Our College is growing and so is our conference. Both depend on the spirit of volunteerism of our members. Much of the planning, organisation and inspiration of the conference has been achieved by members in their own time. I would especially like to thank the conference academic committee, who guided me and tolerated crackly teleconference lines!
My wish for the conference is that the spirit of volunteerism begins to see rewards from the College. I hope the programme will help us work towards a greater understanding of where we are as a profession, and in turn, enhance the College’s ability to advocate on our behalf and our patients. As at all conferences, there is informal networking. Hopefully this will develop into a formal network with the ability to use the conference and College structures to achieve what psychiatry in Ireland needs to be excellent.
In the future, I would like to continue a number of themes, particularly through the parallel sessions. Professional Competence for a while now has been a permanent slot. I’m hoping that Ethics, Law and a session on how to support our own mental health will also be regular topics on the programme. The poster exhibition is another fixed slot which I think works well as an opportunity to showcase and explore psychiatry beyond service provision. There has been discussion about changing the format of the poster display and I’d welcome any suggestions.
I’d like to welcome our speakers from outside Ireland and thank all our speakers and chairs. Again, this conference would not be possible without your spirit of volunteerism.
Please don’t forget the social side of the conference. There is our very popular conference dinner, and I’m sure a hearty performance from the College Choir on Thursday evening. I’d like to invite everyone to also attend the CSCST Graduation and Examination Award Ceremony to welcome the future members of our growing College.
With best wishes for a most successful event.
Dr William Flannery
Vice President and Conference Academic Coordinator