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Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on the Melbourne story

  • Date recorded: 8 Jul 2015

  • Duration: 32:16

'Plan so that what is good and definitive is preserved, while ample room is left for the city to evolve'

– Lord Mayor Robert Doyle

About this video

Hear Lord Mayor Robert Doyle deliver the 2015 Redmond Barry lecture, celebrating the innovation, passion and planning that have made Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Robert Doyle firmly believes that Melbourne’s success in the fields of knowledge, education, information, technology and research should be as valued as its sporting prowess. He also focuses on the lecture’s namesake, Redmond Barry, who, in founding the University of Melbourne and the State Library, left a stamp on the character of Melbourne like no other 19th-century Victorian.

The Lord Mayor looks at contemporary lessons about cities, emphasising that their scale and focus should be human. Thirty years ago, the CBD was sepulchral on weekends and after 6pm. Today, Melbourne is a city that has grown into the potential that its designer bequeathed, for the essence of the city is in the people and on the street.

Looking to the future, with Melbourne predicted to become Australia’s biggest city, he states that good planning is the key to development that ties all the elements of the new Melbourne to the best of the old, leaving the intangible character of the city intact.

This Redmond Barry lecture was held on 8 July 2015. The lecture is part of the Big ideas under the dome series, bringing together great minds in the arts, culture, social justice and sciences to reflect on the big ideas and issues of our time.

About the Redmond Barry lecture

The annual lecture honours the work of Sir Redmond Barry, founder of the State Library and a key figure in the development of Victoria’s cultural and intellectual life.


Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has served as Melbourne's mayor for seven years. He is Principal at management consultancy the Nous Group and Chairman of Melbourne Health. A Member of Victoria’s parliament for 14 years, he was Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Party for four years. He is also President of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Chairman of the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation and a Trustee of the Shrine of Remembrance.