A group of conference planners representing an array of associations and organisations recently had the opportunity to discover the multi-award-winning Darwin Convention Centre and the Top End of the Northern Territory for themselves.
The annual ‘Meet Darwin’ gathering was an industry-led initiative hosted by the Darwin Convention Centre team in partnership with NT Business Events.
The Convention Centre’s recent rebranding “Space to Think” and NT’s “Different in every sense for business events” were creatively showcased in every aspect of the four-day program.
Commencing with a guided site inspection of the Centre, followed by business sessions and a ‘Meet the Market’ event with 15 local Darwin supplier companies, the program provided participants with a broad appreciation of the destination’s many assets.
These included the renowned Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, beautiful Litchfield National Park, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility, cruising on the harbour with Sea Darwin and coming face to face with some of the NT’s most unique residents at Crocosaurus Cove.
A strong cultural theme prevailed throughout the ‘Meet Darwin’ program, enabling participants to connect with the Larrakia People, traditional landowners of the Darwin region.
This included a moving ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony on the lawns near the convention centre delivered by representatives of local youth organisation, The Youth Mill.
A Saltwater Ceremony was also conducted at the Darwin Waterfront Lagoon by a senior Larrakia Elder who invited ‘Meet Darwin’ guests to enter the water at ankle-depth and make another meaningful connection.
The Convention Centre’s impressive ‘Seven Seasons Dinner’ and the bushfood-inspired breakfast delivered at Parliament House on the final morning by caterer and Indigenous employment innovator, Karen Sheldon, left ‘Meet Darwin’ participants in no doubt that culture is integral to the staging of business events in Darwin.
Anne Romanjuk, event coordinator with the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy, made specific reference to the cultural theme.
“I was really impressed by the location and the philosophy behind the breakfast on the Speakers Green terrace at Parliament House, the stories behind the Seven Seasons Dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre and especially the Saltwater Ceremony at the Waterfront lagoon, which also provided a great Indigenous cultural connection,” Romanjuk said.
‘Meet Darwin’ participants were accommodated at the Adina Vibe Hotel which is located at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct, just a short and convenient stroll to the Convention Centre.
“The ‘Meet Darwin’ program that we jointly host with Northern Territory Business Events has always been one of our most successful initiatives and we were pleased to stage it again in 2022”, said Peter Savoff, general manager of the Darwin Convention Centre.
“Darwin and our award-winning, world-class convention centre have established an impressive track record for hosting highly successful national and international conferences.
“Based on the glowing feedback received from this year’s event planner participants, ‘Meet Darwin’ has served to well and truly enhance that reputation.”
Featured image: Saltwater Ceremony at the Darwin Waterfront Lagoon (supplied)