More than 100 senior Sydney business people came together in western Sydney yesterday (March 7) to discuss the region’s health and education future at the 2018 Westmead Alliance Business Leaders Lunch.
Greater Sydney Commission chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull AO, Department of Premier and Cabinet (Economic Policy) deputy secretary Simon Draper, City of Parramatta Council Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson and Cumberland Council mayor Greg Cummings were among the guest list that included top banking, planning, infrastructure and commercial entities, along with leading health, education and research minds, who came together to share their thoughts on business opportunities in western Sydney, spanning from the development of the Western Sydney Airport to the Westmead health, research and education innovation precinct.
The event, organised by Western Sydney Local Health District and sponsored by the City of Parramatta Council and Jobs for NSW, featured presentations from Western Sydney Airport chair Paul O’Sullivan and Jobs for NSW board member Helen Zimmerman, who offered insights on growth and economic development in the region.
Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Danny O’Connor opened the event, focusing on the Westmead health, education and research precinct’s vision and spirit of collaboration.
“We believe that collaborating on the bigger picture, both short and long-term, gives us the best chance of converting today’s opportunities into a longer term currency to achieve a competitive advantage in jobs, high-value economic activity and high-value social capital through liveable cities and healthy people,” he said.
“The economic and social rise of the western region of Sydney is a national mission. Westmead will make a substantial contribution to this national mission through our role in medical science and translation research, our seamless and deep relationship with knowledge institutions, our regional approach to innovation and our belief in the mission to deliver social and economic benefits.”
Western Sydney Airport chair Paul O’Sullivan gave an overview of the airport project and its vision of being the gateway of choice to Australia and the world.
“Western Sydney Airport is not Sydney’s second airport, it’s western Sydney’s airport,” he said.
“We will deliver the best passenger experience in the world and become a symbol the community is proud of; the airport precinct will create economic growth, jobs, social and built infrastructure and partnership opportunities – we’re excited for what’s to come.”
Jobs NSW board member Helen Zimmerman spoke about Westmead’s health and education cluster and how the organisation could help Westmead reach its full potential.
“The Westmead cluster has the potential to build a health and innovation district of international standing, owing to its already established internationally-ranked universities, the presence of clinical researchers and medical research institutes, two tertiary referral hospitals and outpatient services that cater for one of the fastest growing, youngest and most ethnically diverse populations in Australia and many of the largest healthcare companies in Australia based within a 20km radius.
“Westmead is creating a thriving health and education precinct and with that, a substantial economic opportunity for the private, public, tech start-ups and not-for-profit sectors.”