Australia’s Northern Territory –
different in every sense for business events

Australia's Northern Territory continues to attract global interest from conference and event planners, as the world slowly starts to open up for future business events

Known colloquially as the NT, the region covers 1,348,199 sq kms, making it six times the size of Britain or the equivalent of France, Italy and Spain combined. So uncrowded spaces and places are a given. It also has an exceptionally low incidence of Covid cases. But the impressive infrastructure in Darwin, Alice Springs and Uluru has enabled the NT to set an impressive track record for successfully and safely staging major events since the pandemic began.

Rebecca McCaig, Director of Northern Territory Business Events, the official convention bureau for the NT, says: “The Northern Territory Government’s prompt action at the onset of the Covid‐19 pandemic meant that it not only kept the population safe but could also stage successful events so much sooner than many other places.

“A consistent approach to the delivery of Covid‐safe events enabled the staging of the 11‐day Darwin Festival in August 2020 and more recently, the spectacular 10‐night Parrtjima ‐ A Festival in Light in Alice Springs in Central Australia. The same safe and sure festival protocols apply to business events held here.”

Future international events in the NT

The International Foster Carer Organisation (IFCO), 600 delegates, Darwin Convention Centre June 2022

Ninth Congress of the International Society for the Study of Iron in Biology and Medicine, Darwin August 2022

13th Quadrennial Congress of the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses, Darwin 2025

Cultural appeal

The Northern Territory’s 65,000‐year‐old Aboriginal culture enhances the NT’s appeal, with meaningful cultural elements, CSR activities and learnings integrated into conference programs. These include ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremonies delivered by traditional landowners, visits to community organisations, uniquely crafted delegate and speaker gifts and artworks, plus spectacular cultural experiences and entertainment.

The Northern Territory Business Events Support Fund generously provides financial assistance of a minimum AUD$100 per delegate for associations and organisations whose events are at the consideration or bidding stage and which align with the Northern Territory’s priority industry sectors. These include health, agribusiness, land management, minerals, mining and gas, renewable energy, education, tourism, space and digital sectors, as well as creative industries and defence.

For further information on business events in Australia’s Northern Territory

Case study: Northern Territory conference talks about language

Event Name:
PULiiMA - Indigenous Languages and Technology Conference
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Darwin Convention Centre
580 participants

About the event

This biennial Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander conference was hosted in Darwin by the Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre, which supports language documentation and conservation programs nationally and internationally.

PULiiMA showcased the beauty of language, bringing together people from as far afield as Mexico, Canada and India to explore pioneering ideas for community-based Indigenous language projects.

Featuring more than 70 presentations, 25 workshops and a special Women in Languages Day, the program included an exhibition, as well as practical demonstrations and workshops facilitated by Australian and international expert speakers.

Why the NT?

The conference was especially relevant to the Northern Territory (NT), where an estimated 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects are noted.

Many countries around the world are losing their Indigenous languages at an unprecedented rate. Staging this conference in the NT served to draw attention to these issues, highlighting the urgent need for Indigenous languages to be nurtured for survival.


It was the most successful PULiiMA Conference ever held and was also one of the largest Indigenous language conferences held in the world at the time.

The Darwin Convention Centre’s flexibility and capacity were most welcome, due to the unexpectedly high number of delegate registrations. The outdoor gala dinner staged under the stars on the Centre’s porte-cochère area was deemed an undoubted conference highlight.

Meaningful aspects

Cultural touches included a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ presentation delivered by an Indigenous Elder representing the Larrakia people, traditional landowners of the Darwin region.

Aboriginal art, native floral arrangement and traditional knowledge workshops were also staged. Speakers’ gifts came from Aboriginal Bush Traders, a local not-for-profit Aboriginal arts and retail enterprise.

The conference coincided with the staging of the 18-day cultural Darwin Festival, with PULiiMA playing an official role in the festival program via a public event staged at the Charles Darwin University.

Northern Territory Business Events provided invaluable support and assistance to the organisers with the planning, preparation and staging of the PULiiMA Darwin Conference.

“We were impressed by both the city and the conference venue. The liaison and technical support staff at the Darwin Convention Centre were exceptional. All aspects of the four-day event – the registration process, workshops, exhibition and the conference itself - ran very smoothly."

Daryn McKenny, Event Director
Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre (Conference Host & Organiser)

For further information on business events in Australia’s Northern Territory