PeMSAA 2014 – Brisbane
A few days before the Melbourne congress, I was asked to take responsibility to organise the 2014 PeMSAA congress in Brisbane. There was no option, but to accept it. I never expressed an interest or desire to organise the Brisbane event.
I only wanted some time during the Melbourne congress, to say something about Brisbane and Queensland. This was readily accepted.
In Melbourne, I presented a power point presentation about Queensland, highlighting the weather and the Great Barrier Reef. I also distributed papers to the 30+ members who were at the meeting, to write their Name, email address and to indicate their intension to attend the Brisbane congress, on 3-5 October 2014, definitely attending, may be or no.
Once in Brisbane, I selected my team, secretary, treasurer and committee members, representing the Australian states, New Zealand, Srilanka , UK and an auditor. I also visited three hotels in Brisbane CBD, who had conference facilities, and asked for a quote for various events.
In May 2013, At the AGM conducted over Skype and our team was formally elected and the reins (Bank account, documents etc.) were handed over to us. The committee met regularly and chose the hotel for the meeting, from the three we presented. We paid an advance to the hotel and confirmed the booking for the congress.
We collected about 450 email addresses of PeMSAA members and communicated with them regularly, informing them of the hotel we chose and the agreed rate per room. Some members who decided to attend an year before the event were able to get rooms booked at the venue for rates less than we negotiated. One has to decide early to take advantage of early booking.
We prepared the menu (taking special care to cater for the vegetarians adequately), programme, lecturers etc. We requested the 50 batches of doctors who qualified from Peradeniya, and living outside Sri Lanka, to sponsor a page in the event souvenir and the funds collected was used to print the souvenir and the balance was sent to Peradeniya to be used to help the needy students.
Dr. S Sriskandavarman
President PeMSAA Australia 2014
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