2021 ANZCA ASM highlights

Our first virtual annual scientific meeting (ASM) has been a huge success. Here are some of the highlights, as well as details about how to access content on demand.

ANZCA has once again set the standard for medical conferences, and proved that even a pandemic can't prevent us from putting on a world-class scientific meeting! Here are just a few of the highlights from the 2021 ANZCA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Melbourne:

  • 220 new ANZCA and FPM fellows presented in person or virtually at one of nine College Ceremonies simultaneously staged around Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and in Hong Kong. More than 1400 people watched the ceremony via our Facebook LIVE feed.
  • Delegates in nine cities were invited to attend in-person networking and collaborative spaces designed to facilitate face-to-face engagement. Other delegates were encouraged to hold ASM Watch Parties and provided with a selection of specially designed decorations, activities, Instagram stickers, and even a Spotify playlist featuring Melbourne musicians to create a mini-ASM atmosphere.
  • For the first time at an ASM we invited the Traditional Owners – the Boon Wurrung People – to perform a full Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony.
  • 21 healthcare industry partners embraced the different and somewhat challenging virtual environment to continue their support for the college.
  • Our social media presence and reach exceeded all expectations, with 640 people posting almost 6000 tweets with the #ASM21MEL hashtag, resulting in a record 30 million impressions on Twitter. For the first time this year, we also shared a range of rich media content to the ANZCA Instagram page.
  • Four ANZCA media releases highlighting ASM ANZCA and FPM research papers and presentations were distributed with Melbourne’s top-selling Herald Sun newspaper following up with interviews and two articles and a radio interview on Sydney radio station 2SM. These reached a combined print and broadcast audience of nearly 650,000 people.

How did we do it?

The decision to make the 2021 ANZCA ASM fully virtual wasn’t an easy one for our Regional Organising Committee to make. But with community transmission of COVID still a clear and present risk, they didn’t exactly have a choice.

Luckily, problem solving and preparing for unforeseen circumstances are par for the course as an anaesthetist. And if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Or at least a workaround! With ASM Convenor Dr Christine Ball at the helm, and our highly skilled ANZCA Events team on hand, the committee were able to quickly turn every challenge into an opportunity.

They engaged conference audio visual and production specialists Wallfly to develop a bespoke virtual platform that enabled us to offer a record-breaking volume of scientific content this year to an unlimited number of delegates in any location and for an extremely attractive registration fee.

For the first time this year, delegates didn’t have to decide what concurrent sessions to join; they could access all 95+ hours of core content on demand. And not just for the duration of the eight-day event, but for the following 12 months. In fact, delegates are still registering days after the closing plenary, and can do so until July.

The program provided an array of after-work and evening plenaries, ASM@Night – another ASM first, and one designed to accommodate the needs of time-stretched specialist doctors. Our HCI partners were able to engage with delegates in a range of novel ways, including face-to-face video conferencing appointments and promotional podcasts.

And even the all-important social activities our ASMs are famous for were not entirely absent from the program, with everything from gin tasting to yoga available.

Even the College Ceremony – a hallowed ANZCA rite of passage and highlight of every ASM – was able to take place in person at ENGAGE hubs in all Australian state capitals bar Perth (which, regrettably, was plunged into COVID lockdown a few days earlier), as well as Auckland and Hong Kong.

In short, this was an extraordinary effort by any measure. And one that has unequivocally set the standard for scientific meetings in the “new normal”. So please join us in congratulating everyone involved in making #ASM21MEL our most memorable meeting ever.

How do I access the content?

The meetings might be finished now, but the content will continue to be available to all delegates until April 2022. And if you haven’t registered, it’s still not too late! We’re accepting registrations for the next three months.

Congratulations to this year's prizewinners

  • 2020 Robert Orton Medal - Professor Milton Cohen
  • 2020 Ray Hader Award For Pastoral Care - Dr Christopher J Sparks
  • 2020 Steuart Henderson Award - Dr Damian J Castanelli
  • 2021 Steuart Henderson Award - Dr Adam Rehak
  • 2020 Barbara Walker Prize - Dr Hannah Amelia Bennett
  • 2021 FPM Dean’s Prize - Dr Roopa Gawarikar, ACT
  • 2021 FPM Free Paper Award - Dr Meg Allen, Vic
  • 2020 Gilbert Brown Prize - Dr Lachlan Miles, Vic
  • 2021 Gilbert Brown Prize - Dr Patrick Tan, Vic
  • 2021 Trainee Academic Prize - Dr Jason Denny
  • 2020 Trainee Research Prize - Dr Nathaniel Hiscock
  • Trainee QI Prize in 2021 - Dr Joanna Yu, Qld
  • 2021 Open ePoster Prize – A/Prof Victoria Eely, Qld. Highly commended Ms Stephanie Le
  • Trainee ePoster Prize 2021 - Dr James Cheng Jiang
  • Renton Prize Dr Andrew Wesley Thomas Burch, May 2019 Dr Stuart Noel Watson, May 2019 Dr Nathaniel John Hiscock, October 2019 Dr Laura Elizabeth Staples, First exam 2020 Dr Boris Waldman, Second exam 2020
  • Cecil Gray Prize - Dr Craig Tristan Morrison, May 2019 Dr David Aladar Milder, October 2019


Last updated 15:51 18.05.2021