- About Us
A difficult year for all, and this has been translated to our main event, the annual Conference. With Covid-19 stopping international travel we were unable to arrange a Patterson Lecturer, or have the Australian John Lane Orator. Fortunately we have arranged what should be a more-than-adequate alternative from within NZ.
At the same time, our chosen Christchurch venue became a Quarantine Facility. Pavillions Hotel were very accommodating, but the re-introduction of restrictions through NZ made it impossible to be certain of safely and successfully holding an on-site meeting. We owe thanks to Pavillions for allowing late cancellation with no fees. We will definitely try to arrange our next conference there – whenever that will be.
A late offer via ASAM for Australian DAMEs to join the conference via webinar has exceeded all expectations – we have had about 100 expressions of interest, and there should be about 60 participating in the conference webinar.
The only other news is that the planning for the 69th Congress of ICASM (International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine) planned for 2021 has been put back a year. The 68th congress planned for Paris this year has been postponed to 2021, so Auckland is now planned for 2022. We can only hope that things will improve to a level where international travel is unencumbered by then.
I thank the Committee for their support over the year, and the members who have put their hands up to address the webinar conference.
The year got off to a flying start with the Queenstown conference, a combined meeting with our Australian colleagues. It proved popular beyond our expectations. In spite of adding a side room, we are aware that some were still not able to get a registration. Apologies for that, as it was a great event. We did have to plan for minimal (but potential) financial loss, and the interest from across the Tasman exceeded everyone's expectations. In the end, as per the Treasurer's report, there was significant profit, which was disbursed to the Patterson and John Lane Trusts.
Otherwise it has been quite a quiet year, although I recently attended a CAA discussion seminar on the new PREDICT CVD Risk Tables - more of that at this year's meeting in Tauranga, where Prof Rod Jackson will be presenting.
This is the change-over year for the committee. I encourage others to put their names forward. We have been able to do committee meetings via Skype, so geographical location should not be a bar to participation. (It also tends to make the meetings more succinct, and shorter in duration.)
The Society continues to have a membership of 70 - this is almost the whole DME work-force for CAA NZ, and has an ongoing role in representing our work to the authorities, and discussion of issues that arise.
My thanks to the current committee for all the help they have been over my time in the role.
The last 12 months have been positive for the Societies finances. Income for the Society in most years comes primarily from annual membership fees and surplus from our local annual scientific meeting. Last year’s combined meeting with ASAM at Queenstown saw 140 Australians and a few delegates from other countries join a handful of AMSNZ members for a very successful meeting. The amount of effort put into organising this event by AMSNZ committee members was significant. Due to the popularity of the meeting, there was a NZ$27,037 surplus banked by the Society. Membership dues for 2017 amounted to NZ$7280, with a further NZ$2423 earned in interest on Society funds on term deposit.
Cheque account balance as of 12 August 2018 = $ 43,957.76
Term deposit balance as of 12 August 2018 = $ 74,960.73
Detailed accounts for the Society are up on the AMSNZ website.
The majority of the income from the Queenstown meeting was redistributed to the two Trusts - NZ$21,500 to the Patterson Trust and NZ$5722 (AU$5000) to the John Lane Trust. Club hub fees to manage membership and fees, and to host the website were our next largest regular expenditure at NZ$1444 annually. This service is essential to the smooth running of the Society and saves a huge amount of time for committee members.
Annual General Meeting
The AGM held at Queenstown again resolved not to require an audit of the Societies accounts.
Membership remains stable at around 70 members, including honorary and associate members.
I am pleased to hand over the reins of Treasurer after my three year term with the Society in a stable financial position.
Greg van der Hulst – outgoing Treasurer
The year has revolved around planning for the Triennial conference, where we are joined by ASAM. The whole committee has been involved, with a great conference planned. Initial fears of a low turn-out proved unfounded, with an excess of applications even before the end of early-bird registrations. The addition of another 50 seats in a separate room should help cater for those who were initially disappointed. Once again we are indebted to Air New Zealand for their assistance with travel costs for the Paterson Lecturer..
I personally must thank all committee members – Greg van der Hulst, Denis Lee, Nicola Emslie (even while spending most of the year in Australia), and Stuart Farmer (who joined the committee after the last AGM) have all been highly active in the planning and organisation of the event. Iceberg Events were recommended as Conference Organisers by ASAM after helping them with past conferences, and have certainly helped smooth the way and ensure that everything possible has been considered. Fingers now crossed for the actual event, and we hope to see as many of you there as possible
It remains my hope that we will eventually have a late summer/autumn one-day seminar, but this is still in the future. For this year there remains the CAA day in late October – unfortunately they were unable to take up the invitation to join us in Queenstown.
My regards to you all.
Anton Wiles (President).
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.
During 2014 the AMSNZ committee has consolidated much of the work initiated in 2013. This report will update members on the following topics:
AMSNZ membership and administration
1) Committee update
2) Sponsors and supporting organisations
3) Future conference details
4) CME activities
5) CAA Online medical certification project
6) Review of the Civil Aviation Act 1990
7) Aviation Medicine Community Liaison Group
AMSNZ Membership and Administration
Total AMSNZ membership now stands at 69, which is a 25% increase over the past twelve months. The breakdown of membership types is as follows:
Full members: 63
Associate members: 2
Honorary members: 4
AMSNZ member Rob Morton assisting with reviewing the previous list of eleven honorary members. Sadly it was found that only four of the eleven were still alive. The current role of honorary members is:
Dr Len Thompson MBE (Kerikeri)
Dr Russell Worth (Wellington)
Dr Peter Chapman (UK)
Dr John Faris (Perth, Australia)
We have been able to contact Len, Peter and John, and have added them to the Clubhub administration system, with the intent of keeping our honorary members regularly informed of society activities. We are delighted to have Len join as at this conference as our Patterson Trust Visiting Lecturer. I would like to see some history regarding our honorary members, past and present, recorded on the website. If any of our members have historical information or an interest in contributing in any way please contact the committee
We farewell Andy Campbell who has resigned from the committee due to being busy with work commitments. A replacement is required for the remaining year of the committee’s tenure. Election of a new committee will take place at the next AGM in 2015.
Sponsors and Supporting Organisations
We are grateful to the following organisations for their support of AMSNZ activities within the past twelve months:
USL Medical for sponsoring catering for the annual conference
Air New Zealand for providing travel for the Patterson Visiting Lecturer
The CAA Aviation Medicine Unit for providing a CAA update session during the conference.
The Patterson Trust for arranging the Patterson Visiting Lecturer
Future Conference Details
For 2015 AMSNZ is planning a joint conference with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM). It is likely this will be held in Auckland on the weekend of 5th and 6th of September, prior to the ASAM conference on 10th to 13th September in Adelaide.
For 2016 AMSNZ will likely hold our annual conference on the weekend of 1st and 2nd October, prior to the ASAM conference on 6th to 9thOctober (Hamilton Island). We have not yet identified the location for our 2016 conference; suggestions are welcome
For 2017 AMSNZ is planning to host a joint conference with ASAM in New Zealand. Dates will be set by this time next year. The favoured location is Queenstown.
AMSNZ was contacted by Tourism New Zealand who offered assistance with submitting a bid to host a future ICASM conference in New Zealand. After some initial investigation the committee decided that attempting to host such a large conference would be excessively risky. We have declined Tourism New Zealand’s offer.
The committee is continually looking for opportunities to provide enhance the practice of Aviation Medicine in New Zealand. A small aviation peer review meeting in Auckland has been opened to all interested AMSNZ members. So far two meetings have been run, in May and August. Attendees have given favourable feedback and these meetings will continue to run quarterly. Other centres are encouraged to coordinate local peer group meetings also.
In addition, the traditional Auckland AMSNZ Christmas function will be associated with a one day CME session. Details to be confirmed in the near future.
The annual ASAM journal is now distributed electronically to all AMSNZ members. This costs us approximately $20 per member. You are all encouraged to submit material to the journal for publication.
CAA Online Medical Certification System (OMCS)
After an early burst of scoping activity by the CAA this has not progressed much further. The CAA reports that they remain committed to developing and implementing an online medical certification system however the timeline is uncertain. Further information will be provided by CAA after an October 2014 meeting relating to their Regulatory Craft Programme.
The AMSNZ committee is concerned that in the absence of OMCS an upgrade or replacement of the Aviation Medical Licensing software (aka John Faris Program) may be required. Many Aviation Medical Examiners use this software to issue CAA medical certificates. Clarity about CAA’s timelines for OMCS are required in order to make a decision about investing in upgrading or replacing certification software. We will continue to work with CAA on this issue.
Review of the Civil Aviation Act 1990
This was discussed last year. Correspondence from the Ministry of Transport has been forwarded to members. This outlined the consultation process, including dates and times for engagement sessions. With respect to medical certification the review covers three main areas: The AMC process, the role of the convenor, and provision for recognition of overseas medical certificates. Members are strongly encouraged to read the consultation documents available on the Ministry of Transport website, and to make submissions either individually, and/or through the AMSNZ Committee.
Aviation Medicine Community Liaison Group
These meetings continue to run on a regular basis and the minutes will be circulated to members.
AMSNZ has rebounded from low membership numbers of two years ago and conference attendance is also increasing. I believe this is an endorsement from members that we are getting some things right. We will continue to seek out opportunities to advance the practice of Aviation Medicine in New Zealand. The committee is always appreciative of additional involvement and suggestions from members.
I would like to thank all of the committee for another year of hard work.