Event:  International Women and Law Enforcement Conference

Dates:  17 – 21 September 2017

Host Organisations:   The International Association of Women Police (IAWP), the Australasian  Council of Women and Policing (ACWAP), supported by the Queensland Police Service

Client:  Debbie Platz, Assistant Commissioner, Australia Federal Police; President, Australian Council of Women and Policing

Delegate Numbers:   1,080

The annual International Women and Law Enforcement Conference was hosted at the Cairns Convention Centre in September 2017.  The conference reached sell out capacity attracting 1,080 registrations from law enforcement officers, police forces and other agencies around the world.

Debbie Platz, ACWAP President said, “The Cairns Convention Centre was at the forefront of the conference planning from the very beginning. The staff established a fabulous working relationship with our Steering Committee and the assistance they provided was paramount to our successful bid.” 

“From an international marketing perspective, Cairns was a wonderful destination with the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest. We had Australia Zoo’s, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin as patrons, which was another drawcard.”

Australia Zoo Ambassador, Terri Irwin, said “I have always supported our law enforcement and emergency services both locally, nationally and internationally.  The contribution that each and every one of them make to the safety and security of our communities is commendable and we are honoured to be able to support this very important conference.”

The Conference started with a Parade of Nations through the streets of Cairns which were flooded with colour as members marched behind their nation’s flag towards the Convention Centre to the official opening. Each country was led by Cairns school girls who acted as their flag bearer.

Traffic stopped and spectators lined the streets to cheer on the 60 nations as they were piped across town.

As a thank you to the school girls, the organisers hosted a development seminar with speakers Bindi Irwin; AFP Commissioner, Andrew Colvin; and Australia’s Commissioner for Mental Health, Nicole Gibson.

Debbie Platz said that she saw a marked difference in many of the school girls’ following the seminar, seeing this change just proved to me what a difference we can make to the community. Photos with Bindi Irwin and the other speakers also proved popular with the students.

The theme of the conference was ‘Global Networks: Local Law Enforcement’, with the packed program including 11 high profile keynote and 65 individual speakers.

Debbie Patz said, “While we saw this as being an educational program, with information sharing and workshops, it was also an opportunity for people to network and liaise with other organisations across the world to see what type of best practices they can pick up and adopt in their own countries.

“Logistically the Cairns Convention Centre was a great venue because all the delegates were staying within easy walking distance and we were able to have indoor and outdoor events. The staff were very professional and I received several wonderful comments about the food.”

Networking is a vital part of the International Conference on Women in Law Enforcement.  It started with a taste of Australia at the Welcome Reception on the Outdoor Plaza at the Convention Centre providing an opportunity for international delegates to experience aboriginal culture, Australian wildlife and Cairns friendly tropical hospitality.

The IAWP Awards Luncheon, ACWAP Awards Dinner and Conference Farewell Dinner were also held at the Convention Centre.  The 2018 hosts, Calgary Police Service, held their host night at Cairns number one party venue, the world-famous Woolshed.

A partner program for guests was offered to experience Skyrail Rainforest Cable Way, Green Island Great Barrier Reef, Rainforestation Nature Park and Cairns Aquarium. Extensive pre and post touring itineraries were also taken up by delegates and their families.

As an important legacy the conference provided the ideal opportunity to launch a new charity called Uniforms for Kids. Australian police forces can now hand in uniforms they no longer wear, which are re-made into kids’ clothes and distributed by the police to people in need in Indigenous communities, rural and Pacific Rim areas.

Debbie Platz said, “Delegates have been raving about the Conference, every day we get emails from people thanking us for hosting it and saying how inspired they were by the sessions, listening to other women sharing their common experiences.

 “We were delighted to be able to invite law enforcement officers from around the world the share this conference and what Cairns has to offer.”

Date: 13 April 2018

For more information, contact Jenny Graham, Director of Sales, Cairns Convention Centre  T: +61 40424200  E: jgraham@cairnsconvention.com.au