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 “Finding Ways Forward: Celebrating Identity, Culture, Families and Community” 
September 22-25, Darwin Australia



Darwin, Australia is announced as the destination to celebrate the International Foster Care Organisation Conference and 40th Anniversary celebration in 2022.
The International Foster Carer Organisation (IFCO) has confirmed that it will host its 2022 Conference in Darwin, Australia in partnership with the Foster and Kinship Carers Association of the Northern Territory (FKANT). The conference will take place from 22 – 25 September at the Darwin Convention Centre and is expected to attract around 600 delegates.

FKANT logo

The theme of the 2022 conference is “Finding Ways Forward: Celebrating Identity, Culture, Families and Community” and will include a combination of plenary sessions on diverse topics, interactive workshops, and poster sessions as well as a dynamic social program and plenty of networking opportunities. The 40th Anniversary of IFCO and the 10th Anniversary of FKANT will celebrated and recognized at the Conference Gala Dinner, which will be a fabulous evening.

IFCO President, Ms Lacy Dicharry said the aim of the conference is to create a platform for all stakeholders to share and understand their role and responsibilities in supporting children in care and care leavers. “IFCO conferences are quite unique in that it’s one of the few spaces where all stakeholders gather as speakers, as well as the audience, so you get to hear everyone’s perspectives. The conference attracts foster parents, foster families, children in foster care, care leavers, birth families, social workers, professionals, academics, policy makers and all who are interested in quality alternative family-based care” said Ms Dicharry. “Participating in a conference like this is a unique space to meet like-minded people but also people with different experiences and contributions to the child protection and welfare systems. Voices of experience and voices of professionals from different parts of the country and the world come together with a common interest on the rights of children and families.”

Why Darwin and why Australia?
“We purposefully want to share some focus on Australia and on NT, to use the micro and analyze the macro, and understand what lessons can be learnt and adopted and help one with the other. We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children are ten times more likely to be placed in foster care. In a 2018-19 report issued by the Australian Institute Health and Welfare, around 1 in 6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children received child protection services. We want to delve into these types of issue, to be able to understand and address this better” said Ms Dicharry.

Ms Dicharry said a key aim for the conference is to create a positive space for everyone who attends the conference, “We want to encourage and motivate attendees to remember why we work together and what we can achieve together. Importantly, we hope the conference will lead to long friendships, possible partnerships, and definitely memories and learning.”

The bid to host the IFCO conference in Australia was supported by Northern Territory Business Events and Tourism Australia, which has enabled us to bring this event to Darwin in 2022.

More information about the conference is available from conference website: IFCO2022 (darwinifco2022.com) 

Quote from Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director Tourism Australia
“This is a great win for Darwin and the Northern Territory. The benefits of hosting large events such as these are significant for Australia both from an economic perspective, but also in knowledge sharing for the sector in the Northern Territory and throughout regional Australia. By securing international business events such as this one we are helping to drive the recovery of our industry and ensuring we remain front of mind among decision makers as a world-class events destination”
Quote from The Hon Natasha Fyles MLA, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality
“The Territory is proud to welcome international business events back to our world-class, award winning Darwin Convention Centre. We invite the 600 delegates to extend their time in the Territory to experience our 65,000 year old culture and explore our tropical city and our vast, spectacular landscapes.
To have such an important collective such as the International Foster Carers Organisation show trust in Darwin’s ability to deliver a safe and exciting program is evidence that we are well on the road to recovery.”
Quote from The Hon Kate Worden MA, Minister for Territory Families
“Congratulations to The Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT on partnering with IFCO to deliver the 2022 International Foster Carers Organisation Conference and 40th Anniversary celebration, here in Darwin.
“I am looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments of Territory volunteer foster and kinship carers who go above and beyond to care for children and young people in out of home care. Without you all, we would not be able to ensure our most vulnerable children feel safe, grounded, and supported to fulfil their potential.
“As Government we are working towards making sure every Territory child has the best start in life, and hosting this conference gives great confidence that we are on the right track.”

Media Contact
Natalie Bell, AA&P Events – 0419 653 729 / natalie@associatedadvertising.com.au

Conference website: https://www.darwinifco2022.com/

Photo of the venue: Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia