5th Biennial Conference Report


May 9-11 2013

Canberra Convention Centre

It was exciting to begin a new chapter of our Association with the launch of our new name “MCaFHNA” at the 5th biennial conference.

With over 550 registrations, the conference was a huge success mainly due to the speakers, sponsors, conference organisers and all the delegates. Canberra turned on the charm with big blue skies, crisp mornings and the last of the beautiful autumn colours.

Conference Committee

The main committee was formed soon after the 2011 conference and we met by teleconference every 4- 8 weeks over 18 months. The Social and Scientific sub committees were made up from the main committee and other interested members.

The conference committee was a national affair with representation from:

ACT: Christine Burrows (Chair),Janine Wolf, Carolyn Tozzi, Debbie Monahan

NT: Jenny Donovan

NSW: Jenni Jones, Virginia Hunter, Carolyn Briggs

QLD: Creina Mitchell

SA: Sharon Teleki Tas: Anne Davies

VIC: Pam Hillis, Lael Ridgway

WA: Hilary Giles

Social Subcommittee:

Jenni Jones, Heather Ellis, Debbie Monahan, Pam Hillis, Carolyn Tozzi, Janine Wolf

Scientific Subcommittee:

Creina Mitchell (chair), Carolyn Briggs, Sue Kruske, Lael Ridgway, Anne Davies, Hilary Giles A big thank you to all involved; a marathon task made all the easier by the excellent organisers Corporate Communique. Corporate Communique has been with us from the first conference in Melbourne in 2005. We are thrilled they have agreed to organise our next conference in Perth in 2015.

Dinner at New Parliament House

The dinner was a night to remember. The theme “I love the night life” was a classy affair. Sparkling tiaras and bowties were the entry tickets, with ‘dresses that impressed’.

Delegates made their way up to the entrance of Australia’s Parliament House, taking memorable photos with friends. Arriving into the grand ‘Marble Foyer’, guests were treated to champagne and canapés before being met with the incredible voices of operatic duo Rebecca and Jonathan Bode who theatrically welcomed guests.

Then on into the impressive ‘Great Hall’.

The opening commenced with what was anticipated to be a regal and serious affair, with Opera singers, Rebecca and Jonathan Bode, heading back to the stage… With a sudden staged interruption, the kabuki back drop fell to reveal a fantastic stage backdrop, kicking off the true theme of the night with a rendition of ‘I love the nightlife’ by three very talented “fe-male artists,” Leave it to Diva. Within a matter of seconds the dance floor was full, the evening underway, laughter and smiles ensued which kicked well on into the night.

Congratulations and enormous thanks to the social committee for arranging such a fabulous evening.


An online evaluation was emailed to all delegates. Overall the feedback was extremely positive. The non positive feedback has been taken into consideration and will be passed on to the incoming conference committee as informative and constructive for future planning.

Some examples of the feedback received:

  • I have been to every conference since commencement and I think they are getting better each time.
  • After each one I have a sense of wellbeing (that fades over time with increasing work commitments with minimal time/staff resources) but I feel fired up all over again knowing that my work does make a difference to my families
  • Many thanks to everyone involved - you were all amazing.
  • Overall I enjoyed the whole package.
    Great opportunity to get a national perspective of my 'role' as it is played out in each state/area. I've been to every National conference so feel qualified to say BEST CONFERENCE EVER!!
    It had it all; great speakers, fantastic conference dinner, heaps of learning and Michael who did an incredible job, he bought such enthusiasm and energy to the audience every time, so thank you Michael, and please, please, please bring him to Perth. And thank you to all the team at Corporate Communique, if I wasn't I MCH Nurse I would love to be a part of this wonderful company, you do an incredible job every time. And in closing I'd like to say if we're off to Perth can you please get Dr Fiona Stanley to be one of our speakers. Good luck Perth!!

In summary, it was a fabulous event and we are excitedly looking forward to meeting up again in Perth. Good luck to the new conference committee and the challenge of making Perth 2015 another conference to remember.

Christine Burrows
Chair Conference Committee 2011 – 2013