NMHPV Wellness Conference 2010
On September 10, the Victorian Nurses Health Program (VNHP) had the privilege of hosting over 800 nurses and midwives at our inaugural Nurses & Midwives Wellness Conference.
I am unaware of anything similar being undertaken anywhere before in Australia and I am assured by those in attendance that this was one of the largest gatherings of nurses and midwives ever seen at a conference in this country.
Some were amazed by this turn out. Personally, I wasn’t. It’s become clear to us at the VNHP that our colleagues want access to time, ideas and strategies which will assist them to live healthier and more productive lives.
We believe that when in a ‘giving’ profession you must take stock and recharge ‘you’ in order to be healthy and productive and to ultimately be a valuable carer to those who need us in our society. I believe many more of our colleagues in our industry are also coming around to this way of thinking.
On the day, we were very pleased to have the Honourable Daniel Andrews, Victorian Minister of Health, attend and open the event. We, at the VNHP and the audience, were buoyed by his message of support from the State Government and his commitment to advocating and supporting the VNHP in the future. This is in addition to the valuable support we receive from our members, the ANF (Victoria Branch) and AHPRA.
Those in attendance at this historic event were moved by Toni Hoffman and her incredible story of bravery and patient advocacy throughout her traumatic ordeal in Queensland for much of the last decade.
We were reminded of the importance of laughter by Phillipa Challis and were shown a range of ways to make this happen. Amanda Gore challenged us to be a little different; suggested ways on being non-conformist at times and highlighted ways to make life more interesting.
We were reminded of the importance of social connection, being kind to each other and the value of happiness by Professor Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy).
Mark Bunn stripped it all back to basics for us; highlighting the importance of diet and exercise; recognising the importance of listening to our body and getting that healthy balance between what it is we want and what we need in life.
I’m confident everyone who attended took away a few key messages which will empower them to make positive and healthy changes in their life, as well as in the workplace.
From that afternoon, we at the VNHP were inundated by nurses and midwives who had attended, speaking positively of the inspiration they received and information they gained from these speakers.
Our phones and email were swamped with feedback full of this positivity and requests for a repeat conference. These approaches and contacts continue today, over a month later.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the intensity of these messages and the enormous amount of positivity that this event has generated.
On behalf of the VNHP, I would like to thank all of those who attended this historic event. Your enthusiasm and energy made the day a great success!
We will keep you updated on developments at the VNHP and in regards to future events. You will also find links below to our conference speakers, their material and photographs capturing the day.
The VNHP is committed to supporting our colleagues in the field. Our mission is to support those who do the vital work of caring those in our community. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need this support.
Glenn Taylor, Chief Executive Officer
Nursing & Midwifery Health Program, Victoria