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Conferencing in Darwin

15 Aug 2019 8:59 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

The job of an Association Executive Officer is not without its perks. As we are all counting down the last days of winter, I was lucky enough to escape the chilly temperatures last week, having been invited to “Meet Darwin”, a familiarisation tour of Darwin and surrounds, compliments of the Northern Territory Business Bureau and Darwin Convention Centre.  Over four fabulous days I experienced the superb hospitality of the Northern Territory. It didn’t take me long to decide: Darwin would make a fantastic conference destination.

With average temperature highs of about 30C and no humidity at this time of year, all the delegates, including myself, relished in the opportunity to shed a few layers and walk around in short-sleeved shirts and summer sandals. This was the perfect clothing for the excursions planned for us, such as a trip out to Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours area, watching a mesmerising sunset from the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (of course!) before heading for an unforgettable dinner at Pee Wees at the Point, a visit to the National Critical Care Trauma and Response Centre, a harbour cruise and a scenic helicopter flight -truly a highlight of my visit.

On one of the mornings we were invited to a business session at the Darwin Convention Centre, where we heard inspiring talks about this exciting conference destination. The Darwin Convention Centre itself was impressive. It offers everything we have come to expect these days from a modern conference centre, but on a smaller scale, perfect for an event such as our Australian Statistical Conference. We were treated to the most amazing dinner there, enjoying a “Seven Seasons” dinner, a culinary journey inspired by the “Gulumoerrgin” seasons, the seasons followed by the Larrakia people. The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the Darwin region. However, the food was fantastic wherever we went in Darwin. An abundance of first class restaurants provided stunning backdrops for what could be a very memorable conference dinner.

For me, having immigrated to Australia in my early thirties, Darwin and its surrounds symbolises quintessential Australia the way people from outside Australia imagine it: a country of akubras, crocodiles, didgeridoos and - of course- tropical sunshine. I found Darwin to be a vibrant town, offering so many delightful cultural experiences and stunning venues to stay at, have a drink or a quality meal.

If you are wondering where I am going with this review of a trip to Darwin, in a statistical newsletter, don’t wonder anymore. This trip raised the important question: Could we hold a conference there? It would certainly be an event to remember, one that would not only be a perfect break from winter weather, but a fantastic opportunity to bring your family along and extend it into a holiday. We might even draw a small crowd from South East Asia? What do our members think? Before you decide, watch this video – it may sway you.

I would love to hear your thoughts – don’t hold back! (

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer, SSA

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