Conference a first for region

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Australia’s most significant indigenous conference is set to be held in the Kimberley for the first time next year, bringing a massive influx of visitors with it.

Broome’s picturesque Cable Beach will play host to the 2018 National Native Title Conference, which aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities traditional landowners face.

Hosted by the Yawuru group and co-convened by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Kimberley Land Council, the three-day annual convention will take place at the town’s amphitheatre between June 5 and 7.

The conference is expected to bring 750 delegates to Broome, along with international speakers, Federal ministers and national media.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former leader Paul Keating and minister for education Nigel Scullion are among those who have been asked to speak at the event.

The proposal by AIATSIS and KLC was put to the Broome Shire council for approval on November 23 and carried unanimously, subject to the applicants meeting all regulatory requirements and compliance with local law.

The area of the amphitheatre not being used for the event, outside the Cable Beach Club Sunset Bar and Grill, will remain open to the public.

Shire president Harold Tracey said the conference would boost the local economy and was good news for the town.

“The significant, national-scale event will bring people to Broome and raise its profile as a major conference destination,” he said.

“The influx of visitors to Broome for the conference will boost the town’s economy during the 2018 tourist season, benefiting tourist operators and businesses around Broome.”

AIATSIS chief executive Craig Ritchie thanked the Shire for its support.

“We look forward to working with the KLC and Nyamba Buru Yawuru to deliver another successful event on such beautiful country,” he said.

KLC deputy chief executive Tyronne Garstone said the peak indigenous body was eager to share “our strong sense of community spirit with delegates from around the country”.

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