Sustainable Healthcare Transformation Conference
Hobart, Tasmania – 18-20 March 2015
From the opening moments it was clear that the inaugural Sustainable Healthcare Transformation conference would be a resounding success, and our gratitude goes to local Aboriginal man Dewayne Everettsmith, representing the traditional owners of the Hobart area and Tasmania more widely.
Singing the Welcome to Country in language, accompanying himself on guitar, Dewayne's sweet voice captivated the 300-strong crowd of delegates and launched the event in the purest of spirit.
The official business began with opening addresses from the University of Tasmania's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Rathjen, and Tasmania's Health Minister, Hon Michael Ferguson.
The Minister said, "Hosting this international conference is an important part of HSI Tas becoming recognised as a national and international leader in health services training and research innovation… governments and health systems around the world are facing many of the same challenges [and] the Tasmanian Government is committed to rethink and redesign the way our health service works, based on the type of best practice clinical research and advice that the Sustainable Healthcare Transformation program will help to foster."
Based on his extensive experience as CEO of University College London Hospitals, Britain's 'health Knight' Sir Robert Naylor set a high bar for the subsequent keynote speakers, discussing how his organisation set about creating and sustaining a world-class academic medical network in his country's capital. Kept busy throughout the conference, Sir Robert co-hosted a workshop on creating learning organisations in health, with Assoc Prof Andrew Way from Alfred Health, Melbourne; joined an 'On the Couch' panel discussion with leading speakers, and recorded a one-on-one interview.
Sir Robert also had as much fun as anyone at the conference dinner at Hobart's famous Museum of Old & New Art (MONA), hitting the dance floor with vigour as the band cranked up the rock n roll.
Whether in the major keynotes or the many short workshops, the expertise and engagement of presenters from Tasmania, interstate and internationally was a major feature of the conference.
Of particular interest were presentations by non-medical speakers, including Tasmania's Ray Mostogl, GM Operations for Bell Bay Aluminium, who explained how creative planning had rescued the business at a critical time in the global industry, and made it the successful niche supplier it is today.
Planning and hosting a conference, especially an inaugural event on this scale, is akin to launching a business, and along with celebrating its success, there have been lessons learned. Yet it is clear that a positive energy infused the event from the start, enhanced by the charming capital of Tasmania, which cast its customary spell on visitors.
Based on comments during the conference and subsequent feedback, the consensus is clear: there is strong support for a follow-up event within two years, and a likelihood that many of those who attended this time are likely to return, and encourage colleagues to join them.In advance, we look forward to welcoming you to Hobart, and stimulating you with another line-up of wonderful participants and enjoyable side events.