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79th WAZA Annual Conference
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World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

79th WAZA Annual Conference

Taronga Zoo
03 - 07 November 2024

Kia ora Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and its global network of progressive zoos, aquariums, regional and national associations and partners, I would like to formally welcome you all to the 79th WAZA Annual Conference in Taronga Zoo, Sydney!

Taronga is the zoo of my childhood, my son’s childhood and the first zoo I ever worked at so it’s a special place for me. It is in an outstanding location and the zoo itself is truly a leader in all that our WAZA community aspires to be. The last time we held a WAZA Annual Conference in Australia was back in 2012 in Melbourne so it is very exciting for me to welcome you all to the country and this region after more than a decade! Taronga Zoo’s commitment to conservation, education and learning, science, sustainability and animal welfare makes them the perfect host for the 79th WAZA Annual Conference. Taronga is also a previous winner of both the WAZA Conservation Award and Environmental Sustainability Award.

WAZA conferences are an ideal opportunity to bring leaders in the zoo, aquarium and conservation communities together to discuss important issues for wildlife and wild places and to understand how WAZA members can act on global issues facing our planet.

Taronga’s team and the WAZA Executive Office are dedicated in curating a Conference that is truly representative of our global community, and I invite you once again to join the Conference and share your expertise, build your networks and continue working to make our unique global community more impactful and meaningful.

We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful city of Sydney!

Karen Fifield MNZM
WAZA President

Dear Colleagues,

I cannot tell you how excited I am to welcome you to the 79th WAZA Annual Conference on Cammeraigal Country in Sydney, Australia.

At times, Australia can feel a long way away from our zoo and conservation colleagues across the globe, however, the ability to come together, share ideas and perspectives. Discussing the big issues and opportunities facing our sector is always stimulating and fills me with hope for the future of wildlife.

I have had the privilege to lead Taronga, our two zoos – Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo and our conservation and education work for 15 years and during this time have benefited greatly by attending WAZA Conferences. I always look forward to these events and leave enlivened and encouraged to work collaboratively, to innovate across our industry, and pursue bigger and more ambitious ways to support wildlife.

As a country and a continent, Australia is home to a diverse array of varying and unique flora and fauna. Taronga Zoo is situated on the beautiful shores of Sydney Harbour and a ‘stone’s throw away’ from some of the most breathtaking marine and coastal ecosystems on the planet. I look forward to not only introducing you to some iconic Australian wildlife within Taronga Zoo but also to show you around the city I call home, and the wildlife that call Sydney home.

While you are here, I hope you also take the opportunity to visit some of the amazing experiences on offer around Australia and our second heartbeat, Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

I look forward to welcoming you to Sydney very soon for the conference.

Cameron Kerr AO
CEO, Taronga Conservation Society Australia