Paula Allen and Kristen Barry

Rising Tide of The West

Unprecedented population growth

The western region of Melbourne is poised for a decade of prosperity.

"Because of jobs people come, and because people come more jobs are created" - Professor Ian Harper

Respected economist Professor Ian Harper was the guest speaker at the 2018 RWB Winter Morning breakfast on June 14, held in the beautiful Ellis Rowan Room at the Australian Club.

Dean of Melbourne Business School, former partner and senior advisor at Deloitte’s, and Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the RWB Network was privileged to hear Ian give an informed and enlightening presentation.

Ian discussed the unique economic conditions currently being experienced in Australia. Strong population growth and static wages have created a low inflation environment.

Population growth is driving the Victorian economy, and it is in the west of Melbourne where this population growth is at its most rapid.
The western suburbs are experiencing higher unemployment rates because of the decline in manufacturing, but new business opportunities and jobs will be created as we transition from a goods based economy to a services based economy.

Expansion in infrastructure is strong in Victoria. The Metro Tunnel project, the Sunshine Hospital Expansion, and the Melbourne Market Relocation, plus the new river crossing will have major flow on effects for the west of Melbourne. In addition the next stage Victoria University Oval Redevelopment will have positive benefits for the Western Bulldogs, the University and the local community.

Once seen as the “rust bucket” of Melbourne, the place to dump rubbish and to run polluting industries, the west is rising to the forefront of Victoria’s engine room of growth. The west is boasting demographics of a younger growing population with skills equipped for the 21st Century.

Ian was very positive about business growth in the west believing sustained growth conditions will be enjoyed for the next decade or more. He challenged us to embrace the changes that will come from the result of the growing population and think creatively to develop new ways of doing business.

The Forever Foundation thanks Ian Harper for sharing these valuable insights with our business network.

RWB Speaker Alumni


Chief Executive, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Vecci)
April 13 2017 - Vecci Boardroom Lunch


Mark Stone AM Vecci April 13 2018.jpg


Newly elected Mayor, City of Melbourne
May 9 2017 - Speaking to RWB women on "effective networking" 


Sally Capp RWB Effective Networking event May 9 2018.jpg


Councillor for City of Geelong, consultant and author

May 26 2017 - RWB female members breakfast hosted by Susan Alberti AC

Stephanie Asher Women's Breakfast May 26 2017.jpg


Chair of the AFL Commissioners & former Managing Director Wesfarmers
July 19 2017 - Inaugural Winter Morning Breakfast at PWC Southbank

Richard Goyder AO Winter Morning Breakfast PwC July 19 2017.jpg


Chief Executive Officer, Australian Grand Prix Corporation

March 19 2018 - RWB Season Opener 2018 at Albert Park Circuit with AUSGP

Andrew Westacott RWB Season Opening Event Grand Prix March 19 2018.jpg


Dean, Melbourne Business School & member of Reserve Bank of Australia

June 14 2018 - Winter Morning Breakfast at The Australian Club



Businesswoman, philanthropist, AFLW Ambassador

May 9 2017 - "How to network effectively" Women's Drink Event

June 14 2018 - Winter Morning Breakfast at The Australian Club



ABC Breakfast News Presenter & Journalist

July 2017 and March 2018 -RWB member and MC to our events

Michael Rowland MC March 19 2018.jpg