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Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap
Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap
Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap
Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap
Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap
Indigenous Conference Services Closing the Gap

Organised by Indigenous tourism operators for Indigenous tourism in AUSTRALIA







SEPTEMBER 18-20, 2023


cairns qld, australia



As an Aboriginal organisation, Indigenous Conference Services knows how important it is to work in a culturally safe and respectful environment wherein workers in the industry providing support to our people genuinely understand the importance of culture, country, history, community and family as well as achieve a level of cultural competency so that they can work collaboratively and respectfully alongside our people.

In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgement to country and acknowledgement to local Traditional Elders. All presentations must begin with words like, “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of First Nations peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of First Nations peoples visiting/attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.  



The 2023 International First Nations Tourism Conference: Caring for Country & Culture will be held at Hilton International Hotel on September 18-20, 2023. This three-day conference offers thought-provoking insights from tourism experts and industry-leading tourism operators. This event is all about making real benefits for Indigenous tourism, providing real opportunities for First Nations Australians. The conference presents an excellent platform for Aboriginal tourism and businesses to meet, learn and forge new partnerships with wholesalers, and retail operators, including airlines, accommodation and media, in addition to meeting and conversing with First Nations leading tourism businesses and stakeholders.


The 2023 International First Nations Tourism Conference promises to be an exciting and informative event for attendees from all over the world. This conference provides a platform for Indigenous peoples, scholars, and tourism industry stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous tourism today. The conference will also explore how the tourism industry can support Indigenous communities' efforts to maintain and celebrate their cultures, languages, and traditions.

One of the primary objectives of the 2023 International First Nations Tourism Conference is to highlight the vital role of Indigenous tourism in promoting cultural heritage preservation and sustainable economic development.


The conference will focus on various topics, such as community-based tourism, cultural interpretation, language preservation, and tourism management strategies, to name a few. The conference will also showcase innovative practices and successful case studies of Indigenous tourism that has benefited both Indigenous communities and tourists.

Furthermore, the 2023 International First Nations Tourism Conference is an excellent opportunity for attendees to network, collaborate, and learn from each other. Participants can interact with Indigenous leaders and tourism experts, exchange ideas and experiences, and develop new partnerships and collaborations that can help advance the field of Indigenous tourism. Overall, this conference is a valuable opportunity for anyone interested in Indigenous tourism to deepen their knowledge, expand their networks, and contribute to the promotion and celebration of Indigenous cultures worldwide.

This event is NOT designed to be a talk feast like other tourism conferences in the past. Our philosophy is simple, straightforward and to the point. Firstly, to grow Indigenous tourism in Australia, forging and developing partnerships and opportunities, starting a conversation and works towards developing a national Indigenous tourism association. Furthermore, the conference is designed as a collaborative process structured to facilitate an exchange of ideas and information so that joint solutions could be developed. This joint leadership approach served to ensure that our Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander cultural heritage are acknowledged and celebrated.



The 2023 International First Nations Tourism Conference: Caring for Country & Culture encompasses the belief that living on-country positively impacts on Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples’ health and well-being. With the challenges of climate change nowadays, our caring for country traditions and methods are receiving greater recognition in partnership with various sectors in government, NGOs, community and in the private tourism sector. The conference highlights that caring for country encompasses the holistic meanings and values of Indigenous people throughout Australia. However, caring for country for both land and sea is everyone’s business and should not be just an Indigenous tradition, but is a shared responsibility of all people in the world. 


The conference will highlight Indigenous peoples as custodians and stewards of the land, environmental impact on food sustainability and food sovereignty, sustainable Indigenous tourism, successes, issues and challenges involving Indigenous Land Treaty Rights. Furthermore, the conference also aims to give a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples to share their concerns, their story and experiences whilst caring for country. This conference presents a chance for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander workers to engage with industry leaders and peers, to learn cutting edge innovations and techniques as well as hear firsthand experiences from Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples. The conference will also examine innovative ways to activate and engage people with employment opportunities and challenge delegates, individually and collectively, to identify the way forward for their organisations. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of people living in country. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion for Indigenous tourism and caring for country. 


The conference philosophy is based upon the holistic model approach which requires collaborative partnership between local government, Aboriginal land councils, service providers and the wider community working together to support First Nations communities in environmental sustainability. The foundation of the conference is to share and discuss positive models of change and initiatives. The event is structured in such a way as to develop a wider methodology towards land and sea management programs that are culturally appropriate, and therefore more likely to succeed.  This conference is devoted to showing the positives in addressing successes and challenges in our communities today. Hence, the event has been developed with the belief that it is time to promote the positives and successes of programs implemented in various Indigenous communities all over Australia whilst still recognising that we will need to move fast to minimise the effect of climate change. 


The 2023 International Indigenous Tourism Conference: Caring for Country & Culture aims to highlight that our culture is our tourism product and to show that our culture can be shared only if its portrayed with sensitivity from First Nations Traditional Owner’s perspectives and in principle, to support treaty and the voice to parliament process. The 2023 National First Nations Tourism Conference is part of a great new initiative in which the conference will be only one of three First Nations conferences linked together to maximise networking and growing First Nations tourism opportunities. The 2023 National First Nations Business Conference and 3rd National First Nations Employment Conference will be staged at the same venue on the same date to make these conferences successful in attracting delegates from businesses, tourism and employment sectors both from state, national and international cohorts in achieving recognition as an excellent forum for those with a common interest in First Nations Tourism. 

Each of these conferences are stand-alone events; however, in some cases, the prevalence of the same topic are intertwined, it is possible have keynote sessions or discussion panels involving delegations from all three conferences. This unique concept will allow individuals to choose sessions at any of the three events at any given time. For after all, in real terms as a business, whether in a tourism business or hospitality business in general, employment is definitely a prominent issue at this point in time. Thus, all three events will highlight issues that cut across all three parts. The conference motto is economic freedom without being paid to be poor. The conference will focus on the positives happening in First Nations communities throughout Australia.

The conference objectives are designed to empower and stimulate discussion in a positive manner that can and may be used back in our work environments to further develop strength, unity and education. Moreover, one of the most powerful objectives that Indigenous peoples have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference. The conference believes that the participation of First Peoples in the consultation, planning, formulation of policies and programs for environmental sustainability is fundamentally important to achieve our desired goal in caring for country. Moreover, the conference also aims to:


  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussion

  • Network and lend support to individual First Nations tourism businesses and community cooperatives

  • Help establish and grow a national First Nations Tourism Operators network and resources through information sharing

  • Show that there are great efforts being made to make change

  • To bring together all sectors of the community as a united voice 

  • Bring together researchers, service providers, government agencies, policy makers & organisations

  • Foster partnerships between government, NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples throughout Australia



The conference will highlight how First Nations Tourism Operators and other tourism service providers are working together with government and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples to find innovative ways to address the conference themes. The conference will include keynote speakers, practical workshops, exhibitions/expo and concurrent sessions as well as yarning circles and interactive panel discussions. The conference is not politically based, rather should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. The conference themes include:

  • Viability of a national peak body for First Nations Tourism Business Operators

  • Sustainable Business Practices 

  • Building capacity for Aboriginal Tourism Enterprises 

  • Empowering First Nations Tourism Operators

  • Conservation of Sacred Cultural Sites

  • Caring for Country

  • Establishing Indigenous-led perspective to the management of natural resources



Pre-pandemic, Indigenous tourism was a strong economic driver in Queensland alone, with the sector supporting $505 million in visitor expenditure and employing 2500 people. First Nations Tourism businesses and operators reinvest revenues in our communities and employ more than 30 times the proportion of First Nations people than other businesses. The conference will highlight unique tourism selling points, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism businesses and operators the opportunity to run successful tourism operations based on our culture. Tourism is well placed to contribute to improving our mob’s livelihoods and employment, curb rural flight migration, empower our men, women and young people, and encourage a sense of pride towards self-determination.

The conference in itself will be a cultural experience for delegates. You will be embraced with a ceremony called Welcome to Country by an Elder representative of Traditional Owners of Cairns. The welcoming will be extended by allies from diverse parts of the tourism industry, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous tourism interested individuals, academics, government representatives and our young people employed in the hospitality and tourism industry. Speakers and delegates will discuss the role of First Nations values, traditions and culture in general which are essential component in building a kind of tourism that’s better equipped to survive in the future, asserting Indigenous rights in our home countries, and nurturing a growing awareness of the need to unite and engage in the equitable development of Indigenous economies.

Indigenous tourism business operators, nationally and internationally, will come together in an environment that can lead to the sharing of information via their cultural and historical values.  This conference is designed to inspire and enable Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander business and tourism operators and other partners to take control, step up and take action to the next level, promoting sustainability in First Nations tourism and cultural practices. To honour and pass on the knowledge of our Elders and wisdom of our cultural responses, sharing successes and struggles to chart effective, evidence-informed ways forward. The conference provides a forum to discuss solutions by First Nations business owners and operators to connect and acquire knowledge from each other to heal the spirit, heal the earth, and sustain cultural practices for this generation and for the future generations to come. 


This conference presents a unique opportunity for delegates to participate in a positive environment that is dedicated to the sharing of information and the empowering of all who attend. In our everyday working environment the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at governmental level the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited, this is why this conference will be so valuable to participants. Hence, all Indigenous people and non-indigenous people whether you’re a tourism operator or employed in the industry, who have a vested interest in First Nations Tourism, First Nations Business & First Nations Employment towards self-determination are invited to attend.


  • Indigenous Men & Women

  • Tourism Operators

  • Indigenous Business Operators

  • Aboriginal Community Groups

  • Indigenous Rangers

  • Community Elders/Leaders

  • Employment Agencies and RTOs 

  • Researchers

  •  Policy makers

  • Community representatives

  • Government – Local, State/Territory and Commonwealth

  • Students & Jobseekers

  • Aboriginal Land Council Workers

  • Community cooperatives

  • Park Rangers

  • Elders and Community leaders

  • CEOs, Executive Management, Program Managers

  • Government and Non-Government Organisation Representatives

  • Economists, Researchers, Scientists



We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous tourism business operators from Australia and throughout to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. To ensure that delegates attend and participate, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation, each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition, delegates will receive a compilation of all papers & presentations presented at the conference.


Who:     Individual First Nations Tourism Operators, Businesses, Government Agencies & Others

When:   September 18-20, 2023

Where:  Hilton International Hotel Cairns QLD

Time:     9.00am – 5.00pm

Conference Networking Dinner  


​Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) is a privately owned, wholly self-funded Indigenous business that specialises in events and conferences. Even though we are a self funded enterprise, we come from grass roots backgrounds with a burning passion for social justice issues. As such, we seek to compliment the workings of community initiatives and organisations across a broad spectrum of Indigenous affairs. The events that we design seek not to have a political agenda, however to compliment local, state and national organisations. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) seeks to employ local community members wherever possible and gives a strong undertaking to adhere to local customs and protocols. As we are a not for profit enterprise, we are continually seeking to partner with organisations. ICS-MEES Pty Ltd is totally Indigenous owned and over time has helped establish Indigenous controlled organisations free of charge. Our next major project is to establish and develop a fully Indigenous Children Services within the Wide Bay region. Our vision for the service is that it will be a stand-alone, privately sponsored organisation in which the core values are the protection of our children through reducing the number of children entering state-controlled child safety and care.  

If you have any participation requirements (e.g hearing loop, interpreters, large print program) please advise us to ensure availability. Delegates will need to organise their own personal support. Family/carers attending will need to register as well. The venue is wheelchair accessible.​


Come and celebrate First Nations people & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. To share First Nations peoples stories and ideas about what has worked for you or your community and how we address life’s challenges. This conference is blessed with an abundance of highest calibre guest speakers from proud Indigenous peoples around Australia and throughout.  


As an employee we are often asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance:

Staff attending conferences regularly tend to become long term employees

An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff

Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training

Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base

The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the short duration of the event

Allows delegates to showcase their organisation nationally and internationally

May provide organisations with new ideas

Gives organisations a voice at a national level

Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days


Guidelines for Submitting a Paper:

  • Papers should not contain offensive language and take in to account cultural sensitivities.

  • Papers may treat the themes in a manner that contributes to a further discussion of the conference aims.

  • Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less 60 days prior to the event.

  • Second round of call for papers will be closed on June 30, 2023.

  • Papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted if there is a second round.

  • A Brief Outline of Paper (maximum 350 words online).

  • Author/s of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of acceptance.

  • Presentation time at the conference for your papers will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes, this will include question and answer time.

  • Call for papers registration fee of $750 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable upon acceptance of papers.

  • Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.

  • A maximum of two presenters for each paper are eligible for the discounted call for papers registration fee. If 2 presenters, then 2 biographies are required. Two paragraphs outlining the proposed speaker’s Biography

  • All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light                                                           

  • A Head and Shoulders photo of papers’ authors/presenters are required within 30 days of confirmation of acceptance of paper.

  • Authors agree to have their paper published as part of the conference proceedings

  • Authors to agree to allow biography of themselves and their photo published as part of the conference promotion

  • Authors agree to consent to media interviews, if required

  • Authors and presenters must show due respect and acknowledgement to Traditional Owners. Hence, presentations and speech must begin with an “Acknowledgement To Country”.

  • The correct wording will be provided as part of your confirmation letter if chosen and successful in being accepted with due respects and acknowledgement to traditional owners of land where we will be convening.

To submit a Paper, you must register on the web portal and complete the online by clicking at this link: Submit-A-Paper form                                    



​This agenda may change without prior notice to ensure a smooth flow of the conference proceedings on the day of the event)

FIRST DAY - September 18, 2023

8:30am   REGISTRATION        
9:00am    Master of Ceremony

9:15am    Welcome to Country      Dr. Uncle Bernie Singleton, Traditional Elder, Wuunta Pty Ltd followed by Traditional

                                                       Performances QLD
9:30am    Opening Address           Thomas Callaghan, Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Conference Services QLD

9:45am    Keynote Session            Creating sustainable pathways into employment, Dr Lois Peeler, Principal Worawa Aboriginal

                                                       College VIC

10:30am MORNING BREAK    Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates  
11:00am  Keynote Session             Empowering Indigenous Youth to be business entrepreneurs

                                                       Mark Roberston, Founding Director MPOWER & One Vision Productions NSW
11:45am  Keynote Session             Driving Indigenous prosperity through collaboration, Growing Partnerships is our way forward

                                                       Trevor Tim, Cultural Community Officer, Reef Unlimited QLD

12:30pm LUNCH BREAK          Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates  
1:30pm    Keynote Session            Remote Retail Store of the Future

                                                       Randall Crabbe, General Manager Business Development, Community Enterprise 

                                                       Queensland QLD
2:15pm    Keynote Session             Strengthening connection to country, culture and community through employment and training

                                                       as an Aboriginal Ranger Kate Rodger, Social Research Scientist and Amanda Smith, Social

                                                       Science Coordinator, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions WA    

3:00pm   AFTERNOON TEA      Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates 
3:30pm    Keynote Session            Northern WE in Tourism - Creating Sustainable Livelihoods for Indigenous Women

                                                       Entrepreneurs in Tourism in the Canadian North, Dr. Sonya Graci, Associate Professor Lead

                                                       Researcher & Yvette Rasmussen, Program Manager Indigenous Tourism Association of

                                                       Canada, Vancouver BC
4:15pm    YARNING CIRCLE      Reflections of the Day     

6:30pm CONFERENCE NETWORKING DINNER CRUISE (Aboard Spirit of Cairns - Boarding commences at 6:00 pm)

SECOND DAY - September 19, 2023

8:30am   REGISTRATION           
9:00am    Keynote Session             Community recovery from trauma - The Aurukun RESET Phoenix    

                                                        Dr Timothy White, Founder Remote Environments Skills Employment and Training QLD
9:45am    Keynote Session             A Trauma informed workplace- What does it look like and lessons learnt.    

                                                        Veera Judin, Director and Dr Tim White, Remote Environments Skills Employment and

                                                       Training (RESET) QLD

10:30am MORNING BREAK     Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates    
11:00am   Keynote Session            Kunjur Strength in Unity - Deadly Indigenous Youth Doing Good 

                                                       Bernard Sabadi, Program Manager DIYDG & CEO Kunjur First Nations Men's Collective

11.45am   Keynote Session            The ARTC Inland Rail Skills Academy: Keeping Young Mob On Track     

                                                        Jane Roberts, Program Social Investment & Inland Rail Academy Principal      

                                                        Cathy Duncan, Senior Program Advisor Training & Skills    

                                                        Australian Rail Track Corporation - Inland Rail QLD

12:30pm LUNCH BREAK          Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates     

1:30pm    Keynote Session            Unchartered waters - Hosting an international cruise ship with just ten days lead time   

                                                       Skye Price, Director Corporate & Community & Roxanne Thomas, Councilor, Mornington

                                                       Shire Council QLD

2:15pm    Keynote Session            The CALMER Approach: Co-designing supports for emotional regulation and behaviour by

                                                       creating shared meaning and focusing on quality of life Francisco de Paula, Neurobehavioural

                                                       Support Practitioner Jeder Institute and The CALMER Approach NSW


3:00pm    AFTERNOON TEA     Network with Exhibitors & Other Delegates 
3:30pm    Keynote Session            The power of an Indigenous-led tourism accreditation program in fostering business

                                                       excellence, cultural authenticity, and economic growth within the indigenous tourism sector in

                                                       Canada Genevieve Huneault, MANRES Development Manager, Indigenous Tourism

                                                       Association of Canada 

4:15pm    YARNING CIRCLE      Interactive Panel                     


                                                       ENTITLED TO A CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION.



REEF TOUR OPTION 1 Great Barrier Reef Cruise Experience with Dreamtime Snorkel

Dreamtime Snorkel is a unique Great Barrier Reef cruise experience incorporating the world’s oldest living culture and some of Australia’s most amazing marine life. Traditional Owners have passed down their dream time stories over tens of thousands of years and now we can bring them to you. You will experience two premium outer reef sites to explore with a free guided snorkel tour and gain a deeper cultural understanding of this diverse ecosystem and our indigenous heritage. We are the only Great Barrier Reef cruise which allows you to interact with original clap sticks and fire poles plus get live demonstrations of traditional dances and the didgeridoo.

REEF TOUR OPTION 2 Reef Magic Pontoon | Great Barrier Reef Tour | Snorkel & Diving

Experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef with us. Your Reef Magic cruise lasts around 90 minutes and will take you to our exclusive pontoon on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Our Cairns reef tour gives you 5 hours at the pontoon to explore the wonders of the reef, both above and below the water. The all-weather Reef Magic pontoon caters for all activity levels, and is the newest pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef, launched in early April 2022. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, join our Marine Biologist on a Guided Snorkel Safari, try Scuba Diving or even Sea Trek Helmet Diving. If simply relaxing & soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style, then take time out on our spacious sundeck. Best of all when traveling with Reef Magic you benefit from the expert local knowledge of an Australian owned, Cairns based crew who bring the friendly inclusive atmosphere for which we are renowned for.

RAINFOREST TOUR OPTION 1 Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Unlock the Secrets of the World's Oldest Tropical Rainforest

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is located just 15 minutes north of Cairns city. Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over and deep into Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that has survived against all odds to become the home of the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest. Enjoy a truly unique perspective of this ancient landscape; glide metres above the pristine jungle canopy before descending to explore the rainforest close up.

RAINFOREST TOUR OPTION 2.  Combined Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Railway Experiences
This is a combination of a one-way Skyrail Rainforest Cableway with a one-way Kuranda Scenic Railway and can be enjoyed as a half or full day experience. Board the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway as it meanders its way between Cairns and Kuranda. Opened in 1891, this famous railway ascends from the coastal plains of Cairns through Freshwater Railway Station and on to Kuranda, the Village in the Rainforest, some 328 metres (1,076 feet) above sea level. Your historic journey in fully refurbished vintage carriages includes English commentary and a short photo opportunity stop at Barron Falls. 

CULTURAL TOUR Mandingalbay Ancient Indigenous Tours


While in Cairns, why not take a tour with Mandingalbay Ancient Indigenous Tours, specialising in pre and post touring options for an unforgettable On Country experience, where you’ll learn and discover Mandingalbay Yidinji People Country and Culture. Meet Traditional Owners on their traditional Country set amongst a sublime natural manrgove and wetland environment just 10 minutes cruise from Cairns CBD. Turn up at Hills Creek, where salty sea and mountain freshwaters meet, arriving to a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.


Visit a working Indigenous Ranger base from where the Mayi Bugan Rainforest Trail begins. Join an Indigenous Guides to discover native foods and bush medicines, as well as ancient Aboriginal traditions, customs, and artefacts. Enjoy light refreshments surrounded by the sounds of nature before returning to the Cairns Harbour arriving at the Marina close to the CBD, shops, restaurants and cafes. 


(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. Hence the earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees are non-refundable and must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click here to registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at 




The 2023 International Indigenous Tourism Conference: Caring for Country & Culture is blessed with a kaleidoscope of First Nations guest speakers, sharing stories, successes and challenges they’ve overcome, presenting great opportunities and inspiration for delegates to participate in an event that is devoted to the sharing of Culture, Empowerment, Education & Networking. Drawn from a variety of cultural backgrounds, professional careers and grass-roots community commitments, this year’s conference speakers are the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary event; one that is soon forgotten and one which lingers in attendees' memories, a source of tremendous benefit long after the conference is over. 

Click here to view the Guest Speaker’s Profile


The Hilton is set amid tropical greenery on Cairns’ waterfront, the Hilton is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland. The Reef Terminal, where the majority of trips depart, is just 400 meters from our hotel. Within 22 kilometers, reach Crystal Cascades and Cairns Botanic Gardens. With a lagoon-style outdoor pool and treatments in the spa. Our modern and inviting hotel rooms and suites are luxurious oases of comfort and convenience, offering pristine bathrooms and spacious balconies with views of Trinity Inlet or Cairns Esplanade and the unique city's cape and blue-green mountain ranges beyond. The large lagoon style pool has ample deck chairs and umbrellas, soft seating spaces and a Pool Bar with cold beverages and light bites and snacks. Enjoy the relaxed al fresco dining at the award-winning Mondo on the waterfront, or discover modern, refined dining in Signature Restaurant.

Conference Networking Dinner Cruise - Waterside Dining

As they say, all work and no play, makes for a dull conference. So to overcome this, the conference secretary has organized a conference dinner to be held on the first night of the event. This dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further network while letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will be a private charter dinner cruise with the Spirit of Cairns at a cost of $150 per person including a three course meal. The conference dinner is additional to the conference fees and bookings must be made prior to the event. 


A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way, to end a perfect day in paradise. Boarding our sailing catamaran at the Marlin Marina, you’ll enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounding mangroves, as they transition from day to night. Every journey begins with bubbles, as all good dinner cruises should. With your glasses charged, stroll the interior or exterior decks and admire the view as the sky transforms from blue to red to orange and finally a silky black, filled with thousands of sparkling stars. Your journey takes you deep into the heart of Trinity Inlet and across the waterfront precinct of Cairns, from the Cruise Liner Terminal to the Esplanade. The water is calm, the weather mild and the night is yours to enjoy, with entertainment and a delicious  3 Course Buffet Dinner  featuring some of the region’s best produce, including seafood. The luxurious Spirit of Cairns sailing catamaran is fully licensed, selling a range of beverages, including tropical cocktails. This is the ultimate in waterside dining.

When Do We Go

The Spirit of Cairns dinner cruise departs Marlin Marina at 6.30pm and returns at 9pm. Check-in and boarding is at the boat, moored at Marlin Marina, between 6 pm. A complimentary drink is served on arrival and the bar is open for you to relax on board prior to departure. The conference dinner cruise is scheduled for the evening of Day 1.

What Will You See / Do

Enjoy a fantastic evening of calm water cruising with entertainment, delicious 3 course buffet meal and fabulous views, including sunset over the rainforest-clad mountains (depending on the time of year). Starting at Marlin Marina, Spirit of Cairns takes you on a journey deep into the interior of Trinity Inlet and its winding tributaries. Keep your eyes peeled, you might even see a crocodile. The cruise passes along Cairns’ waterfront and Esplanade precinct, delivering panoramic views of the twinkling night lights of this port city.

What Do You Need To Bring / Wear

​Yourself and your smile, for a great evening ahead. Tropical cocktail attire is suggested, with a light jacket for the winter months. Footwear is mandatory, with suitable shoes for boating recommended. Although it’s a calm water cruise, you will find it more comfortable moving around the boat in flat rubber soled shoes. Don’t forget to bring a little cash, EFTPOS or credit card for your bar purchases.

Highlights & Inclusions

  • A 2.5 hour calm water sunset / evening cruise

  • Luxurious air-conditioned vessel

  • Large outdoor decks

  • Complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer or soft drink on arrival

  • Delicious hot and cold 3 course buffet, featuring fresh seafood and local produce

  • Live Music by some of Cairns’ best musicians



It has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and with enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own or local community. Whether you are a park ranger, Indigenous health worker, community worker or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you back in your community.  The opportunity that this conference provides to delegates is the sharing of knowledge and development of long term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is basically designed from an Indigenous perspective in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.


(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. The earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees are non-refundable and must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at


Due to COVID-19, please follow the advisory from your state public health directive.

One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGO’s or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore First Nations Travel Agency quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to consider the time that is required to obtain funding. For the best possible airfares and seat availability, please confirm your attendance ASAP. All of our bookings is made through First Nations Travel, a new 100% indigenous owned travel agency here to make booking your flights stress-free and relaxing for an enquiry please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by email:



Contact:  Phone 07 40009111

 Email. to request a quote. 


A further advantage to using First Nations Travel Agency for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent if required. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages.


To book your accommodation and avail yourself of the special delegate discount rates, please note that included in your registration is 3 nights twin or double room. Indigenous Conference Services has negotiated special rates for delegates and speakers attending the conference, when you complete your registration form you will see a sector highlighted accommodation need. It is possible to stay outside the venue however this may lead to a higher cost to your organisation. Please note that when registering you have 7 days from the issue of the conference secretariat to make a payment this is so your accommodation is locked in.


VISA TO AUSTRALIA - Due to COVID-19 please follow travel advisory from Australian embassy near you.

If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia. To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invitation from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost. This is refundable if visas are not approved, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online from the Australian Federal Government's Department of Home Affairs website at this link



Flexible sponsorship packages are available. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by e-Mail: or complete the sponsorship form online at this link below:




Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia



Phone: 07 40009111, +61 4557 76 668

Please note this website is new and is continually being updated.


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