The 21st IFDH International Symposium on Dental Hygiene is set to take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in August 2019, shining the spotlight on the link between oral health and overall health and wellbeing to a global audience.

Hosted by the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) under the auspices of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH), the three day symposium, originally set for Seoul, was relocated to Australia following concern around increased political tension.  The event is set to return to Seoul in 2024.

With 17 of the 34 member countries based in Europe the majority of international delegates are expected to come from Europe and the United States with strong representation from Australia, India, Korea, Japan, South Africa and Singapore. Many of these delegates according to organisers will embark on pre and post touring, showcasing Queensland and Australia to the rest of the world.

The team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in collaboration with the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and supported by Brisbane Marketing secured the conference for Brisbane for the very first time.

Queensland Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said securing this Symposium for Queensland is a big win and will attract delegates from across the globe.

“Business events such as this Symposium are important drivers of tourism for Queensland, with the state welcoming over 4.9 million business visitors every year,” she said.

“The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of Brisbane’s South Bank precinct offers the complete package for business travellers in terms of location, experience and hospitality. Many of the delegates attending will go on to explore Queensland, boosting tourism and the state’s economy.

“Continuing to grow our business sector by securing international conferences and business events is a key part of our tourism strategy. I look forward to welcoming these world-leading health professionals in 2019.”

During a recent visit to Brisbane, IFDH President Robyn Watson said the Queensland capital was chosen to host the 2019 event after a formal decision process by the IFDH Board. “We are delighted that it is to be hosted in Australia – and many overseas colleagues that I speak to express a desire to visit Australia,” she said.

“It is a safe city, it has a world class convention centre, it is the gateway to the famous Great Barrier Reef, it is easy to get to from international destinations – Brisbane encompasses the true Australian experience.”

Dr Melanie Hayes, CEO of the local host organisation, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia says the conference’s program will focus on opportunities for leadership, empowerment, advancement and diversity.  “We wanted the program to have a broader framework and not just a purely clinical one.  We believe it needs to include clinicians, researchers, educators, advocates and tackle diversity – we work with a whole lot of different communities in society.”

Dr Hayes and members of her host committee hope the Symposium will convey a strong message of the importance of preventive oral health to general health globally.

BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe, says the benefits of hosting these influential and prestigious international conferences are far reaching. “We have a very strong scientific focus at the Centre and events of this calibre help bring to the attention of the world, Brisbane’s science industry strengths as well as encouraging collaboration between some of the world’s leading thinkers, experts and innovators.”

Brisbane Convention Bureau Acting General Manager, Juliet Alabaster, says delegates can look forward to an enjoyable time in Brisbane. “Brisbane is home to many pioneers in medical research and is an ideal destination for conventions. Our city is accessible, warm and welcoming with world-class facilities, hotels and restaurants and an unmatchable outdoor climate.”

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