Melbourne/Naarm – Australia’s largest and most liveable city

Ranked as the most liveable city in Australia, and third most liveable in the world, Melbourne is Australia’s largest city and its sporting and cultural capital.

Sitting elegantly on the banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne is an eclectic mix of old and new. The CBD is crisscrossed by bustling laneways filled with art, coffee and food, punctuated by the ‘ding ding’ of the tram network. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and First Nations Art. Considered the Australia’s home of sport, Melbourne hosts a multitude of sporting events throughout the year including the Australian Formula One, test matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australian Rules and Association Football codes, the Australian Open tennis, and Rugby Union and League.

Naarm is the Indigenous name for the area known as Melbourne and Naarm is the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. The Kulin Nation is a collective of five Aboriginal clans: Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Wathaurrung, Taungurung and Dja DjaWrung.  Their collective territory extends around Port Phillip and Western Port, up into the Great Dividing Range and the Loddon and Goulburn River valleys. The Kulin Nation has inhabited the area for an estimated 40,000 years and prior to colonisation was a nation of more than 20,000 people.

The Kulin Nation lived by fishing, hunting and gathering, making a good living from the rich food sources of Port Phillip and the surrounding grasslands. Birrarung, today also known as the Yarra River, also played a crucial part in Kulin Nation culture. This whole area was where thousands of people gathered for ceremony and celebration, for trade and to hold inter-Nation business.

The modern Melbourne was founded in 1835 and was officially declared a city in 1847. Melbourne’s grid layout, created by Robert Hoddle in 1837, was designed as a city within a park, surrounded by nature, that could grow in a sustainable way. Thanks to the discovery of gold in Victoria the 1850s, Melbourne earned the nickname ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ and attracted thousands of migrants in the hopes of striking gold. The gold decade (1851-61) was a period of spectacular growth, prompting building of grand sandstone buildings still standing today on Collins Street.  

The inhabitants of Melbourne, called ‘Melburnians’, hail from over 140 countries and cultures. Migrant groups include British, Greeks, Italians, Indians, Chinese and Vietnamese, and this is reflected in the city’s celebrated food and cafe culture. Melbourne attracts thousands of international students to study in the world-class universities based here, with the city holding the title of Australia’s Best Student City.  

Melbourne Airport is located only 20kms away from the CBD, and once you are in the city, the Hoddle grid network and integrated transport services allow easy access to all major hotels  and local attractions. Melbourne is perfect for a conference delegate, with everything you need within its easily-walkable boundaries. There are many hotels within a five-minute walk of the convention centre, which is surrounded by an abundance of vibrant cafes restaurants, bars and laneways. 

Things to do in Melbourne

View map of Melbourne

Key dates

21 March - Call for proposals opens

12 April - Call for proposals closes

30 May - Registration open

July - Program released

31 July - Super early bird registration closes

13 September - Early bird registration closes

22–25 October – AIEC 2024