The weather and the hospitality were equally warm in cairns as 560 conference delegates gathered from 13-15 September, to learn, share and celebrate midwifery. ACM's biggest conference yet was also widely acknowledged to be its best.
With over 100 presentations there was something for everyone. Keynotes Caroline Homer, Janelle James- McAlpine, Helen McLaughlin Res McCalman, Christoph Lehner, Tracy Maxted and Lia Pa'apa'a shared their expertise in clinical care, cultural care, leadership and career development. Concurrent sessions ran over five rooms- the biggest challenge was deciding on what to join. Delegates were kept busy with breakfast workshops and lunch time poster tours. The National Conference Planning Committee responsible for creating the scientific program are to be be commended.
The social side of the conference is equally valuable, giving delegates the opportunity to mingle with old friends and new and consolidate the many professional relationships that have begun and grown over years of conference attendance. The networking drinks on day one were the first opportunity for some to find one another in the crowd. The gala dinner on day two was a real opportunity to let your hair down and the dancing began before the band even started up!
A volunteer team of enthusiastic, handworking and capable students were integral to the smooth running of the conference.
The conference closed with a beautiful lullaby, written (at the conference!) and performed by Merindi Schrieber for ACM, to tell the story of midwives supporting women, alongside the joint applaqe project which delegates contributed towards over the three days of the conference.
The 2023 National Conference will be held in Adelaide. The call for abstracts will be opening in November.