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Host City

Harm Reduction International is thrilled to be holding HR23 in Melbourne, Australia, at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre on 16-19 April 2023.

We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we will meet, and pay respects to the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation. We pay respects to the Elders of the community and extend our recognition to their descendants.

A vibrant, dynamic city with a creative vibe, Melbourne is home to cutting-edge arts and culture, and an incredibly diverse and multicultural community – with over 140 communities and 180 languages represented from across the world. It was named the “World’s Most Liveable City” for seven consecutive years.

As travel writer Ellie Schneider explains: “Melbourne is a blend of bustling laneways, world-class restaurants and captivating museums. The locals love their coffee, and serve it up in abundance at cosy cafes. There's always a sense of excitement here – whether it’s in the city's fascinating flavours or fierce sporting rivalries. Attend a sports event, drink a cocktail on a rooftop and uncover the stories hidden within Melbourne's art-filled alleyways.”

Melbourne is a 24-hour city, with round-the-clock public transport in the CBD on weekends and free Wi-Fi throughout the city centre.

Find out more about visiting Melbourne

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We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we will meet, and pay respects to the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation. We pay respects to the Elders of the community and extend our recognition to their descendants.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images or names of deceased people.

Indigenous Australians are the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. The term includes both the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginal People, who together make up about 2.5% of Australia's population.

Aboriginal history says that "we have been here since time began". Today, there are 250 distinct language groups spread throughout Australia. Aboriginal Australians are split into two groups: Aboriginal peoples, who are related to those who already inhabited Australia when Britain began colonizing the island in 1788, and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who descend from residents of the Torres Strait Islands, a group of islands that is part of modern-day Queensland, Australia.

It is customary in Australia to start any talk by giving an Acknowledgement of Country. An Acknowledgment of Country is a way that people (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander not from the local area or non-indigenous) can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the ongoing relationship of traditional owners with the land. As a guide, the Victorian Government uses the following acknowledgement:

This conference is being held on the lands of the five tribes of the Kulin Nation and I wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners. I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.

You may like to compose your own acknowledgement. The key is to be aware of whose land you’re on, to show genuine respect and to use the correct terminology*. For example, the word ‘Aborigines’ is derogatory.

You can find more information about First Nations cultures, histories and experiences at the following sites:



*Australians Together Language and Terminology Guide is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported:

With hosting an international conference comes a responsibility to ensure that our impact on climate change is minimised, and HRI takes this responsibility seriously. Although the majority of our delegates come from within the host country and the region, we are asking people to travel from far and wide, at a cost to the environment.

We are committed to ensuring that the conference has a reduced carbon footprint and delivers compelling stories in sustainability standards and lasting legacy outcomes. We will take the following steps to minimise our environmental impact:

  • We have built in an option, within our registration system, where delegates can calculate and then offset their flight’s carbon footprint, with 100% of the funds received going directly to one of these projects
  • Our venue, MCEC, sources all of their food from within a 100-mile radius of the centre
  • Our food will be 100% vegetarian
  • We will partner with eco-certified hotels

Further information on sustainable programs in the city, planning a sustainable event and what various suppliers in Melbourne are doing in this space can be found on their website.

Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre, on the banks of the Yarra

Set on the banks of the iconic Yarra River, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is just a short walk away from the city centre, providing the ideal starting place to uncover Melbourne’s world-famous laneways, restaurants, galleries and boutiques.

MCEC is internationally renowned for its incredible spaces, innovative design and commitment to sustainability – delegates will be comfortable in the light and airy spaces and the exhibition zone, sitting almost directly on the riverside, is flooded with natural light.

Explore the venue Read MCEC covid-19 VenueSafe Plan

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is the only centre in Australia to offer onsite accommodation, with the five-star Pan Pacific Melbourne and Novotel directly connected via private internal walkways. There’s also a huge range of accommodation just a short walk away – 6,000 rooms to be exact!

South Melbourne is a great location if you’re looking for accommodation right next to the venue – as well as the many hotels on offer, there are also a considerable number of serviced apartments for delegates wishing to feel more at home.

Melbourne has excellent transport links, if you decide to book accommodation outside of the city centre. Affordable accommodation can be found in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Carlton, only a short tram ride from the venue. Those looking for a more relaxed beach vibe might choose to stay in St Kilda. Just 4km from the Melbourne central business district (CBD), St Kilda is easily accessible via tram and is an affordable choice for Melbourne accommodation.


If you are using a hotel booking site such as, you can search for hotels by distance from MCEC (search for Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre). If you would prefer the flexibility of an apartment stay, rather than a hotel, there are a huge number of options to choose from. When booking on, use ‘Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’ as your searching point. Apartments are very reasonably priced in Melbourne. has some great tips for travellers with varying budgets and needs.

More information to follow on official conference partner hotels.

You must obtain a visa prior to entry if you come from a country with a visa requirement for entering Australia.

Read more about visas here

Letter of invitation

An invitation letter will only be provided to participants who have registered and paid the required registration fees in full for the conference. Once you have paid, your visa letter will be available to download in your online account. You can log in here.

Please note that Harm Reduction International will not be able to contact or intervene with any Embassy or Consulate office on behalf of a participant. The invitation letter does not financially obligate Harm Reduction International in any way.

Invitation letters are available as pdfs. If original invitation letters are required, please note that they will be sent by regular mail. In case an express delivery is needed, the participant shall arrange pick-up of the document on his/her own and will be responsible for all associated costs. Harm Reduction International does not assume any costs for express delivery.

Should the visa application be denied or not approved in time to attend the event, Harm Reduction International will refund the registration fee, minus a £65 administration fee, if and only if, the participant provides Harm Reduction International with an official document from the concerned Embassy/Consulate rejecting the visa and that the application was submitted in due time. Refunds will be processed after the event (16-19 April 2023). Please note that a notification sent to Harm Reduction International after the event will not be accepted.

Contact details

For registration support as well as information, assistance and questions regarding visas please contact


This procedure is intended to assist participants who need to obtain a visa or permission to attend HR23 and is not an official invitation covering fees and/or any other expenses or financial support for the conference. The organisers are not to be held responsible for the outcome of your visa application.

All refund requests must be received in writing before the conference. No refunds will be made for cancellations received during or after the event.

©2023 Harm Reduction International
Charity number – 1117375
Company number – 3223265
61 Mansell Street
Aldgate, London, E1 8AN
HR23 brought to you by:
Harm Reduction International
In partnership with:
Melbourne Convention BureauMelbourne AustraliaAIVLASHMHarm Reduction VictoriaINHSU