Destination Darwin – A City Like No Other!
Some people would say that Darwin is ‘off the grid’ but that just isn’t the case. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it’s the second fastest growing capital city in Australia.
Darwin is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a population of 136,000 made up of people from more than 60 nationalities and 70 different ethnic backgrounds.
Just like its noteworthy population, the city of Darwin hosts a range of different industries, with government employees comprising 60 percent of the workforce. The wide range of industries in Darwin include; mining, offshore oil and gas production, tourism and tropical horticulture to name a few.
Darwin is considered by many people to be Australia’s gateway to South East Asia. Its close proximity to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta is one reason. It’s quicker to fly to Jakarta than to Canberra, the capital of Australia.
It takes about the same amount of time to fly to Singapore or Manila, as it does to fly to Sydney or Melbourne.
The Port of Darwin is also the main outlet for Australia’s live cattle export trade into South East Asia.
Whoever it might be, we’ll work together as best as we possibly can to further the interests of the people working on the land in the northern parts of Australia.
To really understand and appreciate Darwin as a thriving cosmopolitan city, it’s important to consider its history.
It was founded in 1869 and was originally called Palmerston, before being renamed Port Darwin in 1911. The harbour was discovered by John Lort Stokes who named it after a former shipmate, Charles Darwin.
While the city shares the same name as Charles Darwin, the evolutionary scientist, it has nothing to do with The Darwin Awards (awards given to individuals who have contributed to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions. If you need a laugh, look it up).
Back to reality! On February 19, 1942 during WWII, 188 Japanese warplanes attacked Darwin. More bombs were dropped on Darwin than on Pearl Harbour during this time. It’s estimated that more than 243 people were killed by the air raids.
Fast-forward 30 years to Christmas Day 1974, where Australia’s worst natural disaster took place. Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin with winds reaching speeds of 250 km per hour. 66 people were killed and 30,000 people had to be airlift evacuated, which is the biggest airlift in Australia’s history.
Over 70% of the city’s buildings were destroyed, with the total damage costing $1 billion. As a result of the air raids and cyclones, Darwin only has a few historic buildings left.
According to John Donegan, a photographer who once worked in Darwin; the presence of Cyclone Tracy still hangs above the city.
He believes that it’s hard to move on when the city has to be built to strict building codes. It’s normal to see shelters in schools and ‘cyclone season survival packs’ up for sale in the supermarket. The whole city is geared towards the next cyclone.
Because of the devastation Cyclone Tracy left, all buildings are constructed to a strict cyclone code as mentioned above. Steel is a popular building material and with this being the case, it has led to a very modern and distinctive style in the city of Darwin.
A growing population and scarce land has seen a rapid growth in high rise apartment style housing in the last few years, especially around the water front and CBD areas.
Darwin has become a highly sophisticated city.
While there aren’t many historical buildings left in Darwin, it isn’t short of being a unique and interesting place.
It’s a popular tourist destination now with a variety of accommodation options, eateries, clubs, pubs and museums. Its close proximity to Kakadu National Park is also another selling point for tourists.
Darwin’s fascinating history and its multicultural community has helped make the city what it is today.
A city like no other!
By Jasmine Ball
Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.
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