Sarah Just from the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists shares her experience attending her first familiarisation trip at This is Gold Coast in June 2022.

Just, whose role at the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists is to organise conferences in Australia and bring in scientists from around the world, shared with us why it is important for the city to invest in a health and knowledge precinct, how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed and affected association engagements, and gave us a glimpse into what the future of scientific meetings may look like in the future.

“I’ve come down to the Gold Coast and it’s just amazed me. I can’t believe how much it has changed. I can now understand why it would be great to have a conference here. This is Gold Coast is great for me to meet with all the different local providers.”

Delegates who attended the This is Gold Coast event had the opportunity to engage with over 30 Gold Coast meeting and accommodation venues and specialist suppliers in a full day of pre-scheduled meetings at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Last week, more than 80 of Australia and New Zealand’s leading interventional neuroradiologists together with key Medtronic representatives from the United States converged on the Gold Coast for NeuroExchange to discuss the latest in treatments for stroke and brain aneurysms.

The conference comes as Gold Coast’s Australian of the Year, renowned stroke specialist Dr Hal Rice and his colleague Dr Laetitia de Villiers finalise plans to establish a world-class training centre for image-guided surgeries within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, Asia-Pacific’ emerging health and innovation hub.

Destination Gold Coast’s Head of Business Events Selina Sinclair said Australia’s health and medical industry has grown considerably over the past decade and is known for its world-leading technology, innovation, advanced research, and robust health system.

“With 50 per cent of meetings globally in the medical field, like-minded professionals are provided a platform to come together to exchange knowledge, discuss and debate new ideas and forthcoming technologies,” Sinclair said.

“At the heart of the Gold Coast’s advancement is a thriving education economy driven by our hospitals, three distinguished universities, innovative start-ups and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct.

“Beyond the direct economic contribution these business events inject into the Gold Coast economy, they also lead to new partnerships and attract talent to our hospitals, universities, and research institutes.

“Events such as NeuroExchange continue to grow our credentials, evolve our intellectual capabilities and knowledge networks and create lasting legacies for the city.”

An aerial view of the Gold Coast’s health and knowledge precinct.

Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at Gold Coast University Hospital Dr Hal Rice partnered with Medtronic to attract NeuroExchange. The global medical technology giant employs over 90,000 people globally to provide ground-breaking healthcare technology solutions for more than 70 health conditions.

Doctor Rice said the three-day conference marks a new era in attracting major medical and scientific conferences.

“Our vision is to train specialist physicians from all over the Asia-Pacific in the latest techniques in a dedicated facility, building on the training we’ve conducted over the last eight years within the hospital, with the latest equipment and space to accommodate larger groups,” Dr Rice said.

“Medtronic will be a key partner in terms of bringing Asia-Pacific physicians here for this specialised training and for cutting-edge technology development to continually improve minimally-invasive, life-saving treatments for stroke and brain aneurysms.

“Being able to partner with such a significant global company hosted at such an iconic property as The Langham Gold Coast provides a highly-desirable training and conference opportunity that will attract the top specialists and continue to grow the Gold Coast’s reputation as a health and medical hub.”

Doctors Rice and Laetitia de Villiers have significant pulling power globally, undertaking several world-first-in-human neurovascular trials. In 2020, Dr Rice performed the world’s first robotic neurovascular stroke clot removal, utilising the Corindus robotic arm, and has since treated the largest caseload globally for robotic brain aneurysm repairs.

Future health and medical conferences confirmed for the Gold Coast include:

  • Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association Conference | 350 delegates | 2022
  • Royal Australian New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists National Conference | 1,000 delegates | 2022
  • World Congress for Medical Law | 400 delegates | 2022
  • Australian Medical Students Association National Convention | 1,000 delegates | 2023
  • International Society for Eye Research | 1,000 delegates | 2023
  • World Federation of Chiropractic Biennial Congress | 900 delegates | 2023

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