Annual Developing Northern Australia Conference

Initiatives for Progress, Growth and Investment

In 2017 the Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel on 19 and 20 June.

Following the highly successful conferences in Townsville in 2015 and Darwin in 2016 and the implementation of the government White Paper, the focus of the 2017 conference will be on initiatives to drive progress, growth and investment in the development of northern Australia.

Topics to be presented and discussed include land and water; food and agribusiness; forestry; resources and energy; tourism and hospitality; international education; healthcare and medical research; infrastructure; workforce opportunities; indigenous-led northern development; and developing strategic links as the Gateway to Asia.

With a Program including feature speakers discussing the key issues, session presentations from industry leaders on specialist topic areas, thought provoking forums, sector exhibitions and networking events, this is a must attend conference.


Abstract Submissions for the Developing Northern Australia Conference are now open. Interested parties wishing to address delegates are invited to submit an abstract for one of the following presentation types:

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent presentations will be 30 minutes duration including question time.


Forum presentations will be 15 minutes to be presented within a 90 minute Forum, concluding with a 15 minute question & answer session.



Full registration includes all conference sessions and keynotes, morning teas, lunches, afternoon teas, welcome function, conference materials including handbook and the on-line book of abstracts as well as access to the book of proceedings and presenter podcasts, post conference.

Early Bird Registrations Close: Friday 12 May 2017

Featured Speakers 2017

Mark Coffey – Head, Office of Northern Australia
Sharon Warburton – Chair, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility
Philip Davies – CEO, Infrastructure Australia (invited)
Professor Sandra Harding – Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University (invited)
Tracey Hayes – CEO, Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (invited)

Conference Program Committee

  • Dr Allan Dale, Conference Chair, Professor of Tropical Regional Development, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University
  • Professor Scott Bowman, Vice Chancellor, Central Queensland University
  • Mark Coffey, Head, Office of Northern Australia
  • Terry Hill, CEO, Pilbara Development Commission
  • Fiona Jose, Executive General Manager, Cape Operations, Cape York Partnerships
  • Jason Schoolmeester, Executive Director, Major Projects, Northern Australia Development Office
  • Professor Ruth Wallace, Director of the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University
  • Laurie Walker, CEO, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

Who Should Attend?

With such wide ranging consequences for Australia, the Conference will appeal to all who are forward thinking and support a resilient Australia. In particular:

Federal Government inter-agency representatives
State Government representatives from QLD, WA and NT
Local Government representatives including CEO, General Managers, Mayors and Elected Officials
Economic and Community Development Managers and Groups
Sustainability and Environment Groups
Organisations representing indigenous affairs
Town Planners, Architects, Builders, Project Managers and Engineers
Chamber of Commerce, RDA and Economic Development Groups
Banking, Finance and others interested in Economic Development
Academics and Researchers, Education Bodies with representation in Northern Australia
Local Business Owners and Managers
Resource Sector, Tourism Operators and Agricultural bodies
Northern Australia Special Interest Groups