by Trevor Connell
The Associations Forum National Conference was held for the first time in Canberra this month.
The conference was hosted by the National Convention Centre (NCC) with support from the Canberra Convention Bureau (CCB).
The NCC hosted delegates for welcome cocktails in the Centre’s ballroom with a welcome address from the NCC manager, Steven Wood. Steven revealed to the delegates that although he spent much of his life in Sydney and a considerable amount of that time at the SCEC, he was in fact a Canberra boy who has returned to his home town.
Following the welcome function a select group of association CEOs were hosted by the CCB for a very special dinner at the National Portrait Gallery. Gallery director Angus Trumble took the guests on a short tour of the gallery to share some insights into a couple of his favourite portraits.
Then it was down to a dinner prepared by Chef Nick Whitehouse and the Trippas White team. A sumptuous affair with wines matched to each course by David Reist from Clonakilla wines.
CCBs Marketing Director, Carol Scott told the guests that dinners like this are very special and this only the second time one has been held in the actual gallery space (the NPG normally hosts dinners in the function rooms). But with the right connections… e.g.the CCB…
The main conference dinner was held the following night at the stunning National Arboretum Visitors Centre. John Mackay, Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board of the National Arboretum has been involved in the project right from the start and shared insights into how the Arboretum has risen from the ashes of the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
And of course there was a conference with plenty of interesting speakers and quite a large trade show.