Developing Northern Australia Conference

Progress, Growth and Investment

The annual conference will be held in Western Australia for the first time and discussions involving growth, progress and investment aligning the Northern Australia white paper is the focus.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held from Thursday 11 to Friday 12 July 2019 in the City of Karratha, WA at the Red Arts Earth Precinct.

The conference in its 5th year and attracts investors, policy makers, business owners, all sectors of government, decision makers, academics, visionaries, industry, researchers, Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs that are all contributing to change and making a difference in Northern Australia.

The conversation at the 2019 conference will include the diversification of economies and creating vibrant, resilient communities in the north.

There will be over 60 presentations covering a range of topics to include resources, land, water, energy, renewables, agribusiness, Northern Australian population strategy and industry sector opportunities pertaining to a prosperous, sustainable future for Northern Australia.

Topics in 2019

Trade and Investment
Land, Water and Energy
Attracting business, corporate and small business opportunity
Northern Australia Liveability
Indigenous-led Development
Food and Agribusiness
Engaging Industry Sector Opportunity





Keynote Speakers


  • Cr Peter Long, Mayor, City of Karratha
  • Dr Blaze Kwaymullina, Director, Our Country & North Western Alliance
  • Ms Cissy Gore-Birch, Chairperson, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA)
  • Prof Grant Stanley, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), CQUniversity
  • Dr Chris Chilcott, Research Leader for Northern Australia – Land & Water, CSIRO’s Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA)
  • Ms Sue Middleton, Board Member, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Regional, Rural and Remote Women’s Network of WA
  • Mr Ivan Vella, Managing Director, Port, Rail & Core Services, Rio Tinto Iron Ore
  • Ms Sally-Ann Watts, General Manager ASEAN, and Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Jakarta, AUSTRADE
  • Mr Peter Yu, Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group


  • Hon Matt Canavan, Minister for Natural Resources and Northern Australia
  • Hon Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Minister assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade, Western Australian Government
  • Mr Jason Clare, Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
  • Ms Annette Tilbrook, Executive Director, Australia-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce (AustChaem ASEAN)
  • Dr Heather Smith, Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Program Advisory Committee

  • Dr Allan Dale, Professor of Tropical Regional Development, Cairns Institute, James Cook University (Co-chair)
  • Mr Jed Matz, CEO, Cooperative Research Centre Northern Development
  • Mr Chris Rees, Assistant General Manager, Austrade
  • Ms Sheriden Morris, Managing Director, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited 
  • Mr Mark Coffey, Head, Office of Northern Australia
  • Mr Ricky Archer, Chief Executive Officer, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA)
  • Dr Chris Chilcott, Research Lead, Northern Territory, Land and Water, CSIRO
  • Mr Luke Bowen, General Manager, Northern Australia Development & Trade, Northern Territory Government
  • Prof Fiona Coulson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Development & Growth), CQUniversity

Important Dates

Abstracts Open: Monday 17 September 2018
Abstracts Close: Friday 5  April 2019
Notifications to Authors: Friday 12 April 2019
Author Acceptances: Thursday 18 April 2019
Draft Program Available: Monday 29 April 2019
Speaker Registration and Payment Due: Thursday 25 April 2019
Non-Peer-Reviewed Paper Due: Monday 24 June 2019
Early Bird Registration Closes: Friday 31 May 2019

Developing Northern Australia Conference in City of Karratha, WA 11-12 July 2019

Delegate Information

Who will benefit from attending

Federal Government
Inter-agency representatives
Decision Makers
State Government
Representatives from QLD, WA and NT
Decision Makers
Local Government/ Councils
General Managers
Elected Officials
Economic and Community Development Managers and Groups
Chamber of Commerce
Regional Development Australia
Organisations representing Indigenous Affairs
Sustainability and Environment Groups
Local Business Owners and Managers
Banking and Finance Managers
Town Planners, Architects, Builders, Project Managers and Engineers
Resource Sector, Tourism Operators and Agricultural Bodies
Northern Australia Special Interest Groups

Delegate Profile

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



Members of the Association for Sustainability in Business receive $100 off full registration.

Red Earth Arts Precinct

NESP Business Leaders Breakfast 2018