GEO Week 2019 will be hosted by the Australian Government in Canberra, Australia’s capital city.
For 20,000 years, the Indigenous Ngunnawal community has called Canberra home. The region’s harsh climate has meant that its inhabitants have needed great knowledge of the environment, skilful custodianship of it, and close cooperation with each other in order to survive. The knowledge and skills of first nations people – the first Earth observers – is critical to the success of GEO.
Today, Canberra is a dynamic and modern city that provides plenty of opportunities for delegates to interact socially while experiencing Australia’s natural beauty and relaxed culture.
Visiting Ministers can engage with their Australian counterparts and establish productive working programs around their commitments to the Summit. They will be able to engage with Australia’s national government agencies and national institutions, including the newly formed Australian Space Agency. Commercial sector participants will be able to connect easily with representatives from Australia’s space, spatial and tech industries.
Canberra is well connected to state and territory capitals, while Australia provides a convenient jumping off point for other complementary activities that may form part of an overall program, including in the rapidly growing South East Asia region, and New Zealand and the South Pacific.
National Convention Centre Canberra
31 Constitution Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601
The National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC) is conveniently located in the city. It’s only 7km from the Canberra airport and is easily accessible by car, taxi and public transportation.
Attendees may collect their ID badges from the Information Desk at the National Convention Centre throughout GEO Week, commencing 8:00AM (Australian Eastern Standard Time), Monday, 4 November 2019. Delegates will be required to present their passport or other applicable photographic travel documents in order to receive their badge.
Attendees are required to display their ID badges at all times in meeting venues. Only delegates will be permitted to enter the Plenary and Ministerial Summit rooms.
Information on arrangements for Ministers will be provided separately as part of the registration process.
Interested attendees are urged to apply for their Australian visa as soon as possible, as processing times can be up to 4 months. Read more information here.
Please visit the Transport Canberra website for information on public transportation.
Discount rates for GEO Week participants: Booking form for preferred GEO Week 2019 accommodation
GEO Week 2019 will take place back to back with the AO GEO Symposium, as well as the 2019 meeting of the Regional Committee of the United Nations Committee on Global Geospatial Information Management for Asia and the Pacific: UN-GGIM AP.
Arrangements for Ministers will be supported by the relevant government’s local embassy or mission in Canberra. We recommend that GEO Principals make early contact with the relevant embassy.
The National Convention Centre has a drop off point at the front of the facility for convenient access. Other requirements and needs should be advised to GEOMinisterial@ga.gov.au as soon as possible. While we will make best endeavours to consider and respond to all requests, there is no guarantee that all requests can be accommodated.
To support dynamic engagements throughout GEO Week 2019, Australia is pleased to support a collaboration spaces within the Exhibition area at the National Convention Centre. These serviced spaces are flexible work areas designed for networking, innovating and connecting. The spaces are available to everyone for use throughout the week. No bookings are required.
Access to meeting venues will be granted only to participants displaying their ID badges. Additionally, access to Plenary and Ministerial Summit meeting rooms will be available only to those displaying ID badges with suitable accreditation markings visible. All delegates are required to wear their ID badges and ensure they are visible at all times at the venues.
Pins will be provided to Ministers who should wear them to ensure they can be suitably identified by staff. On days where Ministers are expected to be present, attendees may notice heightened security arrangements including scanning of people and their belongings. At these times entry to the venue will be conditional on compliance with these measures.
Morning and afternoon tea breaks will be catered on all days for all attendees. Lunch catering will be provided as follows:
Monday: Attendees to make own arrangements.
Tuesday: Catering for Executive Committee meeting attendees and exhibitors provided. Other attendees are to make their own arrangements.
Wednesday and Thursday: Catering provided for official delegates to the GEO Plenary. Catering provided for exhibitors and registered attendees of the Industry Track.
Friday: Catering provided for official delegates to the Ministerial Summit.
Saturday: Catering provided for Executive Committee meeting attendees.
Please advise of any special dietary requirements during your registration process.
The city centre, including the Canberra Centre Food Hall is a short walk from the National Convention Centre and provides a great selection of lunchtime meals at an affordable price. A map with directions is provided under Practical Information for Delegates.
Canberra has one of the highest restaurants per capita for Australian cities, catering to the tastes of a culturally diverse and sophisticated town. The city area provides a broad range of casual and fine dining options that can accommodate a wide range of dietary needs, are within a short distance of The National Convention Centre, with the popular Lonsdale Street, Bunda Street and New Acton Precinct eateries slightly further (15-20 minute walk from the National Convention Center).
At GEO Week 2019 we are committed to providing flexible and inclusive arrangements that support participation by delegates from a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there are special arrangements that should be made to ensure your stay is comfortable and productive.
A room will be available for prayers at the National Convention Centre throughout the week.
A parents room will be available at the National Convention Centre throughout the week. The following link provides information on a range of local child minding options: www.careforkids.com.au
Attendees of the Plenary and Summit meetings should note that these events are formal meetings, and that typically only Ministers, Principals and identified speakers may intervene in the discussion. Other official delegates may observe.
To indicate your intention to speak during these meetings, Ministers, GEO Principals or other approved speakers should place their country/agency nameplate on its side and wait for the session chair to recognise them before speaking into the microphone.
During the Ministerial Summit United Nations protocol rules will be applied by the chair to determine the order in which interventions are recognised. Typically Ministers will take precedence over Ambassadors who will take precedence over others seeking to intervene.
Some sessions of the Ministerial Summit and Plenary may be open to the press. Further information on media access will be available closer to the event.
All GEO Week 2019 events will be conducted in English.
For the Ministerial Summit, a simultaneous interpretation service into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be provided where at least one Minister requests it. Such requests should be made to GEOMinisterial@ga.gov.au as soon as possible.
Delegates are welcome to bring their own interpreter who will need to be included within their official delegation list. Please note that due to limited space, additional interpreters will not be able to sit within the official translator booth at the Summit.
The dress code for GEO Week 2019 and related side events is business attire unless otherwise described on invitations for specified events. Please remember the NCC and other venues are air- conditioned so it is advisable to bring a shawl or jacket. Although it will be mid-spring in Canberra the weather can still be quite variable with the evenings sometimes quite cool. For this reason it is suggested participants bring layers of clothing to wear outside of meetings during the day and appropriate sun protection (sunscreen, hat) if going outside for extended periods.
In case of an emergency, ambulance, fire and police services can all be reached by dialling 000. This number is free to call from any phone (including mobile/cell phones).
From a mobile (cell) phone, the International Emergency Number 112 will work on all networks and is connected to exactly the same service (000). This call can be made from ANY mobile - including a passerby if their phone is locked. Most mobiles will allow you to dial 112 and press send to be connected, regardless of if there is a SIM or valid network - it will try all networks available, one by one.
The emergency call should be answered almost straight away by a telephone operator - not always an emergency service worker. They will ask if you need to report a fire, need an ambulance or the police. You may then be asked for more information - your location (street address and directions to that address), your condition and a brief outline of the situation - they will then relay you to a more appropriate emergency service.
Delegates are able to use the services of private clinics and ambulances close to all recommended hotels. However, all medical services provided to participants by clinics, hospitals, pharmacies or other health care institutions will need to be paid directly to the service providers. Please ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for your trip to cover any unforeseen medical incidents.
Opening hours and the addresses of hospitals and clinics, including a list of hospitals which accept international insurance will be available at the National Convention Centre Information Desk.
Canberra is known as the ‘bush capital’ and has a wide array of outdoor and cultural activities to suit most interests and schedules. We recommend visiting https://visitcanberra.com.au/ to find the perfect side activities to suit your interests and budget.
Canberra operates under Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), however as with most Australian States, will be operating in Daylight Saving Time (AEDT) during GEO Week, this will be equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 11 hours (UTC +11).
Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and $1 = 100 cents. Currency can be exchanged at local banks, currency converter shops and at Brisbane airport. Updates on the latest exchange rates can be found here.
Australian currency consists of notes and coins. Bank notes are issued in five denominations: $5 (pink/mauve), $10 (blue), $20 (red), $50 (yellow) and $100 (green). All notes are sized according to their denomination for the visually impaired. They are the same height but different lengths, in order of their value ($5 being the smallest, $100 the largest).
Coins for circulation are issued in six denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. Some vending machines, other coin-operated machines and some other places (such as some toll booths) no longer accept 5c pieces as a method of payment and some may not accept 10c pieces either.
ATMs are readily available throughout Brisbane and can be used to withdraw Australian Dollars - $20 and $50 notes only. International transactions may incur a fee and Australian banks are allowed to charge non-customers a fee for using their ATM machines (usually around $2 per transaction).
Most ATMs allow withdraw using a card issued from a member of one of the international card networks (such as Cirrus or Maestro). A sign next to the ATM will usually indicate what cards are accepted. Some ATMs (usually non-bank ones) do not allow withdrawal from credit cards.
Australia has an almost universal acceptance of electronic payment - the EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Service) network allows people access to their Savings and Cheque accounts, and most allow access to Credit purchases as well. Unlike credit purchases, Savings and Cheque purchases can be of any amount, although generally it is preferred to be over $10 per transaction as the shopkeeper pays fees for each transaction and may set limits on minimum amounts purchased. Some establishments also charge fees for use of their EFTPOS facilities - restaurants and taxis charge around 1.5% for Visa and MasterCard and up to 3% for American Express. It is not considered impolite to ask about these fees.
Visa and Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted in Canberra; Diners and American Express cards are not as widely accepted.
In Australia all EFTPOS transactions require a PIN – merchants do not accept credit card signatures.
Many Australian outlets use Paywave. Transactions under $A100 do not usually require a pin to be entered.
Many restaurants and pubs have tipping jars and showing appreciation for good personal service with a tip is not uncommon in cities and at popular tourist destinations. Tipping in Australia is entirely voluntary, you should not feel obligated to tip.
Mains voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins shaped live a "V" and some may contain a third flat pin in the centre.
Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public places, including workplaces, gyms, hospitals, restaurants, bus stops and train stations. Please look for designated smoking zones or ask your hotel for your nearest location.
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