News Archive

Why Boston stands a good chance of getting the Games

Written by Lisa Delpy Neirotti in The Conversation

Monday, 19 January 2015

There are several reasons to be optimistic about Boston’s chances on the world stage against the likes of Rome, St Petersburg, Paris and Casablanca.

First, the IOC’s part has shown an interest in rotating the location to different continents, and North America hasn’t held one since Atlanta’s Summer Games in 1996. As a result, the odds are stacked in Boston’s favor as its bid is the only one from the region.

Second, while the USOC has had a rocky relationship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at times, the two bodies have recently mended things, particularly over how to split the revenue from sponsorships and broadcasting rights.

Lastly, Americans are known for being excellent hosts of large events, so no matter which city was selected, the management and marketing of the Games is not a major concern.

The big question will be whether or not IOC members enjoy visiting Boston and feel welcome here – more so than Paris or the other cities in the running – and don’t face public criticism from Bostonians who don’t back the bid. A poll released this week showed 48% of those surveyed are “excited” about the bid, while 43% said they’re not. Furthermore, about 75% said they’d like a vote on whether or not to bid. So, much work needs to be done.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

2013 Hugh Rogers Fellowships Announced

Four inspiring women receive fellowships

Monday, 28 October 2013

Ms Gemma Turvey, Councillor Kevin Louey 
and Dr Lauren Ayton at the 2013 announcement event.

The Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association (MBSCA) in partnership with The City of Melbourne have announced four 2013 Hugh Rogers Fellowships recipients who are poised to undtertake research and projects that will expand and enhance Melbourne’s and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence.

The four recipients will be embarking on a diverse range of self-contained, and sustainable research projects at various world-renowned institutions in Boston that encompass the three areas of focus. This is a reflection of the high calibre of applicants this year, and the diversity that both The City of Melbourne and The City of Boston have to offer as centres of excellence in various knowledge sectors.

Councillor Kevin Louey, Chair of the Economic Development portfolio at the City of Melbourne affirms: “Innovation is an important part of Melbourne’s history and it’s the cornerstone of our $28 billion knowledge economy. With more than 428,000 people in Melbourne’s CBD employed in knowledge industries like higher education, medical research, ICT, architecture and design, and digital gaming and special effects, it’s clear Melburnians have the know-how to take our city into the next decade. Punching above our weight in these fields resulted in the sister city relationship with Boston.”

The 2013 recipients are: in the field of Healthcare and Medical Research, Dr Lauren Ayton from The Centre for Eye Research Australia, and Dr Rebecca Lim from The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Health; in the field of Education Ms Christine Healey from the Heide Museum of Modern Art; and in the field of the Arts and Culture, Ms Gemma Turvey from the New Palm Court Orchestra.

The Hugh Rogers Fellowships were established to honour the unique contribution that MBSCA co-founder Hugh Rogers made to these two great global cities. The purpose of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships is to encourage and support innovative people and ideas by funding research and projects that expand and enhance Melbourne’s and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence in three areas of research and practice. Depending on the quality of applications and the availability of funds each year, one or more Fellowships of up to $20,000 may be awarded in these nominated areas of endeavour.

The Fellowships are awarded to practitioners and researchers in the early stages of their careers. Each Fellowship is intended to assist the longer-term development of the Fellow’s career by furthering their research or project and by providing them with opportunities to create new professional networks.

The 2013 Fellowships are valued at close to $40,000, and this year marks the greatest number of recipients and the broadest range of topics covered in one year as the MBSCA grows and the sister city relationship goes from strength to strength.

On Monday 28th October 2013, the MBSCA in partnership with The City of Melbourne held an elegant morning tea to announce the 2013 Hugh Rogers Fellowship recipients. The announcement was hosted by MBSCA co-hairs Ms Helen Steel and Mr Rob Trenberth AM and the recipients were presented their Fellowships by Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley. The event was held in the Melbourne Room of the Melbourne Town Hall, a beautiful room with touches of history including the piano played by the Beatles in 1964 which newly awarded fellow Ms Gemma Turvey played as she captured the audience with her composition.

The MBSCA was delighted for the event to be within Melbourne Knowledge Week and to be apart of this years showcase of Melbourne’s diverse and innovative knowledge sectors; something that the MBSCA aims to promote and enhance through the Hugh Rogers Fellowship program and it’s various activities.

With the recent passing of Hugh Rogers in October, this momentous year and the announcement of the 2013 Fellowship recipients highlights the enduring legacy Hugh instilled, and the passion he left for the Melbourne Boston sister city relationship. Mr Trenberth expresses, “Hugh was always an inspiring example of what can be achieved with energy and commitment. He will be missed by all who knew him, but none more so than his colleagues and admirers in the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association.

The MBSCA looks forward to showcasing the work of this years fellows upon their return in 2014, and commencing the fundraising for the 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellowships with the highly anticipated Annual Gala Dinner held in May.

The 2013 fellowship recipients will embark on their trips to Boston to undertake their projects in late 2013 and early 2014.

For more information about: the 2013 recipients, the MBSCA, and the Hugh Rogers Fellowships, lease visit our website or email

Auction items announced for gala

Experiences, artwork and memorabilia

Thursday, 14 May 2015

To celebrate 30 years of connections between Melbourne and Boston, our supporters have provided some wonderful products and experiences to auction off at the gala evening on Thursday, 28 May 2015.

A live auction will be held with a major piece from Kerry Armstrong Art.

The silent auction will include:

The Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association's 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner celebrates the achievements and highlights from the first 30 years of our sister cities relationship.


Five fellowships awarded during Melbourne Knowledge Week

Fellowships awarded across the arts, education, and healthcare & medical research

Friday, 31 October 2014

A French horn player, a bioinformatician, two science teachers and a researcher building a low-cost, electricity-free oxygen concentrator have received the 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellowships presented by the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association and the City of Melbourne during Melbourne Knowledge Week.

The recipients, who received their fellowships on Thursday, 30 October 2014 at the Melbourne Town Hall, included three women and two men selected from a large pool of high-quality applications to travel to Boston and continue their studies and research. 

In the area of education, fellowships were awarded to Mr Sandor Kazi and Ms Emily Rochette, both science teachers from Melbourne Girls College with a focus on promoting science education among female students. An arts fellowship was awarded to Ms Susan de Weger, a French horn player interested in developing entrepreneurship among musicians. In the healthcare & medical research category, fellowships were awarded to Dr Bryn Sobott from the University of Melbourne who is working on a medical device that could assist people living in poverty, and Dr Natalie Thorne from the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance who will bring back experience in large scale genome testing.

The City of Melbourne Fellowship, awarded to an applicant who works within the city boundaries, was presented to Dr Natalie Thorne based at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

The five fellows will travel to Boston over the next six months to visit leading institutions including MIT, prestigious Boston schools, the New England Conservatory, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The purpose of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships is to encourage and support innovative people and ideas by funding research and projects that expand and enhance Melbourne and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence in three areas of research and practice. These areas of focus are education, healthcare and medical research, and the arts.

Depending on the quality of applications and the availability of funds in each year, one or more of the fellowships may be awarded in these nominated areas of endeavour. Selected by a panel of prominent experts, fellowships are awarded to practitioners and researchers in the early stages of their careers. Each fellowship is intended to assist the longer term development of the fellow’s career by furthering their professional skills, research or project and by providing them with opportunities to create new professional networks.

The official announcement event, which formed part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, included a showcase of the 2013 Hugh Rogers Fellows and an update on their collaborations with Boston.

Dr Bryn Sobott with Mr Rob Trenberth AMSusan de Weger entertaining the crowdThe 2014 recipients of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships and selection panel members
Mr Sandor Kazi with supporters of Hugh Rogers Fellowships and MBSCAMr Rob Trenberth AM with Ms Emily Rochette and Dr Natalie ThorneMr Robert Trenberth AM with City of Melbourne's Kathy Knowles
Susan de Weger performing on Melbourne Town Hall PorticoMs Susan de Weger with Mr Robert Trenberth AM

Gala Lunch with Peter Hitchener - fundraiser for the "tall ship" Alma Doepel & Youth Programs

28 August 2015
Ethiad Stadium

Book now to secure your place at this fundraiser on 28 August

The Alma Doepel is the last surviving three masted wooden topsail schooner, Australian built and operated, with more than a hundred and ten years of history behind her. She is currently under restoration in Docklands, Melbourne and when completed will be based in Victoria Harbour and sail again as a training ship for youth development, community and corporate activities and as a tourist and educational focus.

Boston is home to the USSConstellation “Old Ironsides”, which is on display to the public and offers excellent educational programs based on maritime history and is a fine example of a museum ship set within a world-class maritime heritage precinct.

These ships and the organisations and communities that support them have much to offer the Melbourne-Boston Sister Cities relationship and we invite you to attend the fund-raising luncheon for Alma Doepel on 28 August, 2015 at the Etihad Stadium to hear about progress with “The Alma” and how she will take her place in the Docklands environment For more information about this event 

Source: Boston Globe - Old Ironsides last unassisted sail 2014

Happily home in my 'Boston on the Yarra

Edited speech given by Julia Gillard

Sunday, 12 July 2009

AFTER a whirlwind tour of some of the great cities of the world, how nice it is to be home again in Melbourne. In recent weeks I've started to feel like a cross between Lucky Starr and Henry Kissinger, because I've been almost everywhere that counts: New York, Washington, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Amman, Kuwait, Baghdad, Dubai, Canberra and (of course) Altona.

You're struck both by the contemporary challenges, and by the charms of antiquity in great cities like Jerusalem — founded some six millennia ago — and Baghdad, conceived as a purpose-built imperial capital 13 centuries ago. Baghdad is really the Iraqi version of Canberra. But while Canberra has its dangers, particularly for Opposition politicians bearing fake emails, it is a tranquil paradise in comparison.

Those cities have been built and rebuilt on the foundations of the old. Despite their troubles, they remain bustling, lively, democratic places with cultures distinct from anywhere else on the planet.

The secret to managing constant change is to adapt without losing what you stand for. No matter how much it changes, every successful city passes on a core of its architecture, landscape and culture to posterity. The same is true of Melbourne. Today Melbourne is a city that looks outward — literally so, when you get to the Yarra and Docklands. But it wasn't always so. Think of Hoddle's city grid, conceived just two years after the city's foundation. Neat, geometric, thoughtful. "Very Melbourne", we might say.

But it ignored the water. Turned its back on the Yarra and the docks — something understandable back then when rivers were sewers and ports were regarded as sources of vice and contagion. Look at Federation Square today: prime river-side real estate; the city's new heart, with superb food, drink and cultural attractions.

Then think of what was there before. A factory. Railway yards. And those two SEC towers. They were modern once but they sent a definite message: go no further. Patrick McCaughey, a keen arbiter of taste, once volunteered to lean on the dynamite plunger to blow them up.

Our institutions have not always looked forward. I'm sometimes tempted, on days when I am Acting Prime Minister, to go down to the Melbourne Club with our female Governor-General and apply for membership on the spot. But then again, it has been remarked that the second-most-common appendage at the Melbourne Club is a walking stick.

Our city once looked in a different direction. But through its formative years, Melburnians looked inward to think about how to create a better way to live.

The Melbourne achievement is to have built a city from a deceptively simple idea: that ideas themselves are important. As a result, we were the intellectual engine room for Federation, the home of liberalism and social democracy, giving Australia Deakin, Menzies, Curtin and Hawke. Let's face it, even some of our conservatives, like Peter Costello, would look positively radical elsewhere in the country.

We nurtured our nation's twin prophets — Manning Clark and Geoffrey Blainey, one for the Left and one for the Right. We produced outstanding dramatists and writers, like David Williamson and George Johnston.

They may not have given us harbour views, but our city's founders did us a great service when they turned their backs on the water. They made us think. And a city of ideas has a great comparative advantage as we now turn outwards to become a truly global city of the 21st century.
We've succeeded enormously. The Economist ranks us as one of the world's most liveable cities. We are the fastest-growing city in the nation. We are now the fourth-top university city in the world, after London, Boston and Tokyo.

Our responsibility is to keep this Melbourne ethos and success story alive as we keep changing. When Melbourne does well, so does Australia.
While we enjoy our friendly rivalry with other state capitals, we're not competing against them. We must avoid the narcissism of small differences. All our cities are competing with Hong Kong and Helsinki and Sao Paolo in tomorrow's economy. We can't afford to be relaxed and comfortable because the 21st-century race is already intense.

Melbourne faces huge challenges: building a transport system for the post-carbon age, making urban growth sustainable, maintaining housing affordability, tackling pockets of social exclusion, keeping our envied record of multiculturalism, tackling water shortages and bushfire risks.
But nurturing ideas is the greatest task of all because, ultimately, they are the catalyst of economic growth, as well as the spark of civilisation.

That is why investing in a great education system for all is the most important thing we can do. The Prime Minister has suggested one of our other great cities could become the Boston of Australia. Now, I wouldn't dream of contradicting him — so you need to set him straight. We've already got a Boston. It's on the Yarra and it's called Melbourne.

Julia Gillard is Deputy Prime Minister. This is an edited version of a speech given to the inaugural gathering of the Melbourne Forum.

Source: The Age

Hugh Rogers Fellowships 2014

Applications Now Open

open from Thursday 29th May to Friday 1st August
Guidelines and Application Forms

Hugh Rogers recognised early on the importance of promoting exchanges of talented people and ideas between Melbourne and Boston in all areas of endeavour. The Fellowships reflect this principle and are designed to create durable linksbetween people and institutions in Melbourne and Boston that over time enhance the intellectual, commercial and cultural life of each city.

Thus the purpose of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships is to encourage and support innovative people and ideas by funding research and projects that expand and enhance Melbourne’s and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence in three areas of research and practice.  These areas of focus are; education, healthcare and medical research, and the arts and culture.

Depending on the quality of applications and the availability of funds in each year, one or more Fellowships up to $20,000 may be awarded in these nominated areas of endeavour.  However, if applications of insufficient quality are received, the MBSCA reserves the right to decline to award a Fellowship in any, or all, the areas of focus.

Each Hugh Rogers Fellowship is intended to fund a self-contained, and sustainable, research project of a short duration, to be undertaken in an institution inBoston.

The Fellowships will be awarded to practitioners and researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Each Fellowship is intended to assist the longer-term development of the Fellow’s career by furthering their research or project and by providing them with opportunities to create new professional networks.

2014 Application Form (.pdf) 2014 Application Form (.pdf) (680 KB)

Hugh Rogers Fellowships report guide Hugh Rogers Fellowships report guide (603 KB)

Hugh Rogers Fellowships: 13 fellows; 5 years

Outcomes of Hugh Rogers Fellowships since 2010

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hugh Rogers AM was instrumental in founding the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association in 1985 and remained a driving force throughout his life. Hugh recognised early on the importance of promoting educational exchange between Melbourne and Boston, particularly in the strengths of medical research and the arts. The Hugh Rogers Fellowships honour and continue his outstanding contribution to the life of both cities.

For the past five years, the Hugh Rogers Fellowships have delivered a boost of knowledge for Melbourne’s health, education and artistic communities. Drawing on the networks and knowledge gained through the three decade long sister cities relationship between Melbourne and Boston, the Fellowships have contributed new ideas, new approaches and new collaborations to the city. 

In this time, the MBSCA has provided support for 13 Melbourne innovators to develop their networks and knowledge in Boston. In healthcare and medical research fields, the fellowships have supported the development of a global player in the area of coeliac disease; in the education sector the program has trained several teachers focused on teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics to girls, and in the arts field the fellowships have brought a new focus on musical entrepreneurship to Melbourne.

Six weeks in Boston, six years of collaborations

Bob Anderson [2010] -

As the inaugural Hugh Rogers Fellow, Dr Bob Anderson spent six weeks in Boston to further his work in developing treatments into coeliac disease. He has subsequently made significant inroads in the development of a treatment for the disease, grown a company with connections in both cities, and contributed to research in both Boston and Melbourne. Bob now lives and works in Boston and is the Chief Scientific Officer for ImmusanT. In 2014, ImmusanT was selected as one of Informa’s Top 10 Autoimmune/Anti-Inflammatory Projects to Watch. Clinical development of Nexvax2® in patients with coeliac disease is underway in the USA and Australia.

Giving Melbourne musicians an international voice

Xenia Hanusiak [2011]

Singer Ms Xenia Hanusiak spent her fellowship as artist-in-residence at NorthEastern University, undertaking performance and teaching and conducting research on Sylvia Plath and the dramatic monologue. Xenia is now representing Melbourne on an international stage as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.

Thinking differently

Mr Paul Beekman and Ms Nerida Mellerick [2012]
In 2012, the Hugh Rogers Fellowships focused on education with two Melbourne teachers spending time in Boston schools. Mr Paul Beekman from Melbourne High School brought back a deeper understanding of heritage to assist students to become active local and global citizens. Ms Nerida Mellerick from Clifton Hill Primary School gained an insight into new curriculum approaches that differentiates learning for gifted and talented students.

A clearer vision

Dr Lauren Ayton [2013]

The Hugh Rogers Fellowship allowed Lauren to form strong collaborations in Boston and to greatly advance her research. With the support of the MBSCA and the City of Melbourne, she travelled to Boston twice in 2014, spending a total of seven weeks working with Dr Joseph Rizzo at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In this time, they developed, refined and launched an International Task Force to gain consensus in the methods for testing and reporting of patient outcomes in vision restoration trials, which has been enthusiastically received by the research field, medical practitioners and patients alike. Subsequently, Dr Rizzo has visited Melbourne and joint projects have been initiated.

From Heide to Isabella Stewart Gardner to the Shrine

Christine Healey [2013]

Christine Healey’s fellowship allowed her to gain an understanding of how educators at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum develop, implement and evaluate their education programming. The Hugh Rogers Fellowship enabled her to shadow the Director of School and Teacher Programs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which focuses on delivering unique teaching and learning experiences through engagement with the visual arts. Since returning to Melbourne she has moved into a new role as Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Invited to return

Gemma Turvey [2013]

Gemma’s project was to undertake an intensive mentorship with improvisation specialist, pedagogue and multi Grammy Award winning cellist, Professor Eugene Friesen at the Berklee College of Music, Boston in order to develop her skills as an improvising pianist, composer and Director of chamber ensemble The New Palm Court Orchestra (NPCO). The fellowship was a huge success. As a result she significantly improved her skills and fluency as an improvising pianist, and gained new composition techniques which she has already begun applying to new compositions for the NPCO. She also made several significant professional and industry connections, including meeting the Director of the Mayor’s Office for Arts, Tourism and Special Events, which has resulted in the NPCO being invited to perform at the 2015 Boston Arts Festival. Most recently a quartet for the NPCO performed at the 30th Anniversary celebrations of the MBSCA.

Collaborating to help premature babies

Dr Rebecca Lim [2013]

Dr Rebecca Lim’s fellowship allowed her to foster a new collaboration with a Boston-based team of clinician-scientists and generate preliminary data towards a jointly held grant that would help with the financial support of this collaboration. During her time in Boston, she learnt hands-on techniques and protocols for isolating endogenous lung stem cells. These techniques are currently bring used by Dr Lim to understand how amnion-derived stem cells can help repair the lungs of premature babies and overcome initial development problems associated with injurious but necessary ventilatory support. Dr Lim was also invited to give a faculty seminar to senior medical staff and academic faculty from the Dana Farber Institute, Brigham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. It afforded an unprecedented opportunity to present the quality and breadth of medical research undertaken by Melbourne-based researchers.

Girls and physics

Mr Sandor Kazi [2014]

Sandor Kazi gained an insight into teaching physics to girls by witnessing firsthand the education pedagogy and methods used by Professor Eric Mazur in the “Applied Physics 50, Physics as a Foundation for Science & Engineering” course. He attended classes to witness a range of in-class activities, saw novel uses of technology in the classroom, attended group meetings, and had discussions with researchers in science education. He has begun implementing in-class and out-of-class activities in the physics classroom, implementing the novel technology in an effective way, and sharing findings with other educators.

Encouraging young women in STEM

Ms Emily Rochette [2014]

Emily’s project sought to investigate young women’s engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by studying the integration of technologies into Science. A major part of this research was completed at secondary schools in the Boston area including the Woodward School for Girls, the Dexter Southfield School and the Dana Hall School. Simmons College, Boston College and the Rotary Club of Boston provided opportunistic venues for data collection and further promoting relationships between Melbourne and Boston.

Low cost, electricity free oxygen concentrator for babies

Dr Bryn Sobott [2014]

Dr Bryn Sobott is a Grand Challenges Research Fellow on the Saving Lives at Birth Grant awarded in 2013 to complete a prototype of the FRE02 system. As the Principal Investigator he is responsible for seeing the project from prototyping, through to field trials and eventually scaling up to achieve widespread social impact. Bryn is passionate about addressing the needs of people living in poverty and recognises that specific scientific breakthroughs have repeatedly transformed seemingly insurmountable development challenges into tractable problems. His time in Boston helped develop a low cost, electricity free oxygen concentrator appropriate to low resource settings. He spent time at the D-Lab program at MIT with a proven track record in advancing low-cost technological solutions to address dire needs of people living in poverty. Collaboration with D-Lab will expedite the design and rigorous testing of core components of the device - a required milestone before clinical trials.

Two cities, shared genes

Dr Natalie Thorne [2014]

Boston is a world-leading centre for large scale genome testing. Travelling to Boston, Natalie learned how to refine her approaches to ensure higher standards in genome testing by improving accuracy in diagnosing genetic diseases for people in Melbourne. Her comparison of the Boston process for genome testing revealed new ways to use information from the large numbers of collective tests gathered in Boston. This was an unexpected outcome that is now shaping research avenues in Melbourne for clinical bioinformatics. Natalie has been able to share this knowledge with the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and now they are able to better anticipate and manage the adoption of future advances in genome testing. Recognising the value of the Melbourne-Boston interaction in this field, a large research grant application in the US has recently been submitted by the Boston group that lists Melbourne as collaborators. The grant aims to develop the next generation of genome tests, including testing and using new technology not available in Melbourne yet. If successful, this grant will cement the relationship between Melbourne and Boston for ongoing collaborations and exchange of knowledge on genome testing.

Developing Melbourne’s entrepreneurial musicians

Ms Susan de Weger [2014]

The Hugh Rogers Fellowship allowed Susan to investigate the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She also benefitted from private Horn tuition with Richard Sebring, faculty member, Associate Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Principal Horn of the Boston Pops. With the knowledge and connections she brought back from Boston, Susan established to support her work as an advocate and practitioner for arts entrepreneurship education to improve career outcomes for music graduates. Through this consultancy, she has been engaged by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music to develop a strategic delivery plan for entrepreneurship education within the faculty.

Find out more about the Hugh Rogers Fellowships.

Making bread safe for celiacs

Hugh Rogers Fellowship recipient in the news

Monday, 11 March 2013

2010 Hugh Rogers Fellowship recipient Dr Robert Anderson is zeroing in on a potential vaccine against celiac disease.

Read the article from The Boston Globe here.

MBSCA hosts a knowledge exchange with Dr Rosen

2013 Hugh Rogers Fellow Dr Lauren Ayton joins Dr Rosen

Thursday, 21 August 2014

On Wednesday, 20 August 2014 MBSCA, in association with the City of Melbourne and veski, hosted a Melbourne Boston Knowledge Exchange with Dr Jonathan Rosen from the College of Engineering, Boston University at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Dr Rosen delivered an engaging lecture on "The Role of Societal Engineers in the Innovation Economy", which encouraged collaboration between Melbourne and Boston in the life sciences industry and explored our understanding of the traditional roles of engineers and the evolution of the societal engineer. With deeper understanding of the challenges facing our society, Dr Rosen proposed that engineers must make a sustained commitment to devise creative, responsible solutions to those challenges. 

Following a presentation peppered with humour and profound insights, veski innovation fellow Professor Kenneth Crozier led a short Q&A session about the role of societal engineers and the shared learnings between Boston and Melbourne.

The conclusion of Dr Rosen's presentation didn't herald the end of the evening; joining him, 2013 MBSCA Hugh Rogers Fellow Dr Lauren Ayton continued the themes of partnership and collaboration as she shared her personal experiences in a presentation entitled, "Strengthening Melbourne-Boston ties: the importance of the sister city relationship".

Dr Ayton talked about the relationships she built during her time in Boston, and the relationships she continues to maintain since her return to Melbourne. 

MBSCA hosts Carlo Ratti from SENSEable City Lab

28 March 2014

The Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association (MBSCA) was delighted to welcome Prof Carlo Ratti, an influential urban designer and Director of the SENSEable City lab at MIT University in Boston, to discuss innovative ideas for expanding our open space in increasingly dense cities with a special collaboration on Thursday 27th March between the MBSCA and the City of Melbourne. Along with Prof Rob Adams AM, Cr Ken Ong, and MBSCA Co-Chair Mr Robert Trenberth AM, Carlo was a part of a unique presentation and panel discussion at the Yarra Room, Melbourne Town Hall.

Carlo presented the conception behind this Melbourne-Boston knowledge exchange, as well as other innovative projects in urban development, waste management, city and sensory technology, and the impact of these on Melbourne. Returning to Melbourne for the second part of a Fellowship program with the International Specialised Skills Institute, he also took part in a range of programs with students and professionals in collaboration with RMIT University, the City of Melbourne, the Department of Education, veski, Ernst and Young, and the University of Melbourne.

Some of Carlo’s ideas and projects he presented included advances in city flows and smart infrastructures such as transportation and self-driving cars with autonomous intersection management, an autonomous flying quad copter and personal tour guide called Sky Call, garbage tracking and the global removal chain, along with the evolutions of industries and knowledge in our cities. He told of how “we are storing everything in our cities, hence designers will become more important in the future as we look for city solutions”. He also expressed the importance of collaboration and partnerships, “too many organisations are working in isolation from one another”, he said which reflected on the importance of international relationships such as the sister-city relationship between Melbourne and Boston and the provision for collaboration and sharing knowledge to enhance innovation as Carlo has during his time in Melbourne.

Carlo’s work transcends industries and interests which was reflected in the range of guests in attendance including the Hon. Justice Robert Osborn of the Supreme Court of Victoria, leading professionals from the fields of architecture, urban design, environments, as well as local and state governments including the City of Melbourne’s Business International, City Design, and Clean Tech teams. A key motivator to pursue this relationship with Carlo and MIT was because of how these innovations from the SENSEable City Lab and this field of urban design and development has such a strong point of reference to Melbourne and Boston as innovative and conscious urban cities - a relationship that will continue to be enacted upon in the future.

In addition to the 27th March event, on Monday the 24th Carlo gave a talk at the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute on the topic of urban mobility, drawn from experiments underway in cities around the world including Singapore, Copenhagen, Cape Town and New York. He also gave a lecture as a part of the RMIT Business Lecture Series on Tuesday 25th March in partnership with Ernst and Young and veski to an audience of leading business professionals, followed by a professional master class at the RMIT Design Hub, and a series of workshops with RMIT University students working on a special site project in the heart of Melbourne.

The MBSCA wishes to thank those guests who attended, along with the City of Melbourne, ISS Institute and various partners who made this event possible.

MBSCA welcomes winter with the Melbourne Aces

Winter in Docklands

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The MBSCA partnered with the Melbourne Aces baseball team and Destination Docklands to welcomes winter on Saturday 1 June with a free family fun day at the NewQuay Piazza with activities from all of Melbourne's Sister Cities.

Check out the Facebook gallery of images from the day.

Northeastern rising Down Under

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Northeastern faculty member Marcus Breen, an Australian who chairs the Melbourne-Boston Sister City Association, sees a big future Down Under for the University’s faculty and students.

Northeastern’s joint degree program with Swinburne University in Melbourne and other initiatives in Australia — ranging from traditional study-abroad programs to internships and research co-ops — position the University to take advantage of a new partnership between Massachusetts and the state of Victoria, says Breen, an associate professor of communication studies.

BreenStoryNewThe Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment recently signed an agreement with the Victoria Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, promoting bilateral trade and investment as well as information and academic exchange.

Melbourne, Victoria’s state capital, is “considered to be the cultural capital of Australia, and the educational center as well,” Breen says. Australians tend to be very outward looking and creative, he added, and he expects that creativity to mix well with Northeastern’s brand of experiential and global education.

“We already have a well established partnership with Swinburne, which is going very well, and there are so many other great academic institutions, including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology,” he says. “My ambition is to have some formal interactions with universities there, while developing project-based activities that will be supported by participants on both sides of the planet.”

With the official agreement between Massachusetts and the Victoria, Breen anticipates additional resources will be allocated to forge collaborative ties in a number of industry and research sectors, including clean/renewable energy, financial services, communications, technology and life sciences, he says.

“There is a great deal of nanotechnology research taking place in Australia, and I see this as an area of big potential for collaborations,” Breen says. “Both states are deeply committed to technology and environmental science and want to enhance the interaction between all stakeholders.”

Statement regarding 2013 Boston Marathon explosions

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

In response to the tragic events in Boston early this morning, the co-chairs of the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association, Ms Helen Steel and Mr Robert Trenberth AM, have issued this statement:

The Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association (MBSCA) is devastated by the news this morning from Boston.

We send our condolences to the families of those killed and our thoughts are with those who have been injured in the Boston Marathon explosions.

As co-chairs of the Melbourne-Boston Sister Cities Association we would like to pledge our support to Boston and will do whatever is in our power to support the recovery effort.

To this end, our fundraising event on Thursday, 16 May, a 'Boston Tea Party' will continue and we will donate a percentage of our fundraising efforts towards whatever official funds may be established.

We will also work with the City of Melbourne in whatever capacity we can to support the City of Boston and encourage Melburnians to continue to visit Boston and work, live and stay.

MBSCA was founded in 1985 under the auspices of the City of Melbourne's sister city relationship with Boston, and continues to foster collaborations between the two great cities.

Anyone who has concerns for the welfare of family and friends in the region and has been unable to contact them should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135

For more information, email

Teachers set to bring lessons back from Boston

Teacher with “gift for engaging his students” and teacher on “cutting edge of her profession” to bring lessons back from Boston

29 November 2012

Paul Beekman, a teacher with a “gift for engaging his students and bringing his classes to life”, and Nerida Mellerick, a teacher “at the cutting edge of her profession”, have been named the 2012 Hugh Rogers Fellows in education as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week.

The Hugh Rogers Fellowships, awarded annually by the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association (MBSCA), were presented at the Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 28 November 2012 as part of an inaugural MBSCA announcement event.

Co-chair of the MBSCA Robert Trenberth AM says the 2012 candidates were of a particularly high calibre, which led to the unusual decision to award two fellowships.
“Paul and Nerida are outstanding examples of the committed teachers we have in Melbourne, and I’m pleased that we’re able to help them continue their professional education and bring back lessons from Boston,” Mr Trenberth said.

Paul Beekman is a Leading Teacher and Head of Humanities at University High School where he has taught since 2003. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne. In 2010, Paul spent a month at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education studying Leadership in Education.

University High School Principal Rob Newton says Paul has “a gift for engaging his students and for bringing his classes to life by making the subject relevant to their lives”. In 2009, Paul developed the school’s ‘Galileo Program’, which provides an intensive term-long opportunity for year 9 students to work in teams examining key questions about life, liveability and sustainability in the City of Melbourne.

The Hugh Rogers Fellowship will allow Paul to return to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education to research and extend his interest in ‘New Civics’, which he will use to assist students to become life long active participants in the community.

Nerida Mellerick who has taught for eight years at the Gold Street Primary School in Clifton Hill is in charge of curriculum development for preparatory to year two students and holds the degree of Bachelor of Education from the University of Melbourne.

Nerida has developed and pursued her interest in identifying and supporting gifted children early in their primary school years and is described by her Principal as “an outstanding teacher at the cutting edge of her profession, a meticulous planner who possesses the ability to identify gifted children and develop appropriate strategies and programs to meet their needs and one who understands that underachievement can occur not just at the lower end of student abilities”.

The Hugh Rogers Fellowship will allow Nerida to extend and expand her interest in differentiated curriculum development by spending two weeks attending Harvard University’s Project Zero program, and visiting with ‘The Sage School’, an independent school in Boston specialising in gifted education.

The Fellowships honour and continue the outstanding contribution made by Hugh Rogers to the life of Melbourne and Boston, and are selected by a panel of prominent experts in the areas of life sciences, the arts and education

The panel of prominent experts for 2012 included Professor Andrea Hull AO, former Director of the Victorian College of the Arts; Professor Fred Mendelsohn AO, a Director of the Howard Florey Institute; and Professor Richard Larkins AO, former Vice Chancellor of Monash University

Hugh Rogers AM was instrumental in founding the Melbourne Boston Sisters Cities Association in 1985 and at 95 years old remains a driving force. Hugh recognised early on the importance of promoting educational exchange between Melbourne and Boston.

Vale Hugh Rogers


Friday, 18 October 2013

Hugh Rogers died earlier this week, aged 96 years.

Hugh, with other business leaders, founded the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association. Signed in 1985 by Ray Flynn, Mayor of Boston and Tom Lynch, Mayor of Melbourne, witnessed with the great seals of both cities, the deed they executed breathed life into the idea of a special relationship between these great global cities.

Hugh was single minded in pursuit of the objective of making the Association relevant to both cities. To this endeavour Hugh brought to bear his practical approach to problem solving and management, learned first as a farm boy born and raised in Elmore, near Bendigo, in Victoria. Always at the top of his High School class, after completing University, Hugh's instincts and skills from those early days were honed into an energetic and inspirational presence over a career as a successful executive with the group of companies that eventually became Amcor Ltd.

From its early days, Hugh led the Association as its chairman. He initiated many projects, including exchanges of students, civic and business contacts, political exchanges that led to visits by a Governor of Massachusetts and a US Presidential candidate, and visits to Melbourne by other senior politicians and business leaders. Hugh visited Boston regularly and made countless friends and contacts in the business, political and arts communities.

In 2006 Hugh retired to the coaches box, handing the chair to me, but remained a committee member and continued to contribute to the Association.

Early in my career as an executive with McPhersons Ltd, Hugh was mentor and industrial relations advisor to me, then friend, but was always an inspiring example of what can be achieved with energy and commitment. He will be missed by all who knew him, but none more so than his colleagues and admirers in the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association.

The Associations' Hugh Rogers' Fellowships, awarded each year to outstanding early stage researchers and practitioners in the arts, education and medical research, are a durable legacy to a wonderful man.

Rest in peace my old friend.

Robert Trenberth AM
Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association