Melbourne bureau launches First Peoples engagement guide

AN ILLUSTRATED guide to help event organisers give groups visiting Melbourne a better understanding of the culture and achievements of Australia’s First People has been launched.

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB)’s First Peoples Engagement Guide provides practical information integrating traditional ceremonies such a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country. 

The guide also provides information on businesses operated by First Peoples across the state of Victoria and how planners can create a significant social legacy from their event.

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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 Swanson.

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 The First Peoples Engagement Guide highlights local talent and Indigenous-owned and led businesses prepared 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 is aimed at equipping planners with the tools to create memorable events.

MCB wants the guide to serve as 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 decade. 

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“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,” Swanson added.

Main picture: National Indigenous Culinary Institute members at AIME 2023

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