What’s on at the AVA Conference

AVA conference

Delegates discover the latest products

This article is sponsored content brought to you by the Australian Veterinary Association.

Discover world-class presentations, the latest equipment and technology, and health and wellbeing programs at this stellar Brisbane event

The Australian Veterinary Association’s (AVA) 2018 Annual Conference is back at the Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre on 13-18 May, bringing together Australia’s largest gathering of veterinary professionals.

The conference features world-class presentations by luminary international and local speakers. There will be over 200 scientific sessions and an array of practical workshops, complemented by an exceptional social program and vibrant trade exhibition.

An average of 1200 veterinary professionals attend on any given day of the four-day event, making this the largest veterinary event and trade exhibition in the southern hemisphere.

AVA conference

State-of-the-art equipment and materials are on display.

Exciting new initiatives will inspire innovation, promote professional pride and enable attendance.

‘VetEd’ talks is a new series of eight 10-minute talks by veterinarians, all sharing inspirational stories or food for thought with their peers.

The AVA Poster Competition, with four generous cash prizes, will promote the research or clinical work of veterinarians. All members can apply. Visit conference.ava.com.au and look for ‘What’s New’ under the ‘Program’ tab.

In keeping with AVA’s family-friendly values, the AVA is pleased to introduce the Carers Pass. This will assist delegates who require a carer to accompany them. And, within the body of the scientific program are two mini-workshops on wellness and resilience which are free to delegates. Capacity is limited, so book early!

As always, the plenary sessions will share cutting-edge science and promote lateral thinking.

• Jordan Nguyen, NSW finalist for Australian of the Year 2017 and virtual reality engineer, will discuss the boundaries between human and technological evolution and intelligent technologies

• Dr Jennifer Whelan, an expert specialising in corporate diversity, inclusion and innovation will talk about unconscious gender bias and what can be done about it

• Dr Jenny Brockis, an expert in brain fitness, will discuss the science of high-performance thinking, sharing science-based strategies for thinking smarter, innovating more and working more effectively to achieve work/life balance.

AVA’s renowned scientific program will allow delegates to choose from eight streams in a range of subject areas, while the workshops and field trips will facilitate practical skills development and the opportunity to earn further VetEd points.

Of course, AVA members will continue to enjoy generous discounts on registration. New graduates (up to 3 years out) receive additional discounts, and nurses and practice managers can now join AVA as associate members.

New members who join now can also save on the cost of conference registration and enjoy extended membership until 30 June 2019. Joining now could save new members up to $1885! Email members@ava.com.au or phone 1300 137 309 to join AVA now.

Visit conference.ava.com.au to register and see what’s on offer in this year’s extensive scientific program. 


AVA conference

The Australian Veterinary Orchestra performs.

Visit the Wellness Stand

Many visitors are drawn to the AVA Annual Conference by the scientific program, but it’s also an opportunity to evaluate your health and wellbeing—and learn how to support colleagues.

This year at the Wellness Stand, you can undertake a health check, enjoy a 10-minute massage or make an appointment to speak to a counsellor from EAP Converge on the Wednesday of the conference—all for free.

AVA Mentoring Program Manager, Monika Cole, will be stationed at the Wellness Stand throughout the week. She says, “The health and wellbeing of the veterinary profession is very important to all of us at the AVA. We are proud to continue the work of Dr Helen Fairnie and the AVA Benevolent Fund who established this initiative.”

If you are a mentor or mentee, it’s a great opportunity to catch up at the ASAV recent graduate dinner or talk to Monika at the Wellness Stand. This year, the scientific program includes the first interactive wellness workshops, which delegates can register to attend.

AVA conference

The VetEd talks are entertaining and inspirational.

Rosie Overfield, AVA’s Mental Health First Aid Instructor, will be leading the resilience workshop, developing protective thinking and practices to sustain a healthy vet career. Psychologist Naomi Bickley will facilitate the veterinary health workshop where delegates will learn what it means to flourish in the profession.

This year the AVA will be trialling its new, blended learning Mental Health First Aid module, with delegates completing an online component before a face-to-face workshop on 18 May.

You can support colleagues by attending the Australian Veterinary Orchestra (AVO) Charity Concert on 16 May at 7.30pm, at the Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre. Members of the AVO will be supported by the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Some vets involved come to the AVA Conference just for the chance to perform in the orchestra,” says AVO founder Dr Mike Woodham, of Sugarland Vet.

According to Woodham, “Veterinarians face isolation, working away from family, long hours, compassion fatigue and lack of social connection. The AVO provides an outlet, a connection with colleagues with similar interests and access to the benefits of music on wellbeing and mental health. A good measure of your support network is to ask, who could I call at 3am in a crisis? Many in the AVO are at that level of friendship.”

To view the extensive social program at this year’s Conference, visit conference.ava.com.au/social.

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