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EHA : Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
Branch Presidents’ Reports Queensland Branch The Queensland Branch has had an exciting, and somewhat stressful, year. On top of the list of achievements has to be the very successful delivery of the International Federation of Environmental Health 10th World Congress which was held in Brisbane in May. This Congress also served as our Branch Conference and National Conference. Our Branch played a significant role in pulling this event together and those who attended were not disappointed. The venue; overall delegate attendance; breadth of topics covered; quality of international, national and local presentations; opening and closing ceremonies; conference dinner; and networking was superb. Comments received from delegates during the Congress were very positive, particularly from our overseas colleagues. I understand that the event also returned a tidy profit for the company. If that was not enough excitement for members attending this Congress, the rebranding of the AIEH to EHA was announced along with the launch of the Continuing Professional Development Program and Certified Environmental Health Practitioner Scheme. Congratulations to Jim, Waikay, Board Members and all others involved in both of these achievements. The 67th Annual Branch Conference, held in Bundaberg in October 2007 was a great success with over 70 delegates enjoying the local hospitality. Those who attended would agree that the quality and variety of presentations was excellent. The technical tour was also well attended and highlighted what could be achieved in both waste management and food production. Delegates also acknowledged the value of attending the workshop that was offered free to members for the first time. For the fourth year running, the ’Environmental Health Excellence Awards’ were presented during the opening session. The first few months of this year were also a very hectic time for some environmental health officers in Queensland. Following significant periods of drought, the heavens finally opened up dumping rain that had to be measured in metres, not millimetres, in some parts. The towns of Emerald, Mackay and Charleville, together with their surrounding districts, became disaster areas setting new challenges for environmental health officers. Mass evacuations, management of emergency shelters, flooded homes and business premises, power outages, disruptions to other essential services, waste management and vector control became daily issues that were to last, in some communities, for many weeks. Having been personally involved in previous responses to flooding in Charleville in 1990 and 1997 (and again this year), I have a very good understanding of the effort required to ensure communities remain safe, from an environmental and public health perspective, following events of this nature. On behalf of the Queensland Branch, I would like to acknowledge the excellent work undertaken by all environmental health officers, and their staff, who responded to these flooding events. You did the profession proud. On top of all of that, Queensland went through a local government amalgamation process in March this year that has seen the total number of councils reduced from 157 to 73. This has had a number of impacts on both the environmental health profession and EHA Regional Groups. Branch Council is continuing to support members through this significant process. Members serving on Branch Council during the year were; Virgil Kelk Thomas Tenkate Grant Steen Bruce Morton Don Deutscher Jim Edwards Paul Endres Luke Forster David Hancock Sofie Sandberg Brett Esbensen Jon Gibbons Susan Myrowkah Belinda Davies Sarah Fuller Vince Stephens - Branch President - Vice President - Vice President - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor Amanda Hutchings - Branch Councillor Peter McKee - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor - Branch Councillor to Nov 07 - Branch Councillor to Nov 07 - Branch Councillor to Nov 07 - Branch Councillor from Nov 07 - Branch Councillor from Nov 07 - Branch Councillor from Nov 07 Branch Council continues to meet regularly through a combination of teleconferences and a number of face to face meetings each year. Our branch councillors come from a variety of locations throughout Queensland and work for local governments, Queensland Health, a University, and private enterprise. Branch membership has increased significantly and once again this year, we have met or exceeded our budget goals. Conferences and Training n Delivery of the IFEH 10th World Congress in Brisbane in May 2008 n Delivery of the popular Disaster Management for Public Health course 2007 n Successful delivery of the Annual Branch Conference in Bundaberg, October 2007 n Planning for the Disaster Management for Public Health course, which is to be held in Cairns in late August 2008 n Planning for the Annual Branch Conference in 2009 n Delivery of Noise Management Workshops and a Contemporary Food Safety Training Course EHA ANNUAL REPORT 2008 27