The APAC Forum 2016 has kicked off, with some 1500 change-makers and innovators from 30 countries gathering at the Sydney Hilton to explore new frontiers as they design a blueprint for a healthy future for all.
New South Wales Health Minister, Hon. Jillian Skinner, officially opened the conference during its opening ceremony held at Sydney’s historic State Theatre. Delegates experienced a proud ‘Welcome to Country’ performed by the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land, and a mihi whakatau – a Māori welcome – undertaken by the Counties Manukau Health’s Kaumatua (tribal elders).
Professor Jonathon Gray, director of Ko Awatea, provided the conference’s first inspiring plenary address, ‘Extraordinary’. Assisted by Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary, Professor Gray recounted the first successful expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1953 and drew parallels with the approach and characteristics we need to overcome the challenges we face in healthcare. Professor Gray shared his vision to achieve “great care everywhere” and made an offer to delegates to join the World Health C.L.I.M.B. – College of Leadership, Innovation and Belief – and develop the leadership we need to make what appears to be an impossible vision today the reality of tomorrow.
24 further concurrent sessions offered delegates the know-how and motivation required to apply the tools of quality improvement, accelerate learning and spread, sustain change, create a culture of innovation, and design better, safer care for our patients and populations. Delegates were stimulated by the power of storytelling, encouraged by ‘ready-made’ sessions that were packed with ideas, and driven to learn from and share experiences with colleagues and contemporaries from all over the world to make improvement happen now, together.
Janine Shepherd inspired delegates and moved them to a standing ovation following the day’s second keynote plenary, ‘The Power of Defiance’. Ms Shepherd, once a champion cross country skier, shared the story of how she overcome horrendous injuries that left her paralysed after being hit by a truck. Today, Ms Shepherd is a pilot, an aerobatics instructor, a successful speaker and a best-selling author. She urged delegates to be passionate, to use their unique gifts and dreams to the full, and to stand defiant to anyone who says, “you can’t do it”. She urges us all to “be defiant”; being defiant allows us to deny all of those things that hold us back from being all that we can be.
This evening, the Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Awards, will be presented this evening at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, during a glittering APAC Forum gala dinner and will provide a fitting end to a day celebrating excellence in health innovation and quality improvement from around the world.
We are looking forward to day 2, which will begin with the APAC Forum Poster Awards at the State Theatre, followed by Dr Johnathon Lancaster presenting our third and penultimate plenary for APAC Forum 2016.
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