WONCA Sydney HOC Chair: October 2023

Hello to the world’s family doctors and my dear colleagues,

With less than a month to go and many of you coming from faraway I hope thoughts are now turning to our much-anticipated Conference. A world conference that is a YEAR late and is still ironically the 50th Year Celebration of WONCA. Pack for warm weather.

As you might know WONCA began in 1972 in Australia, and you will be able to follow its fascinating history through a wonderful display by RACGP historian and archivist Associate Professor Christopher Hogan.

On that timeline is an interesting tale regarding the WONCA Wombat. The WONCA wombat is called this after an incident in 1986 by HRH Prince Phillip mispronouncing the WONCA acronym for Wombat. Please keep an eye out for the wombat a native Australian animal during the conference to honour this humorous tradition. Irony is an Australian tradition. 

I would like to take this opportunity as my last newsletter as Chair of the Host Organising Committee to thank everyone involved in the conference organising. Thank you to the Scientific Committee ably led by Professor Mark Morgan and co-chaired by Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith. All committee members who volunteered to peer review the many presentations the WONCA community submitted. I believe we have a world class program that can advance Family Medicine wherever you practice.

The International committee ably led by Associate Professor Karen Flegg. Thank-you to all in the committee for your contributions and knowledge that must be integrated for an international conference. Not only do we have world class presentations we were conscious of ensuring cultural competence and equity within the international community of WONCA. Thank you to all the regions of WONCA for their excellence.

The Host Organising Committee which oversees the other committees was chaired by me but was really a masterclass of contributions and demonstrated the power of collaborative leadership. To all committee members including past WONCA leaders your careful and considered advice in final decisions was so greatly appreciated. Thank you to Professor Donald Li for some fabulous restaurant recommendations!

We have lost and gained staff during that time and the initial efforts were considerable. The final team picking up capably and carrying the baton of good work into the final delivery phases of this brilliant conference deserve great thanks also.

To the WONCA executives and administration thank you for partnering so capably and so completely. A true and lasting collaboration and commitment to the internationalism of Family Medicine.

To all who are submitting such wonderful work to make this conference a show case of academic and practical family medicine thank you. I have such pride in your contributions.

Finally to all delegates and sponsors. Thank you for your enthusiasm for the 50th anniversary world conference for Family Doctors. WONCA is worth celebrating as a celebration of and international advocate for primary care.

May we live and embrace the conference themes of recovery reconnection and revival.

Peace and safe travels. May your luggage travel with you!

See you soon. I am so looking forward to meeting you all.

Adj Prof Karen Price
Host Organising Committee chair
Immedicate Past President of RACGP

PS Don’t forget your Green clothes for green day a conference advocacy statement for environmental impacts of health on our precious world. And look out for the photo competition!!! Find more HERE.