2016 meeting in Washington DC,” she says. “I liaised directly with Cairns Convention Centre and other sites for the bid and conducted all the site inspections. I presented my reports to the executive committee at the 2019 meeting in Prague and Cairns was chosen unanimously. “It’s an ideal destination due to its biodiversity, relaxingvibesandaffordable accommodation. The convention centre is modern and spacious with affluent natural light and ocean views and the extension plans significantly influenced the decision.” She hopes the event will attract students and early career researchers

the safety of guests, contractors and staff. The AV team has been putting together technology solutions for the delivery of virtual and hybrid events and the culinary services team has been working with local suppliers to develop a new menu based on regional produce to give delegates a taste of the tropics. At the same time, with an eye on future international business, the centre has been researching events that previously may have been too large for it to accommodate and to identify academics and specialists in specific industries. The Cairns region has experts across a range of industries including agribusiness, aviation, tropical health, marine services, renewable energy, education, tourism and life sciences. “When developing international bids, we work closely with Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef as well as Tourism Events Queensland and Business Events Australia,” Hamilton explains. “It’s important that the conferences we bid for not only support the region from a visitor perspective but also provide opportunities to enhance it in other areas such as bringing international experts to Cairns or have links to potential projects to promote economic and cultural development.” Some events are already in the bag. In July next year, 600 or so delegates are expected at the 13th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology. Dr Olga Panagiotopoulou of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Victoria, was passionate about bringing the event to Australia for the first time. “The idea for Australia to host the congress was introduced at the

Delegates canwalk to the convention centre, hotels, and off-site venues, so don’t need to use public transport or taxis.


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