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  • Melbourne Convention Bureau launches First Peoples Engagement Guide

    February 18, 2024

    First Peoples Engagement Guide

    The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) is proud to announce the launch of its First Peoples Engagement Guide, a valuable resource aimed at assisting event planners in creating culturally enriching business events and fostering positive social impact.


    Tailored specifically to the business events industry, the introductory guide includes practical information around when and how to organise a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country, a curated Indigenous Business Events Supplier Guide and useful tips on how to put the guide into practice.


    Speaking at the opening press conference at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meeting Event (AIME) 2024, MCB Chief Executive Julia Swanson highlighted the rising demand for experiences that recognise and celebrate the rich and diverse culture of Victoria's First Peoples.


    “Event planners are increasingly seeking to integrate First Peoples-led suppliers into their programs, recognising the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the social outcomes of Victoria’s First Peoples and their future generations.


    “Melbourne and Victoria boast thousands of years of Aboriginal culture, providing a profound backdrop to enrich delegate experiences. By incorporating Indigenous-owned and operated suppliers into a business event program, it not only celebrates this cultural heritage but also positively impacts the social fabric of Victoria’s First Peoples and contributes to the well-being of future generations,” said Ms. Swanson.


    The First Peoples Engagement Guide highlights extraordinary local talent and Indigenous-owned and led businesses poised to elevate business events with cultural richness and diversity.


    From professionals credited to conduct Acknowledgements of Country to caterers offering native fusion cuisine and merchandising suppliers contributing to Social Impact Funds, the guide equips planners with the tools to create captivating events. Business event planners will be inspired by the sample incentive itineraries included that integrate Victoria's Indigenous history, culture, and contemporary experience.


    MCB aims for the guide to be a regular reference tool for business event planners as well as delivering lasting legacies. It supports the bureau’s sustainability strategy and aligns with Experience Victoria 2033, Victoria’s strategic plan to shape the future of the visitor economy over the next 10 years, empowering First Peoples community in the tourism and events sectors, and positioning Victoria as a leading destination for diverse, First Peoples-led experiences.


    “International associations hosting their conference in Melbourne can learn how to respect local traditions and discover easy ways to increase their social impact outcomes, support their company’s sustainability policy or for Australian organisations, their company's Reconciliation Action Plan initiatives.


    “Corporate meeting and incentive planners will find inspiring speakers and outstanding entertainment for their gala welcome event or use the guide to discover meaningful, culture-rich experiences to infuse into their itinerary,” Ms. Swanson added.


    While MCB encourages the use of Indigenous event suppliers, it also partners with over 120+ suppliers including hotels, venues, PCO’s, transport providers, tour operators and more to deliver successful and memorable business events.


    MCB will continue to update to the supplier directory and provide ongoing sources of inspiration for business event planners in the future.


    Access the First Peoples Engagement Guide online now or find out more about how you can work with MCB on your next business event.


    -  ENDS  -



    Media enquiries:

    Christine McKimm, Melbourne Convention Bureau

    +61 428 088 848 E [email protected]


    Notes to editors:

    Images available for use - download here.


    Guide highlights:


    • Interviews with contemporary Indigenous businesses delivering outstanding services, such as Niyoka Bundle, owner of native fusion Pawa Café & Bar at Arts Centre MelbournePawa Catering and Taka Gin Co.

    • Sample one day and multi-day incentive itineraries incorporating Victoria’s rich Indigenous history, culture and contemporary experiences with outdoor adventure, nature, art, food and wine.

    • Introduction to incredible local talent, from acclaimed Indigenous singer, songwriter and Soprano Shauntai Sheree, talented graphic designers, DJs, MC’s, florists and promotion merchandising suppliers.

    • Showtime Event Group (and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce partner) shares how to create a culture-rich gala event, weaving Indigenous flavours and suppliers into the program.

    • Saxton Speakers Bureau and ICMI Speakers and Entertainers showcase some of their impressive speaker talent, including Owner-Chef Nornie Bero from Big Esso by Mabu Mabu and Todd Fernando, the Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities.