The main activity for this year has been organising the Wellington Conference, to be held at CAA’s offices on 10 Sept, after a CAA day on the 9th. Our thanks to CAA for the use of their rooms – this makes the running of a Conference a much more viable event. Visiting speakers are Dr Kevin McCauley (Patterson Lecturer – “Substance use disorder / addiction in pilots”) and Dr Tony Evans (John Lane Oration – “Health Promotion in a Regulatory Environment”). Combined with a variety of local speakers, we expect this day to be of interest and stimulation to the attendees. Once again we are indebted to Air New Zealand for their assistance with travel costs for the Paterson Lecturer.
We are also trying to organise a one-day seminar in Auckland early in 2017. This has been intended for several years, but has not been achieved to date. we are trying to change that!
There has been a steady loss of members who have either retired or have stopped doing aviation medicals. As a consequence, the Committee decided to institute a “Retired” membership, at a fee of $60, so links with the Society can be retained, as several expressed the wish for such.
There is an active Aviation Medical Peer Group running in the Auckland area, meeting 3 to 4 times a year. This has found to be a great time to interact and share ideas and cases of interest. A small group of MEs met in Christchurch earlier in the year and intend to continue meeting several times a year. Other areas may well like to start something similar. Application needs to be made to the RNZCGP for Peer Group Registration.
On the committee Jon Nelson unfortunately had to resign due to other issues and commitments. However, the committee is now doing most of its interactions via SKYPE, and we hope this will encourage participation from members anywhere in the country. We are seeking 1 or more extra committee members at the AGM.
Next year’s conference is the triennial shared conference with ASAM, and is to be held in Queenstown, starting with registration and greeting on 31st August. The main days will be Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September. This should attract over 100 attendees from both sides of the Tasman, with the hope of wider international interest as well. It is a major commitment of the Society’s resources, but we have decided that this is worth doing, and doing well. Iceberg Events (normally used by ASAM for their conferences) are the primary organisers. While the costs will be similar to those of other international conferences, we encourage all members to pencil this in as a must-do for next year, and well worth your attention and attendance.
My thanks to Greg, Denis and Nicola for their assistance on the Committee, particularly Greg who has been a major support to me. Also to Brian Spackman who continues to provide help and support in a de facto role.