Both the Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Craig Carmody CEO of the Port of Newcastle welcomed delegates and guests to the opening reception held in the beautiful garden setting at the Newcastle Club. They each highlighted the mutual reliance between the Port and the City, with sustainability and environmental awareness being the key to this successful relationship.

The welcome reception gave delegates the perfect place to meet up with old and new friends to network. Located in the heart of Newcastle, the Newcastle Club is one of the oldest and most established private clubs in Australia and has been part of Newcastle life since 1885.

After an informative day of learning and networking over 150 delegates at day one of GreenPort Congress Oceania attended the conference gala dinner at Merewether Surfhouse offering sweeping 270 degree views up and down the coast and were greeted with a packed dining room with delegates rubbing shoulders and establishing new friendships and professional contacts.

Delegates were invited to enjoy a delicious 3 course meal using the freshest local ingredients and the networking dinner gave delegates the opportunity to make new connections and continue the day’s discussions. Attendees were welcomed to the dinner with a welcome to the country by Uncle Ray and Auntie Cheryl sharing indigenous heritage. This when followed by a detailed presentation from Australian Research Council Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla on ‘a smart vision for a sustainable future – SMaRT technologies and MICROfactories creating sustainable materials and products from waste.

After a delicious meal delegates had the opportunity to hear about Ecoports from Jackie Spiteri, Managing Director, Sustainable ESG and EcoPorts representative in which Port of Newcastle and Geelong Port were awarded with PERS certification. TAS Ports, Port of Townsville, Port of Mackay, Port of Brisbane, Gladstone Port Corporation were also awarded for their Self Diagnosis Method. Based on 10 member ports of EcoPorts Network in Oceania a list of environmental priorities was able to be determined. These results demonstrate: A strong awareness of local sensitivities Recognition of the impacts of port development Understanding of the significance of key components of sustainability.

Photos of the conference will be uploaded on our website next week, and you can see live coverage of the event on twitter @GreenPortBiz. Contact the organisers for further information by emailing