June 23, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Darwin Convention Centre GM Peter Savoff welcomes the Meet Darwin group to the Seven Seasons Dinner

A four-day famil in Darwin for 11 professional conference organisers has showcased the city’s business events infrastructure and people as well as the cultural pull which makes the destination a unique proposition for conferencing.

The annual “Meet Darwin” familiarisation tour drew a health-heavy contingent and sought to demonstrate the recently adopted tagline for Darwin Convention Centre “Space to think” as well as Northern Territory Business Events’ more tried and tested promise “Different in every sense for business events”.

The group toured the convention centre, which has undertaken a refurbishment of its waterfront rooms during the pandemic, met with local suppliers and experienced the Larrakia “Seven Seasons Dinner” launched by the venue in the second half of 2019, which pairs a menu inspired by the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasonal calendar with a visual and auditory experience which explains each of the seasons, according to the local First Nations traditional owners, the Larrakia people.

Dishes on the seven seasons menu included lemon myrtle, wattle-seed, finger lime, river mint, Kakadu plums, beach bananas and NT barramundi. The dining experience was also accompanied by performances from local organisations The Youth Mill and the NT Dance Company.

Opportunities for connection with Larrakia culture were woven throughout the program and included a Welcome to Country, a Larrakia Saltwater Ceremony at Darwin’s waterfront lagoon and a bushfood-inspired breakfast at Parliament House.

“As a result of participating [in] ‘Meet Darwin’, I felt a strong connection to the land and the Indigenous people,” said famil participant Emma Huynh, program manager with the Australasian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians.

“The Seven Seasons dinner experience at the Darwin Convention Centre felt so meaningful, explaining how the local Aboriginal people view and handle the different seasons.

“The Saltwater Ceremony in which we participated at the waterfront precinct lagoon was also really memorable.”

Other experiences on the program included visits to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Litchfield National Park, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility and Crocosaurus Cove.

“Darwin and our award-winning, world-class convention centre have established an impressive track record for hosting highly successful national and international conferences,” said Darwin Convention Centre GM Peter Savoff.

“Based on the glowing feed-back received from this year’s event planner participants, ‘Meet Darwin’ has served to well and truly enhance that reputation.”