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Melbourne to become the global centre of public health in 2017

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher and Minister for Health and Ageing, David Davis today announced that Melbourne has secured the right to host the 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in 2017, to be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), against strong competition from London and Barcelona.

Minister Asher said that the Congress, held every three to four years by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), is expected to attract over 2000 public health researchers, academics, scientists, educators and policy makers to Melbourne over five days.  

“The 2017 Congress holds a special significance as it will coincide with the Federation’s 50th anniversary and it is expected to inject approximately $11.2 million into the state’s economy.  

“This comes just a few months after we were notified that Melbourne will be the host city for another esteemed health-related event, the International Hepato-Biliary Pancreatic Association World Congress in 2020,” Ms Asher said.   

Mr Davis said that securing the Congress was a testament to Victoria’s strengths in its approach to public health.  

“Victoria’s progressive public healthcare initiatives such as the Victorian Health and Wellbeing Plan 2011 – 2015, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians by engaging communities in prevention, strengthened Melbourne’s position as the most suitable destination to host the Congress.  

“The Congress will provide a platform for global knowledge exchange on key public health issues such as communicable diseases, immunisation and obesity and will allow us to showcase our world-leading public health programs and research to the world,” Mr Davis said.  

Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Karen Bolinger, said all bids for the Public Health Congress were reviewed by an anonymous assessment committee with the findings presented to the WFPHA. 
“The WFPHA unanimously accepted the committee’s recommendation to host the 2017 Congress in Melbourne, which is evidence of the strength of our bid,” Ms Bolinger said.  

“Our collaborative approach to this bid, working alongside our local bidding partner - the Public Health Association of Australia Inc (PHAA) - and the state government, was key to our success and I would specifically like to thank Minister Davis for meeting personally with WFPHA.”  

Ms Bolinger also said that according to the International Congress and Convention Association, Melbourne had hosted over a third of Australia’s medical/scientific conferences in 2013, and that this success has continued into 2014.  

“This is yet another health-related conference win for Melbourne, which is proof of the city’s global reputation as a centre of excellence in science and medicine.  

“Melbourne’s expertise in these fields is a major drawcard for international associations like WFPHA, as they are able to work with our research institutes and universities to create rich content and attract preeminent speakers to ultimately drive delegate attendance.”  

PHAA CEO Michael Moore said he was very appreciative of the support and expertise provided by MCB in securing the Congress for Melbourne.  

“The WFPHA were impressed by the professionalism shown by Melbourne and MCB, stating that our bid was ‘a paradigm shift above the other quite professional bids’,” he said.  

Chief Executive of MCEC, Peter King, said, “This win further reiterates Melbourne’s recognition as a hub for major health events and MCEC’s reputation in successfully delivering these international conferences.  

“We look forward to working with WFPHA, showcasing our incredible spaces, award-winning food, leading technology, and creating a memorable experience for delegates from around the world.”

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