Name: SNAICC ’23 – the 10th SNAICC National Conference
Destination: Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Venues: Darwin Convention Centre
Pax: 1,624 delegates


SNAICC – National Voice for our Children is the national peak body in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and the sectors that support them. 

SNAICC’s dynamic membership base comprises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based early education and child care agencies plus a network and subscriber base of over 15,000 individuals from mainstream and Aboriginal organisations, as well as State and Federal Government agencies.

About the conference

The 10th SNAICC National Conference hosted by SNAICC - National Voice for our Children was held in Darwin in September 2023 and showcased how genuine cultural exchange can be included in a business event program in the Northern Territory (NT).
Attendees included representatives from early childhood education, care and development sectors, social services, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, government and peak bodies. The three-day Darwin conference provided an opportunity for delegates to learn, share and network.

Why Darwin and the Northern Territory?

Attracting this biennial conference to Darwin was a joint partnership between the Darwin Convention Centre and NT Business Events, with support provided for planning and staging. The conference theme “Voices at the Top – our children, our rights, our way” reflected the event being held in the region known as the Top End of the Northern Territory.

Darwin’s vibrant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population offered strong cultural connections for the SNAICC’23 conference.

Largest ever SNAICC conference

With over 110 concurrent sessions, this was the biggest SNAICC National Conference ever held. 
The conference opened with a Welcome to Country on behalf of the Larrakia People of Darwin, Traditional Owners of the land. The conference cultural program featured performances each day and included local organisations such as The Youth Mill, Maningrida Dance Group, and the Garramilla gulwa dancers.  SNAICC’23 also featured a ‘Market Hall’ exhibition at the Darwin Convention Centre which showcased more than 30 Aboriginal artists, retailers and services.

The social program

Three social events were held and included a function at the award-winning Wharf One Food and Wine in the nearby Darwin Waterfront Precinct.

The Welcome Reception staged at the Darwin Convention Centre’s outdoor Harbour Boardwalk area featured casual street-food cuisine and enabled roving-style dining and delegate networking.

The Conference Gala Dinner staged at the Centre included dishes from their renowned ‘Seven Seasons’ dining experience which showcases the flavours, unique produce and seasonal cuisine of the Larrakia People.

Darwin Convention Centre provides the perfect location

SNAICC’23 conference organisers noted that some of the stand-out aspects of the Darwin Convention Centre were its waterfront location and views, plus convenient access to the nearby bars, restaurants and attractions at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. With a key focus of the conference being networking and bringing people in the sector together, organisers said that the venue’s location had greatly assisted to achieve this objective. 

In their words

“The SNAICC'23 conference was our largest and most successful to date. We were very excited to have our conference in the Top End, allowing us to connect with our colleagues and the sector up north and to the Traditional Owners and culture of the saltwater people.”
“Feedback received from delegates was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. They loved the location, being able to explore the surrounding Darwin area and Top End, visiting waterfalls and waterholes. They enjoyed the balmy weather, access to attractions and restaurants, and the opportunity to engage with and learn about local Aboriginal culture. The location was ideal and the service and support was wonderful.” 

Fran Whitty
Director of Operations
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children

A traditional Welcome to Country and cultural performance at the SNAICC’23 conference

A traditional Welcome to Country and cultural performance at the SNAICC’23 conference

Read the full case study here.