1. Rough Sleeping and Affordable Housing: More support for those rough sleeping and increasing supply of affordable housing.
  2. Aboriginal Children: Improve health and well-being, safety and educational outcomes for Aboriginal children.
  3. Fisherman’s Bend Tramline: Improve connectivity to urban renewal areas to stimulate economic activity.
  4. Innovation and Creative Economies: Retain and enhance places for local innovative and creative economies.
  5. Environment: Ensure environmental benefits and mitigating environmental impacts.

What we've done

Since our establishment in 2017 we've invested in research and projects to further explore, and act upon, the priorities raised by the people of our region.

We commission this work with the Metropolitan Partnerships Development Fund and then share the findings and outcomes with government to inform policies and programs.

This project tackles the challenge of lack of access to renewable energy. While solar power may be abundant, many communities, families and organisations at a local level are unable to collect, store or share it, effectively locking them out access to this resource.  The Neighbourhood Battery project will identify the local potential and feasibility of neighbourhood batteries. It will proactively engage and empower local communities to participate in neighbourhood battery projects.

Delivery of this project is being led by City of Melbourne, working in partnership with the Cities of Yarra and Port Phillip. It will engage energy providers such as Citipower / Powercorp, and Community Climate Action groups and Victorian State Department of Energy, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

This project is working to identify and document options and recommendations for practical, long-term sustainable coordination of food relief activities, which also has the potential to connect people to additional support services; and provide short-term opportunities for allocating funds for direct food relief.

Delivery of this project is being led by the City of Port Phillip, working with the Cities of Melbourne and Yarra.

The COIVD-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on the digital divide experienced by our CALD community.

The Multicultural Digital Inclusion project delivered individualised digital literacy training to CALD communities experiencing barriers to digital access and addressed the Partnership's priority of improved social connection.

Local community leaders were identified as mentors in a ‘train the trainer’ approach, enabling them to deliver digital literacy training in Mandarin, Vietnamese and English.

The project saw 17 mentors sign up to become a trainer, a 10-week computer skills course was delivered, a digital kid's holiday program was attended by 28 children, and 43 laptops were purchased and provided to mentors to keep after the life of the program.

Training was undertaken across 5 sites in the region, delivered in Partnership with Neighbourhood Houses Victoria and Yarra Libraries, with $60,000 in funding from MPDF.

The report demonstrates the success of delivering place-based programs which are co-designed with CALD communities and leverages existing relationships, to ensure that programs meet specific communities’ needs and aspirations.

The legacy of the program has seen 5 of the mentees go on to enrol on further computer classes with their newfound skills and confidence, and there is currently a waitlist for both mentors and mentees wishing to join the program after hearing of its success.

View the final report here.

people working on computer

This project activated public spaces in four key activity centres in the City of Yarra, to promote social connectivity and the local economy which had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The activations focused on precinct-based place-making and business development activities, promoting creative industries, whilst facilitating marketing, business development, and social connection:

  1. The “Everyday Nicholson” campaign ran via social media, and spotlighted 8 unique business along the street, encouraging locals to get to know them better. The online presence for this continues past the life of the grant delivery. 
  2. Brunswick Street saw 50 out of work artists employed to perform on outdoors on street corners in the lead up to Christmas, bringing life back to the neighbourhood and encouraging shoppers to stay longer in the precinct.
  3. The ‘Local Swerve’ event at Collingwood Yards, provided work experience opportunities for 8 young people, including a number who reside in the Collingwood and Fitzroy housing estates, to produce a culturally appropriate Youth Festival, and was attended by over 400 people.
  4. Four DJ events attracted crowds back to hospitality venues in 4 key Swan St locations. These activations took place in person and live streamed via Reddit, Instagram/Facebook and YouTube. In person attendance was over 1400 people, with an additional 400 unique viewers online.

The project report identifies key learnings around the use of entertainment to revitalise spaces and attract people back to precincts. It demonstrates that activating public spaces can successfully promote social connectivity and the local economy, and shows the value of leveraging existing marketing channels targeted to relevant cohorts, and giving job opportunities to local people.

View the final report here.

Street performers

The Partnership identified support for creative industries, social connectivity and local economic activity as key priorities for COVID-19 recovery.

This project delivered 37 activations across 8 weekends, in several key activity centres in the City of Port Phillip. Over 20 activation providers and 40 entertainers were engaged.

A range of family friendly activations such as yoga classes, live music performances and giant games were delivered. Overall, the activations engaged approximately 3,000-5,000 people.

The report shows the success of activating public spaces to promote social connectivity and stimulate the local economy, with survey results indicating that 87% of participants stayed longer in the area because of the events.

Due to the project’s success, City of Port Phillip will replicate the program in Carlisle Street, in partnerships with the Carlisle Street Traders Association, and the Victorian Government’s COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund. The program called “Autumn on Carlisle Street”, will include the installation of a new activity platform, and a scheduled series of musicians, kids activities and art.

View the final report here.

Giant chess

Building on prior research from the Inner Metropolitan Partnership and Creative Victoria, this project tested recommendations to ensure the availability and affordability of workspaces for creative industries in inner Melbourne. It explored three sites for precinct opportunity plans: Collingwood, South Melbourne and the Fishermans Bend Employment Precinct.

View the final report here.

Based on ‘Housing First’ principles, and the Common Ground model, the Practice Manual provides guidance for the design, funding and delivery of congregate support housing. This is to support people who have experienced chronic homelessness with permanent housing that integrates support services.

The Manual was prepared by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in collaboration with MGS Architects and Mind Australia for the City of Port Phillip and the Inner Metropolitan Partnerships.

View the practice manual here.

This work has informed the Government’s Big Housing Build initiative.

The Inner Metropolitan Partnership commissioned YLab, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education and Training and the Department of Premier and Cabinet, to review current work on the barriers and enablers for young people in the region to accessing quality mental health support.

View the final report here.

The Inner Metropolitan Partnership’s Affordable Housing Working Group commissioned a needs assessment, which included the development of a methodology to calculate affordable housing need across the region. The assessment will support the working group, and the participating councils, to develop planning mechanisms to facilitate the provision of affordable housing in the region.

Innovation and creative economies were first identified as a priority of the partnership in 2017. The rising cost of commercial floorspace has emerged as a critical barrier to entry for new enterprises in some parts of inner Melbourne – risking the economic sustainability and growth of creative industries start-ups, small businesses and small-scale manufacturers.

The partnership commissioned studies to understand the challenges faced by these enterprises and the mechanisms available to support them by maintaining and creating affordable workspaces.

Movement and Place studies were commissioned in three prominent transport sites in the inner metropolitan region.

The concept of Movement and Place recognises that transport links (roads, train stations, etc.) perform two functions: the movement of people and goods and they serve as destinations in their own right.

The studies engaged various stakeholders to develop visions and aspirations for Burnley, the Haymarket roundabout and boulevards of the biomedical precinct and St Kilda Junction. to develop visions for these transport hubs in inner metropolitan Melbourne.

The Inner Metropolitan Region

Melbourne’s Inner Metropolitan Region extends from the Flemington Racecourse and Kensington to the coastline of Port Phillip Bay at Port Melbourne and St Kilda. The Inner Metropolitan Region includes some of Melbourne’s most iconic places including the Arts precinct, Melbourne’s central business district, the Port of Melbourne and the MCG. It is a vibrant and proudly multicultural region, with a diverse and growing population.

The Inner Metropolitan Region is the traditional home of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin nation.

Local Government Areas

  • City of Melbourne
  • City of Yarra
  • City of Port Phillip

Contact us

Email innermetro.partnership@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 24/11/22