It was an unbridled privilege and honour to be PeMSAA Australasia’s President for the last two years. I take this as a humble honour and I hope that the congress fulfilled expectations and provided a good opportunity to socialise and relive the nostalgic memories of our university days.
Before I say anything else, I simply must express my sincere appreciation to the 6th PeMSAA Australasia organising committee: Dr Shantha Sooriyabandara (Secretary), Dr Janakie Ratnayake, Dr Kumara Ekanayake, Dr Shanthi Yapa, Dr Priyan Yapa, Dr Priyanka Perera and Dr Ravi Ruberu; alongside all of our amazing state representatives, for their full support during the past two years. Thank you very much Soori for all the late nights and hard work, it is clear to see the zest you work with; which is seconded by everyone in the committee. Thank you all so very much. The credit goes to everyone in the organising committee and all the members of PeMSAA Australasia in order to take this congress to irrefutably new heights.
As the outgoing President, I would like to share some of the behind the scenes highlights that we achieved during our time ‘in office’:
- Finalising Life Membership fees
- Transferring PeMSAA Australasia ABN
- Increasing our Life Membership numbers from 46 to 104
- Updating PeMSAA Australasia website with domain name pemsaaaustralasia.org and redeveloping PeMSAA Australia website including functional payment gateway facilities.
- Collating the important milestones in the history of PeMSAA Australasia and recording messages from each President alongside a photo gallery for each congress, allowing us to relive those memories as well.
- We managed to set up the infrastructure for individual member to have personal login into the PeMSAA Australasia website where they can access contact information of the other PeMSAA members and to have secure communication if need be.
- Conducting five satellite meetings in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Adelaide to welcome new Alumni from Peradeniya Medical faculty and encourage them to join the PeMSAA Australasia with great success.
- Establishing PeMSAA Australasia Newsletter and publishing five newsletters during the period with special thanks to our two editors Dr Nimmi Athuraliya and Dr Kalyana Rodrigo.
- We were able to host 6th PeMSAA Austrasia congress in the famous Adelaide oval from 12-14th October 2018. Big thanks to the team at Adelaide Oval for making this a reality.
Some of the highlights from the congress itself were:
- We had 93 full registrants and 58 accompanying registrants. We had 20 invited speakers from Overseas with total number of gust of 171 addended the congress.
- Pre congress tour in Adelaide hill were well attended specially by the overseas participants
- Four non-medical workshops
- Worst Nightmare at Home – Practical Workshop on Basic and Advanced life support
- Inside look in to South Australian Fine Wine – Authentic Experience; Making to Tasting from Master Wine Makers – Jacob’s Creek South Australia
- Thaala: Unseen Power of Rhythm – By Dr Channa Wijewardena – Sri Lankan Choreographer , Founder Channa Upuli Performing Arts Foundation
- Taking the Brand Sri Lanka to the World – Bathiya Jayakody & Santhush Weeraman
- We had nine academic sessions with 25 speakers who presented overall. These sessions were graced by Prof. Ranjith Kumarasiri Vithana: President PeMSAA and Prof. Asiri Abeygunawardena: Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Peradeniya.
- Introduction of the PeMSAA Australasia Inaugural Congress Lecture – Professor Shanthi Mendis (Inaugural Congress Orator) from the Geneva Learning Foundation.
- PeMSAA Australasia Congress Reception coloured by the fantastic Channa Upuli Performing Arts Foundation from Sri Lanka as well as the famous pop duo Bathiya and Santhush.
- Thala 2018 – cultural show at Elders Hall – Adelaide University, which was graced by an audience of over 400 people.
- Post Congress PeMSAA Australasia trip from Adelaide to Melbourne via Great Ocean Road.
As you may have noticed, and witnessed physically by attending the Congress, is that we embraced every opportunity to make this occasion one that is memorable for everyone; which was our primary goal during our early days of planning back in 2016. I would like to once again thank the team for their acceptance and hard work to make this dream of ours a reality, and to create a congress that was truly a success.
We had few setbacks during our time, and these must be acknowledged also. Thala 2018 show was initially organised as a fundraising event to be host in a minimum of four states. However, due to the un-availability of various venues for the given period of time, we were not able to do the show in Sydney and Perth.
Future aims and projects:
Assisting the Audio-Visual Room in the Faculty of Medicine Student hub to be established in approximately 2 years.
Creation of an Identity card for the PeMSAA Australasia Members.
Student Exchange Program with Faculty of Medicine Peradeniya – Preliminary discussions were held regarding this, yet it is still an idea to be elaborated on.
Continuation of the PeMSAA Australasia Newsletter.
Continuation of the PeMSAA Australasia Congress Oration.
To conclude, I do like take full responsibility of any deficiencies that occurred during my tenure and wish all the strength and courage for the new committee to take PeMSAA Australasia further.
Thank you to everyone who attended and gave us the strength and enthusiasm to continue to create this event. A sincere, heartfelt thank you to everyone. And finally, to our committee once again, none of this would have been possible without you.
Dr Nayanananda Lekamge
President PeMSAA Australasia 2017-2018
12th December 2018