The Western 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 for jobs, services and infrastructure across the region. This advice ensures a community voice in government decision making.
Meet our members
The Western 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.
Louise Glanville was appointed Chair of the Western Metropolitan Partnership in November 2019. Louise is the Chief Executive Officer of Victoria Legal Aid. She has extensive experience across the justice, social services and government sectors. Louise is also the Chair of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority. Prior to her appointment at Victoria Legal Aid, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Deputy CEO at the National Disability Insurance Agency, and the inaugural Director of Victoria’s Neighbourhood Justice Centre Project office.
Maree is the Managing Director of Greater Western Water and has held senior leadership consulting and executive roles working across sectors including manufacturing, resources, research, government and industry associations.
Ms Lang holds degrees in Chemical Engineering (Honours) and Commerce from Monash University and a Master of Business Administration (Prof) from Melbourne Business School.
Michael is the Founder and Managing Director of Beyond Value. He has a range of experience partnering with local young people to co-design and co-develop solutions to complex social challenges (such as youth unemployment) in Melbourne's Western region. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Host of Collective West, a podcast dedicated to supporting young people in Melbourne’s West. Michael’s previous roles include being Director at YLab and serving as voluntary CEO of CHASE. He has worked closely with local schools, youth organisations and young community leaders, and was named Brimbank Young Citizen of the Year in 2018 and the Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champion in the Impact category in 2017. Michael also currently sits on the Melton and Tarneit Revitalisation Boards.
Chris has been a local business owner in Seddon for the last 16 years and has been involved in community service his whole life. He is Vice President of a local sports club for LGBTIQ community members and works as a mentor for Vincent Care’s Ozanam Community Centre. Christopher was named Maribyrnong Council Citizen of the Year in 2019.
A Yorta Yorta woman with more than 20 years' experience working directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and community organisations in Melbourne's Western region. She is the Director of the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit at Victoria University, and serves as a member of the Indigenous Advisory Group at FCA C and the Co-Chair of the Koling wad-ngal Aboriginal Corporation. Karen has been deeply involved in a wide range of community engagement forums and is committed to the creation and maintenance of engaged and equal relationships between government and the Aboriginal communities of the West.
Chair, West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA). Peter was Curtin University’s first Professor of Economics from 1990 to 1995 and the Ronald Henderson Professor and Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne from 1996 to 2005. From 2005 to 2010 he held senior positions in the Victorian Public Service, including Deputy Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance and Secretary of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. From 2011 to December 2020 Peter was Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University. In 2017 he received an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Gail joined HealthWest Partnership as the Executive Officer in July 2011. Gail’s previous roles included five years at Quality Improvement & Community Services Accreditation (QICSA) as the Operations Manager and Deputy CEO. Prior to this Gail was an Executive Manager of Community Care in a large rural community health service, with organisational responsibility for quality.
Elleni is an experienced senior executive, board member and community leader whose work with Australians particularly with people from migrants and refugee backgrounds has been recognized with many awards including an AM for services to the community in 2019. She has also been recognised in the Westpac AFR award as one of 100 Women of Influence in Australia.
Elleni builds advocacy for diversity initiatives and uses her deep networks to build collaboration with diverse stakeholders.Currently, Elleni is the Executive Manager Diversity and Capability Development with Australian Unity. She provides though leadership and subject matter expertise on diversity and inclusion related issues in to our diverse community of senior Australians.
Krushnadevsinh (Kano) is a 21-year old Youth and Multiculturalism Advocate, who empowers young people and those from multicultural backgrounds. Kano is a member of Centre for Multicultural Youth, partaking in multiple youth programs, works at the ABC to promote the ‘Takeover’ youth storytelling competition and supports CALD communities through the Access and Inclusion team at the Victorian Electoral Commission. Additionally, Kano volunteers for yLead, MYAN, Commission for Children & Young People and Headspace. Not only do these organisations enable Kano to broaden his engagement with the community, but allow him to advise policy-making that is culturally appropriate and inclusive. He shares his common migration experience, to empower others in sharing their own stories.
Robyn is currently responsible for driving strategy and business sustainability at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and is a Board member of Theatre Network Victoria. Robyn is passionate about championing creativity and community engagement as key drivers of socially just and economically vibrant communities and is motivated to work in contexts where strategic and ethical decision making foster equitable, sustainable and accessible solutions. Before joining Footscray Community Arts Centre, Robyn worked across the government, NFP and independent sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) from UWA, a Masters of Arts Management from RMIT and is a MBA Candidate at Melbourne Business School.
Josh Smith is a Dunghutti man from the Macleay Valley Coast in NSW with connections to Gumbayngirr people and is currently Acting Deputy Secretary of Youth Justice at the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
After practicing law as a solicitor for the NSW Crown Solicitors Office and at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Josh has held executive positions within the Victorian public service across family violence, justice, health and human services and Aboriginal affairs portfolios. Josh was instrumental in establishing the intersectional approach to responding to family violence post the state’s Family Violence Royal Commission and developing the legislative architecture for Victoria’s Treaty process.
What we've heard
We undertake a range of engagements to understand the issues and opportunities faced by the communities of Melbourne’s west.
In recognition of the priorities surfaced in past engagements, the Western Partnership endorsed three projects through its funding through the Metropolitan Partnership Development Fund:
- Bi-cultural workers leading wellbeing
- Place-based approach to creating jobs and skills for young people
- Western Metropolitan Inclusive Transport Project
In order to deliver these projects, a range of engagements were undertaken including the co-design of interventions and partnering with businesses and education providers to deliver the projects.
Additionally, a series of three online engagements were held across November and December. These explored the recovery and future of inner Melbourne and how the suburbs interact with it; emerging economies and the jobs of the future and social cohesion in Melbourne's suburbs.
You can read more about these engagements, and watch recordings of the panel discussions, by visiting the 2021 Flagship Engagements webpage.
In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the partnership moved engagements online to ensure community voices from the inner south-east continued to be safely heard by government. The partnership sought input on the impacts of the pandemic and what recovery can look like.
To inform its 2020 advice to government, the partnership focused upon its top three priorities:
- Transport and connectivity
- Jobs and skills
- Health and wellbeing
139 representatives of western communities, businesses and organisations participated in the Partnership’s engagement program which included surveys and online focus groups.
Some of the key insights included:
Transport and connectivity
- Calls for a plan for an integrated public transport system to promoter greater patronage
- Improvements to the bus network
- Connected and well-planned cycling networks
Jobs and skills
- Greater investment in mentoring opportunities, work experience and traineeships
- Assistance for young people to access jobs, skills and training opportunities
- Increased collaboration between government, employers and educational institutes
Health and wellbeing
- Calls to address the drivers of poor social and emotional wellbeing
- Build the online capacity of service providers
- Strong demand for family violence services
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
The 2019 Western Partnership engagement program focussed upon two key priorities to inform its advice to government:
- Jobs and skills
- Health and wellbeing
Two targeted engagements were held to deep-dive into the priorities with experts and people in industry:
In Conversation: The Future Economy of Melbourne’s West
The Partnership’s business forum, held 24 October 2019 at Werribee Park, brought together more than 80 business stakeholders, industry experts and guest speakers to discuss the opportunities and challenges for attracting new businesses in the west.
Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities they faced. Discussions touched on transport and connectivity, infrastructure, community perceptions of the west and the ‘narrow economy’, or need for greater diversity, in industry in the region.
Shared views among participants that were surfaced from the engagement included:
- Transit connections between the West, greater Melbourne and regional areas
- The 20-minute Neighbourhood
- Strength in cohesive identify for the West
- Urban planning and supporting the community
Health Focus: Regional Priorities for the West
A targeted round table on health was hosted by the Partnership on 14 October 2019. More than 60 health professionals were brought together to understand the priorities, gaps and opportunities to align work occurring throughout the sector in Melbourne’s west.
Top health-related priorities raised included:
- Mental health
- Chronic health conditions
- Social isolation
- Education and health literacy
Discussions included how health services can be improved, what interventions could be made to improve wellbeing and outcomes focused care. Three shared views surfaced in the engagement were:
- Sustainable funding to important health services
- Appropriate housing – underpinning health
- Education – health literacy resources
The Partnership held its second Assembly 18 July 2018 at Encore Events Centre, Hoppers Crossing. More than 100 representatives of community, businesses, organisations, service providers and local and state government came together explore the priorities for the region.
Participants reviewed the 2017 priorities, and two issues were identified to further progress: employment and infrastructure for transport and health.
In defining the top priorities for 2018, the participants arrived at three areas:
- Jobs, skills and entrepreneurship
- Public transport, road congestion and freight
- Reducing entrenched disadvantage through better health and education services
A recurring theme in discussions was the desire to grow pride in the region and to better manage the West’s reputation across Metropolitan Melbourne.
Watch the video below to see the 2018 Assembly in action, or read the 2018 Western Assembly Summary Report.
2018 Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Assembly
Young people aged 15-19 years from school and youth organisations across Melbourne’s six regions, including the west, 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 west were:
- Violence and bullying awareness and resources
- Drugs and alcohol
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 western breakout discussions in the video below.
How the Victorian Government responded
Our community engagement work informs the partnership’s annual advice to government. You can read how the Victorian Government responded to the advice by downloading How Government is responding: The 2019 Report Back.
The Western Metropolitan Partnership brought together 177 representatives of community, business, organisations, service providers and local and state government for its inaugural Assembly on 4 October 2017.
The partnership sought the assistance of participants in reviewing the region’s priorities and developing and voting upon action statements that responded to those priorities. This work informed the partnership’s advice to government.
Seven priority statements were agreed by the participants, with the most highly voted being:
Infrastructure and transport – ‘a strengthened and expanded western public transport network, to improve liveability and reduce road congestion.’
This was closely followed by:
- Healthy and social welfare
- Economy, industry and jobs
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.
The project supports Refugee and Asylum Seeker communities in north-west Melbourne to improve their mental health and wellbeing through the delivery of co-designed interventions that respond to their priorities and needs.
The project will achieve this through:
- Developing the skills and confidence of three bi-cultural workers from the Chin, Somali and Eritrean communities to facilitate mental health engagements with their communities. This will include referral and collaboration with cohealth services
- Enhancing the contributing factors to positive mental health and wellbeing of participants engaged in community-led projects co-designed with bi-cultural workers
- Creating safe and supported opportunities for bi-cultural workers to reflect on their practice, talk about shared barriers (including stigma) and draw upon each other’s skills, experience and expertise to problem solve, support each other and respond to challenges
Responding to what the Partnership has consistently heard on the priority of local youth employment, the Partnership endorsed this project to create a placed-based collaborative model that strengthens jobs and skills for local young people. The model leverages government funding; local employment opportunities and local training opportunities, including social procurement opportunities; to strengthen jobs and skills for young people.
This action-oriented pilot project has brokered direct connections between job opportunities and job ready, skilled graduates.
Victoria University worked with other project partners to:
- secure commitments from local employers to recruit job seekers
- identify training and employment pathways and opportunities for young people
- gain insights and learnings from the project to inform wider scaling up of an ‘earn and learn’ model
Since 2017, the Partnership has consistently heard that public transport is a priority for communities in the region. This project will provide more equitable access to jobs, health and education, and improve the liveability of the west for locals living with disability.
This project will deliver small scale DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance upgrades that were proposed in Stage 2 of the Western Metropolitan Region Integrated Transport Framework (WMRITF). The works will be undertaken across six local government areas in the region and will be completed in partnership with the Department of Transport and Local Governments.
Building upon the first stage of the Western Metropolitan Region Integrated Transport Framework (WMRITF) undertaken in 2019, this stage of work investigates practical and tangible transport investments that can be made to deliver upon the key areas of focus within five years.
The three key areas of focus were identified in the WMRITF were:
- Improve station access along railway lines in the region
- Enhance public transport connectivity and accessibility
- Complete Strategic Cycling Corridors
You can download to read Stage 2 of the Western Integrated Transport Framework which identifies 22 projects. You can also download to read Appendix A: Project Long List and Appendix B: Project Short List.
Among the projects identified was a program of DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance upgrades at stations which are being delivered with funding by the Partnership with its MPDF program in 2021.
The projects identified will assist in delivering social, health, environmental and economic benefits to the region.
We’ve consistently heard in our engagements that transport, transport infrastructure and the connection of services are top priorities for the region. Knowing this, the partnership endorsed MPDF funding for research to better understand the transport issues and opportunities faced by the region.
This project, called the Western Metropolitan Region Integrated Transport Framework Stage 1 (WMRITF), delivered a mechanism to identify regional transport problems and tactical approaches to address them. The mechanism was designed recognising that users’ door-to-door journeys span across local government areas and state networks and emphasises the importance of working across local boundaries.
The project has delivered a set of subregional transport priority outcomes that the six western Councils have agreed to and will work together on.
Three key actions of focus were identified:
- Improve station access along railway lines in the region
- Enhance public transport connectivity and accessibility
- Complete Strategic Cycling Corridors
You can download to read the Framework.
The Partnership commissioned the Social Procurement in the West research, with accompanying report and implementation roadmap, to analyse the opportunity and potential benefit from coordinating social procurement from the numerous infrastructure projects underway in Western Melbourne.
Projects considered included the new Footscray and Melton hospitals, Airport rail, Suburban Rail Loop and Geelong Fast Rail, in addition to Social Housing investments.
The Social Procurement in the West project proposes a coordinated place-based approach to social procurement from these significant investments.
The Western Region Youth Services Integration Strategy and Action Plan (WRYSIP) picks-up previous work by the six local government areas of the West and the Youth Affairs council of Victoria (YACVic) to produce recommendations to support the further development and delivery of a regional strategy for integration of youth services, youth participation, inclusion and engagement across the Western Metropolitan region of Melbourne.
The creation of a regional approach is anticipated to address increasing demand for services and resources as the population of the region grows. Other anticipated outcomes include creating efficiencies by reducing the risk of duplication, increasing local government capacity, and providing guidance to support community sector providers and agencies in delivering programs.
You can download to read the final report produced.
The Western Region
Melbourne's Western Metropolitan Region extends from the inner suburbs of Moonee Ponds, Footscray and Williamstown, through the middle-ring suburbs of Essendon, Maribyrnong, Sunshine and Altona, to the growth area suburbs surrounding Werribee and Melton.
Melbourne’s Western Metropolitan Region is the traditional home of the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong peoples of the Kulin Nation.
Local Government Areas
- Maribyrnong City Council
- Moonee Valley City Council
- Wyndham City Council
- Brimbank City Council
- Hobsons Bay City Council
- Melton City Council
Page last updated: 23/06/22