Joan Haliburn, MD, and Kate McMaugh
Some might argue that it is a challenge to organise and present a conference in an island off the southern coast of … another island, quite literally on the edges of the world. But ISSTD is keen to reach all corners of the globe and we were fortunate that members Joan Haliburn MD and Jan Ewing PhD, were prepared to organise and lead a regional conference in Hobart, Tasmania last month. It just turns out that this conference was highly successful!
Joan and Jan were delighted to report that more than 100 people attended the conference. This comprised local health professionals as well as people who made the trek across the Bass Strait from all over Australia and New Zealand, and even one person from the US, who was holidaying in Australia. There were psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, school counsellors and welfare workers, all interested in recent developments in the field of trauma and dissociation.
Jan reports that the audience, which varied from new graduates through to highly experienced clinicians, were all keen to add to their knowledge, skills and confidence in working with their wounded clients. She adds, “They were all enthusiastic and highly engaged. There was a palpable commitment to healing in the air, which was quite moving at times.”
Both presentations were well received with lots of questions and requests for references. Joan and Jan both report that there have been numerous emails since the conference from interested people, with all sorts of questions. At least half a dozen took ISSTD membership forms and we hope they have completed and sent them in!
As is typical for this island state, Hobart put on a show for delegates – that is, showing them all four seasons in two days. While weather was fine and sunny on Friday, but it was cold and blustery on Saturday with a threat of a snow storm. Naturally we hope all interstate visitors heeded weather warnings and packed accordingly. The conference was complimented by great catering and a sensational venue in a new conference centre overlooking Bellerive Oval, dedicated to famous cricketers like Don Bradman and Ricky Ponting.
Organisers would like to thank local Clinical Psychologist, Serena King, who helped out enormously. Her support and assistance (including staffing the reception desk and providing free taxi services) was greatly appreciated!
We are happy to say that the Hobart Regional Conference was a resounding success from all points of view.