iDEA16 Conference report

iDEA16 Conference report

We arrived at the inaugural Queensland iDEA with a sense of anticipation. Set in tropical Brisbane’s autumn, the full day of workshops was held in a heritage medical school building, moving to the attractive, leafy UQ St Lucia campus for the weekend.  Surrounded by water, what better way to arrive at the campus than by ferry?

A team of volunteers welcomed around one hundred doctor and medical students from around Australia to hear a varied program which both covered the basics for newcomers as well as covering new ground. Local, national and international speakers presented in formats including workshops, video linkups, panel discussions and talks.

Confronting:

  • Time frames – history, tipping points, non-linear systems, unintended consequences
  • “Merchants of Doubt” who have obfuscated the evidence
  • Case studies, such as documented ecocide in Gladstone harbour

Debating:

  • Population vs consumption
  • Models for democracy, justice, politics
  • Concept of intergenerational justice

Empowering:

  • How to speak from the heart and with the facts to medical and non-medical audiences
  • Looking after yourself, aligning your values
  • Share the task, community organising, great work of other organisations
  • Finding that the coal which must not be burnt is indeed becoming a stranded asset
  • Investing in Health report launch in conjunction with CAHA and RACP

This report can’t possibly hope to cover the depth and breadth of the speakers’ credentials or topics. If you weren’t able to be there, slides will be shared via the DEA website as available.

A highlight was the thoughtful provision of a travel card, showcasing Brisbane as a walkable city with a comprehensive bus & ferry network and transport app which works!  Food throughout the weekend was colourful, ethical and nourishing.  The opportunity to network with colleagues new and old is integral to the conference, with social events facilitating this.  On Friday night during a casual gathering, new DEA Management Committee Prof Peter Brooks shared thoughts on becoming active in environmental advocacy, attributing both his genetics and environment.  The Saturday social pop-up laneway dinner was an indoor/outdoor event featuring delicious food and local wines.

Thanks to the organisers and volunteers, especially: iDEA student team Beau, Karin, Garbi, David, Maddy, Shelley, Kaiya, Andrew, Sapphira, Vu, Kandice and DEA Drs Karin Kochmann, Simon Murray, Peter Keustler and David King.

To sum up the mood of the conference, here are some quotes from some “first-time” iDEA attendees:

  • Both inspiring and therapeutic to hear big, bold and important ideas…”  Katherine, Melbourne Physician
  • An absolute eye opener” Yinan, Doctor in Training
  • It is uplifting to meet so many doctors who care about the environment” Connie, Sydney GP

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