Well, who saw that coming? 2020 was supposed to be many things to many people. Instead, 2020 has been a year full of challenges: the most difficult many have had to contend with in their personal and professional lives. For us, it was supposed to be the year that we showed off our beautiful island state, wowed you with our amazing food and wine, and threw some high-end education in there too. We are so disappointed that we can’t welcome you down to Hobart at this time, and all get together as we had planned.
Still, we’ve been working hard on a relevant and engaging program, and so it is our pleasure to invite you to RANZCOG’s Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting for 2021. A change from the usual layout, the ASM will be held from the 15th - 18th February from 11AM - 6PM AEDT, and we’re hoping this format will enable those from Christchurch in the east, to Perth in the west, (and everyone in between!) to join in at sociable time and live stream with us from wherever you may be.
Our themes largely remain the same, though you could argue that in hindsight, 20:20 vision is something many of us wish we had had at this same time last year so we could prepare for what was coming our way. And so we propose ‘A ^NEW vision for the Future’ one in which we build on the last ASM, and look ahead to the challenges we all face as our specialty continues to evolve – especially in these changing, and somewhat uncertain times. Our speakers have graciously recommitted to present to you the latest updates, controversies, and future strategies for this current age we live and practice in. At the forefront of our minds is how we’ve all had to adapt to new social distancing rules and use digital platforms to deliver medical care, and of course, though somewhat in the shadow of this recent pandemic, the climate emergency and its effect on women’s health. The program will address gender equity issues on a local and global scale, and as opportunities arise for women in alternative fields, what this means in a practical sense. We will also bring to you the latest in translational research and examine the ongoing dilemma of how to ensure appropriate surgical exposure for our trainees – so many of these topics more relevant now than ever.
Despite the health and economic consequences of COVID-19, 2020 hasn’t been all bad. After all, it recently saw a Tasmanian make the podium at the Tour de France (the second Australian ever to do so), and the fact that this race even went ahead, shows just how far we’ve come and how resilient we humans can be. Although we’re far apart, there’s a new sense of community, and caring for your neighbours through this crisis, living locally, and digitally checking in with friends and family, which has brought us all together. With any luck too, by the year’s end, we could see a new leader of the free world and the hope for a brighter future. Hobart is delightful at any of time of the year, and so although we can’t be together in person, know that we will still be here waiting for you when travel restrictions allow, and you can take the opportunity to venture down, breathe in some of our fresh air, unplug, and see a bit of our beautiful state. Until then, keep well and look after yourselves.
Lindsay Edwards and Amanda Dennis