Photo of cyclists riding down a pier in inner West Melbourne

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.

Gail is currently Acting Manager, Advocacy & Sector Development at Gender Equity Victoria. Prior to this, she was the Executive Officer at HealthWest from 2011 to 2022. 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. She was previously the Executive Manager, Diversity and Capability Development at Australian Unity. She provides thought 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 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. She 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.

The Chief Executive Officers of BrimbankHobsons Bay, MaribyrnongMelton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham City Councils are ex officio members of the Western Metropolitan Partnership.

Josh Smith is a Dunghutti man from the Macleay Valley Coast in NSW with connections to Gumbayngirr people. Josh is the Deputy Secretary of 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 from 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 west 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 Melburnians 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 2019 Western Partnership engagement program focused on 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
  • Resourcing
  • 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 on 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 to 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 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 top three priorities nominated by young people from Melbourne’s west were:

  • Violence and bullying awareness and resources
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Homelessness

You can read about the discussions and outcomes of the engagement in the 2018 Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Forum report and watch 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 on 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:

  • Health and social welfare
  • Economy, industry and jobs

Download the 2017 Assembly report in PDF and Word formats to explore the discussion in greater detail.

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 seeks to address shortages in the maternal and child health workforce and to address distinctive service challenges including workforce ageing, high population growth and cultural and linguistic diversity. The project will deliver a place-based strategy to strengthen sustainability and responsiveness of MCH services to meet diverse community needs.

Delivery of this project is being led by HealthConsult.

This project addresses the issue of more opportunities for local people in the West by increasing the impact of investment in the region to create more opportunities for local suppliers, more jobs for local people and more job pathways for those experiencing barriers to employment.

The project seeks to increase the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in Melbourne's West to win work generated from infrastructure and construction projects by:

  • improving understanding of the barriers for SMEs in becoming procurement ready
  • developing a digital hub with resources for SMEs and,
  • delivering tailored workshops and group training sessions.

Delivery of this project is being led by ArcBlue Consulting in partnership with Victoria University and with the support of Melton City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Wyndham City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council and Brimbank City Council.

It will also engage businesses across the West.

Moonee Valley City Council will undertake a Trees Education Campaign, informed by the Greening the West objectives. The Campaign will have both an educational and behaviour-change objective. Residents of the western suburbs will learn about suitable trees to plant in their yards and the benefit of trees for their community.

This project will provide coaching training to three bi-cultural individuals to provide culturally appropriate facilitated coaching sessions to 30 seniors from Spanish and Filipino backgrounds.

Delivery of this project is being led by Wellways.

In collaboration with local councils across the Greater Western Water (GWW) service area, this project aims to identify opportunities to irrigate public open space with alternative water sources and prioritise these opportunities through consideration of catchment characteristics and heat vulnerability. It contributes towards achieving multiple strategic outcomes and associated targets in the Greater Metropolitan Melbourne Catchment Scale Integrated Water Management (IWM) Plans endorsed by the IWM Forum partners.

Delivery of this project is being led by Greater Western Water.

This project engaged Cohealth to support new and emerging communities in Melbourne’s West to improve their mental health and wellbeing through the delivery of co-designed interventions that responded to their priorities and needs.

The project had a direct reach of 2462 people from 3 different refugee communities; the Somali, Chin and Eritrean communities. A bi-cultural worker from each of these communities was employed and upskilled to lead the work. This co-design model ensured the interventions were culturally safe and accessible for these communities and responded directly to their priorities such as mental health literacy, rights education and activities for social connection.

Between July 2021 and June 2022, 21 interventions were delivered through a mix of in-person and online engagement activities. The project also engaged 30 volunteers, 12 local businesses and 8 community organisations to support the bi-cultural workers to deliver their activities.

View the final report here.

Since 2017, the Partnership has consistently heard that public transport is a priority for communities in the region. This project provides more equitable access to jobs, health and education, and improves the liveability of the west for locals living with disability.

This project delivered 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 included installing tactile ground surface indicators across four local government areas in the region and was completed in partnership with the Department of Transport and local governments.

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.

Conducted by Victoria University in collaboration with Jobsbank and with advice from YLab, the project researched and developed insights and learnings to inform the wider scaling up of an ‘earn and learn’ model. This model refers to partnerships between tertiary education institutions and employers to provide opportunities for people to study while maintaining their employment.

The project engaged 16 employers from Melbourne’s West to identify and understand barriers and opportunities to hiring graduates. Eight of these employers provided letters of endorsements for the project.

View the final report here.

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 identified in the Framework were:

  1. Improve station access along railway lines in the region
  2. Enhance public transport connectivity and accessibility
  3. Complete Strategic Cycling Corridors

Download the Stage 2 of the Western Integrated Transport Framework which identifies 22 projects. Additionally, download 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 sub-regional transport priority outcomes that the six western Councils have agreed to and will work together on.

Three key actions of focus were identified:

  1. Improve station access along railway lines in the region
  2. Enhance public transport connectivity and accessibility
  3. Complete Strategic Cycling Corridors

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.

View the Headline Report: Social Procurement In The West, and the supporting insights and resulting roadmap to implementation.

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.

View the final report here.

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

Contact us


Page last updated: 04/01/23