Jannawi Dance Clan performing at RESPECT - An ICC Sydney Experience.

RESPECT – A Winning Philosophy for ICC Sydney

22 Feb 2024

Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue leads the way to inclusive, sustainable and innovative events by activating its expanded Legacy Program – now featuring an ‘Inclusion and Belonging’ stream. 

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), managed by ASM Global, celebrated its commitment to fostering respect for ‘People, Place and the Planet’, by delivering a carbon neutral spectacular – RESPECT – An ICC Sydney Experience, designed to inform, engage, indulge and connect with 200 event organisers, city advocates and community partners.

Chief Executive Officer of ICC Sydney and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy said the venue team is proud to demonstrate its enhanced Legacy Program, bringing to life its long-held commitment to deliver environmentally and socially impactful events that meet the broader demands of event attendees and organisers.

“Respect is part of ICC Sydney’s DNA – it underpins our team culture, the way we deliver events for our clients, interact with our producers, suppliers and community partners and how we respect our environment.

“ICC Sydney is a true hub for curated, socially impactful, sustainable, collaborative, and innovative events that leave a positive legacy for future generations. Our dynamic RESPECT experience reflected the rich tapestry of ICC Sydney’s community partnerships established through our Legacy Program – inspiring the creation of events that meet ever-growing delegate and patron demand for environmentally and socially responsible experiences,” Mr Donaghy said.

ICC Sydney operates on Gadigal Country – on Tumbalong (the land), overlooking Gomora (the waterways) of what is today known as Darling Harbour on Cockle Bay. The event opened with a Welcome to Country delivered by Wiradjuri woman, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council representative and City of Sydney Councillor Yvonne Weldon, followed by an emotive rendition of John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ sung in Wiradjuri language by the KARI Singers.

Social Researcher and Demographer, Mark McCrindle shared the desires of Australians to show and experience RESPECT through the six key trends identified in the ICC Sydney-commissioned ‘RESPECT: Shaping Events for Success’ report.

A Yarning Circle, hosted by KARI Foundation’s Anna Gannon, introduced guests to traditional First Nations weaving techniques. A sustainability game show led by ICC Sydney Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Jess Zickar, tested guests on their carbon reduction knowledge for a chance to take home a ‘green’ prize pack.

ICC Sydney Executive Chef Rakesh Pillai alongside Food and Beverage Manager and Sommelier, William Wilson, and Straight to the Source founders Tawnya Bahr and Lucy Allon discussed ICC Sydney’s respectful approach to selecting local and sustainable food and wine producers, carbon friendly menu design, and inclusive culinary practices. ICC Sydney’s in-house Culinary experts prioritised attendee wellbeing by presenting sophisticated alcohol-free cocktails and First Nations owned and operated beverage suppliers, alongside delectable bite sized indulgent dishes.

ICC Sydney’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, Samantha Glass and the venue’s Legacy Program ‘Innovators and Entrepreneurs’ partner University of Technology Sydney Deputy Vice Chancellor (Enterprise), Glenn Wightwick discussed how the program is driving innovation, productivity and knowledge exchange.

Ms Glass said, “The theme of RESPECT was core to the creative vision of the event, weaving stories of how we seek to RESPECT mother earth and all people while showcasing the amazing talent of our city and our team members.

“From the playful invitation of First Nations ballerina Reneigh Scott, our flowing water guide and the dramatic call of Bruce Shillingsworth (Mukadda) on the Yidaki (didgeridoo) to the Jannawi Whale Dance and inclusion of Jeffrey Samuels’ artwork of Barani the whale, who once frequented these waters, guests were invited to a place steeped in RESPECT for the natural and cultural history.

“Talent from longstanding Legacy Program partners KARI, Bankstown Poetry Slam and Talent Development Project came together to showcase the power of the First Nations and Creative Industries streams united to fuel the fire of innovation and creativity – including a grand finale from proud First Nations woman and emerging talent Mi-Kaisha Masella, blending the traditional with the contemporary, paying RESPECT to our past and building to our future,” Ms Glass said.

Human-centric tech was on display through ICC Sydney’s Connect event app – custom developed by the venue’s team of audio visual professionals. ICC Sydney Connect is a customisable, interactive event platform that can be activated as a web app for in person events or host live streaming to support multi-location audiences while showcasing program, speakers, and sponsors and boosting networking opportunities. Attendees were immersed in the event artwork projection-mapped onto the iconic diamond panels and interior of Darling Harbour Theatre by ICC Sydney’s audio visual team.

ICC Sydney’s RESPECT experience was generously supported by Accommodation Partner – Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Furniture Partner – Valiant Hire and Printing Partner – Coleman.

Mr Greg Brady, General Manager, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour said, “Organisations are enriched by diversity as well as it being an essential key to the success of any business.  We are proud to be associated with the RESPECT event and the fundamental societal benefits that come from this commitment”

View the event highlights video here: https://youtu.be/Cyw-7gfFPuQ