15-18 September 2016, Townsville


The ASAM Annual Conference will be held 15 - 18 September 2016 at Rydges Southbank Townsville, Queensland, Australia.  

The conference theme is Aerospace medicine: spanning the globe, and will cover:

  • Public health medicine
  • Travel and tropical medicine
  • Retrieval medicine
  • Passenger fitness to fly / travel 

The Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ASAM) is the authoritative professional body whose role is to cultivate and promote aerospace medicine and related disciplines in Australasia.  Comprising around 800 members from many fields of medical practice, the Society has been in existence for more than 65 years and has provided professional development for its members by regularly hosting successful scientific meetings.

As Convener for the 2016 ASAM conference, I invite you to attend this year’s meeting that will be held at the Rydges Hotel, Townsville, Queensland from 15 to 18 September, 2016.

Townsville is Australia's largest urban centre north of the Sunshine Coast.  With over 300 days of sunshine a year, consider a pre or post-conference extension to take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities available in and around Townsville.  Stroll along The Strand, a beachfront promenade with children’s water park, rock pool, numerous cafes, para-sailing and outrigger canoeing opportunities.  At the end of The Strand is the recently redeveloped Jezzine Barracks with wonderful views from the fort observation decks and interpretative displays of military and indigenous history.  Avail yourself of the many cafes and restaurants along Palmer Street where the Rydges Hotel is located.  Walk (or jog as some of the locals do) up Castle Hill for a panoramic view of Townsville.  Visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Australian Institute of Marine Science or Reef HQ, the world's largest living coral reef aquarium.  Just a 20 minute ferry ride from Townsville is Magnetic Island National Park with its pristine beaches, historic forts, koalas and rock wallabies.

Townsville’s links with aviation is evident as home to RAAF Base Townsville, the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment and birthplace of Sir Lawrence Wackett designer of the Wackett trainer and considered a father of the Australian aircraft industry.  Visit the RAAF Townsville museum – admission is free and opens 3 days a week.

There are direct flights to Townsville International Airport from Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, Bali and a number of Queensland cities.  Townsville is also the gateway to Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook shire and Burdekin shire. 

This year’s conference theme “Aerospace Medicine: spanning the globe” reflects the close interaction of public health, travel and tropical medicine with aerospace medicine.

We have been most fortunate to secure Dr Anthony Evans as the 2016 John Lane Orator who recently stepped down as ICAO Chief Aviation Medicine, but remains as a consultant.  At ICAO, Dr Evans established and developed the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA).  He also has a particular interest in preventive medicine as a method for reducing aeromedical risk by decreasing the pathology burden in the aviation community.  He trained as a commercial pilot prior to studying medicine and holds an Airline Transport Pilot Licence and has flown commercially as a pilot on a number of aircraft types, primarily the Boeing 757 and 767.  Dr Evans will be well placed to give a presentation consistent with the conference theme of aerospace medicine spanning the globe. 

As well, our colleagues from New Zealand will be sponsoring the Patterson Trust speaker, Dr Kevin McCauley, a previous US Naval flight surgeon.  Dr McCauley was previously the Director of Le Mont, a sober living/recovery management program in Sandy, Utah, and was president of the Utah Association of Recovery Residences.  He is currently the Director of Program Services at New Roads Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I have had the recent opportunity to hear Dr McCauley present and he is a highly engaging and knowledgeable expert with regards to addiction medicine, a topic of significant public health and aviation safety relevance.

As usual, we aim to provide a diversity of topics to complement the conference theme, which will also appeal to the membership.  A consistent conference feedback response from delegates is the appeal of case studies, so I encourage all members to submit papers on any difficult and interesting aerospace medicine cases they have encountered in their clinical practice.

The Conference Organising Committee and the ASAM Board look forward to welcoming you to Townsville for what promises to be a professionally rewarding and socially enjoyable meeting in the spectacular surroundings of North Queensland. 

Ian Cheng
President & 2016 Annual Conference Convenor