Another successful AIDA conference was held at Crown Perth in Western Australia from 26-28 September. We had our biggest turn-out with more than 400 delegates and over 30 exhibitors.
The conference started with a beautiful welcome reception at Burswood on Swan where Nyungar Elder, Mr Walter McGuire performed a Smoking Ceremony and Welcomed delegates to Country. The official AIDA Conference artwork ‘Two Brothers Dreaming’ by Yondee (Shane Hansen) was revealed. Traditional dancers from the Gya Ngoop Keninyarra dance troup and the Natasha Eldridge Band performed as delegates networked over canapes and drinks.
On the Thursday delegates were welcomed by newly elected President Dr Kris Rallah-Baker. Delegates were delighted to have Dr Jeff McMullen back as master of ceremonies saying “Jeff McMullen is amazing as our MC, always mindful and present which is evident in his smooth transition between slides.” He set the tone for a conference that became a mix of networking, learning, conquering, and questioning – all in a culturally safe space.
Keynote speaker Dr Chelsea Bond said “I am privileged to be at #AIDAconf2018 with these deadly Black Drs!” As always, Dr Bond’s talk was well received by the delegates who said “I can’t even begin to say how amazing Dr Chelsea Bond’s talk was.” “So very thought provoking.” “Chelsea always gets me thinking.”
There were also in-depth discussions about how resilience can impact on Indigenous research. Towards Rural and Outback Health Professionals in Queensland said “Doctors need to publish. Our views and perspectives can shape policy and change minds.” Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley from the University of Newcastle joined the discussion with these inspirational words: “What you are passionate about you can do something about.”
The ‘Growing our Fellows’ workshop was as usual a great way for students to network with specialist colleges and others within the medical industry to discuss different pathways for their careers.
On the Friday Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Richard Di Natale addressed the delegates saying “We do have a good health system, but it does have some problems. I worry about the lack of prevention. Prevention must be at the centre of our health system.”
One of the highlights for AIDA was the launch of the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in Clinical Practice Training Program. AIDA supports a more culturally safe health care system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, including for our members working within the health care system. This is a clinically-focused training program to assist Registrars and Fellows in any specialty to integrate cultural safety into their everyday practice. Delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors to peers in the medical profession, the program aims to assist the learner with improvements in clinical practice and behaviour change.
In the new year we will release details on our AIDA conference 2019, which will be held in Darwin from 2-4 October. Save the date now and we hope to see you all there.