The Northern Territory’s unique specialisations in the health sector were on show recently in Darwin when the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) and industry partners hosted event planners and senior office bearers from a range of health sector associations.
The participants, who travelled from all over Australia, represented a broad cross-section of Australasian not-for-profit medical associations, colleges and societies.
Highlights included a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Tourist Facility at Stokes Hill Wharf, which provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about this iconic Australian organisation and watch day-to-day operations in real time on the RFDS flight tracker.
They also viewed the facility’s historical exhibits which provide details of Darwin’s crucial and dramatic role in World War Two. The facility provides an option for conference technical tours as well as social program events.
A warehouse tour of Darwin’s National Critical Care & Trauma Response Centre showed how the Centre prepares Australian clinicians for deployment and emergencies. Due to Darwin’s strategic geographic proximity to South East Asia, the Centre is Australia’s first responder to major offshore incidents.
Another health-sector itinerary element was a visit to the CareFlight Northern Operations hangar at the airport where the group was briefed on emergency and rescue service operations in the NT.
Participants were effusive in their feedback about the health famil program content.
“The NT health famil gave me a wonderful understanding about the feasibility of hosting a conference in Darwin,” said Benjamin Graham, Executive Director of Chronic Pain Australia.
“There’s just so much happening in the Northern Territory health space, it’s great to get an understanding of how those elements could be worked into my conference. It was very clear to me, by visiting hotels and conference venues, that Darwin is well placed to host a conference of high standard.”
The program enabled participants to engage in invaluable informal networking with their NT health sector peers at the waterfront Darwin Trailer Boat Club, whilst a ‘Meet the Market’ session provided invaluable introductions to NT business event suppliers.
The Territory’s Aboriginal culture was displayed on a Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tour near the Adelaide River Wetlands, just 45 minutes from Darwin. Back in town, participants also enjoyed a bark-painting workshop with not-for-profit organisation, Aboriginal Bush Traders, located in historic Lyons Cottage along Darwin’s Esplanade.
Business sessions held at the Darwin Convention Centre were an integral component of the program. Local health sector experts from Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, Menzies School of Health and Northern Territory Primary Health Networks provided presentations on NT health initiatives and projects.
Chief Executives of the NT Government’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation and also the Department of Health provided overviews of the economic, cultural and social drivers of Darwin, including health priority areas.
Business event infrastructure and hotel accommodation options were showcased, as were iconic NT attractions and experiences such as a visit to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, which included a cruise transfer courtesy of Sea Darwin.
An exclusive tour was also provided of the tri-level catamaran, the ‘Charles Darwin’, which is the largest vessel in the Darwin Harbour Cruises fleet. Other memorable Darwin sights and experiences included a Segway tour of East Point Reserve’s military sites, a visit to CBD attraction, Crocosaurus Cove, and dining at some of Darwin’s leading restaurants including Char Darwin, The Precinct, Pee Wee’s at the Point, Wharf One and il Piatto.
The group stayed at the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, which is located just adjacent to the Darwin Convention Centre.
Site inspection visits were also made to a range of venues and properties and included the turfed terrace at Parliament House known as the ‘Speakers Green’, Oaks Elan Darwin, SKYCITY Darwin, the two DoubleTree by Hilton hotels and the Hilton Darwin.