Sydney turned on glorious weather for Strength to Strength: BCNA National Conference 2012. More than 600 women had travelled to Sydney from all over Australia to attend the two-day conference, coming from every Australian state and territory and a few even travelling from overseas!
The Strength to Strength conference, held in partnership with Sydney International Breast Cancer Congress (SIBCC), was the first time in Australia that health professionals, researchers and women with breast cancer have come together to listen, learn and debate the key issues in breast cancer treatment and care.
Pink lady silhouettes greeted the woman as they arrived at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in beautiful Darling Harbour, with plenty of enthusiastic BCNA staff on hand to welcome them to the conference.
Day one was filled with presentations by world-leading international and Australian guest experts, many of whom had travelled to Sydney for the Sydney International Breast Cancer Congress (SIBCC) which was taking place next door.
Women learned about the very latest information on breast cancer treatment and research, and participated in discussions across a range of topics. Dame Valerie Beral, from the University of Oxford UK, spoke on ‘Breast cancer – why me?’. Presentations on personalised treatment, genetics and menopause from renowned experts including BCNA board member Assoc Prof Fran Boyle, BCNA Clinical Advisor Dr Julie Thompson and international expert Dr Fraser Symmans who had travelled from Texas.
The balmy Sydney weather was perfect for waterfront drinks on Sydney Harbour before the celebratory Pink Gala Dinner. The dinner brought the women together to share a delicious meal, fabulous entertainment by female Elvis impersonator ‘She is The King’ and plenty of dancing.
Day two of the conference started with a dynamic panel discussion on new directions in breast cancer treatment. The day continued with highly informative sessions on sexual wellbeing and relationships, with many laughs and nodding heads. After lunch the women listened to speakers discuss life after treatment and shared care follow up.
The conference ended on a high with an entertaining Q&A session led by ABC media personality Julie McCrossin debating ‘Person centred care - Are we there yet?’ BCNA women and health care professionals from SIBCC came together and contributed to discussions about the successes and challenges in breast cancer treatment and care across Australia.
Overall Strength to Strength was an incredible success and we hope the women who attended feel empowered and gained strength from the information presented and the invaluable opportunity to connect with other women from across the country and beyond.