Event overview

A consortium of government and leading built-environment industry bodies established the seminar series, Melbourne Forum, to focus on promoting sustainability in the commercial built environment. 

The Melbourne Forum is currently supported by Sustainability Victoria, Sustainable Building Innovation Laboratory (SBi Lab) – RMIT University, Melbourne School of Design – University of Melbourne, City of Melbourne, City West Water and AIRAH

Aims and objectives

The forums aim to increase the development and refurbishment of green commercial buildings in Victoria to achieve greater levels of sustainable performance. The forums demonstrate environmental leadership by each partner organisation, facilitating discussion and debate around sustainability in the built environment in Melbourne and, more broadly, Victoria. The series facilitate a unique space for leading practitioners and policymakers in the built-environment sector to come together and discuss sustainability issues, technologies and developments, as well as to share ideas and experiences.


The Melbourne Forum has been running since 2006, with the support of Sustainability Victoria, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, City West Water, City of Melbourne, and Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) among others.

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Upcoming Melbourne Forum

Melbourne Forum, August 8

Thrivability, Regeneration, and the Eden Project

What is regeneration? What is thrivability? And, why is it seen as the “radical new way” to drive innovation? Led by international and local experts, this forum will address why regenerative development and running a business in a generative way is important and very possible.

Development cases looked at will include post-mining communities and housing development. The forum will explore examples from Australia, and look at the lessons from the Eden Project, and how understanding the link between regenerating nature, development potential and having a business aligned with nature is a great way to have thriving social, ecological, and economic outcomes.

Though we will be discussing serious issues, the intention is that Melbourne Forum also incorporates elements of fun and laughter. It is well known that innovation and the ability to solve the pertinent issues facing us today occur more successfully when we are not in a reactive, stressed, and concerned frame of mind. For this reason, for one special Melbourne Forum, your MC will be comedian Rod Quantock.

: Tuesday, August 8.
: 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Presentations will finish at approximately 7.30pm, followed by networking drinks and finger food until 8.30pm.
: The Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza, 1 Macarthur St, East Melbourne. Take the stairs next to the white umbrellas in the courtyard, down to the lower plaza. The theatre is on the left, under the stairs. 



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Belina Raffy,
Maffick Ltd

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Belina has been working in the US, Germany, Canada, and UK, and will be sharing her experiences of applying improvisation practices and mindsets, to engender a regenerative effect on organisational culture and consciousness, as well as to help align organisations with nature.

In her work, she has seen the benefit of this in multiple industries, and she will talk about how this applies to the building industry (builders, developers, engineers, consultants, designers), as it transitions to 21st century practice and is looking for ways to strength its innovation capacity. 

Belina Raffy is the Founder/Director of Maffick Ltd. Her work specialises in developing communication, co-creation and change skills with people so that we can better align our businesses with how nature and people thrive. She is a facilitator, consultant, public speaker, and author.

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Dave Harland,
Eden Project

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Dave will be sharing his experiences on how a sociology-economically and environmentally transformational project evolves over time, survives, and then thrives. 

Dave is an Executive Director for the Eden Project with responsibility for the financial, educational and commercial aspects of the project. His passion is for education and learning, which led to the creation of a new leadership programme “Hothouse”, which now runs regularly at Eden. 

He will provide the inspiration for the real-life outcomes from Eden that participants and supporters of these workshops so desire.

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Dominique Hes, Melbourne University

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Dominique will speak on what is regeneration in Australia, and what it could mean for areas such as the Latrobe valley. 

We are in a time of transition from a fossil-fuel-dependent economy to one that is independent, resilient, with a mix of energy sources. What does this mean for the building industry? What is the potential for our cities and our town to come out of this transition thriving? Based on recent work being undertaken at the University of Melbourne, three case studies will be briefly discussed, which will lead to both ecological and social benefit. It will outline what exactly is regenerative development and how is it different from current practice and how can transitions thinking and smart specialisation lead to innovation in the engineering, development, and building industry. 

Dominique received a science degree from Melbourne University and followed this with a graduate diploma in Engineering (Cleaner Production) and a Doctorate in Architecture 2005 from RMIT University, Melbourne.

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Forum chair:
Rod Quantock

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Rod is a pioneer of Australian comedy with more than forty-five years in stand-up, cabaret, theatre, television and radio.

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"Thrivability: The natural way in business" is an event associated with the Melbourne Forum. AIRAH members who are interested in attending will receive a 10 per cent discount. 

In both the one-day workshop in Melbourne on August 9, and the half-day workshop on August 10, you will learn about using the wisdom of people and nature to revitalise a business – it’s vision, services, processes, and culture. The workshop will explore a holistic approach to aligning an organisation with people and the planet.

Click here to find out more and register.

Past Melbourne Forums

Click here for more information about past Melbourne Forums.