CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT

Thankyou to the enthusiastic members who attended the ABG Annual General Meeting, held during the 2019 ASM at the Brisbane Conference Centre.

The Annual Scientific Meeting continues to be the major core business of the ABG. It enables our multidisciplinary group to meet annually and provides an opportunity to present their work & research, interact with our International speakers and colleagues in a convivial environment. The Executive Committee wants to continue to bring high caliber international keynote speakers that are relevant to our diverse Brachytherapy group. Our commitment is to continue this as an annual meeting, although the financial challenges have become more significant in the past few years. We are keen for members to present their views. What do they value from the meeting- venue- speakers- topics? The Executive Committee members would welcome email feedback.

A huge thank-you to the 2019 ASM organisers- Craig Lancaster, Robin Cheuk and Michelle Grogan. It is a big ask for smaller cities & committees. It all came together thanks to their individual efforts and the KCS team. The social activities provided excellent opportunities for networking. A big thank-you also to the industry sponsors and members who supported the meeting.

The Clinical Brachytherapy Workshop was held in Melbourne in 2018. It continues to be refined and this year the enthusiastic St George faculty demonstrated that diverse application of Brachytherapy techniques are thriving locally in Australia. Thanks to the organisers- Annette Haworth, Cath Beaufort, Ryan Smith & RT helpers, local physicists and RO’s and RT’s. The format of 2 days of didactic teaching educated our young Physicists, RO Registrars & RT’s on the evidence for benefits of Brachy, application & QA aspects as well as 1 day hands on workshops & Sunday exam prep sessions. Again it was well received by attendees.

In the spirit of interdepartmental cooperation, an LDR source Calibration Inter-Comparison Project was conducted by ABG member Physicists- Joel Poder, Annette Haworth and Ryan Smith.

The ABG and some individual members were consulted by Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce during the year, in addition to RANZCR. It has recommended consolidation of Brachytherapy items depending on complexity. ABG was keen to ensure that Brachytherapy remains under the expert guidance of the Radiotherapy community. Consultation is closed & the 2018 Report is available on health.gov.au. Implementation is yet to occur.

Proposal to extend existing item number for LDR prostate brachytherapy- MSAC- Medical Services Advisory Committee. An application made by industry. ABG was invited to provide feedback to the Committee which was in support. Thanks to Jo Bucci & David Malouf for their ongoing support in this area. We are hoping to hear an outcome by mid 2019.

We also continued our links with the International Brachytherapy community. I attended a breakfast meeting of the ABS International Committee at ASTRO 2018. The World Congress of Brachytherapy will take place in Vienna in 2020, prior to ESTRO. We received an invitation from Bradley Pieters for ABG involvement in the International Scientific Committees. Andrej Bece is heading this & was inundated with members keen to be involved in the scientific sub-committees. The following members were co-opted:- Annette Heyworth (Physics), David Wood (Skin), Jo Bucci (Prostate), Andrej Bece (Breast) and Sylvia van Dyk (Gyane).

The Executive Committee met by teleconference 6 to 8 weekly throughout the year.  Thank-you for your support and I look forward to the enthusiasm of our younger members continuing to carry the sword for Brachytherapy over the next few years. Thank-you to 2 long serving members who have stepped down- Sandra Spencer and Michael Jackson, our immediate Past Chair and has served as chair person for 2 terms. He is one of our earliest founding members & holder of history. He has promised he is stepping out of committee but not the ABG and I look forward to seeing Michael at many more ASM’s.

Thanks also to the 2018 Exec Committee- Co-Chair Andrej Bece, Treasurer Adrian Gibbs, Webmaster go to Joel Poder and Members Cath Beaufort (RT), Jo Bucci (RO), Annette Haworth (Physicist), David Wood and Sylvia Van Dyk  (RT) & Dinesh Vignarajah (RO). Thanks especially to Joel for his commitment to bring us in to the 21st century. The website was migrated to a more accessible platform and the aim is to provide a more useful resource for members, the Executive and the ASM Organising Committees.

I have stepped down from the position of Chair, but will remain on the Committee as a ordinary member, and hope I can support the incoming chair in whatever capacity requested. I look forward to seeing a big turnout of members at the 2020 ASM in Melbourne. Preparations are well under way from Sylvia Van Dyk and her enthusiastic committee!

 

Dr Bronwyn Matheson

 

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