Official Opening International Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics Conference 2022
Co-Convenors of the International Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics Conference, Director of Genetic Health Queensland, Professor Julie McGaughran and, Director of Cardiology at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Professor John Atherton; Scientific Program Chair of the International Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics Conference and Head of the Molecular Cardiology Program at the Centenary Institute, Professor Chris Semsarian; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great honour to be with you all this morning at this year’s International Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics Conference.
Even though my time as Chief Health Officer is now behind me, I am pleased to continue to support the extremely valuable work being done in the health sector, and as Governor of this State, pay tribute to the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand for hosting this vitally important Conference.
These few days bring together health professionals from a range of disciplines, who are each committed to the goal of building our understanding of cardiac genetics so that we can develop more effective ways of detecting, diagnosing, and ultimately preventing the incidence of cardiovascular genetic disease.
I know that everyone in this room is well aware of the confronting statistics around mortality rates in Australia, with one in three Australians dying from some form of cardiovascular disease each year.
While the majority of those who are older are suffering from coronary artery disease, when it comes to the young, the reasons for sudden cardiac death are often complex, or even inexplicable.
There is also still much for us to learn about inherited heart conditions such as cardiomyopathies, inherited arrhythmogenic disorders, familial dyslipidaemias, arteriopathies and congenital heart disease.
All of these unanswered questions make coping even more challenging for those families who are affected, and while we have made significant advances in our approach to testing, diagnosis and treatment, there is still much to be discovered.
That is why the Conference program planned for the next two days will be so beneficial. By sharing knowledge, expertise and experience, and through lively discussion and debate, I know that each person attending will be making another important step towards improving future outcomes for so many—particularly when those who are most at risk, may not even be aware of the danger.
I congratulate the members of the Organising Committee for putting together such a comprehensive and impressive schedule, and in particular commend Professors Julie McGaughran, John Atherton and Chris Semsarian, for their efforts, given that they all already have intense commitments in their normal day-to-day roles.
I also thank all sponsors and supporters—including the Human Genetics Society of Australasia—for helping to ensure this Conference has become an annual highlight in the international cardiac calendar—demonstrating how Australia is leading the way in this field.
I am delighted to officially open the International Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics Conference 2022 and wish you all an informative, inspiring few days.