Talk:Wikimania 2008/Australia

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Potential venues[edit]

One immediate issue that comes to mind is going to be that of being able to get to a potential venue. If we were to use the university option (which I would imagine would be quite a bit cheaper), it's going to have to be a university campus that people from outside the city can easily get to. If we were to hold it in Melbourne, this would have the effect of ruling out, as far as I can see, every campus in Melbourne apart from Melbourne Uni, RMIT, and Monash Caulfield. Ambi 04:52, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How did you decide that they are easy for people from outside the city to get to? Are those the ones in the CBD region? enochlau (talk) 11:22, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
RMIT is in the CBD itself, Melbourne Uni is a 10-minute tram trip away, with really frequent services stopping right outside, and Monash Caulfield is right next door to Caulfield railway station. Swinburne is a possibility, too - I forgot about it, but it's right next door to Glenferrie railway station. Deakin and La Trobe involve lengthy (1 hour+) tram/bus trips to the middle of nowhere, and Monash Clayton is notoriously difficult to get to. Ambi 15:05, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Depending on what time it is held, we could possibly use one of the Melbourne Uni colleges. (I guess RMIT doesn't have colleges...) This is reasonably convenient: combined accommodation, catering and venue all in one. And they tend to be lovely surrounds (although the rooms might be a bit suss :)). Also not sure if it would be feasible price-wise. But I know they host conferences all the time. --pfctdayelise 14:10, 11 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The colleges do have casual accommodation, although usually only during holidays. So we'd have to have it in July (two or three weeks earlier than usual) or push it all the way back to December. This would be an excellent option if we held the conference on the campus. Contact details are here. --bainer (talk) 01:28, 12 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RMIT University[edit]

There are a variety of venues available to hire (through Property Services), although no information about costs or venue capacity seems to be online yet. The student union also manages a number of spaces, although they are all fairly small considering the price. RMIT facilities do include the wonderful Capitol Theatre (capacity of 600), which would be ideal for a main event, although it is a short trip away from the rest of the campus. --bainer (talk) 12:09, 5 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

University of Melbourne[edit]

There are plenty of facilities available for hire, ranging in size all the way up to 500 and 600 seat theatres and the 1300-seat (albeit fairly unattractive) Wilson Hall. A/V support in almost all theatres (specs), wireless and wired internet access in many theatres which we may well be able to access. The list of venues isn't available online (at least for non-students), although suitable facilities include:

Name Capacity Features Cost in AUD (per day) inc GST
Wilson Hall 1300 $1320
Copland Theatre (Economics & Commerce building) 493 iLecture, disabled access $1650
Public Lecture Theatre (Old Arts) 395 iLecture, disabled access $770
GM15 (Law building) 369 iLecture, video conferencing, disabled access $770
Sunderland Theatre (Medical building) 344 iLecture $770
Theatre A (Elisabeth Murdoch building) 287 iLecture $770
Wright Theatre (Medical building) 272 iLecture, disabled access $770
Name Capacity Features Cost in AUD (per day) inc GST
Harold Woodruff (Microbiology building) 214 iLecture $770
GM08 (Law building) 146 iLecture, video conferencing ? (not administered through central management)
Turner Theatre (Botany building) 140 iLecture, disabled access $440
Wood Theatre (Economics & Commerce building) 110 iLecture, disabled access $440
Old Arts A through E 80-130 iLecture, disabled access $330-440
various theatres in the law building 40-80 iLecture in some, disabled access $330

iLecture is the system used to record, stream and podcast lectures, and is available in many other spaces.

Costs (PDF) vary, although it's possible to get fee waivers for "certain events consistent with the University's teaching, research and community development objectives", run by non-profit or charity organisations (which WMA will likely be). We would still have to pay the fees for a building supervisor even if we didn't have to pay for room hire. It's also worth noting that it seems that one building supervisor can do a whole building, so it would be best to select multiple spaces in the one building.

The Grand Buffet Hall in the student union building seats 450 for dinner, for a hire fee of $1200 on weeknights and $1300 on weekends, with catering packages available. There are, of course, a wealth of opportunities in the city itself for organised dining events. --bainer (talk) 12:09, 5 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Travel costs[edit]

Below is a table of estimated round-trip travel costs to Melbourne, based on airfares in August 2006. All prices are economy, ex tax, and in US dollars. Note that there are some conditions attached to some of these fares, for example a minimum stay (in most cases, five days). --bainer (talk) 05:29, 5 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Updated with costs from the other bidding cities, and revised costs for a couple of other cities. --bainer (talk) 15:22, 18 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

North America

City Cost
San Francisco $865 (Air New Zealand)
Los Angeles $865 (Air New Zealand)
Las Vegas $985 (United)
New York City $1155 (Malaysia Airlines)
Tampa $1310 (Qantas)
Washington DC $1310 (Qantas)
Vancouver $1320 (Air Pacific)
Chicago $1330 (United)
Mexico City $1400 (British Airways)
Toronto $1720 (Qantas, Air Canada)
Note that many US residents may be able to find cheaper domestic fares to San Francisco or Los Angeles, and then transfer to an international flight.


City Cost
Warsaw $950 (British Airways, Qantas)
Amsterdam $970 (British Airways, Qantas)
Moscow $1030 (Emirates)
London $1050 (Virgin Atlantic)
Istanbul $1065 (Qantas, Turkish Airlines)
Paris $1080 (Austrian Airlines)
Berlin $1150 (Austrian Airlines)
Frankfurt $1150 (British Airways, Qantas)
Geneva $1250 (Lufthansa)
Madrid $1270 (British Airways)
Rome $1280 (British Airways, Qantas)

South America

City Cost
Santiago $1170 (Qantas)
Buenos Aires $1490 (Lan Airlines SA)
Rio de Janiero $1690 (Lan Airlines SA)


City Cost
Hong Kong $340 (Vietnam Airlines)
Singapore $430 (Malaysia Airlines)
Kuala Lumpur $490 (British Airways, Qantas)
Delhi $570 (Singapore Airlines)
Tokyo $720 (Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines)
Shanghai $890 (China Eastern Air)
Beijing $1240 (Air China)
Taipei $1285 (Qantas, Eva Air)


City Cost
Cairo $795 (Egypt Air)
Alexandria $850 (Emirates)
Johannesburg $960 (Emirates)
Nairobi $975 (Air Mauritius)


City Cost
Auckland $190 (Qantas)
Wellington $250 (Qantas)

Local transport[edit]

Transport within Melbourne from Tullamarine Airport to the CBD consists of taxi (horrendously expensive), or the Skybus shuttle service, which costs $24 AUD return and includes free connection to most CBD or inner-suburb hotels.

All of the potential venues are well serviced by public transport, RMIT within the CBD itself and the University of Melbourne a five minute tram ride from the CBD on the best serviced route in the network. Both are within the City Saver ticketing zone. Monash Caulfield and Swinburne are serviced by railway, albeit somewhat less regularly and more expensively. --bainer (talk) 08:14, 5 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Perth at night
Perth at night

For the sake of completeness and patriotism, I thought I'd throw some Perth info out there, if just for comparison. - Mark Ryan 17:17, 20 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

City details[edit]

  • Country: Australia
  • City proposed: Perth
  • Proposed dates: a weekend between 26 June and 16 July (mid-year break)
  • Contact person(s): Mark Ryan

Perth is a small, relatively serene city of 2 million people, the fourth largest city of Australia, and the capital of the largest state, Western Australia. Like many of the other Australian capitals, it is frequently ranked among the top-five best cities in the world in which to live[1][2].

Conference venue[edit]

UWA's Winthrop Hall
UWA's Winthrop Hall

The conference could be held at the University of Western Australia (UWA), which is the closest university to the Perth Central Business District, has sufficient dormitory accommodation in its colleges and is wealthy enough to be able to sponsor events such as Wikimania.

UWA's main campus is located in the Perth suburb of Crawley, alongside Matilda Bay on the Swan River. UWA is Western Australia's oldest university, established when Perth was still very much a small town back in 1911. It has flourished and remains very much the most prestigious and picturesque university in the state of 2 million.

The entire Crawley university campus is unbroken by public streets, and the Residential Colleges are connected to the campus via pedestrian underpasses beneath Stirling Highway.

The southern end of Matilda Bay, looking towards the city centre


Winthrop Hall foyer
Winthrop Hall foyer

UWA has a wide range of venues from small seminar or lecture rooms all the way up to the theatrical Octagon Theatre (also used for the largest enrolment units on campus) and the iconic Winthrop Hall. All lecture theatres (and even many of the small tutorial/seminar rooms) are equipped with data projectors and screens, whiteboards, audiovisual equipment such as DVD and CD players and podium and wireless (or wired, worn around the neck) microphones that feed into the automatic "Lectopia" recording system (developed at UWA, formerly known as "iLecture", and used at a large number of Australian universities). Lectopia simply requires lecturers to put in a form to the multimedia office, and they will schedule the recording, and recording will automatically begin at the designated time, taking powerpoint slides or video from the visualiser if requested. Within minutes of the end of the lecture, the video or audio will become available for download or streaming in multiple common formats. This is ideal for smaller talks which may not otherwise be recorded.

The lecture theatre venue booking costs are published online here, however these costs may be reduced if the university sees fit to "approve" Wikimania and thus accord it cheaper booking fees.

Name Capacity Features Cost in AUD (per 8hr day) inc GST Cost per hour
Winthrop Hall (standalone) 974 Disabled access (but only via an out-of-the-way elevator), very grand, pipe organ $800 n/a
Octagon Theatre (standalone) 658 Lectopia, disabled access (elevator), visualiser, large stage, full theatre setup, licensed bar, BOCS Ticketing box office outlet, orchestra pit, extensive backstage area $600 n/a
Social Sciences Lecture Theatre (Law Link Building) 330 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser, large projection $520 $75
University Club Theatre-Auditorium (University Club) 260 Luxury building, near-new, videoconferencing, wireless internet, individual power supplies, disabled access $1000 day, $550 evening n/a
Name Capacity Features Cost in AUD (per day) inc GST Cost per hour
Wilsmore Lecture Theatre (Old Chemistry Theatres) 250 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser $470 $65
Murdoch Lecture Theatre / Alexander Lecture Theatre (Arts Building) Each 230 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser, wireless internet, powerpoints for laptops under every desk $470 $65
Clews Lecture Theatre (Physics) 222 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser $470 $65
Ross Lecture Theatre (Physics) 222 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser $470 $65
Weatherburn Lecture Theatre (Maths) 208 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser, wireless internet $470 $65
Tattersall Lecture Theatre (Old Chemistry Theatres) 205 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser $470 $65
Name Capacity Features Cost in AUD (per day) inc GST Cost per hour
Engineering Lecture Theatre 1 (Engineering) 158 Lectopia, disabled access $400 $55
Fox Lecture Theatre (Arts) 140 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser, wireless internet $400 $55
Austin Lecture Theatre (Arts) 120 Lectopia, disabled access, visualiser, wireless internet $400 $55
Engineering Lecture Theatre 2 (Engineering) 115 Lectopia, disabled access $400 $55


Residential Colleges[edit]

UWA has five residential colleges situated in a long strip directly across Stirling Highway from the UWA campus (accessible via pedestrian underpasses. Many of these colleges contain wired and/or wireless high-speed internet.

St George's College is the oldest and most prestigious of these colleges, and has 160 twin and single rooms. It is not single-sex. It looks like a castle, and is Anglican/Church of England in denomination. I have no idea how much casual accommodation would cost here, though.

St Thomas More College is Catholic and also co-educational, and can sleep 168 delegates in single-person rooms. The rooms contain wired 10Mbps internet connections.

Currie Hall is owned by UWA, is co-ed and is non-denominational. It can sleep 220 people.

Trinity College is Uniting Church and co-ed. They can cram in 350 students during semester and have their rates up on their site, starting at $35 per night for student rooms, with a 3 night minimum stay.

St Catherine's College is secular but only allows women to stay there (at least, during semester). It has approximately 100 rooms available during the mid-year break (June and July).

Hotel accommodation[edit]

UWA is 5 to 10 minutes by bus from the centre of Perth, so the hotels in the CBD are quite feasible for accommodation as well. There is a wide range of hotel accommodation, ranging from backpackers' in Northbridge, through mid-range hotels like Hotel Ibis, all the way up to 5-star hotels like the Duxton or Hyatt Regency. gives a good guide as to relative hotel pricing in Perth.


The residential colleges obviously all have catering facilities. Scattered across the uni campus are also five food outlets, all run the by the Student Guild. Additionally, a short(ish) walk away are the strips of Broadway and Hampden Road in Nedlands, which have a variety of different food outlets, most cheap (and some fancy).

There is a tavern on campus, and another couple of pubs close by.

In the Perth CBD and nearby Northbridge are also a wide range of restaurants, with a focus on Chinese Dim Sum and Italian.


The UWA Crawley campus is located about 20 minutes drive from the Airport terminals.

Transport from Perth Airport terminals (International and Domestic terminals are separate) is not the best. There are plenty of taxis waiting at the airport (not recommended, due to cost - see below) and several different private minibuses which drop people off in the city/at hotels.

Taxis in Perth are horrendously expensive, compared to some places (and probably cheap by comparison to others). Taxis are almost impossible to flag down on the street and your best bet is phoning up and booking (and even then, on busy nights it can be hours before they turn up).

There are regular (i.e. every 10 to 15 minutes) Transperth buses between the centre of the city, and the university campus (many of which go on to the famous Cottesloe Beach, about 10 minutes away). The full adult fare between UWA and the city is $2.10, but student or seniors' concession is only 90c.

All public bus and train travel within the inner city (but not including UWA), is free of charge to all passengers.

Cottesloe Beach

Travel costs[edit]

Perth's geographic location will add to travel costs for visitors from America and Oceania (including East Coast Australia). It will slightly reduce travel costs for European and African visitors (though not by as much as you'd think). Travel costs from Asia will likely be very similar to Perth as to Sydney (cheaper than to Melbourne). Perth is served by several major airlines (and yet more through codesharing) so it is fairly easily accessible by most international travellers.


Perth's weather is better than Melbourne's, particularly in winter. However, Perth is at its weather-wise best in Spring and Autumn, around April or September. That's when it's not cold and rainy, and not boiling hot to the point of having Americans passing out because they didn't drink any water, and English people roasting themselves red on a beach and getting admitted to hospital with third-degree burns.

Potential sponsors[edit]

The Motorola Software Centre of Excellence sounds like this would be their sort of thing.


Guess I'll get the ball started for Sydney, but the only venue I have any idea about is Sydney Uni. Other options would include the many other Unis (UNSW, UWS, UTS, Macquarie), possibly Town Hall, probably a few other places. Anyone wanting to put up info for these is welcome. Confusing Manifestation 13:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

City details

  • Country: Australia
  • City proposed: Sydney
  • Contact person(s): Anyone but me!

Possible venues:

University of Sydney, in particular the Eastern Avenue building.

Eastern Avenue (info mainly from here)
Room # of rooms Capacity Facilities
Auditorium 1 500 Blackboards, computer, data projector, whiteboards, OHP, slide projectors, DVD, VCR
Lecture Theatre 1 200 Blackboards, computer, data projector, whiteboards, OHP, slide projectors, DVD, VCR
Level 1 Seminar Rooms 5 24-45 each OHP
Level 3 Seminar Rooms 3 40 each Blackboards, computer, data projector, whiteboard, OHP, DVD, VCR
Level 4 Seminar Rooms 4 40 each One with just a whiteboard, one with whiteboard and blackboards, others like Level 3 rooms

As a secondary venue, there's also the new School of IT Building:

SIT Building (info from here)
Room # of rooms Capacity Features
Lecture Theatre 1 50 Computer, data projectors, whiteboards, OHP, DVD, VCR
Board Room 1 30 Computer, data projector, whiteboard
Meeting Rooms 8 4 (in 6) or 10 (in 2) Whiteboard
Computer Labs 4 25 each Whiteboard, PCs

I believe the SIT building also has a certain amount of "lounge facilities", but failing that some of the Eastern Avenue seminar rooms could probably be converted to the purpose.

For the other-purpose rooms, the SIT meeting rooms will probably come in handy there, likewise the Eastern Avenue seminar rooms.

From the looks of the fact sheet for Eastern Avenue, costs are something roughly as follows (but full costing will be quoted based on the requirements of the event, US dollars courtesy of Google, correct as at September 13, 2006):

Rooms Cost for full-day hire
Auditorium + Level 1 Seminar Rooms $AU6050 = $US4550
Lecture Theatre + Level 3 Seminar Rooms $AU2750 = $US2068 Level 4 Seminar Rooms $AU880 = $US662
Total $AU9680 = $US7280

So we're looking at about $US14000 just for Eastern Avenue. No prices are quoted for SIT, but they're probably available on request. There may well be some kind of discount for booking the whole building + booking for a full weekend. I know people who have run events in Eastern Avenue in the past so they may know the details a bit better.

Both buildings have extensive AV equipment, as well as the possibility of having technical officers available for the duration of the event. Internet access for the Eastern Avenue computers is apparently available on request, I assume the same is true for SIT. Both buildings have a Wi-Fi network, but it's part of the USyd network and requires a VPN to connect to, which may not suit everyone (not to mention I don't know whether the Uni would give out 500 logins / a single login for 500 people).

The venue booking is apparently done through the following contact:

University Venues, Campus Property & Services Level 2 - Services Building G12 - Sydney NSW 2006 T: (02) 9351 2952 F: (02) 9351 2560 e:

(Website here)

Travel to and from venue[edit]

Sydney held the Olympics in 2000, and they apparently managed to let a couple of people in at the airport to see the swimming, so hopefully they haven't completely ruined the system since then.

To get from the airport to the University, there are a few options:

1. Train from Airport to Central, then 10-15 min walk

Trains run from International about four times an hour, and take about 15 min to get to Central. An adult single ticket costs $AU12.60, which includes the Airport "Station Access Fee" (in comparison, a ticket from the next stop along -- Wolli Creek -- costs $AU2.80), although I suspect that may be a typo (I certainly hope it is).

2. Train from Airport to Central, then bus to Uni

Buses run from Railway Square (very close to Central) about 3 times an hour and takes about 10 minutes. Bus fare is $AU1.70, although there is also a "DayTripper" ticket that allows unlimited train and bus (and ferry) travel in Sydney for those wanting to see more than just the venue (Station Access Fee would still apply).

3. Taxi from Airport

Taxis Combined quote $AU2.90 + $AU1.68 per km, and unfortunately I don't know what kind of distance we're talking about, but I'm sure someone can help me out. Also, it may be possible to hire a few maxi taxis, which would make things cheaper and easier.

Bus and train information from CityRail, SydneyBuses and Transport InfoLine. Taxi information from Taxis Combined.


Besides what the Uni may be able to offer, there's quite a lot of accommodation in the Darlinghurst area (close to the Uni), plus plenty in the nearby CBD. One reference site is Visit NSW.

(To be updated)



There should be a few good options to look at - local members of international companies have a few big offices in Sydney, plus there are plenty of Australian companies that we can speak to.

Rest of Application[edit]

To be worked on when I have more time and a better internet connection.


Carbon neutral?[edit]

Will the conference and the flights to it be carbon neutral? -- Jeandré, 2007-07-07t16:29z