Interest grows in G21’s virtual forum

November 19, 2020 BY

G21 CEO Elaine Carbines speaks at the 2018 G21 Stakeholder Forum - this year’s event will be her last. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

INTEREST is growing in this year’s online version of the G21 Stakeholder Forum, which is just over a fortnight away and already has more than 300 people signed up to watch.

The forum organised by the leading lobby group for the Geelong region typically attracts a capacity crowd of 300 people to the RACV Torquay Resort but has switched to a virtual (and free) format this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event often has leading figures from state and federal politics as speakers, and G21 chief executive officer Elaine Carbines exclusively confirmed earlier this week that this year’s two-hour forum would feature pre-recorded addresses from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien.

“This is a really unique opportunity to listen to a suite of high-profile speakers from your own home or office.”

The lineup includes:

  • International journalist and author Stan Grant will provide the keynote address on indigenous affairs and the broader political and social landscape
  • Wadawurrung woman and traditional owner Corrina Eccles will speak about the Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation’s local Healthy Country Plan
  • Urbis will present a socio-economic analysis focusing on Geelong and the G21 region
  • A panel discussion and Q&A with Deakin University vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin, Victorian Industry Tourism Council chief executive officer Felicia Mariani and Geelong Arts Centre chief executive officer Joel McGuinness discussing the impact of COVID-19 on their industries and how they see their recovery, and
  • A project showcase about the $350 million Cape Otway Road Australia (CORA) elite sports training and tourism complex proposed for Modewarre.

Ms Carbines – who is stepping down from the helm of G21 this year – will also give an update on G21’s projects and reflect on her 10 years of leading lobby group.

She said she had “very mixed feelings” about her final Stakeholder Forum.

“Not just the forums, but all of G21 – I’ve absolutely enjoyed being CEO, and under my leadership, the forums have become a must-do on the regional calendar, so it’s gone from strength to strength.

“We were certainly worried this year about how we were going to still deliver a really spectacular forum for our community, and so we’ve gone virtual and made it free of charge.

“The forums have become an important vehicle for our community to hear from high-profile speakers, particularly our political leaders, and that’s often their only opportunity to hear from these people, so it was important that we find some way of bringing the forum to the community this year, and I’m proud that we’re going to be able to do that.”

The 2020 G21 Stakeholder Forum will be broadcast online on December 4 from 9.30-11.30am. To register, head to

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