As a prosperous city, Melbourne will have a culture of philanthropy, where businesses invest in building strong, robust and equitable communities. A prosperous Melbourne will invest and participate in community initiatives and supports employee community activities.
Future Melbourne 2008


There was a desire within these comments for people to reach out to others, particularly in the areas of supporting vulnerable parts of the community. Fostering business and supporting the arts were discussed to a lesser extent. Most of the discussion was focused on what people want to happen.

Note that this discussion was focused on direct initiatives, with there being significantly more discussion of how sectors can help each other in other parts of the report.

There was significant overlap between this Priority and Priority 1.2. Inclusive Community, Priority 2.1. Creative Risk Taking, Priority 2.2. Vibrant, Creative Community, Priority 3.3. Attractive for New Business, Priority 3.4. Supportive of Business.

Summary of ideas (total 18 statements)

Community Support (13 statements)

Some people identified a need to increase job opportunities for young people, as well as reduce the rate of unemployment within Melbourne. They felt that communities and businesses needed to find different ways to assist young people, especially those who may be unemployed, or early school leavers — to transition into employment. This involves giving them essential work experience to help them move on to better employment opportunities. The comment below illustrates this.

NEW EMPLOYMENT/TRAINING PATHWAYS -- North Melbourne Agency Collective (The NAC) recently worked together and identified that there is a need for to develop innovative and collaborative employment and training pathways for our community, with a strong focus on youth people and those experiencing long-term unemployment. Community organisations, government and business need to work together to identify opportunities and new ways of working to: * re-engage early school leavers; * create local job opportunities… (The NAC's members include community based organisations, groups, government agencies, services and service support agencies that are not-for-profit and focus on the local community. )

A few people described community based and not-for-profit projects and initiatives that could support homelessness. Some of these ideas included the creation of community restaurants that serve leftover food to the homeless; use vacant roof-tops within the CBD to grow community gardens, which in turn would provide food for the homeless; and, encouraging local retailers to donate portions of their sales to the homeless.

Reduce Food Waste -- What a better way to improve homelessness than to have free community restaurants with leftover food! Maybe there could be a community garden with fruit and veg and herbs etc which are used in public cooking demonstrations for healthy food and that food goes to the homeless

One person emphasised the need to translate words into action, especially when it comes to providing services to the homeless.

A couple of commenters felt the need to provide more support to all the volunteers and organisations who are already delivering a lot of service into the community. Another commenter also emphasised the need to better engage young people in civic and social issues, especially related to their own futures within the city.

One comment expressed the need to encourage entrepreneurship within Melbourne, making Melbourne the hub not only for commercial start-ups, but also for non-profits and social entrepreneurs.

Business support (3 statements)

A couple of people looked at how relationships between businesses and social causes could help promote young entrepreneurs and solve social problems. One person provided the idea of starting an entrepreneurial precinct within the city. This would allow sharing and collaboration across small, medium and large businesses; encourage businesses to work with the government and educational institutions; provide an incubator for creative, social and other kinds of start-ups; and, overall help build social capital within the city. Another person discussed the benefits of events like Mass Challenge Melbourne, where sponsorship and prize money is given by corporates to start-ups, with new innovative ideas, that help solve problems. Another comment expressed that businesses could find ways to gift water to farmers in rural and semi-urban Victoria.

Arts Support (2 statements)

Two people in this section felt that there was a need to gain philanthropic support for the arts within Melbourne. One talked about how art could help generate awareness on issues like climate change. The other provided the example of Hobart, where an investment in art has in turn encouraged tourism into Hobart. The contributor opined that more philanthropic investment in the city’s art sector could also improve Melbourne’s economy, via tourism.

There were many more general comments regarding funding of the arts, within other priorities, such as Priority 1.1 A great place to live, Priority 1.2 Inclusive community and Priority 2.1 Creative risk taking.