Welcome to the
Greater Victoria
Commonwealth Games Bid

Greater Shepparton City Council is seeing the culmination of more than five years work come to fruition with the announcement from the Victorian State Government that they will bid for a regional cities 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Further information will be made available in the future.

Taskforce Members

A thirteen-member Greater Victoria Bid ‘Taskforce’ has been appointed to commence stage one of the work in exploring the possibility of a regional bid.

Chaired by former Swisse Wellness Managing Director Adem Karafili, other committee members include deputy Chair Nick Holland, Heloise Pratt AM, Peter Crinis, Radek Sali, Mitch Catlin, Andrew Ryan, Leon Spellson, The Hon Jeanette Powell, Margaret Zita, Lauren Jackson AO and John Steffensen and Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe.

Meet The Taskforce

  • Adem Karafili (Chair)
    Adem Karafili (Chair)
    Light Warrior Group

    Adem is a highly effective executive across a range of sectors and industries, having spent the last seven years establishing Swisse Wellness as the leading global health and wellness brand before it’s sale to Biostime International for nearly $1.8 billion. While at Swisse, Adem held senior positions of Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and finally the Managing Director.

    Adem is a CPA, having studied a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) – Accounting.

    His leadership, analytical skills and can do attitude are attributes that have delivered results in significantly improving businesses in today’s globally competitive economic environment.

    Adem also chaired the Celebrate Life Foundation, the community arm of Swisse, the activities of which have raised more than $3million for 23 charities over the last 3 years. More recently, Adem has been appointed a director of the Lightfolk Foundation, which has been established to support initiatives with the intent of advancing humankind.

  • Nick Holland (Deputy Chair)
    Nick Holland (Deputy Chair)
    CEO - E.J. Whitten Foundation

    Nick Holland is a former professional Australian Rules football player who played 179 games for Australian Football League (AFL) club Hawthorn between 1994 and 2005, serving as Vice Captain between 1999 and 2003. Holland is an AFL Rising Star Award winner, a best and fairest and leading goal kicker at Hawthorn and represented Australia in International Rules. Nick continues to be involved in Hawthorn as committee member.

    With a Science Degree and a Law Degree Nick is currently the Manager - Legal Compliance & Governance for Athletics Australia.

  • Cr Kim O’Keeffe
    Cr Kim O’Keeffe
    Councillor - Greater Shepparton City Council

    Kim O’Keeffe has lived in Shepparton most of her life with her husband Brendan. Together they have raised their two daughters here in Shepparton. Kim has run her own business in the service and training industry for the past 28 years, expanding her business nationally, taking on the role as National Education and Marketing Manager for the Salons Group. Her own makeup brand is sold across Australia.

    For the past 20 years Kim has been a volunteer for The Look Good Feel Better program, for women with cancer. She has also been a volunteer for the Shine program and the Make A Wish foundation. Kim is passionate about women’s health and wellbeing.

    Kim and her family have invested their lives in a region they believe in and love. She is passionate about Greater Shepparton; her aspiration is to make the region a wonderful place for it's residents, to see our region thrive and prosper.

    Cr O'Keeffe has served multiple terms as a Greater Shepparton Councillor and Mayor.

  • John Steffensen
    John Steffensen
    Athletics Australia Board Member and former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist

    John Steffensen is one of Australia’s most famous runners winning medals at both the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. John specialised in 200 and 400 metres with his personal bests being 20.79 and 44.73.

    Post his athletic career, John has his own food and juice businesses and is a presenter and reporter on Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports.

    John is a member of the Athletics Australia Board and more recently was responsible for the highly successful Nitro Athletics Melbourne event which is set to revolutionize the sport of athletics.

  • Margaret Zita
    Margaret Zita
    Commercial Stakeholder Specialist - Qantas Airways Limited

    Margaret Zita has been in the aviation industry for over 27 years and in that time she has seen the growth and mergers between Australian Airlines and Qantas.

    She commenced her employment as an Executive Assistant where her key focus was to maintain and grow Qantas’ relationships with major key stakeholders in Victoria. Margaret was then appointed as Key Commercial Executive and is now the Commercial Stakeholder Specialist for Qantas. Although based in Melbourne, Margaret’s role reports directly into the Business and Government Sales division based in Sydney, and works nationally and globally to drive partnership program within the organisation.

    Prior to Qantas, Margaret worked at Southdown Press in Advertising for seven years.

    Margaret was the recipient of the Qantas International Service Award in 2011, and in 2015 she was invited by the Victoria Premier to join the Ministerial Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs.

  • Radek Sali
    Radek Sali
    Executive Chairman - Light Warrior

    Radek Sali has been an integral part of the Swisse story since he joined the company in 2005 and having assumed the role of CEO nine years ago, Radek has ensured Swisse is now one of the world’s most recognisable and fastest growing companies. Radek’s decision to depart Swisse came after almost 12 years with the leading wellness brand having taken the company from a family owned business with a small offering, to becoming Australia’s and China’s number one natural health brand with over 300 products across vitamins and supplements, sports nutrition and skincare, sold in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, Italy, Netherlands and China.

    During his time, as only the third CEO in the company’s amazing 40 year history, Radek has been known for his dynamic leadership and commitment to business, its people and the community. He has been a conscious leader driving massive revenue growth, navigating challenging times and market transitions, and has been rewarded by creating one of the world’s most successful wellness brands. In 2012 Swisse was named the ‘Most Successful Business of the Year’ in the prestigious 2012 BRW Private Business Awards. Radek was also recognised as the GQ Businessman of the Year and the CEO Magazine’s Pharmaceutical Executive of the Year. Swisse was also recognised as a great place to work in the top 25 BRW list two years running 2015 and 2016. This year, Radek was named as Australia’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 for Industry.

    Radek is now focussing on his private investment group Light Warrior and the it’s philanthropic arm Light Folk both of which he is Chairman. Light Warrior is a positive, principle-driven investment group, focused on investments in a range of industries. Light Folk is his family foundation that supports the advancement of human kind.

    Radek’s father, Professor Avni Sali, was born in Shepparton along with three of his brothers, with his parents and two older siblings migrating to Australia from Albania in 1937. His father grew up in Shepparton, and three of his brothers have large families who live in Shepparton. Radek spent a huge amount of his youth in Shepparton and the place is very dear to him.

  • Leon Spellson
    Leon Spellson
    Managing Director - Executive Sports & Entertainment (ESE)

    Leon Spellson has worked in the sport and entertainment marketing space for 20 years specialling in sponsorship, events, brand integration and hospitality. Leon has been fortunate across his journey to work on some of the largest global events (Olympics, World Cups, Commonwealth Games) and biggest tours (One Direction) in Australia and overseas. His clients are some of Australia’s largest company’s in a range of diverse industries.

    Leon’s involvement has covered everything from national and global role out of integrated marketing initiatives and the execution of leverage campaigns encompassing everything from event, brand and broadcast integration through to sponsorship and hospitality programs and finally consumer activations on ground at events.

    In 2011 Leon was in-house at Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) for the specific role of launching Nine Live (now TEG Live). Nine Live is a speciality touring, events and hospitality business created to complement the already successful events division at NEC. Following a very successful three and half year contract, Leon reignited Executive Sports & Entertainment (ESE) and continued his career in the field of sports and entertainment.

  • Mitch Catlin
    Mitch Catlin
    Managing Director - Catchy MMM

    Mitch Catlin has worked in senior marketing, brand and media roles for 15 years across both Australia and overseas. Mitch has been integral to two of the biggest brands in Australia over the past decade - Swisse and Myer.

    His roles have covered everything from global marketing strategy, creative campaigns ambassador and celebrity deals, national and international event management, Media Relations and PR Strategy, Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations, sponsorships and Partnerships and more. Prior to his in-house roles, Mitch was the Media Director for Haystac Public Affairs working across media and brand strategy for some of the most well-known household names in Australia. He was seconded to both the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and 2007 World Swimming Championships in a strategic media and event role.

    His career began with senior journalistic roles across radio and television including Chief of Staff of Network Ten in Melbourne and a reporter for the Seven Network in the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery and the American Bureau in Los Angeles. In November 2014 Mitch launched Catchy Media Marketing and Management.

  • Leon Spellson
    Peter Crinis
    Chief Operation Officer - Crown Hotels, Retail, Food & Beverage and Visit Victoria Board Member

    In his position as Chief Operation Officer for Crown Hotels and Food & Beverage, Peter Crinis is responsible for one of the largest pieces of tourism infrastructure in Australia. He oversees a team of approximately three thousand employees in Melbourne and Perth supporting the seamless management of over 2790 luxury accommodation rooms across five hotels and twenty-four restaurants and thirteen bars owned and operated by Crown. He also manages stakeholder interests at Crown’s impressive stable of twenty seven international and luxury brands and fifteen high end restaurants.

    Peter formally guides strategic planning, new developments and the application of brand and operating standards for all food & beverage, hotels and retail outlets within the Crown group structure. He has been instrumental in the operational design of Crown’s newest hotel projects including Crown Metropol Perth, Crown Promenade Perth, Crown Towers Manila and still underway, Crown Towers Perth and Crown Towers Sydney.

    His wealth of experience, expertise and attuned passion for the hospitality and tourism sector has seen Peter rise through the ranks at Crown to become an integral part of the Executive team, from Rooms Division Manager of Crown Towers to his current position of Chief Operating Officer - Crown Hotels and Food & Beverage for Crown Melbourne.

    In 2005, Peter was named “Hotelier of the Year” in the Australian Hotels Association Awards of Excellence. He is currently a board member of Visit Victoria, Tourism Accommodation Australia of Tourism Accommodation Australia and Melbourne Food & Wine.

  • Mitch Catlin
    Lauren Jackson AO
    Former Professional Basketballer and former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist

    Lauren Jackson is an Australian former professional basketball player. The daughter of two national basketball team players, Lauren was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1997, when she was 16. In 1998, she led the AIS side that won the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championship. Jackson joined the Canberra Capitals for the 1999 season when she turned 18, and played with the team off and on until 2006, winning four more WNBL championships. From 2010 to 2016, Jackson played with the Canberra Capitals, which she did during the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) offseason during the time she continued WNBA play.

    Lauren made the Australian under-20 team when she was only 14 years old, and was first called up to the Australian Women’s National Basketball Team (nicknamed The Opals) when she was 16 years old. She was a member the 2000 Summer Olympics, and 2004 Summer Olympics teams, captain of the 2008 Summer Olympics team, winning three silver medals. She was also part of the Australian team that won the bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Jackson was a member of the Australian Senior Women’s Team that won a silver medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship for Women in China, co-captain of the team that won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, and captain of the team that won a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil.

    In 2001, Lauren entered the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft and was selected by the Seattle Storm, which viewed Jackson as a franchise player. She has won two WNBA titles with the Storm, in 2004 and 2011, the latter also earning her the WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Lauren ranks among the top WNBA players in played games and minutes, field goals and three point shoots, and turnover percentage.

    Lauren has played club basketball in Europe with WBC Spartak Moscow in Russia and Ros Casares Valencia in Spain. She has also played with the Women’s Korean Basketball League, where she was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and set a league record scoring 56 points, and the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association. Jackson announced her retirement from basketball on 31 March 2016, citing a persistent knee injury as the reason for her decision. Besides her basketball career Lauren is in the process of attaining her university degree at the Macquarie University, majoring in gender studies.

  • Leon Spellson
    The Hon Jeanette Powell
    Former Member for Shepparton District and Victorian Nationals MP, former Minister for Local Government and former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

    Jeanette Powell was born in Prescot, England and emigrated to Australia as a child. After a short time in the Preston migrant camp, the family moved to Shepparton in regional Victoria. Prior to entering parliament, Jeanette held a variety of occupations including film processor, television presenter, singer, marketing and sales, office manager and director of the family auto-electrics business.

    From 1990 to 1994 Jeanette was a Shire of Shepparton councillor, and President of the Shire from 1993 to 1994. After the 1994 council amalgamations, Jeanette was appointed as a Commissioner with the Shire of Campaspe from 1994 to 1996.

    Jeanette was elected to the Legislative Council seat of North-Eastern Province at the 1996 state election, becoming the first woman to represent the National Party of Australia in the Victoria Parliament. In 2002, she was elected to the Legislative Assembly, successfully retaining the seat of Shepparton for the National Party upon the retirement of long-serving MP Don Kilgour.

    Jeanette was the first woman to represent the National Party in both Houses of the Victorian Parliament. She was appointed state Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs following the Liberal- National Coalition’s victory at the 2010 election, and served in those roles under both Premiers Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine.

    In February 2014 Jeanette announced that she would not be a candidate at the 2014 Victorian State Election.

    Jeanette is currently a Director of Shepparton Villages, Vice President of Goulburn Valley Hospice Care Service, Board Member of the Victorian Parliament Former Members Association, Life Member of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, patron of a number of local organisations, and honorary member of the Rotary Club of Shepparton.

  • Mitch Catlin
    Heloise Pratt AM
    Executive Chairman - Pratt Foundation

    Since assuming the role of Pratt Foundation Chair in 1995, Heloise Pratt has led Pratt Philanthropies to a new generation of philanthropy and social investment. In particular, Heloise has been a pioneer in the funding of mental health, where her initiatives have included the Pratt Foundation’s seed funding of major projects at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Schizophrenia Research Institute, and the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. In June 2015 Heloise was made a Member of the Order of Australian in recognition of her charitable work and commitment.

    Heloise continues to play an important role in Visy Industries, the company founded by her later father Richard Pratt. This role includes overseeing VisyCare which promotes corporate social responsibility by establishing many community-based projects around Australia, including learning, youth and immigrant centres.

    The Pratt Foundation is a strong supporter for the Global Poverty Project, the nominated charity for the Greater Victoria (Australia) Commonwealth Games project.

    The Pratt family share a long and fond association with Shepparton with Richard Pratt and his family settling in Shepparton in 1938 after seeking refuge from the Nazis. Richard attended Grahamvale Primary School and Shepparton High School before leaving the area to attend university. Visy continue to operate a site at Shepparton.

  • Leon Spellson
    Andrew Ryan
    Managing Director - Mitchelton Wines

    Andrew Ryan is the Managing Director of Mitchelton Wines. As Mitchelton’s owners, Andrew and his father Gerry Ryan aim to preserve Mitchelton’s integrity as a leading Victorian fine wine producer whilst realising the full potential of the stunning winery and vineyard location in leading the transformation of Mitchelton to an unforgettable winery experience for wine and food enthusiasts.

    Prior to his current role Andrew was previously the Marketing Director of the Jayco Corporation and continues to be a Board Member of the company.

    Andrew is also the Director of Rise Developments, Rise Entertainment and the Melbourne Pub Group which was established in 2005 with the goal of redeveloping iconic pubs into leading food and beverage venues including the Albert Park Hotel, Middle Park Hotel and Newmarket Hotel.

    Andrew currently owns the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda, and is the Director of Orica-Scott (formerly GreenEDGE cycling) World Tour Cycling Team.

Terms of Reference

Terms of reference have been drawn up by the Greater Shepparton City Council which will form the centrepiece for the work that the bid committee must undertake. A Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games Bid pre-feasibility study has been completed. Further information regarding the study will be made available in the future.

Download the Terms of Reference PDF format - 2.4MB



Each candidate city looking to host a Commonwealth Games must include a minimal of 10 core sports on their program:

Aquatics (swimming) including Para-Swimming Events
Athletics including Para-Athletic Events
Cycling (road)
Cycling (road)
Gymnastics (artistic)
Gymnastics (artistic)
Lawn Bowls
Lawn Bowls including Para-Lawn Bowls
Rugby 7’s
Rugby 7’s (Men & Women)
Table Tennis
Table Tennis including Women’s Wheelchair
Powerlifting including Para-Lifting Events
Wrestling (freestyle)


Candidate cities can then include up to an additional optional sports/disciplines:

Basketball (Men & Women)
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball (Men & Women)
Cycling (track and/or mountain bike)
Gymnastics (rhythmic)
Open Water Swimming
Open Water Swimming
Shooting (clay target and/or fullbore and/or pistol & small bore)
Softball (Men & Women)
Synchronised Swimming
Synchronised Swimming
Table Tennis
Table Tennis
Ten Pin Bowling
Ten Pin Bowling



Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you think the Commonwealth Games Federation will consider a regionally hosted Games?

The Australian Commonwealth Games Federation has been contacted and the Taskforce will be meeting with them shortly to discuss the proposal.

You have seen the positive reaction to this so far and no one holds events better than Victoria.

It’s innovative, different and a ‘first of its kind’ approach.

We need to look at things differently in this day and age to ensure costs and benefits work in sporting bids.

We have seen what has happened in Durban and the importance of a well-planned financial plan.

It really is a game changer for regional cities. For cities like Melbourne, they continue to grow and operate all the time. But something like this really will change the face of towns like Shepparton, Ballarat and Bendigo.

We have seen how Melbourne Major Events has changed its name to Visit Victoria – it’s no longer just about Melbourne but the whole state of Victoria.

Wouldn’t Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne be a better option?

We sit in the Oceania category so could face bids from other Australian cities or likely from New Zealand as well.

We have said this is a revolutionary concept that has never been tried before – it’s not just one city – but 11 regional cities joining forces to deliver something unprecedented.

We think all of Australia will really embrace a concept that helps the engine room of this country in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture and dairy.

We know how regional Australia has done it tough in recent years and this is a pat on the back for them.

Due to the size of Victoria, this first of its kind approach would only work in this state as other states such as New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia are too dispersed.

The economic, social and cultural benefits can be spread “state-wide” rather than just one city benefiting.

How does Greater Shepparton think it could ever be the host of a Commonwealth Games?

Greater Shepparton is the lead city in this bid and the phase one working group is being led by Greater Shepparton City Council.

But this is not about Greater Shepparton – this is about the whole of Victoria coming together to create something very special – a legacy for regional areas.

Greater Shepparton had the vision to create this landmark event but we will all be working together to try to get this off the ground for the millions of Victorians living outside of Melbourne.

Greater Shepparton is emerging as regional Australia’s premier sporting destination due to facilities such as the new Shepparton Sports Precinct development, the revered Deakin Reserve football, netball and cricket complex, numerous recreational reserves and the Aquamoves aquatic, health and wellbeing centre. Greater Shepparton is also renowned for sporting tourism in hosting major international, national and state-wide events including Federation of International Volleyball Beach Volleyball World Tour, Challenge International Triathlon, Junior Davis Cup and Junior Federation Cup Tennis, Australian Open Lawns Bowls, Shepparton Squash International, Oceania Road and Mountain Bike Championships and BMX National and Oceania Championships.

We are looking at existing infrastructure, where possible, to upgrade to Commonwealth Games standards rather than all new infrastructure being built. Most of the nominated regional cities have venues and facilities that have already hosted significant international and national sporting events for many years with these now planning major facility upgrades for the next decade. While these venues may need upgrading to Commonwealth Games standard it will be at less cost than creating new facilities.

How will it be able to accommodate for that many athletes and visitors? Where would they stay?

This first of its kind concept is very much based around a satellite approach to accommodation.

That is, we envisage rather than one giant village, we would create temporary satellite villages in the regional cities hosting the various sports.

This is part of sharing the economic, social and cultural benefits across the state and engaging communities right across Victoria.

Accommodation will be one of the central investigative roles of the Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games Taskforce and ultimately the feasibility study of hosting the Games in Greater Victoria.

In terms of accommodation for potential spectators, that is one area of the challenge that needs to be explored across some regional areas. We need to talk to accommodation providers about opportunities that hosting the games may provide for them.

Hosting Commonwealth Games events will provide immediate and on-going tourism opportunities for the regional cities involved, therefore further private investment in accommodation would be encouraged.

Undoubtedly Melbourne will play a massively significant role in spectators for basing themselves particularly for regional cities like Ballarat and Geelong only one hour away. In the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, athletes and spectators were spending more than two hours one way travelling to stadiums and events.

Who is going to want to travel all around Victoria to watch different sports? Aren’t they too far apart?

The state-wide approach to this concept is part of the attraction – multiple regional cities are being used and showcased to the world in a way that has never happened before.

If you look at the Gold Coast for example, the locations of the venues include basketball being held in Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville and the shooting hosted in Belmont. Athletes and spectators understand that there is some travel involved in participating in and attending events.

At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, five regional cities held competitions, and four of them are part of our Greater Victoria bid.

The concept does highlight that road and passenger rail needs to be a major focus of this bid.

Here in Greater Shepparton we have been talking for a decade about the importance of upgrading our passenger rail between Shepparton and Melbourne to the similar frequency and quality of other similar towns such as Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. It will become a number one focus as part of this bid led by Greater Shepparton City Council.

How can the security be managed across such a large area?

The safety and security of everyone is paramount for any major event.

It can be argued that this will be a significant challenge, if not the most significant, wherever any future major international sporting event is held.

With that increased risk comes an increased cost, and no doubt, that cost will continue to rise over time.

We all know it will be significant – but it doesn’t stop countries, cities and regions from bidding for such events.

Security and safety will need to be a major focus of the Taskforce to determine the amount and potential cost of security and any risk factors with this bold plan.

How do you think the state of Victoria will benefit from a regionally hosted Games?

Under this initial proposal regional cities will host various sports rather than a single city.

Cost and importantly the benefits will be spread across the entire state of Victoria if a regional bid was successful.

Using the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games as an example, basketball was hosted in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon, these were some of the most well attended events which resulted in millions being injected into local economies. There was also an investment in regional sporting and cultural infrastructure with the State Government providing funding for improved facilities in these locations.

The overall likely impact will form part of what the ultimate feasibility study will involve when funds are secured from the State Government for this next stage of the process.

Following the launch of the Greater Victoria Games concept regional and rural Victorian Councils are welcome to nominate if they would like to be involved and what specific sports they have the capacity to host. Any suggestions are welcome.

What opportunities are are there for regional and rural councils to be involved?

The nominated locations and venues that featured as part of the media launch were just ideas and suggestions.

These suggestions were based on a current venue capacity and the ability to hold similar numbers to venues currently being built or refurbished for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

All Victorian regional and rural councils are invited to nominate how they believe they could participate in possibly delivering a Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games.

All Victorian regional and rural councils will be invited to participate in a workshop to identify how a Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games could be delivered.

Shouldn’t funds from the State Government be secured in the first instance?

No, the State Government needs to understand the feasibility of the concept prior to committing any funds.

Where do you propose for events to be hosted and why?

We have proposed some very top line venues for the Taskforce to examine in its initial project report.

Eleven regional cities have been included in this phase one stage – Shepparton, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount Buller, Yarrawonga, Mildura, Wodonga, Traralgon, Nagambie and Warrnambool/Port Campbell.

These venues have been selected based on previous competitions held at a national or international level.

Currently these are suggestions by Greater Shepparton City Council and the Taskforce will examine the viability of these and give their tick of approval or make alternative suggestions and amendments.

As mentioned, locations have been initially suggested that would require upgrading to Commonwealth Games standard rather than building new structures and facilities.

How much will it cost to run the Games? How will the Games be funded? Will it be at the expense of rate payers?

In the first instance the Taskforce will need to secure funds for the required feasibility study which will determine exactly how much will be needed if we are to make a go of this.

If the bid is to go ahead a significant investment in the Games and regional Victoria will be required.

Support from all levels of government – state, federal and local will be required. Significant private sector support will also be critical – which all major events of this size require in the current climate.

All relevant levels of government have been contacted about the project, with the Taskforce commencing discussions and meetings almost immediately with costs featuring high on the agenda.

Can’t funding be better used for other important services?

Employment and jobs are critical to any community and this one of the most important legacies of hosting a Commonwealth Games. This includes short and longterm employment opportunities.

This project has the potential to deliver jobs in spades for much of Greater Victoria. Political parties of all persuasions have been talking for years about growing and supporting regional cities outside of the capital cities with jobs and investment plans – here is one on a platter to support.

The time to start this project is now so that any funding required can be factored into future budgets. This means that funding won’t be redirected from essential services to fund the likes of the Commonwealth Games.

Significant dollars across all sections of government and the private sector will be required if this project was to succeed.

Will it be more expensive to host it state wide rather than in a city?

This is a first of its kind approach to holding an event like this.

We have seen what has happened in Durban, and there is already talk that several English cities could now host 2022 as a compromise position.

Why not plan for something like that concept to deliver the People’s Games – bringing them to the people right across the State of Victoria?

It’s a blue print that could be used moving forward.

In terms of cost, that is what we will ultimately find out when we are supported for the full feasibility study.

We have seen the sort of economic impact that a Commonwealth Games can have on Melbourne and now the Gold Coast, so why would we not want to share that with the people of regional towns – the engine room of our state.

How will hosting the Commonwealth Games directly benefit our regional city?

Jobs, investment and tourism, upgraded facilities and services are potential direct benefits to participating regional cities.

A key focus of a Government funded feasibility study will be to determine the exact direct economic impact.

The Taskforce role is to secure the funds required for the feasibility study.

We have seen that the proposed economic impact for:

  • 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - $2 billion economic injection, $200 million in new sporting and community infrastructure, up to 30,000 EFT and $270 million to the state and local economy from tourism (City of Gold Coast website).
  • 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games - an increase in the Gross State Product (GSP) of around $1.6 billion over a 20-year period with around half of the impact occurring in the year of the Games and employment of approximately 13,600 jobs in FTE terms (Economic Impact Study of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Post-event analysis pg. 1).

Are all the councils listed in agreement to participate?

The nominated regional councils have been contacted about the project, however all Mayors and the CEOs of Victorian regional and rural councils will be invited to attend a workshop to discuss and refine the concept further.

Why have certain regional cites been already earmarked to hold certain events?

We intend for much of Greater Victoria to be involved in this Games project which is why everywhere from Wodonga to Mildura to the Great Ocean Road have been earmarked.

These are top line preliminary concepts based on previous competitions and possible locations to hold international and national events.

The aim has been to involve regional cities and locations and venues that have the capacity, with upgrade, to host Games events, rather than brand new construction to deliver the competition.

When we compare ourselves to the Gold Coast, we match in certain areas such proven track record and capacity of hosting major events as a State and level of facilities pre securing the games but it also showcases the level of upgrades that may be required to ensure capacity targets.

In its preliminary report the Taskforce will review these proposed locations suggested by Greater Shepparton City Council and make recommendations on those proposed venues and potential other locations that are feasible.

Can other cities be chosen to host an event?

The Taskforce will have a number of key roles and one is to review the nominated locations and explore alternatives.

Alternative venues and municipalities will be considered as part of the initial project which will be detailed in the initial project report.

Everyone wants as much of Victoria, in one way or another, to benefit from this event – these are the People’s Games!

What’s the process to bid to host the Commonwealth Games? Who makes the decision?

The Taskforce will be meeting with Mr Craig Phillips, the head of the Australia Commonwealth Games Association in Australia in April/May.

Under the process, Australia is in the “Oceania” category which also includes New Zealand and of course other Australian cities.

Only one city from each region – in our case Oceania – can go onto the final process to be selected.

So if another Australian city was to choose to examine a potential bid, then yes Greater Victoria will naturally be up against them.

As we have seen with Durban, there are fewer and fewer countries that are able to fiscally hold a Commonwealth Games, and certainly Australia and New Zealand have the capacity to do so.

Ultimately, this bid won’t get off the ground without significant support across all levels of government and the private sector.

The key outcome for the Taskforce is to secure state government funds for a full feasibility study into viability of a Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games.

When would an official bid need to be made?

Greater Victoria has a very realistic timeframe to work towards a bid to host the Commonwealth Games and the work commences today!

The Taskforce will work with the Victorian and federal governments and peak bodies over the next three months as part of its preliminary work for the stage one report. Timelines for bidding will be clarified as part of this process.

The timelines and process to bid for the Commonwealth Games has yet to be announced by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Based on the bidding process for the 2018 Commonwealth Games:

  • Candidate cities wishing to bid must notify the Commonwealth Games Federation by completing, signing and submitting the Acceptance of the Candidature Procedure Form one (1) year prior to the commencement of the formal bidding process.
  • A series of briefings are held over several months for the cities that have nominated.
  • Bids are lodged electronically approximately six (6) years prior to the Games being held.
  • The successful bidder is announced approximately six (6) months after the electronic bids have been submitted.

Ultimately there can be only one bid made on behalf of Oceania so discussions need to happen with members of this area ASAP!

Where would the opening and closing ceremonies be held and why?

Again we are looking at existing infrastructure, where possible, to upgrade to Commonwealth Games standards rather than all new infrastructure being built. Most of the nominated regional cities have venues and facilities that have already hosted significant international and national sporting events for many years with these now planning major facility upgrades for the next decade. While these venues may need upgrading to Commonwealth Games standard it will be at less cost than creating new facilities.

In the first instance existing Victorian venues that have the capacity to hold 40,000 spectators will be explored as a possible host of an opening or closing ceremony.

The review of potential venues to be undertaken by the Taskforce will ultimately determine locations and venues to potentially hosting Commonwealth Games events.

What new infrastructure will be required? What will happen to this infrastructure after the event?

Under this concept, the aim has to identify locations and venues as a preliminary start that have held national or international events, and would therefore require upgrading to meet Commonwealth Games standards rather than building new infrastructure which is more costly.

Upgrading existing facilities will enable the participating regional cities to host future events, festivals and activities that will continue to contribute to the local economy.

It will be up to each regional city to identify the opportunities that any potential infrastructure upgrade will create.

How will the athletes be transported to the towns where their events are being held?

Transportation will be one of the key factors to be considered as part of any feasibility study given the way this first of its kind approach would operate.

It is initially proposed that the athletes will be based in the city where their sport is being held in rather than one large village.

That will ensure less travel time for athletes.

For spectators, passenger rail, bus, car and flying will be the many options available for them to attend the events they are interested in.

Quality road and passenger rail infrastructure across Victoria will be critical.

What sports will be held?

Each host must include a minimum of 10 core sports – Aquatics (Swimming), Athletics, Badminton, Men’s Boxing and with the option to add Women’s events, Hockey (Men and Women’s), Lawn Bowls, Netball, Men’s Rugby Sevens (Men) with the option to add Women’s, Sevens, Squash and Weightlifting.

Additional optional sports can also be included – and on the Greater Victoria capacity we are suggesting Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Cycling, including Road, Mountain Bike and Track, Rowing, Sailing, Tennis and Triathlon.

For the Greater Victoria bid concept, we are proposing possibly up to three test events – BMX in Shepparton and Cricket, Softball or Beach Volleyball.

Also four (4) core Para-Sports must be included – we’re suggesting Athletics, Swimming, Weightlifting and Lawn Bowls.

With the Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games idea there has been taskforce formed to assist with the bid. What will they be doing?

The purpose of the Commonwealth Games Greater Victoria Bid Taskforce includes:

  • Gain a full understanding of the Commonwealth Games host bidding process.
  • Determine if there is alignment of vision, values and objectives of the Commonwealth Games and that of a Greater Victoria (Australia) bid.
  • Identify potential economic, social and cultural benefits of a Greater Victoria bid.
  • Identify and address any potential challenges and risks in making a bid and/or hosting the Commonwealth Games.
  • Work in collaboration with Commonwealth Games Association nationally and the Victoria Division to ensure the success and strength of any potential bid.
  • Lobby the Federal and State Governments to secure in-principle and financial support for the bid.
  • Drive and maintain the momentum of the bid throughout the process.
  • Provision of a preliminary report that explores the logistics of hosting the Commonwealth Games regionally. Areas to be addressed by the report may include:
    1. Vision and aspirational alignment
    2. Concept/Model
    3. Legacy/Point of difference
    4. Public Authority Support
    5. Sports and venues
    6. Accommodation
    7. Transport
    8. Safety and security

Is this bid so logical given Gold Coast is next year and Melbourne held it back in 2006?

There is no doubt that fewer countries are able to host such events. Durban being stripped of the 2022 Games is an example of some of the countries in the Commonwealth not having the capacity to host a Games event.

Gold Coast was 12 years after Melbourne and Greater Victoria will be 12 years after Gold Coast should the bid be successful.

If the UK steps in to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games it will be only eight years since it was held in the neighbouring Glasgow.

Victoria is renowned globally for staging major events – we are Australia’s premier sporting state!

How many athletes, officials etc do you expect will come?

Approximately 7,500 athletes and officials are expected to participate in the Games from around 70 nations.

With the use of 11 cities across regional Victoria this satellite approach will spread the load across the State and leave more prominent infrastructure legacies and economic stimulation to multiple communities.


  • The People’s Games – bringing the Games to the people!
  • Unprecedented injection of employment, investment and tourism for regional Victoria.
  • Model provides a spread of cost and economic, social and cultural gains.
  • Political parties talk about creating jobs and supporting regional growth – here’s their chance!
  • Investment in existing infrastructure makes good financial sense.
  • Critical infrastructure such as road and rail take centre stage in such a bid – which supports the growth and prosperity of regional cities.
  • This is a “first of its kind approach” to a major event.
  • Model will only work in Victoria due to the size and accessibility of the state.
  • Victoria claims to be Australia’s sporting state – this event is a shining example of this.
  • No one holds major events better than Victoria – we are the envy of the world!
  • Working towards a Greater Victoria Commonwealth Games bid provides inspiration and hope for regional Victorians who will hopefully have the opportunity to be part of something truly great.
  • Importance of having a Goodwill Partner join us – Global Citizens Project – founded by Victorian and former young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans – goal to eradicate poverty by 2030.
  • We ask all Victorians to get behind this bid - Follow us on Twitter - Hashtags: #PeoplesGames #GreaterVic #GreatThingsHappenHere #GreaterShep


Goodwill Partner

As Melbourne did in 2006, the Taskforce has appointed a Goodwill Partner should our vision for the “People’s Games” be successful.

Co-founded by young Victorian and former Young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans, international advocacy organisation Global Citizen aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

Global Citizen Website

Contact Details