Thank you Melbourne.

It has been 17 years since I entered the doors of Melbourne Town Hall as a Councillor. Those years have been a period of transformation; of new beginnings for Council and the city it represents.

Melbourne has become the city the world and Australia talks about - a place where people from all nations and all backgrounds are invited to contribute. In environmental management, urban planning and cultural expression we have become a model for capital cities once considered our superior.

We set ourselves a goal of becoming one of the world's most liveable cities – we succeeded three times in under a decade. This year we set ourselves a goal of becoming one of the world's most sustainable cities – just four weeks ago, we were recognised as being in the top ten sustainable cities globally.

Growth of the city's businesses and residents has brought life back to the city centre. Melbourne is forecast to be Australia's largest city within 20 years.

These are achievements that define a city and build a sense of pride among citizens. They are achievements that require courage of conviction and a steady approach to leadership. The Melbourne Living team has brought stability back to capital city governance.

A full transcript of John So's speech can be downloaded here.

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