Planning for the XIIth International Rangeland Congress is progressing well and the Australian Organising Committee is getting increasingly enthused by the opportunities the Congress will provide for innovation and networking amongst rangelanders of the world.
The Second Announcement has been produced in five languages and can be found at the Congress website (https://irc2025.rangelandcongress.org/). The Second Announcement has been designed and laid out more professionally due to the great efforts of AOC Committee member, Alison Nicolson. Look out for an upcoming email on the Second Announcement and a link to a survey to gather ideas from potential attendees.
Promotional events for 2023 include the Society for Range Management meeting in Idaho in February and the International Grassland Congress in Kentucky in May. At the SRM meeting, we conducted a workshop to promote the Congress and as an opportunity to stimulate Australia-US rangelands collaboration in the lead-up to the 2025 Congress. John Taylor was at the SRM meeting in person and facilitated the workshop and David Phelps and Andrew Ash presented from Australia. We have been offered a complimentary booth at the International Grassland Congress to be held in Kentucky in May and we will use that opportunity to promote the IRC.
All Sub-Committees are in place and workplans for each Sub-Committee have been developed and are being implemented. The Program Sub-Committee (Cecile Godde, Alex Baumber) has been very active during 2022 in discussing Congress sub-themes (see details in the Second Announcement) and in developing plans to encourage diversity and inclusion in the program structure and in participation by speakers and delegates. With the ratification of the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP) in 2026 by the UN General Assembly, the Program Sub-Committee has been interacting with the IYRP Support Group to ensure the IYRP is well integrated into the IRC Program. The Program Sub-Committee is also putting emphasis on ensuring good inclusivity of First Nations peoples in the program. A Traditional Knowledge Forum is being planned for before the Congress and this will hopefully bring together First Nations peoples from across the world. This Forum will be jointly organised by IYRP and the IRC.
We have started the process of engaging with potential sponsors. We would love to hear from you if you have any good ideas for sponsorship. During 2022, we received our first sponsorship payment from Business Events Adelaide (formerly the Adelaide Convention Bureau). The value of promotion in generating potential sponsors was highlighted by the SRM meeting as we received an Expression of Interest in sponsoring the IRC from a Federal US agency immediately after that meeting. The Sponsorship Prospectus is available on the website.
A range of pre- and mid-Congress tours (led by John Gavin) are being developed. Draft itineraries are being developed for pre-Congress tours from Longreach to Adelaide, Alice Springs to Adelaide, Perth to Adelaide, Sydney to Adelaide and Adelaide to Adelaide. These tours will range from three to about ten days and are mostly aimed at our international visitors.
A key aim of International Rangeland Congress is to bring together people from across the rangelands of the world. This requires a special effort in supporting delegates from the Global South to attend and the International Liaison and Delegate Support Sub-Committee (David Phelps, Nicole Spiegel) is working to support their attendance. This includes identifying and resolving potential blockages for delegates to attend in-person or on-line and working with the Sponsorship Sub-Committee to maximise developing country delegate support, and working with the IRC Continuing Committee to help promote and facilitate attendance at the Congress.
We have developed a good working relationship with our conference organisers, All Occasions Group, who are based in Adelaide and know well our Congress venue, the Adelaide Convention Centre, which is extremely well suited to an International Rangeland Congress. It is centrally located in the Adelaide city precinct with many hotels in close walking distance. There are many options for the main plenary session room set-up according to delegate numbers as it has flexibility to be used in configurations from 650 delegates up to 3000 delegates. There is a huge exhibition hall space (up to 3000 sq m) that can easily accommodate trade displays and posters and can also be used for morning and afternoon breaks and lunches.
We are always on the hunt for enthusiastic volunteers to help with the various Sub-Committees so please let us know if you would like to contribute to what is shaping up to be a great event.