Bid fund helps secure major international conference for Brisbane
The Brisbane conference will be the first time the American based Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) has held its annual meeting outside of North America.
Australia’s reputation in water management and strong freshwater science community coupled with the desire to expand the Society’s international reach were behind the historic decision to choose Brisbane and Australia for the 2021 Annual Meeting.
Australia also has the largest membership of the Society of Freshwater Science outside of North America.
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) Convention Advocate, Professor Stuart Bunn, Director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University and Associate Professor Angus Webb of the Water, Environment and Agriculture Program, University of Melbourne together with the support of Australian Freshwater Science Society and the New Zealand Freshwater Science Society, were the main drivers in bringing the event to Brisbane, working alongside BCEC, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing and Tourism Australia.
“Our Business Events Bid Fund was established to ensure Australia’s competitive position when bidding for these lucrative and important events against international competitors, and it’s great to see this win for Brisbane come through. Since the launch of the Fund, ten bids have been converted worth nearly $100 million for Australia’s economy,” said John O’Sullivan, managing director Tourism Australia.
Professor Bunn said the 2021 Annual Meeting will be co-hosted with the Australian and New Zealand freshwater science societies, making this the biggest meeting of its kind to be held in Australia. It is expected to attract more than 1000 delegates including strong representation from places like China, Japan and Korea.
“With freshwater the most threatened ecosystem in the world, the meeting will provide Brisbane with the opportunity to showcase the city’s science capability and highlight Australia’s long standing reputation for the sustainable management of its water resources,” Bunn said.
“Australia’s variable climate and arid zone and tropical river systems provided a unique environment for the world’s foremost freshwater scientists to explore.”
Associate Professor Webb said that momentum for an international meeting had been building within the Society for Freshwater Science for some time, but a compelling bid was lacking.
“As a regular attendee of the SFS meeting, I’ve talked to many people over the years who want to see the society become more international. But it took the attraction of Australia and Brisbane, and the excellent support from BCEC, to get the idea of an international meeting over the line,” he said.