by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
GEELONG'S future is bold and bright, according to leading commentator on social and demographic trends Bernard Salt, who described the city as "an exemplar' ' of multi-culturalism. Bernard describes the city as an inspiration with its ability to deal with demographic change. Once a town known for its significant Anglo base with Western District family names in its list of powerbrokers, Geelong has welcomed the influx of migrant families who have had a profound influence on the region. "It is an exemplar town of Australian multi-culturalism post World War II,' ' Bernard says. " ere are the international businesses of Ford, Alcoa and Shell which have drawn in and integrated the new populations of Italians, Greeks Croatians, Serbians, all living harmoniously in this prosperous region. "As long as they (the immigrants) were hard-working and willing to give it a go Geelong people were, like the rest of the country, very open. '' More recently, the region has become home to Sudanese and Congalese who have fled their war-torn countries for a better life. Bernard, born and bred in the region, worked at the Geelong Regional Commission for 14 years before becoming a partner in KPMG and gaining an international reputation as a trend forecaster. With the Geelong region's population set to rise to 450,000 by 2050, Bernard says there is no reason to fear a loss of identity or the risk of melding with Melbourne as an "outer suburb' '. " e planning regime of both Melbourne and Geelong won't see it merge as one, although people will commute between the two,' ' he says. "Much like people live in Boston and commute to work in New York, so Geelong people will travel by rail or road to Melbourne but choose to live in Geelong. " at's because everyone loves the scale, the climate and the easy access to bay and beaches in Geelong.' ' e city has left behind the problems of the early '90s, those largely due to the fallout from the collapse of Pyramid Building Society. And perhaps rather surprisingly, Bernard says it is television that has both spearheaded the change and is also hampering the city's progress. e ABC series SeaChange, based in Barwon Heads, was a catalyst, according to the commentator. It sparked a new positive feeling with its aspirational genteelism. Geelong was no longer a city shrouded in despair and economic doom. "People were able to proudly say they came from Geelong once more,' ' Bernard says. " at's the SeaChange town people would say, and economic activity has blossomed from that.' ' According to the demographer, the lack of a local television station means the city is hampered by being in the media shadow of Melbourne. Advertising venue is lost and job opportunities squandered by not having a television presence - but perhaps, most significantly, there is a struggle for self-identity when there is little sense of Geelong identities on television. "If there was a way of building that cultural identity and pride that fuses so brilliantly when the Cats win, and it could become more widespread, it would be an incredibly galvanising force,' ' Bernard says. "But the (current) view is that ultimately Geelong residents are dependent on Melbourne. "Our kids ultimately go to Melbourne.' ' Bernard says change is afoot, with Geelong set to become more culturally independent as the population increases. Having a cultural identity with 250,000 is difficult but by the middle of the century the city will have reached critical mass and will be exerting its cultural muscle. Bio-technology will continue to exert its influence on Victoria as a whole and the Geelong region in particular. e CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory, in Newcomb, combined with the scientific credibility in the community, the region's history of importance in the agricultural areas of wool and wheat all pull together to make it a winner for Geelong. "Geelong will be recognised as a bio-tech city by 2020 in a national sense,' ' Bernard says. "It's a reasonable objective to think of Geelong as this in much the same way as Wollongong is known as a steel city.' ' Other influences on Geelong's emergence from the '90s doldrums have been the success of the football club, Deakin University's move into the waterfront woolstores, the airport at Avalon and a slow but gathering momentum treechange movement into areas such as Bannockburn. "Not many cities have the depth of jobs Geelong has,' ' Bernard says, and that coupled with the population growth, the lifestyle advantages and the harmonious multi-cultural nature of the city means its future is bright. "Geelong will be recognised as a biotech city by 2020 in a national sense.'' WE FACE A BRIGHT FUTURE Vibrant multi-culturalism and an innovative shift from traditional to new industries are two vital players in the region's future, leading trend forecaster Bernard Salt tells MARGARET LINLEY Internationally renowned trend forecaster Bernard Salt predicts a bright future for our region ..."Much like people live in Boston and commute to work in New York, so Geelong people will travel by rail or road to Melbourne but choose to live in Geelong.'' Photo: Mike Dugdale Our Place - the Geelong Region Magazine 35
Breakaway Autumn 2011