CatalystWest is Western Sydney University’s forum for world’s best evidence-based policy innovations and outcomes.
It is shaped by genuine collaboration and driven by a belief that Australia’s most diverse and dynamic region should determine its own future.
Via virtual and physical platforms CatalystWest (#CatWest) is committed to inclusiveness, balance and diversity.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we confronted the critical issues experienced by Western Sydney by delivering a bespoke digital series. The series brought together leaders across industry, community and the university, to provide real-time analysis on issues like migration, the arts, infrastructure, education, and public spaces.
Highlights from CatalystWest 2019.
The Western Sydney City Deal promises to create a city of over 250,000 people on the edge of Sydney, one of the world’s leading economic and cultural hubs.
The moment is upon us. We have a generational opportunity to shape our city from the ground up. We can create an urban environment that is more than built form, more than infrastructure, much more than simply a place of business. Together, Western Sydney can bring to life a city that doesn’t simply reflect our region but encapsulates its wildest possibilities.
At Western Sydney University’s 2019 CatalystWest forum, we saw 350 collaborators from the community, government and industry come together at Parramatta Square on 7 November to co-create solutions to the West’s biggest challenges. These solutions have been consolidated in the ‘CatalystWest: The Outcomes’ report. The report is not simply a product of the University. In reality, it is authored by the students, entrepreneurs, community workers, corporates, researchers, government and industry representatives who contributed so selflessly and energetically to the forum. This is their report. The solutions it offers are their ideas. What happens to make those ideas a reality is our collective responsibility. But it is also a test of political will.
Re-imagining Western Sydney
At CatalystWest 2019, our Data Bunker was on site to provide real-time analysis from participants on the characteristics of a liveable city. The insights snapshot indicated that people of Western Sydney want:
- Accessibility that is available but not invasive, and builds a participatory culture
- Inclusivity that shifts from competition to collaboration, and embraces the diversity of the West
- An iconic narrative and brand
- Connectivity through both infrastructure and community
- Sustainability through incentivised design benchmarks and industries
- Healthy activities to promote physical and mental health and well-being
- Smart and innovative culture, looking at education for the future
The CatalystWest 2019 speaker line-up was meaningfully diverse, with over 65 per cent of panelists and speakers being women. Speakers included:
- Jan Fran, Journalist and Walkley-award winner as Emcee
- Dr Shanthi Robertson, Senior Research Fellow, Western Sydney University
- Michael Rose AM, Chair, Committee for Sydney
- Dr Tim Williams, Head of Cities, Arup
- Lindy Deitz, General Manager, Campbelltown City Council
- Sunanda Creagh, Digital Storytelling Editor, The Conversation
- David Borger, Executive Director, Western Sydney Business Chamber
Jan Fran is a journalist and TV presenter. She is best known for her work on The Feed on SBSVICELAND, Medicine or Myth on SBS, The Project on Network Ten and the podcasts, Sexism and the City and The Few Who Do.
Peter Poulet is the Central District Commissioner with the Greater Sydney Commission. He has over 30 years’ experience in both private and government architectural offices.
Michael is the Chair of the Committee for Sydney, an urban policy think tank that advocates better policy outcomes for Sydney. He is a lawyer by background and the former Chief Executive Partner of one of Australia’s leading law firms.
What We’ll Do, Together
Together from pre to post event, and at the forum itself, we will transform the way cities are conceived. With provocative, agile and interactive speakers, we’ll confront what’s possible when we shape a city collaboratively. Local and international experts will share their visions of cities. We will collectively create a model of a city that is truly ‘liveable’; a city that is inclusive of women, ethnic communities, diverse viewpoints and different understandings of what the intersection of built-form and imagination makes possible.
Lively panel sessions at the forum were augmented by breakout digital hacks and ideation. Participants were able to populate VR and real-time AV renderings of cityscapes prior to and at the event.
And the work doesn’t end there. Western’s researchers are shaping CatalystWest’s outcomes into policy statements that we will be collectively taken to policy makers. Continue the conversation with us at #CatWest.
CatalystWest is a non-profit event. Its success as a proven vehicle for positive and evidence-based change relies on the support of sponsors and scale of imagination our collaborators bring.
Thank you to our sponsors for supporting CatalystWest 2019: