About the event

The biennial PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference is the largest community-focussed national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language conference staged in Australia. PULiiMA brings together people from all over Australia and internationally to explore pioneering project ideas. It was the largest and most successful PULiiMA Conference held to date and one of the largest Indigenous language conferences held in the world in 2019. The majority of presentations were delivered by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, with the conference program including a two-day exhibition, as well as practical demonstrations and workshops facilitated by local, interstate and international expert speakers.

Why the NT?

The 2019 conference was especially relevant to the Northern Territory, due to its wealth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Darwin as a location was also advantageous for delegate accessibility from the Northern Territory, the top end of Western Australia, Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands.

The northern part of Australia is a place where culture and languages are either thriving, or alternatively, on the ‘knife’s edge’ of disappearing. Bringing delegates to Darwin and the NT for this conference served to draw attention to these issues, highlighting the need for language to survive and be saved.


The Darwin Convention Centre’s flexibility was very much appreciated, given the unexpectedly high number of delegate registrations. Another key success was the outdoor gala dinner under the stars, staged on the Centre’s porte-cochère area and enhanced by Darwin’s ‘almost-guaranteed’ perfect August weather.

Special NT Touches

The conference coincided with the staging of the 18-day Darwin Festival, which celebrates music, theatre, visual art, dance and comedy. The PULiiMA Conference played a role in the festival program with a public event, “PULiiMA: Making Voice”, at the Charles Darwin University. Delegates were also offered discounted tickets to a special Darwin Festival performance by renowned Māori actor and musician, Troy Kingi.

Northern Territory Business Events (NTBE) provided support and assistance to the organisers with the planning, preparation and staging of the PULiiMA 2019 Darwin Conference. They also provided introductions to Tourism Top End (TTE), the peak tourism body for the region, which assisted delegates with bookings for car hire, accommodation, touring and activities.


Organisers advised the conference was a great success and made special mention of the Darwin Convention Centre’s flexibility in catering for the event’s changing needs, due to delegate registrations well exceeding the original targets.

“We’ve hosted PULiiMA every second year since 2007. 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)

It was an excellent time of year to be in Darwin - there was a nice buzz around town and plenty of things to do and see outside of conference hours.”

Cheney Brew

National Library of Australia (Conference delegate)