As National Events and Partnerships Manager of the peak health body Palliative Care Australia, Jacqui Murkins is an ‘events team of one’ used to juggling a hectic schedule and the expectations of multiple stakeholders. Each year PCA run a calendar of events culminating in the Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Group meeting in the final week of May, which is National Palliative Care Week. Typically, this is a breakfast or lunch held at Parliament House in Canberra attended by 80-90 guests and external health care providers.

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This year, Jacqui lined up a panel of eight experts led by award-winning broadcaster and presenter of ABC Radio’s Health Report Dr Norman Swan. As coronavirus swept into Australia, it became clear the topic should reflect the gathering storm ‘Palliative Care and Covid-19... We’re all in this together’.

By March, social distancing orders and lockdowns on public gatherings meant parliamentary sittings were suspended. It would have been understandable to cancel or postpone the event until later in 2020 or 2021. Anyone who knows Jacqui, knows that’s not her style. A determined ‘out of the box’ thinker, Jacqui knew it had to be possible to host a virtual version of the event befitting the not-for-profit’s enviable reputation and standing. The calibre of talent and number of elements to weave into the mix demanded more than a Zoom meetup or Facebook room. The big question was, how would it be possible to get the message across to non-sitting parliamentarians that this event would go ahead and be worth their time and attention?

A serendipitously timed e-newsletter caught Jacqui’s attention. It announced ON AIR – SMC’s partnership with Create Engage and Audio Visual Events (AVE) – as the industry-leading studio solution for professionally delivered virtual events.


From a look at the ON AIR website and her first phone enquiry with SMC’s Director of Sales and Marketing Scott Cooper, it was apparent the ON AIR solution offered the ability to coordinate all the moving parts for a real-time virtual gathering and post-produced video of the event. Together Jacqui, Tanya & Luke from Create Engage, Paul from AVE, the PCA Communications Team and Brett from GoodShout were able to:invite

  • Bring Dr Norman Swan and Professor Meera Agar Chair of Palliative Care Australia and Chairof Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG) into SMC’s central Sydney CBD studio setting that met social distancing and strict hygiene requirements.
  • Weave in a pre-recorded video of other off-site talents including Senator Catryna Bilyk and The Hon Nola Marino MP, Co-Convenors, Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Group as well as Dr Brendan Rynne, KPMG Partner and Chief Economist, and Dr Chris Shilling, KPMG Associate Director Economics.
  • Throw to live commentary from remote presenters including Prof Michael Kidd AM, Principal Medical Advisor to the Department of Health, Professor of Primary Care Reform at The Australian National University and Member of Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG); Dr Will Cairns OAM, Townsville-based Palliative Care clinician and Founding Member, Member of Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG); and Kate Reed-Cox,a palliative care nurse practitioner at Canberra Hospital, and also PCA’s Clinical Advisor. 
  • Show pre-recorded video launching the new economic research report Investing to Save – The economics of increased investment in palliative care in Australia
  • Facilitate a live Q&A session led by Dr Norman Swan in which questions were fed to a fold-back monitor so Norman could read out them out and respond in real-time.


“We needed the look and feel of a top venue and studio with webcasting capabilities, live-streaming and more. I knew I couldn’t pull it all together myself in Zoom, and the ON AIR team made it a seamless delivery without missing a beat. Much more than a client-supplier relationship, the ON AIR team made PCA’S life easier by becoming ‘the extended team’, along with the PCA Communication Team and the incredibly talented GoodShout team. From the studio and production on the day to supplying a clean video on USB for uploading at lightning speed, we couldn’t have been happier with the whole experience. The Board is thrilled, and the feedback from our stakeholders and the parliamentarians have been incredible. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the palliative care industry across treatment, quality of life and end of life situations. The fact the event went ahead – virtually and entirely professionally – couldn’t have been more important at a time like this,” says Jacqui.

As well as having 120 parliamentarians and health providers attend the live stream (up 33% on the expected 90), Palliative Care Australia’s video upload of the Friends’ event has already been seen by five times that audience and continues to have a positive ripple effect. See the full-length virtual event recording (60mins) and the Behind the Scenes video here.




While ON AIR has been established as a ‘semi-permanent’ studio, Jacqui hopes it becomes a permanent fixture and suggests more associations and organisations embrace the fusion of live and virtual events for meetings, awards, conferences and conventions. “I see ON AIR as being an essential tandem component for live events going forward. I’m looking at proposals for events in September 2021, and it’s possible we may still be impacted by international travel restrictions and public health safety measures, so we’re already in the planning for hybrid events. The event industry of the future is likely to be both live and virtual simultaneously,” she predicts. 

SMC General Manager Paul Davison says, “Virtual and Webcast events have been hovering around for years now, with numerous discussions on how they will impact the ‘future of events’. The Covid19 crisis has no doubt forced the issue and the ON AIR studio is an excellent example of how technology can be used successfully for what was a traditional face to face event. So what does the new ‘future of events’ look like? I believe there’s certainly a place for ON AIR and other webcasting studios where high quality production values are needed, however face to face and the need for people to meet and socialise in the B2B and B2C marketplace will never disappear. So moving forward - there’s room, and now the need, for both formats as long as they are done well!”


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Those considering ON AIR as part of their event line up might like Jacqui’s testimonial on the success of the setup and service.

Hi ON AIR team,

Firstly, thank you sooo much for producing a fantastic Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Event on Tuesday. The whole PCA team, along with Parliamentarians of the Parliamentary Friends Group were wowed with the event.

ON AIR is an innovative and powerful all-in-one package for peaks like PCA. We needed a professional production and the ON AIR team delivered! The venue was perfect, the AV was seamless, and the webcast hit the mark with the audience. Thank you for everyone's support and guidance throughout the lead up to the event and for the professionalism of the production. Sensational!

Please don't let ON AIR dissolve post-COVID. It's a must for all organisations in the future.



To tailor an ON AIR virtual or hybrid package for your next event, contact SMC’s Director of Sales and Marketing Scott Cooper on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02 9284 2888.



Audio Visual and Broadband Internet



In the Grand Lodge and Banquet Hall, the installation of new Panasonic 12,000 lumen laser light source data projectors deliver crystal clarity, brightness and resolution that is ideal for video and film screenings as well as all highlighting the granular detail in speakers’ presentations.


Throughout the building, new digital mixing consoles, concert quality Martin Audio public address systems, wireless microphone technology and lecturns are all welcome improvements for presenters and performers.

Hearing assistance has also been augmented throughout the venue via wired hearing loops and infrared assisted listening systems.


A newly installed intelligent architectural lighting system allows for lights to be easily and precisely programmed for different functions. Perimeter RGB shadow lighting allows for different colour combinations and mood lighting states. Importantly, feature walls are augmented with gallery-style wall washer lights that highlight artworks and exhibition content. House lighting throughout the foyers and meeting rooms has been upgraded to second generation LEDs for improved light output and energy efficiency. When SMC re-opens, event organisers will simply use touch screens to select options to light their presenters and performers, add stage washes and special effects as well as change the room ambience. Depending on the style of each event, and if needed, SMC’s AV technicians can also control all lighting from one central location.


New rigging infrastructure provides added flexibility and the advantage of quick turnarounds when re-setting rooms for different styles of events. A motorised truss in the Banquet Hall and new centrally placed ceiling motors allow for rigging special effects including giant chandeliers and mirror balls. These staging devices and capabilities mean that event organisers have the option to restyle the same room from conference mode to gala mode with ease and efficiency.


When it comes to online access, SMC recognises fibre-optic internet connection as the industry standard. Taking this standard seriously, SMC has invested in an enterprise level fibre-optic backbone and has the capability of providing fast, secure connections reaching speeds of up to 1000 mpbs both up and down, and can accommodate private premium networks. This is ideal for live streaming and delegates making use of digital applications and social media. SMC also offers free Wi-Fi throughout the entire venue for guests and a cabled in connection in every room is possible. Event organisers simply select a connectivity plan to suit their requirements.


Whatever the emphasis and creative composition of your event, SMC is now technologically equipped to deliver events aligned with your strategic goals and convey the messages you want to get across.


pdfConnectivity217.45 KB



SMC and Secure Parking have teamed up to offer you 15% off ALL parking products at the Secure World Square Carpark when booking online.
At the Secure Parking World Square booking page, click “BOOK NOW” next to any of the products and apply the promotional code: SMCFC16.

Arriving by train? The closest station is Museum Station (300 metres or a 3 minute walk) and then Central Station (700 metres or 7 minutes). To walk from Museum Station, simply follow the Castlereagh Street exit signs inside the station, then turn left heading south down Castlereagh Street. At the first intersection (corner of Castlereagh & Goulburn Streets), turn right to come to the SMC main entrance at 66 Goulburn Street.

pdfLocation and parking information sheet785.18 KB


SMC Hotel Partners


Located within a stone’s throw of the venue are a range of quality affiliated hotels that makes SMC an attractive option to organisers hosting delegates for multi-day events.

Click on the hotel icon in the above map to see each hotel’s address, phone number and website, or download SMC’s Accommodation Fact sheet.


pdfSMC Accommodations Fact Sheet PDF

Sydney University Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5-9 March 2018

Event Type: International Conference

Delegates: 350

Key achievements: Fully flexible venue use, high speed, large-volume internet usage and special requests.


The Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK) was held for the first time in Australia in March 2018. Sydney University brought the event to Australia after a winning the bid to host the conference.

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SMC the Leading Venue for Accessibility

Event Highlights

Date: Aug - Sep 2015

Event Type: Annual Meeting, Conference and Workshops

Delegates: 600


SMC Conference & Function Centre’s (SMC) versatile spaces provide an elevated level of accessibility to all types of events via extensive accessible design, including direct access for unassisted entry, and indirect access compatible with assistive technology such as hearing loops.

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ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Event Highlights

Date: 13 February 2015

Event Type: ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Guests: 169

Key achievements: Effectively managed a high profile, high risk national event


The objective of this event was to bring educators across the nation into an open forum, inclusive of a Q&A with the Australian Minister for Education and Training, and to be briefed on the release of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report.

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NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Dinner

Event Highlights

Date: 8 November 2014

Event Type: NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Event

Delegates: 200

Key achievements: Delivery of the third consecutive award event for ACS


The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards are held annually in every major state. The NSW Awards were held on 8 November 2014 at the SMC Conference & Function Centre (SMC) Banquet Hall. There were 20 categories and 200 people in attendance including 80 nominee finalists, sponsors and members.

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Starlight Children's Foundation

Volunteer Thank You Event

Event Highlights

Date: 20 October 2014

Event Type: Starlight Children's Foundation Volunteer Thank You Event

Delegates: 120

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre’s Marble Foyer facilitated one of the largest groups of volunteers as part of the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s community

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Australian Medical Students' Association

10th Global Health Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5 — 9 September 2014

Event Type: Australian Medical Students' Association 10th Global Health Conference, workshop, social events

Delegates: 720

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre's (SMC) Plenary Hall facilitated the largest ever AMSA global health conference. AMSA engaged a wider than ever range of speakers including, for the first time, a webcast featuring a high profile speaker from the UK

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