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Mice Net : December 2008
upfront briefs nT guesTs aPPreCiaTe indigenous arT An intimate group of meeting planners were hosted by the Northern Territory Convention Bureau to an exclusive preview of Sotheby’s Aboriginal Art exhibition, prior to auction at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art recently. With events in both Melbourne and Sydney, guests enjoyed a presentation from Sotheby’s head of aboriginal art, Tim Klingender, who gave an enjoyable and educational introduction to a range of unique Aboriginal artworks. Highlights of the exhibition included some of the finest bark paintings ever offered at auction and many significant Western Desert artworks, including a piece by Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Water and Bush Tucker, 1972 which fetched $228,000. “What a special and unique experience it was seeing and hearing all about the high-end of the aboriginal art world which of course comes from a very special place, the NT,” said professional development manager of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, Sarah Hodgkinson, of the experience. city’s most spectacular banquet venues. The premises, to be known as Rugby Quay, will incorporate a signature restaurant, riverfront event centre and a private club. The 500 square metre event centre, called The Strand at Rugby Quay, will seat up to 320 guests and will offer five-star standard boutique-style dining and service matched by contemporary decor. The event centre will have the capability of being divided into two smaller venues, with a double width operable wall separating each room to ensure sound-proofing. Located at the former Michael’s Restaurant site in the Riverside Centre in Eagle Street, the venue and its surrounding balconies will offer panoramic views of Brisbane’s Story Bridge, the Kangaroo Point cliffs and the bustling Brisbane River. Visit www.qrclub.com.au. The most comprehensive plan ever formulated for the country’s business events industry was presented to the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, in October. Titled A National Business Events Strategy for Australia 2020 the document contains 52 recommendations for government and industry, addressing Australia’s international marketing, infrastructure and aviation constraints, sustainability issues, and training and education needs. It calls upon the Australian Government to provide more funding, logistical and strategic support and challenges industry to take a more collaborative approach. 20 mice.net The strategy was prepared by the industry’s peak body, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) in conjunction with a reference group convened by Minister Ferguson. At its Annual General Meeting held recently the Adelaide Convention Tourism Authority (ACTA) announced its second best year of operations in its 36-year history. In his address to members, Chairman Phil Baker provided a detailed report announcing the company’s second most successful year for the South Australian business events industry off the back of a record year in 2006/2007. “I’m pleased to report that a record number of 104 bids were submitted that returned a 66 per cent success rate,” Mr Baker said. “ACTA has continued to achieve outstanding results, securing 41 new events which in turn will produce 112,643 bed nights with an estimated economic impact of $88 million worth of conference business for the South Australian economy.” Wise Connections celebrated its 10th birthday party recently, attended by 65 industry colleagues, suppliers and clients. The event was held at the Bluestone Lounge in Flinders Lane in Melbourne with guests invited to donate a birthday gift to the Berry Street Children’s Charity. Wise Connections director, Sue Ryman- Kiernan made a heart-felt speech, thanking her team (past, present and future) and the many colleagues and suppliers who contributed to the success and longevity of the company. The Australian Jockey Club (AJC) Convention Centre at Royal Randwick was awarded the National Caterer of the Year accolade at the 10th Annual Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering National Awards for Excellence 2008 held in Brisbane in late October. This follows the AJC’s win as Caterer of the Year at state level in mid-September. “The AJC has always been recognised as a preferred destination for conventions and events and this award duly recognises the outstanding quality of the catering and service that is produced at Royal Randwick,” said AJC CEO Norman Gillespie.