Practical Information



Australian Red Cross is delighted to welcome you to Sydney for the 2013 Global Youth Conference of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

Please find below some practical information that will assist you when making your plans to visit Australia and during your stay.

For tens of thousands of years, the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and their culture has been inextricably linked to the land, its forms and its unique flora and fauna. Australia spans 7,692,024 km² making it the sixth largest country in the world.  Australia is home to 17 World Heritage sites including Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmanian Wilderness and the wet tropics of Queensland. Despite being so vast, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world with 70% of the population living in its major cities and 80% of people living within 100 kilometres of the coast.

The Australian identity is many and varied. The footprint of our ‘First Australians’ can be traced back more than 50 000 years across the entire nation, a culture with more than 200 surviving languages and diverse traditions. Today more than 40 percent of Australians are of mixed cultural heritage.  In our homes we speak 226 languages – after English, the most popular tongues are Italian, Greek, Cantonese and Arabic. Our rich cultural diversity is reflected in our faces, our names, our food, our religions and our approach to life. We define ourselves by the diversity of all of our citizens and our multiculturalism.

Arrival at Sydney Airport

Whether you arrive directly into Sydney, via Melbourne or another Australian port, you will be met at the terminal by Australian Red Cross volunteers.  Welcome desks and signage will be installed at the airport.  Volunteers will have scheduled flights and arrival times for all delegates if they have been entered into the EVENT system.

Transport to your hotel

A shuttle service will be provided from the airport to conference hotels or the Convention centre.  Transport will be arranged as far as possible to coincide with flight arrival times held in the EVENT system.  Please ensure that travel details for you and other members of your delegation are accurate to ensure that we can provide you with timely transport after your long flight.  Buses and mini-buses have been privately arranged to take you directly from the airport to your designated conference hotel and it is important that the EVENT system has your arrival date and time.

Darling Harbour and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

The General Assembly and Council of Delegates meetings will take place at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) superbly located on the waterfront at Darling Harbour, adjacent to the bustling Sydney central business district.

Darling Harbour is home to significant tourist attractions as well as a myriad of restaurants and shops, all attuned to the interests and needs of conference delegates and visitors.  Many of the city’s vibrant public festivals and events are held in Darling Harbour, which features beautiful parks, public art and the Cockle Bay Marina.

Owned by the NSW Government, SCEC is privately operated, being larger than the venue in Geneva and will not be reserved exclusively for the use of the Movement.  Other events may be held there concurrently in different parts of the venue.

Air tickets to Sydney

You will have a few options to book your flight to Australia: should you wish to use the services of our Travel Agent Raptim to purchase your air ticket, please visit the following website:
We have also negotiated a special global discount of 10% for all business and economy class tickets with the Emirates Airline, which you can obtain via Raptim or by contacting Emirates directly through their website. The promotional code will be communicated to you shortly in a separate e-mail.

Getting around Sydney

As part of our efforts to ensure the Statutory Meetings are environmentally friendly or ‘green’ we will not be providing transport between SCEC and your hotel.  For those delegates with mobility difficulties or those requiring additional assistance or special transport arrangements please email and notify us of your specific requirements.

Conference hotels are all situated within a convenient walking distance (less than 25 minutes) of the Convention Centre, restaurants, cafes, shops and transport hubs. You will also have easy access to a variety of transport options including, buses, ferries, taxi’s and light rail networks. .

The Sydney City public transport system includes buses, a free CBD bus, a light rail line and a city and suburban rail system.  For details on Sydney public transport go to . Maps and information will be available at your hotel or at the information desk at SCEC. You can also download the transport app, tripviewlite through itunes which allows you to plan your trip on the public transport network and includes timetables, maps and transport updates including real time delays.

Meeting access and security

Unlike Vienna, the Convention Centre will not be reserved solely for our use.  The registration area, Humanitarian Village and workshop spaces will be publicly accessible for the duration of the meetings.  The plenary hall will be secured and accessible only to delegates, and other eligible attendees, via airport style security using scanners and x-ray machines.  Other areas will be accessible only by displaying your delegate pass.

SCEC will be open daily from 7.30am.  Please allow sufficient time for security screening before entering the plenary hall each morning.  Please hand any metal objects you are carrying to the security team and ensure your bags do not contain any items banned under airport security rules.

A cloakroom supervised by SCEC staff will be available for use by delegates but it is some distance from the plenary room and reception area. There will be no other cloaking facilities available. If you have any security related questions, please address them to Mr Lars Tangen or Mr John Dyer of the IFRC security team. They can be reached 24 hours a day on a local telephone number which will provided to you on arrival.

Sydney is considered a very safe city. As in any major global city, crimes such as pick pocketing and bag snatching do occur occasionally.  Please take care in public places, including shopping centres, railway stations and bus stops. Always keep a watchful eye on your personal effects and never carry large amounts of cash on you. If possible leave your valuables at home or in the safe in your hotel (e.g. passports, identify papers, cash).

Registration badges

Please register if at all possible prior to the commencement of the Global Youth Conference.  We want to ensure that everyone is able to attend opening sessions without delay.  SCEC will be open to allow delegates to register on:

  • ­        8 November: 10am to 7pm
  • ­        9 -10 November:  10am to 5pm

Please note that to obtain your registration pack you will be required to present official documentation with your photograph (such as your passport).  Your personal details and information will be cross-checked against those held in the EVENT registration database.

Receptions and cultural events at SCEC

All delegates are invited to attend the gala Welcome Event for the Statutory Meetings hosted by Australian Red Cross to be held at the Sydney Opera House on the evening of Monday, 11 November.  Transport to the Sydney Opera House will be by private ferry departing from Darling Harbour at 5.15pm. There will be Australian Red Cross volunteers to welcome and guide you.

Green Meetings

SCEC is a leading ‘green’ venue which has won awards for its environmental credentials.  Details can be found on the SCEC website Australian Red Cross and the Movement are committed to minimising our environmental impact and keeping our meetings ‘green’. You can also find more information by visiting

No smoking

Smoking is not permitted in SCEC premises, railway stations, public buildings, restaurants or cafes in Sydney. Delegates will need to refrain from smoking in the convention centre and obey the laws that prohibit smoking in other public places.


A telephone provider will be present on site at SCEC to assist you with obtaining a local SIM card or mobile phone purchase or rental.  Phones are to be kept on ‘silent’ inside the plenary hall and inside workshop meeting rooms.

Restaurants and bars

Coffee and snacks will be available at the Humanitarian Village within SCEC. Refreshments are also available in the Bayside Lounge, located on the ground level near to the main venue entrance.  Food must be consumed only in designated areas and may not be taken into plenary or other meeting rooms.

Adjacent to SCEC is Harbourside, a vibrant shopping centre providing access to a wonderful variety of eating and drinking options from fine dining to quick snacks, light lunches and take away, including local and international cuisines.  For more information go to


A souvenir stand will be available on site with an array of goods. Harbourside also has several shops providing Australian memorabilia and souvenirs.

Internet access and business facilities

Free WIFI will be available within SCEC. and access  We ask that, out of courtesy to other users you limit your use to 15 minutes at a time.

Travel and Hotel Desk

A travel agency has been appointed by Australian Red Cross to assist delegates with their personal travel needs within Australia and can book tours and activities for you while in Australia including on the free day on 16 November.

If your flights have been made through your own travel agency and you wish to make changes, our agent may not be able to assist you.  The IFRC travel agency RAPTIM will be accessible through the travel assistance desk.

This desk will also be operated by Arinex, our hotel booking agent, which will be able to help you with any hotel booking changes you may need to make.

First aid

There is a first aid room at SCEC which will be clearly marked on venue maps provided to participants.  Volunteers on site will be able to direct you to the first aid room if required.  If necessary patients will be referred to relevant medical facilities outside SCEC.

Prayer space

A prayer room is available within SCEC and will be clearly marked on venue maps provided to participants.  Participants will also be provided with information and maps for other places of worship outside SCEC.

Download a list of places of worship in Sydney near to the Statutory Meetings.