A recent famil of the Top End for seven event planners included a welcome cocktail function held at an iconic location in the heart of the Darwin CBD.
BY GRAEME KEMLO
The evening began with a visit to the Smith Street Mall for a tantalising look at the luxury crocodile-skin goods at di CROCO and the beautiful pearls at Paspaley while enjoying a glass of champagne. It was then a short stroll to the historic and Heritage-listed Town Hall Ruins located just a little further along Smith Street.
The Old Darwin Town Hall was built in 1883 and while it survived the bombing of Darwin during WWII, it was unable to sustain Cyclone Tracy’s wrath some 50 years later. The ruins have subsequently been stabilised and now provide an iconic Darwin location for off-site functions, accommodating up to 300 for performances and 150 guests for dining events.
The welcome event was organised by one of the NT’s leading event management companies, Agentur. As a specialist in organising events with indigenous cultural themes, Agentur has access to a vast network of indigenous contacts throughout the Territory.
Darwin-based DeeBee Catering provided tasting platters of barramundi, mud crab, prawns, crocodile and kangaroo which were innovatively presented with ‘bush tucker’ flavours such as lemon myrtle, saltbush dukkah and bush tomatoes. The event theming was provided by Larrakia Nation Arts.
The evening commenced with a formal ‘Welcome to Country’ which was provided by Larrakia Woman, Ali Mills, who also performed her signature tune “Arafura Pearl”. This was followed by two songs from award-winning indigenous singer/songwriter Shellie Morris and the Borroloola Songwomen.
To add a touch of “Priscilla” to the evening, well-known NT indigenous drag queen “Constantina Bush” also performed, highlighting the very broad spectrum of entertainment available in the Top End. The show concluded with a flourish, as the singers combined to perform an impromptu rendition of Waltzing Matilda, widely regarded as the unofficial national anthem of Australia.
Director of business events for the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB), Scott Lovett, said “This creative welcome function just highlights the many ways in which culture can be woven into a business event held in the Northern Territory. We have such an amazing depth of home-grown talent here and judging by the reaction of the famil participants to not only the venue but also the food and entertainment, it was a sure-fire winner.” m