Together with the PWS Associations of Australia, Malaysia and Thailand, we held our first virtual conference in October 2021, which was also the first Asia Pacific conference to be co-organised by 4 countries. From attendee feedback received, it seems that APPWS2021 was a great success. The virtual nature of this conference meant that so many more people were able to attend which was fantastic, and the conference was well attended by both families and residential care staff from New Zealand. The conference had great international reach with registered participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.
The APPWS2021 organising committee are very grateful to all our expert speakers who generously gave their time to give very informative presentations and answer attendee questions on all the key topics associated with PWS. We believe that everyone would have learned at least one new thing, whether that was during Day 1’s Focus on Science, or Day 2’s Focus on Care and Support. Our presenters came from 10 different countries and included the following speakers from Aotearoa New Zealand – John Taylor speaking about Enabling Good Lives, Dr John Ford speaking about his research on ethical and practical dilemmas for caregivers, Hayley Arnott speaking about speech and language development, and PWSA’s Cindy talking about residential care in New Zealand.
The 3rd day of the conference was titled ‘Hear Our Voices’ and it was another ‘first of it’s kind’. The whole day was dedicated to hearing the voices of people with PWS and their families. It was a day that was both emotional and inspiring, and a day that provided greater insight into the hopes and dreams, as well as the challenges faced, of people with PWS. Our challenge now is to support the realisation of those aspirations. Day 3 also confirmed that it is important to individuals living with PWS that their voice can be heard and we hope to facilitate more opportunities for this in the future through our Leadership Group and other virtual events. Thank you to everyone who shared aspects of their lives with us on Day 3. The combined contributions from many countries in the Asia Pacific region certainly reminded us all that we are not alone in our journey; we have a village of people supporting us, even if it is a virtual village. It was a very fitting way to end the conference.
Thank you to our colleagues in Malaysia for hosting this conference, their amazing tech team, and compere extraordinaire, Nadiah Abdul Latif. We would also like to thank all our colleagues from the PWS Associations of Australia, Malaysia and Thailand with whom it has been a pleasure to collaborate with in making APPWS2021 happen. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who registered and particularly if you were able to attend ‘live’ conference sessions, even if it was just for some of the time, because your participation made it a much more engaging experience for all.
Attendees are able to revisit all presentations using the password sent via email.
If you attended in a professional or student capacity, you should have received your participation certificates via email. Please let us know if you have not received yours.