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Mice Net : August 2008
DCC story by Miles Clarke to give all Australian states and territories at least one dedicated convention and exhibition centre in each capital city. The opening of the centre was attended by the general managers of most of the other centres, including Leigh Harry of Melbourne, the current President of ICCA, the world’s peak body for the association meetings sector. A former president of ICCA, Pieter van der Hoeven, and long time GM of the Adelaide Convention Centre was also present, as was his successor at Adelaide, Alec Gilbert, formerly of ICC Durban. The designers of the sleek oyster-shaped and corrugated iron- finished centre have created a landmark for the new 25 hectare waterfront development in Darwin, one which connects the city with its harbour in an imaginative way. The DCC is the first major element to be completed and in coming months it will be complemented by two hotels (Vibe and Medina), a wave pool, cruise ship terminal, parklands, restaurants and residential apartments. A walkway will extend from downtown Darwin and the city’s hotel area to the centre, making it an easy 10-15 minute stroll to the centre. The Northern Territory government was keen to ensure a good T 6 mice.net opens With a blaze of laser lights and the timeless music of indigenous australian Geoffrey Yunupingu, the Darwin Convention Centre burst into life in late June. wenty one years after the completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre as Australia’s first purpose-built meetings and events venue, the launch of the DCC completes the push measure of “community buy-in” to the new asset and a four day program of “open house” and entertainment was put in place with almost 20,000 locals (over a quarter of the city’s population) visiting the site. A team of water ski daredevils entertained the crowds around the harbour and there were fireworks as well. The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, was on hand to heap praise on Malu Barioss, the general manager of the DCC. Her team has already generated some 35 national and international meetings for the venue, bringing 20,000 delegates to Darwin. Henderson said the impact for a relatively remote destination like the Northern Territory would be positive and profound. “We can measure the number of delegates through our doors, but we’re sure that many of them will see the level of energy in the top end and will return to their companies and recommend investment here. There’ll also be other professionals who will have a taste of our lifestyle and lack of big-city pressure and be tempted to relocate here and contribute to the growth of our community.” The function included a traditional “welcome to country” dance and song by the local Larrakia people, an event which is steadily part and parcel of conference openings around Australia. The opening remarks took place in the auditorium, at the end of which the drapes opened to reveal an elegantly themed banquet space.