Missile tensions force symposium switch to Brisbane

Brisbane will open wide as 1,500 dental hygienists from around the world prepare to gather in the city for their 21st IFDH International Symposium in August 2019.

The symposium had originally been set for Seoul, but relocated to Australia following concerns around increased political tension around the peninsula following missile tests by North Korea. The event is set to return to Seoul in 2024.

The three-day event will be held at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and hosted by the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) under the auspices of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH).

This the bid win represents the first time the symposium will be held in Brisbane. The convention centre collaborated with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing to secure the conference.

With 17 of the 34 member countries based in Europe, the majority of international delegates are expected to come from Europe and the United States with strong representation from Australia, India, Korea, Japan, South Africa and Singapore. Organisers say many of these delegates will embark on pre- and post-touring around Queensland and elsewhere in Australia

Kate Jones, Queensland’s minister for innovation and tourism industry development, said securing this symposium for Queensland is a big win and will attract delegates from across the globe.

“Business events such as this Symposium are important drivers of tourism for Queensland, with the state welcoming over 4.9 million business visitors every year.

“Continuing to grow our business sector by securing international conferences and business events is a key part of our tourism strategy. I look forward to welcoming these world-leading health professionals in 2019.”

Dr Melanie Hayes, CEO of Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, said the conference programme would focus on opportunities for leadership, empowerment, advancement and diversity.

“We wanted the programme to have a broader framework and not just a purely clinical one. We believe it needs to include clinicians, researchers, educators, advocates and tackle diversity – we work with a whole lot of different communities in society.”

Dr Hayes and members of her host committee hope the symposium will convey a strong message of the importance of preventive oral health to general health globally.

Bob O’Keeffe, the convention centre's general manager, said: “We have a very strong scientific focus at the centre and events of this calibre help bring to the attention of the world Brisbane’s science industry strengths as well as encouraging collaboration between some of the world’s leading thinkers, experts and innovators.”

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