The who, what and where of getting ahead

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In this sponsored post “CityNews” speaks with experts who run training sessions and conferences as well as locals who have the spaces to make those events memorable.

WHETHER it’s improving safety skills, updating work expertise or attending an inspiring conference, there’s always new things to learn.

But that long conference or training session can be made so much more enjoyable in the right atmosphere or with some delicious food.

This week “CityNews” speaks with experts who run training sessions and conferences as well as locals who have the spaces to make those events memorable.

‘Iconic’ hotel with stylish conference spaces

THE Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan is a unique and stylish venue for conferences, says functions and events manager Naomi Chen.

“All our meeting rooms offer natural light and access to the atrium and outdoor courtyard, which is central to the Upper House of the hotel, and are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities,” she says.

Naomi says there are three rooms available for conference hire, with the large, glamorous Manhattan Room able to accommodate up to 200 people, and includes a private entrance and the Chicago Bar.

“The Menzies Room, which was the original private space in the Upper House, has been renovated to be intimate and exclusive,” she says.

“[It’s] ideal for either conferences or dining, and also has the latest audio-visual screen technology.

“The great thing about the space is that even though it’s really light and bright, you can still easily see the screens inside for presentations.”

Perfect as a breakout space, Naomi says the Royal Hotel also has the Beadman Room that has a private, luxurious vibe and can seat 24 for a sit-down meal or 50 for cocktails.

The Hotel is an iconic Queanbeyan site that was first built in 1850, and then rebuilt and opened as the Royal Hotel in 1926.

“We’re just 15 minutes from the centre of Canberra, but can give a feeling of being out of town,” she says.

“We have amazing food, too, and can cater for breakfast, morning tea, light lunches, buffets, gourmet sandwiches and healthy options.

“We also offer white linen, cabaret-style room setups, so it can feel really special.”

The Royal Hotel, 85 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan. Contact or call 6297 1444.

Art centre boasts stunning views

Cinema-conference space.

THE Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre has a range of different spaces available for hire, according to operations manager Amanda Pollock.

With small workshop areas and break-out spaces, two dance studios, a visual arts workshop, the Hunting Lodge, a foyer gallery and the 110-seat auditorium, there’s a space to suit any event, she says.

The Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre caters to community and arts organisations, nonprofits and commercial clients for meetings, conferences, classes, seminars, information sessions and public programs, as well as music, comedy and theatre performances.

“While the centre maintains a constant and thriving program of events and performances, we also offer the hire of our spaces for external productions,” Amanda says.

The versatile Hunting Lodge offers stunning lake views and suits intimate performances, meetings, workshops and small corporate events, with a small kitchenette and the option of a pay bar, she says.

“Our auditorium is fully equipped with lighting and projection and has great acoustics, ideal for film screenings, theatre and comedy nights or music performances,” says Amanda.

“The workshop is a large, versatile space suitable for visual arts classes, with access to sinks and outdoor areas, and the dance studios offer lake views, too, with excellent natural light, parquetry flooring and dance mirrors.”

Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street, Greenway. Call 6293 1443 or visit

CSIRO lab assistant, Gus Reichelt.

Conference tips help get people with disabilities working

GETTING a typical job can be difficult for people who are impacted by disability, which is why the “Let’s Get To Work” national conference is so important, says Jan Kruger, executive director of advocacy group Imagine More.

The conference focuses on employment for people with a disability through customised employment and microenterprise, says Jan, who hopes it will attract many potential employers.

“We’d like anyone to attend who has ever thought of employing a person with disability, but doesn’t know where to start,” she says.

“The conference will show them ways to get past the first step and make it happen.”

The conference, which will be held from May 7-8 in the Rex Hotel, will feature more than 20 presenters and is open to 250 people.

“It’s for people with disability, their families and friends, potential employers, support staff, business owners, career advisors, school staff and community members,” Jan says.

“We all need to hold valued social roles through work, friendships and school.”

To create the “Let’s Get To Work” conference, Jan says that Imagine More has partnered with WA peer-led support organisation, Valued Lives, because its work in microenterprise aligns closely with theirs in customised employment.

“The conference will be story-led, with guests hearing from young people who are in work, explaining how they got there and practical tips,” she says.

The “Let’s Get To Work” conference will be held at The Rex Hotel, 150 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon. For more information, visit

Doma’s got exciting alternatives for any event

LOCATED in the Parliamentary Triangle, Doma Hotels has spaces suitable for any type of conference or training event, says director of conference and events Sheree Kahlefeldt.

Hotel Realm, one of Doma Hotels’ conference locations, is practically on the steps of Parliament House and several government agencies, and has 10 dynamic meeting spaces suitable for any type of conference, training or event, Sheree says.

“From our state-of-the-art, purpose-built boardrooms, which can host up to 22 delegates, to our architecturally unique and versatile High Courtyard venues, [each space] provides an exciting alternative for any event,” she says.

“The National Ballroom is perfect for larger events. It can sit up to 550 for a dinner or lunch and up to 800 for a conference.

“The space boasts state-of-the-art audio visual, laser projectors, extended pre-function spaces, new bathrooms, a dedicated trade lift, stunning custom-made chandeliers, fully integrated wireless presentation capabilities and a dedicated conference and events concierge.

“We [also] have a dedicated banquet concierge service whereby your dedicated supervisor is on call at all times.

“For larger events, we host a pre-conference meeting with all operational staff involved in which the client also attends to run through all event details the day or two prior.”

Doma Hotels, 18 National Circuit, Barton. Call 6163 1888, email or visit

Vim’s place has no hiring fees

EQ Café and Lounge offers a spacious area for group and corporate meetings with no hiring fees, says owner Vim Soneri.

“We get a lot of regular gatherings here of social groups and morning meetings, and are booked more mornings,” Vim says.

“We don’t charge a hiring fee, as long as they buy food with us.”

Vim says that EQ Café and Lounge can also provide private conference facilities that accommodate up to 50 people theatre-style, or 30 sitting, in its private room.

“There’s a 65-inch smart TV for presentations, internet access and teleconference capabilities,” he says.

“We also combine our conference bookings with catering and can arrange additional equipment hire by request.”

EQ Café and Lounge is an intimate and versatile venue perfect for corporate events, private functions and parties, with the capacity to cater for up to 250 people standing or 100 seated, according to Vim who says there is also the heated outdoor area, which is an ideal al fresco setting perfect for celebrations.

EQ Café and Lounge, Equinox Business Park, 70 Kent Street, Deakin. Call 6161 1666 or email or visit

Industry leader for emergency response training

Managing director Gary Cheeseman.

AS the industry leader for emergency response training, Ferst Training Solutions has a focus on safety throughout the whole year, says director Gary Cheeseman.

“Our training gives people the skills to not only keep themselves safe but anyone who visits their workplace or facility,” he says.

“Ferst in… Safely out!”, is the catchphrase that drives the team behind Ferst Training Solutions, which offers specialised emergency response training to workplaces in the ACT and NSW.

Since 2007, the family-run business has offered a range of courses to workplaces including: Training of Emergency Response Teams; Emergency Response Chief Wardens and Wardens; General Staff Training; Fire Extinguisher Use Training; and Building Evacuation Training.

“We endeavour to give people the skills so when something does go wrong, they have the tools to get out of that situation safely,” he says.

All trainers have been in operational positions, in fields including the military, fire services or emergency services, meaning they have real-life experience in dealing with many situations, Gary says.

“Our training is practical and procedural,” he says.

Ferst Training Solutions. Visit or call 1300 333778.

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