Melbourne, an Australian destination for great minds to meet

The Australian city of Melbourne is becoming a destination of choice for scientific and medical association events. Major upcoming association events will bring more almost 25,000 delegates to the city, who are expected to contribute in excess of A$1 billion to the Victorian economy.

Melbourne will hold two of the world’s most significant health and medical conferences within the space of eight months, starting with the prestigious 22nd World Diabetes Congress in December 2013 for approximately 10,500 delegates, followed by the 20th International AIDS Conference in July 2014, which will attract over 14,000 delegates making it one of the largest health conferences ever held in Australia.

Melbourne is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier conference destinations. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is a world-class facility and when the organising committee from the International Diabetes Foundation were in Australia recently, they commented on the excellence of the modern building and how professional they had found the whole experience of organising the Congress in Melbourne.

Selected as the host city for these conferences because of it’s dynamic, vibrant and multicultural community, Melbourne has the capacity to host a large event thanks to its excellent infrastructure, number of hotel rooms, venue capacity, and the central location of major venues that reduces the amount of daily travel for participants.

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease epidemic in world history. The World Diabetes Congress in December 2013 will bring together over 400 keynote national and international experts in diabetes to share their research and discuss best practice on this important and topical global health issue with over 10,000 registrants globally. This includes some of the most outstanding and well-regarded researchers and physicians from around the world.

Special events planned for the conference include experiencing a local Indigenous cultural event with a corroboree planned at Federation Square, right in the heart of the city. The corroboree will include dancing, costumes and music and will give delegates an insight into this ancient culture. Melbourne is home to several world-leading scientific institutions and researchers who are making a major contribution to efforts globally to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. The conference is a great opportunity for delegates to learn the latest scientific updates, share best practice and network.

AIDS 2014 is a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the Asia Pacific region’s HIV epidemic and the unique responses to it. The larger Asia Pacific region has the largest geographic area and population in the world, dramatically varying levels of wealth, and a complex mix of structural and behavioural determinants of HIV risk, giving the experts from the region distinctive perspectives on the epidemic that will be of great value to their colleagues from around the world.

During the program, delegates will learn about Australia’s partnership approach to HIV programming, characterised by strong community engagement in the development and implementation of the response to HIV in Australia and Victoria. This approach is a significant reason why Melbourne was selected as the destination for the conference, with the city receiving strong support from governments to host the event. The City of Melbourne, together with the State Government of Victoria and the Federal Government of Australia, has showed a long-term commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

It was recently announced that Melbourne had won the title of the world’s most liveable city for the third year in a row, and when delegates arrive in Melbourne they will be able to experience why. The venue and accommodation options for both events are a short distance from the city, and the restaurants, shops and hidden laneway cafes and bars that Melbourne is known for will give international guests a real flavour of the vibrant city.

Delegates will appreciate Melbourne’s multiculturalism and the various cultures and religions that have been embraced by the city. Delegates will also be attracted to all that Melbourne has to offer, including major sporting events, theatre shows, culture and heritage. Just outside the city, regional Victoria offers a range of wonderful experiences such as a visit to see the penguins on Phillip Island, seeing native animals and tasting gourmet produce in the Yarra Valley, or taking in the scenery along the spectacular Great Ocean Road.

These international conferences have been made possible thanks to the support from the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program. Owned and led by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with support and collaboration from Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government, the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program harnesses the passion of Melbourne’s elite thinkers and leaders. It connects them with each other and provides the support needed to attract leading conferences and events in specific health, medical and scientific fields to Melbourne. Club Melbourne Ambassadors, Professor Paul Zimmet AO for the 22nd World Diabetes Congress, and Professor Sharon Lewin for the 20th International AIDS Conference have both played a key role in bringing these events to Melbourne and developing a program to entice delegates to attend.

Club Melbourne Ambassadors available for interviews:
22nd World Diabetes Congress: Professor Paul Zimmet AO
The 20th International AIDS Conference: Professor Sharon Lewin