This inaugural symposium Western Pacific Mass Gathering Events and Health Symposium was held in November 2022. The focus was on the intersection between mass gatherings (major events, crowded spaces) and health.

Over 125 people attended, representing 48 organisations from across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

ACT Government
Ambulance Victoria
Ashmore Retreat
Australian National University
Brisbane City Council
Category 5 Emergency Care
Chill Out Zone
Cook Shire Council (Queensland)
Department of Health, the Government of Victoria
Emergency Medical Services Gold Coast
Gardian Technologies
Gold Coast University Hospital (Queensland)
Grampians Health (Victoria)
Griffith University
Highlands First Aid
Hunter New England Local Health District (New South Wales)
John Hunter Hospital (New South Wales)
John McNab PTY LTD
Latrobe University
Major Events Gold Coast
Medical Response
Mid North Coast Local Health District (New South Wales)
National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre
New South Wales Ambulance
New South Wales Health
Office Of Industrial Relations Queensland
Queensland Health – Health Disaster Management Unit
Queensland Health – Metro North Public Health Unit
Queensland Health – Metro South Public Health Unit
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union
SA Health
Safer Care Victoria
Scenic Rim Regional Council (Queensland)
St John Ambulance Australia (New South Wales)
St John Ambulance Australia (Northern Territory)
St John Ambulance Australia (Papua New Guinea)
St John Ambulance Australia (Queensland)
St John Ambulance Australia (Victoria)
St John Ambulance Australia (Western Australia)
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services (Queensland)
Tacmed Australia
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand – Nelson Marlborough
The Prince Charles Hospital
The University of Queensland
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (Queensland)
University of Newcastle

Topics discussed included:

  • Event health governance and regulation
  • Emergency management and mass gatherings
  • Best practice clinical care at major events
  • Event organiser perspectives of event health
  • Command and control
  • Public and environmental health
  • Young people and mass gathering event
  • Mass gathering event legacies





This symposium is for members of first aid and first responder organisations  |  in-event health companies |  event organising companies and consultants  |  ambulance services |  public health units  |  hospital and health services  |  government agencies  |  universities


0830: Registration, Tea / Coffee

Setting the scene – Jamie Ranse
0900: Opening remarks from the Symposium organisers –  Jamie Ranse
0910: Opening remarks from Griffith University – Bonnie Barber, Dean (Research) Griffith Health Group
0915: Setting the science – Jamie Ranse
0940: Operation London Bridge – Edward Swete Kelly, Director Overwatch Group
1005: Event medicine is essential health care and is an integral part of the whole health system: Standards and expectations – Alan EadeChief Paramedic Officer, Safer Care Victoria

1030: Morning Tea / Networking

Event health governance and regulation – Jamie Ranse
1100: Interdisciplinary staffing at high-risk events – Liam Bruton, Clinical Systems, St John Ambulance Australia, Clinical System (New South Wales) and Paramedic, New South Wales Ambulance.
1115: Setting the standard – Ethan Dooley, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, 1300MEDICS
1130: First aid services regulations: The good, the bad and the ugly – Devon Harrison, Senior Clinical Advisor, NEPT, Regulation, Risk, Integrity and Legal, Department of Health, Victoria
1145:  Student health care professionals at mass gathering events – Luke Zandona, Paramedicine Student, Queensland University of Technology

Emergency management and mass gatherings – Alison Hutton
1200: Triage of multiple casualty incidents at mass gathering events – Matt Pepper, TacMed Australia
1215: Planned events as tests for disasters – Cheryl Desha, Lead, Digital Earth and Resilient Infrastructure, Disaster Management Network, Griffith University

1230: Lunch

Best practice clinical care at events – Julia Crilly
1315: Management of acute uncomplicated alcohol intoxication at a youth mass gathering event: A retrospective cohort study – Stephanie Hagan, Emergency Nurse, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services
1330: Clinical care at high-risk events – Kate Carmody, 1300MEDICS and Emergency Nurse, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services
1345: Prehospital emergency anaesthesia training program – Elliot Williams, Nurse Practitioner; Deputy Commissioner – Clinical Systems, St John Ambulance Australia (New South Wales)
1400: The future of in-event health service regulations. Facilitator Jamie RansePanel members: Ethan Dooley, Alan Eade, Ben Imrie-Quintyn 

1445: Afternoon Tea / Networking

Event organiser perspectives of event health – Leonie Lockstone-Binney
1515: Brendon Downey, General Manager, The Event Crew
1530: Avril Harris – Director, Corporate and Partnerships, Major Events Gold Coast
1545: Bespoke Medical, Personal Security, Biosecurity & Risk Mitigation Bill Anseline, Hemisphere Management Group
1600: Enhancing the event to health service interface – Facilitator Jamie Ranse
1645: Day close – Jamie Ranse

Networking event – Supported by 1300MEDICS
1700: Networking event (Uni Bar Gold Coast, Griffith University)
1900: End of event

0830: Registration, Tea / Coffee

Command and control – Dr Peta-Anne Zimmerman
0900: Papua New Guinea and mass gathering experiences – Matt Cannon, Cheif Executive Officer, St John Ambulance Papua New Guinea
0915: Innovation in command and control – Edward Swete Kelly, Director Overwatch Group
0930: Innovative solutions in response to in-event health emergencies – Graham Gordon, CEO Gardian

Public and environmental health – Dr Peta-Anne Zimmerman
0945: Public Health Surveillance in Mass Gatherings – the Power of Reassurance – Satyamurthy Anuradha, Public Health Physician, Metro South Public Health Unit
1000: You can lead a horse to water: Japanese encephalitis virus – Debra Lee, Principal Advisor Health, Occupational Health and Hygiene Unit, Office of Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.
1015: Commonwealth Games 2022 – Vickey Mills, UK Health Security Agency and Caryn Cox, Health Protection Lead for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, UK Health Security Agency

1030: Morning Tea / Networking

Young people and mass gathering events –  Jamie Ranse 
1100: Bay of Dreams experience – Peter Kara, Principal Advisor, Emergency Management Te Wjatu Ora Health NZ, Nelson Marlborough, New Zealand
1115: Health promotion at outdoor music festivals – Alison Hutton, Professor of Nursing, University of Newcastle
1130: Attitudes towards service providers and help-seeking at Schoolies – Laura Ferris, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland
1145: Psychosocial interventions and strategies to support young people at mass gathering events: A scoping review – TBC
1200: Safe and healthy events for young people – Facilitator Jamie Ranse. Panel members: Michelle Buckland, Cary Strong, Laura Ferris, Stephanie Hagan, Alison Hutton

1230: Lunch / Networking

Mass gathering event legacies – Alison Hutton
1315: Welfare coordination and high-risk response – Angela Driscoll
1340: Schoolies in-event health services – Michelle Buckland and Shaun Robertson, Emergency Department, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service; and Cary Strong, Queensland Ambulance Service
1405: Legacy frameworks for mass gathering events – Facilitator Jamie Ranse
1445: Conclusion – Associate Professor Jamie Ranse

1500: Afternoon Tea / Networking

1630: Schoolies Site tour, Surfers Paradise – Limited availability
This side-event will have limited availability and capacity. Further details to register will be available during the Mass Gathering Symposium

  • Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Health Schoolies health operations – Facilitators Michelle Buckland and Cary Strong
  • Wellbeing space – Facilitator Angela Driscoll

1630 – 1650: Tour Registration (Schoolies health operations followed by wellbeing space)
1640 – 1700: Tour Registration (Schoolies health operations followed by wellbeing space)
1650 – 1710: Tour Registration (Schoolies health operations followed by wellbeing space)

Includes: networking evening event  |  keynote speakers  |  discussion panels  |  legacy group work  |  short update presentations  |  schoolies site tour


Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Location: Griffith University Auditorium. Building 40, Level 5. Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland (Campus map here)


Arriving by air: Both Brisbane airport and Gold Coast airport provide options for travel.

Arriving by train / light rail: TRANSLink provides rail services between Brisbane Airport / Brisbane CBD and the Gold Coast. You can then catch the G:link, Gold Coast Light Rail service to the Gold Coast University Hospital station.

Arriving by car: Casual parking is available in G55 on the Griffith University campus. Closer parking is available at the Gold Coast University Hospital.


Closest: Mantra Sharks (a 10min walk). Book now and receive 15% off the Mantra Daily Rate. Use promo code: CE2022. This discount is only applicable to phone [(07) 5603 3200] or e-mail [[email protected]] bookings.

Alternative: The Gold Coast has a large number of accommodation options along the G:link, Gold Coast Light Rail line. Accommodation will book out fast this week in the lead-up to Schoolies.


Legacy group work activities.