City of Melbourne Search
Week 7—13
May 2018

MKW18 7—13 May

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City Shaping Symposium

City Design - Panel

Event Details

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In a world of accelerating change, how can we shape a city that works for everyone?

We need to talk about Melbourne. The digital revolution is rewiring our economy, our institutions, our public and private lives. The City Shaping Symposium invites you to tackle today’s challenges head on, and explore how the Melbourne Innovation Districts partnership can help redesign our future.


10.15am – 10.45am

What role does indigenous knowledge play in Melbourne’s approach to innovation? By building on 70,000 years of iterative design, we can reframe our understanding of innovation from being grounded in global trends to being distinctly grounded in place, and in relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

Featuring Prof Mark McMillan (RMIT) and Prof Laurene Vaughan (RMIT)


10.45am – 11.30am

How can Melbourne keep pace with unprecedented technological and social change? By transforming our established home of knowledge into a living lab to prototype the future city. Join the conversation about the Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID), a new partnership between the University of Melbourne, RMIT and the City of Melbourne.

Featuring Dr Julie Wells (University of Melbourne), Tom Bentley (RMIT), Michelle Fitzgerald (City of Melbourne) and Lisa Watts (The Conversation) as moderator. 


11.30am – 12pm

How does the built environment structure our thinking? Architect Carey Lyon will deliver an inspirational keynote about the design process behind RMIT’s New Academic Street. Find out how Carey and his team subtracted existing “brutalist” structures to reveal an openness compatible with the original campus design.

Featuring Carey Lyon (Lyons Architecture)


12pm – 1pm

How do you hardwire a city for innovation? Join a big-picture discussion about how Melbourne can plan for tomorrow’s tech infrastructure needs today – and power the smart city of the future.

Featuring Simon Elisha (Amazon), Ranil Sharma (Telstra), Bernard Lee (Auspost), Sander van Amelsvoort (Committee for Melbourne) and Kelly Brough (EY) as moderator. 


1pm – 1.30pm

Can architecture inspire new dreams for a better future? Grimshaw Architects think so. Jason Embley will speak about the groundbreaking new Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland, which reinterprets Disney for a new generation of dreamers. Pamela McGirr will share insights from the MKW18 Festival Hub’s “Watershed” design process.

Featuring Jason Embley (Grimshaw) and Pamela McGirr (Grimshaw)


1.30pm – 2.30pm

When the entire world’s knowledge is at your fingertips, what is left to learn? Join the conversation about how emerging forms of education and learning environments can deliver the skills and knowledge needed for the future of work.

Featuring Dane Stangler (Startup Genome), Dr Pete Goss (Grattan Institute), Anna Burkey (State Library of Victoria), Charlie Day (Innovation and Science Australia) and Vanessa Toholka (Byte Into It)


2.30pm – 3.15pm

How does place shape innovative people and inclusive communities? Today, urban design is more critical than ever before – so don’t miss this multi-disciplinary panel with some of Melbourne’s most celebrated design and innovation experts.

Featuring Emma Appleton (City of Melbourne), Seb Chan (Acmi-x), Lars Coenen (City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities, University of Melbourne) and Giuseppe (Pino) Demaio (Local Peoples) as moderator. 


3.30pm – 4.30pm

This workshop will involve a diverse and inclusive group of organisations and leaders workshopping ways in which planning and design for the Melbourne Innovation District can maximise unity, diversity and inclusion.

Featuring Giuseppe (Pino) Demaio (Local Peoples)


3.15pm – 4.15pm

As we look to the future, what lessons can we learn from our recent past? Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne, 1985 is a landmark publication detailing the key events, places and people behind the city’s transformation in the past 30 years – and the forces that drove, framed and constrained them. Join the authors in conversation.

Featuring Rob Adams (City of Melbourne), Kim Dovey (University of Melbourne), Ron Jones (RMIT), Jane Homewood (Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), Kate Dundas (City of Melbourne)




After an inspiring day of panels and lectures, keep the conversation going at a casual wrap-up drinks event. Local Peoples will be hosting symposium attendees at our festival hub bar, in an event featuring projection art from Joe Hamilton.

This event is booking fast.


Speaker Info

Anna Burkey

Anna Burkey is leading the
development of
StartSpace for State
Library Victoria, preparing early-stage entrepreneurs to kickstart their business journey and supporting the growth of Victoria’s innovation economy. The new $2 million StartSpace facility opens in 2019, offering free coworking spaces, training, business mentoring and networking programs. In 2005, Anna was one of the founding team of the Edinburgh
UNESCO City of Literature Trust, and as one of Creative Scotland’s International Creative Entrepreneurs Anna went on to deliver creative industries programs in South Africa, including global social investment program COMMON Pitch. Anna has previously worked with Arts Centre Melbourne, the Edinburgh Festivals and Small Business Gateway and has written and presented extensively for media outlets including the BBC and the ABC.

Charlie Day

Dr Charlie Day is the CEO of Innovation and Science Australia (ISA). As CEO, Dr Day drives ISA’s provision of strategic, whole-of-government advice on all science, research and innovation matters. ISA recently released Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation, a blueprint for Australia to become a leading innovation nation by 2030.

Dane Stangler

Dane Stangler is Chief Policy Officer at Startup Genome, specializing in entrepreneurship development and economic growth, and providing insights and policy analysis for startup ecosystems worldwide. He is Visiting Vorzimer Professor of Entrepreneurship at LIU Post and former Vice President for Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. A frequent public speaker and writer, Dane’s work is published in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes, and Washington Monthly, and he is frequently quoted by national broadcast and print outlets.

Dr Julie Wells

Julie is the Vice Principal of Policy and Projects at the University of Melbourne where she has executive responsibility for strategy, governance, planning and major projects. In this role, she is overseeing the development of two significant new precincts, one at Fishermans Bend and one on the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital in Carlton.  A historian and educator, she has worked in and around the higher education sector and in government in a range of policy and strategy roles. She is passionate about the transformative power of higher education and the capacity of universities to contribute to the life of cities and the societies they engage with.

Emma Appleton

Emma Appleton leads the Urban Strategy branch at City of Melbourne. A registered landscape architect and urban designer, with 20+ years experience in the design and development industry, Emma has held senior public agency and design consultancy roles in Australia and the UK. Immediate past President of the AILA Victoria, and a Churchill Fellow, Emma contributes to advisory boards of design courses at Melbourne universities and the Board for Urban Places for the Queensland Government. Emma is a passionate advocate for high quality design and its role in shaping great places for people.

Giuseppe (Pino) Demaio

Giuseppe (Pino) Demaio uses a Human-Centered Design to add economic, social and environmental value to organisations and brands. His newest publication, Matters Journal, is a weekly digital and biannual print publication telling interconnected stories from the worlds of arts, design, technology, health, food and the environment. Pino is the director of award winning strategic design agency Local Peoples.

Jane Homewood

Jane Homewood is a senior executive with experience in local and state government and the private sector in local, national and international roles in City Planning and Urban Development. Jane is currently the Executive Director of Statutory Planning Services responsible for Development Approvals and Design, Impact Assessment and State Planning Services in metropolitan and regional Victoria.

Jason Embley

Jason is a Principle Architect at Grimshaw. He joined the firm in 1995 and moved to Melbourne in 2003 to work on the practice’s first Australian project, Southern Cross Station, recipient of the RIBA Lubetkin Award. Jason applies an analytical design approach to architecture, harnessing opportunities for value capture, urban design, and the creation of public spaces to deliver projects that further evolve our cities.

Kate Dundas

Kate Dundas is a landscape architect and urban designer, and is the team leader of City Plans Team at the City of Melbourne. She also co-hosts 3RRR’s Greening the Apocalypse. Kate has a wealth of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams on large scale masterplanning, urban design and landscape architecture projects.

Kim Dovey

Kim Dovey is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Melbourne where he is former Head of Architecture and of Urban Design. He has published and broadcast widely on social issues in architecture, urban design and planning.

Lars Coenen

Professor Lars Coenen joined the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne in January 2017 as the inaugural City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities, a partnership between the City of Melbourne and University of Melbourne aimed at improving the city’s resilience to sustainability challenges. Professor Coenen is well-known internationally for his work in economic geography on regional and urban innovation and, more recently, sustainability transitions.

Laurene Vaughan

Laurene Vaughan PhD is Professor of Design at RMIT University, where she serves as Dean in the School of Design, and is Co-Leader of the Design Futures Lab. Laurene was invited to the position of Neirenberg Chair, Distinguished Professor of Design, at Carnegie Mellon University, 2012–2013. She is on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Design Research, Norway. Laurene’s research investigates the interactive and situated nature of cultural production and the practices that enable this – both analogue and digital. She was a lead researcher on the Circus Oz Living Archive Project ( and co-editor of Performing Digital (Palgrave). Her most recent publication is Practice Based Design Research (Bloomsbury Academic). Laurene is a Chief Investigator on the Design for Wellbeing research project with Bendigo Hospital, is a member of the Design and Care network at RMIT, and is currently completing an edited collection Designing Cultures of Care (Bloomsbury Academic).

Lisa Watts

Lisa is the Executive Director at The Conversation media group. She leads the commercial operations of The Conversation and is responsible for leadership, funding and business development. Previously she was CEO of ArtsHub, the leading news and jobs site for the creative arts industry. Her career includes CEO of a search marketing firm, and GM of the MyCareer online employment business for Fairfax Digital.

Mark McMillan

Professor Mark McMillan is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Indigenous Education and Engagement within the Education Portfolio. Mark comes from the University of Melbourne where he was an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Law School. He is an exceptional scholar, researcher and administrator with a deep interest in human rights, especially the expression and fulfilment of those rights for Indigenous Australians. Mark is a citizen of the Wiradjuri Nation and has worked extensively in the areas of human rights, Aboriginal community engagement and equity as a lawyer and advocate. He was named National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year for 2013. His work has taken him to America as a Fulbright Scholar, where he has worked for many years with Indigenous groups and Native Nations.

Michelle Fitzgerald

Michelle Fitzgerald is the inaugural Chief Digital Officer for the City of Melbourne and heads up the City’s Smart City Office. As our cities face digital disruption, Michelle and her team are responsible for trialling and implementing digital and data solutions that will help prepare Melbourne to adapt to major population growth, create the jobs of the future and drive innovation across government service delivery. Michelle is a former Partner of PwC Digital and is a current Non-Executive director for Standards Australia. She was also recently recognised as a Knowledge Nation 100 award winner in Australia.

Pamela McGirr

Pamela is an architect and interior designer who has worked in New York and Melbourne. Since joining Grimshaw in 2015, Pamela has led the interior design for a new Convention Centre in Port Moresby, and an extensive retail mall in Abu Dhabi. Pamela is the Project Lead for the Melbourne Knowledge Week Hub, Grimshaw’s first pavilion project in Melbourne.

Pete Goss

Dr Pete Goss is the School Education Program Director at Grattan Institute. He has over 10 years’ experience as a strategy consultant, most recently with the Boston Consulting Group, advising Federal and State governments on service delivery innovation. He has worked with Noel Pearson to improve education outcomes for Cape York primary school students, and advised the federal government on the future of international education in Australia.

Professor Carey Lyon

Carey Lyon is one of the founding Directors of the well-known Australian architectural design practice Lyons, and is a Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University in Melbourne. His was elected by his peers as National President of the Australian Institute of Architects in 2006/2007, the peak member and advocacy body for Australian architecture. He has also been a Board Member of the Green Building Council of Australia, and is a current member of the Victorian Design Review Panel. He has been awarded a Life Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Architects and the Presidential Medal from the American Institute of Architects.

Ranil Sharma

Ranil is the General Manager at Telstra Cities. He has been the Industry Lead in Smart Cities and Utilities for Telstra and is on the Steering Committee creating Telstra’s Smart Cities Strategy. He also was the Telstra representative on the ASCA Industry Board. His accountability is to understand the sector needs and provide thought leadership about how emerging trends and developments can help to create and fulfil a richer experience for the Communities of Interest. Ranil's perspectives have formed from experiences in Major Corporate and startup companies within the technology, consulting and distribution/retail sectors with roles in Consulting, Business Development, Marketing, Sales/Management and General Management. He is a father of 3 girls and has an active interest in health, wellbeing and psychology.

Rob Adams

Rob Adams is the Director of City Design and Projects at the City of Melbourne, and a member of the Urbanisation Council of the World Economic Forum. With over forty years’ experience as an architect and urban designer, Rob has made a significant contribution to the rejuvenation of central Melbourne.

Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones is a landscape architect and urban designer who has played a leading role in developing Melbourne’s urban design strategy, park master plans, and designing several major projects. He is director of the award-winning firm Jones and Whitehead, and Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture at RMIT University.

Sander Van Amelsvoort

Sander is the Director for Policy and Research at Committee for Melbourne. He joined the Committee in 2014 from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors. He is responsible for undertaking high-level policy and research work on key issues affecting Melbourne’s growth and development. In particular, he formulates strategies for change that add value to the long-term development of Greater Melbourne as a major internationally competitive city. Sander leads the Committee for Melbourne’s flagship Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce which aims to prepare our city for the forces of innovation and disruption brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Sander is also the President of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce Australia; a networking platform for the Dutch business community in Victoria.

Seb Chan

Seb Chan is ACMI’s Chief Experience Officer with extensive experience working with museums, libraries and cultural organisations. He is currently most interested in the intersection between digital and physical spaces, cultivating innovation and experimentation in teams, and helping organisations deal with changing technologies.

Simon Elisha

As Head of Solution Architecture at Amazon Web Services, Simon Elisha is sought after by C-Level Executives who want deep insights into how Cloud Computing, Agile software development and technology innovation are changing the way organisations improve customer experience, reduce costs and adapt quickly. As the first technical staff member for Amazon Web Services in Australia, he led the charge to Public Cloud before most people even knew what AWS was. Bringing over 28 years of industry experience in software and infrastructure to the “brave new world”– he was able to guide start-ups, digital businesses, Government and Enterprises alike on their journey to the cloud. A noted industry speaker and communicator – if it happens in the cloud, Simon probably knows about it. Simon has held senior roles at organisations including Pivotal Software, Cisco, Hitachi Data Systems, VERITAS Software, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and EDS.

Tom Bentley

Tom Bentley is Executive Director for Policy and Impact at RMIT University. He has worked as Deputy Chief of Staff to Julia Gillard (2007-13), Director of Demos, the London-based think tank (1999-2006) and as adviser to institutions including the OECD, Mindlab, NESTA, the Gates Foundation and the Victorian Government.

Vanessa Toholka

Vanessa Toholka is a technology commentator on Triple R, and a producer and presenter on Byte Into It. She's a knowledge manager for a professional services firm, and a board member of Digital Rights Watch.

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