Report by Fraser Alexander & local organising committee
The biennial Retina International World Congress will be held in Auckland, from February 7th to 11th 2018. Now while you might be thinking that is still a whole year away, let’s remember just how quickly the last year flew by and think about making plans early!
Held every 2 years, previous events have taken place in Italy , Germany , France  and Taiwan . With the 2020 event set to be in Iceland, the Auckland event, hosted by Retina NZ [in partnership with University of Auckland Ophthalmology department] will be the best chance ever for many Kiwis and Aussies to hear and meet with some of the world’s leading retinal researchers and for the ‘rest of the world’ to meet with us’!
The 2018 event will be held over 5 days. On Wednesday 7th there will be a social meet & greet in the evening. On Thursday 8th the General Assembly – a biennial AGM with 2 delegates from each member organisation participating [as well as observers] will take place. Friday 9th a “Continuing Education Programme” where member organisations share information, insights and ideas for working “on” our organisations. Saturday & Sunday is when the Science happens and these are the best days for public attendance.
There will also be a youth Programme which Zane Bartlett & Harriet Kay are putting together. Zane attended the 2012 & 2014 events and helped coordinate youth events in Taiwan in 2016, so he has a good idea of what works. The youth event usually runs from Wednesday to Friday, so they can join the conference proper for the weekend Programme..
Being part of a Retina International World Congress is an experience in optimism and inspiration – a unique experience generated by bringing together some of the world’s fore-most retinal scientists and clinicians along with the global leaders in patient advocacy and peer support.
The Congress will offer patients and their families, clinicians, eye health professionals, students and anyone with an interest in retinal disorders, with networking opportunities and interactive learning, these include short scientific presentations, expert panels, treatment-approach plenary sessions and social events.
Be assured, Retina NZ members, RIWC2018 offers an unprecedented educational environment and your participation is a vital component of ensuring the patient experience is optimised.
It is often the case that as patients we learn as much from each other as anyone else. You will meet and hear from the most acclaimed experts in biomedical research, clinical practice, rehabilitation best practice in vision loss, but it is the shared wisdom of those living with sight loss that is the essence of the success of a world congress.
A welcoming, warm and accessible environment is key to the success of the meeting and the local organising committee are working hard to ensure that the very highest standard of accessibility is reached within the conference venue, any recommended accommodation, audio visual systems and translation mechanisms. All conference materials will be designed carefully to be accessible and useful.
I know RIWC 2018 will be a unique and unforgettable experience for all of us – I look forward to seeing you in Auckland, February 10–11, 2018.