Looking out to Darwin’s spectacular harbour, an ancient meeting site for the Larrakia people, Darwin Convention Centre is the natural hub for sharing Indigenous ideas, innovation and continuing knowledge.
Within the past several weeks alone, the Convention Centre hosted four key conferences on topics that ranged from chronic diseases, environmental health, Indigenous business enterprises, and education. The venue hummed as scientists, business leaders and experts brought insight, academic rigour and wealth of experience to advance Indigenous matters.
With the Northern Territory home to Australia’s largest Indigenous population per capita, the Top End and Darwin City remain the cultural and spiritual heart of Aboriginal culture.
Renowned for its thriving Aboriginal artistic community and as a source of traditional knowledge from Elders, the region also attracts leading researchers, health experts and scientists to world-class facilities such as the Menzies Research Institute (focusing on Indigenous health matters) and the new Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education (ACIKE) at Charles Darwin University.
As ambassadors of the Territory to the world, Darwin Convention Centre helps bring this collective knowledge to the spotlight:
“Darwin Convention Centre showcases the region to the world, but we pay tribute to the fact we are located in a very special place, where the Larrakia welcomed Indigenous and non-Indigenous visitors for an exchange of culture and trade,” says Malu Barrios, General Manager of Darwin Convention Centre.
“We’re proud to help continue this centuries-old tradition and be the place where ideas and knowledge from Indigenous Australia continue to thrive,” she says.
Darwin Convention Centre hosted the following successful events:
- 15th Annual Chronic Diseases Network Conference – an examination of mental health issues in the Northern Territory and its affect on the Indigenous community
- 8th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Environmental Health Conference – a forum on various issues that affect the community’s environmental health and pathways to better health
- 5th Indigenous Economic Development (IED) Forum – aimed at providing Indigenous businesses with greater tools to strengthen their products and services, build greater networks and achieve sustainability; the Expo component showcased innovative businesses such as bush tucker harvesting, indigenous tour operators, and three new and upcoming fashion labels.
- 2011 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference – a uniquely significant conference in the Australian education calendar focussed on empowering the community with educational opportunities
“If we’re after an experience that provides the true essence of the Territory, we know we can count on the Convention Centre,” said Marijana Joerder and Britta Decker, Managing Directors of Agentur, the professional convention organiser.
Conference highlights have ranged from the traditional such evening coastal tours of traditional Larrakia land and traditional dancers to contemporary included star-studded entertainment featuring top Indigenous comedian Sean Choolburra, Gapuwiyak School Band – Winner of the 2011 National Indigenous Music Awards School Band Award, the Gawa Dancers from Galiwinku, local Larrakia woman Ali Mills and drag queen act the Dream Time girls featuring Jason De Santis.