Hobart Symposium 2016 – The Full Report

Event organiser Danielle Gibbens reports on our 25th Anniversary symposium – heralded as one of the best DHAA National Symposiums so far.

Over 285 DHAA delegates rolled into Hobart for this years 25th anniversary Symposium. Despite the grey clouds that threatened rain the whole time the feedback is everyone had a great time which, speaking as the conference organiser, just equals ‘RELIEF’.

The program was jam-packed with learning and hopefully a taste of Tasmania. Our first morning consisted of more workshops than ever before and I’d like to take the time to thank our sponsors for helping with organising them. Activities then transferred to the ever-eccentric Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA) for the afternoon program.

As a part of the welcome drinks, all delegates had the privilege of staying in MoNA once the doors had been closed to the public for a private viewing of the museum. We all enjoyed a glass of bubbles and canapés as we enjoyed the museums new exhibition opened a little under a week before we arrived.

Friday and Saturday were spent at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart where delegates heard from speakers on a wide range of topics including; research; perio and things new to our profession such as ENT issues; orofacial myology; and TMD diagnosis and treatment. Along with this attendees were able to peruse trade displays for the latest that our industry has to offer.

Friday night’s Masquerade Gala dinner was the social highlight of the symposium, with good music and an endless flow of bubbles. Many were grateful for the late start on Saturday and took the opportunity to experiences Australia’s oldest market at Salamanca.

Unfortunately one of our planned speakers, Ron Knevel, was too unwell to speak at the symposium. I would like to thank Dr Derek Mahony for jumping in at the last minute to fill some big shoes! Ron has kindly offered to record his presentation which we will get to our delegates as soon as Ron is well enough to do so. All of us at DHAA wish him a speedy recovery.

As the former DHAA Communications Director, with an interest in social media, it will come as no surprise that many of the speakers were found through these avenues. It was very gratifying to discover that many of our delegates were fellow ‘followers’ and really were excited to put a face to a name. Many of these speakers have huge followings which sees them being invited to speak all over the world, so we were very honoured that they took time out of their busy schedules to come to Hobart. If you aren’t already on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter get on there! There is a whole dental world waiting for you online and we at the DHAA will often share information and news with our followers, as do the speakers.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank a whole bunch of people as I believe it is important to acknowledge the time and effort that is put in to have an event such as this one starting with our trade.

Firstly, can I just say ‘WOW!’ We completely sold out of booths at this event, which saw five new companies debut in Hobart. I had the pleasure of going to each and every booth each day of the event to follow-up with the trade and they were all such a delight – thank you to all of them for coming and being so generous.

Like any good leader I had people who helped me. These lovely people are; events organisers Conference Design – with special mention to Liz, our symposium was her very first solo event; the wonderful friendly staff of the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart who bent over backwards for us; but I think most of all two people I am privileged to call not only my colleagues, but also my friends, are Linda Thomas and Alyson McKinlay – a big thank you to both of you for allowing a younger over enthusiastic colleague rope you into holding this national event I am so very grateful.

In closing I would ike to add that being a volunteer for the DHAA is an exciting and fun learning experience with wonderful supportive people. If you have ever had even the slightest inkling to volunteer I encourage you to jump in with both feet. Who knows, you too could be creating similar experiences for your peers.

Danielle Gibbens | Former Tasmanian Director

Many thanks to Ben Southam for the excellent photography