Melbourne hosts World Cancer Congress

20th Jan, 2015

Held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) with 2,700 delegates from more than 100 countries, the 2014 World Cancer Congress (WCC) was organised by the Geneva-based Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and hosted by Cancer Council Australia. Held from 3 to 6 December, it ran concurrently with the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Conference.

The congress was secured by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) in 2010, with Club Melbourne Ambassador Professor David Hill AO playing a key role in the bid win. Professor Hill is one of Australia’s leading public health researchers, and is widely regarded as a leading international expert in public health campaigns and social media marketing. He is a Member of the Order of Australia, and an Officer of the Order of Australia, bestowed for services to the promotion of community health, particularly in the development of cancer awareness and prevention programs.

Exciting news for Australia was that during the congress Co-Chair of the Congress Program Committee, and member of the Congress Organising Committee and Host Committee, Professor Sanchia Aranda, Director of Cancer Services and Information at the New South Wales Cancer Institute, was announced President-elect of the UICC.

Chief Executive Officer of the UICC, Cary Adams, said at the event’s conclusion that the city of Melbourne was the perfect destination for hosting large international congresses like the World Cancer Congress: “We were particularly impressed by the overall calibre of facilities, the ease and accessibility of the conference venue and the warmth and professionalism of our Australian colleagues. Melbourne was chosen because of the great potential that was exhibited during the bid process from our host country partners, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Council Victoria, government authorities, the MCB and Business Events Australia."

As well as the high-quality MCEC, the city is tailor-made for large-sized events for conference groups on a range of budgets because of its ease of accessibility to a mix of three to five-star accommodation hotels. The WCC had 13 official congress hotels to house delegates, the majority of which were within walking distance or a few tram stops from the main conference centre.

Australia and Melbourne’s world-renowned expertise in the area of cancer research also allowed for site tours of eight venues in the city including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia's only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer treatment, research and education.

MCB Chief Executive Officer Karen Bolinger said the process used to win WCC bid is a good example of the collaborative nature of all Melbourne bids, leveraging Melbourne’s intelligence, as well as its unique destination appeal: “What makes Melbourne so successful as a leading conference and meetings destination is its `Team Melbourne’ approach. Our success is based on a genuine partnership between all stakeholders that drives innovation and excellence."

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