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Attending BSG Brunel 2010 Conference: An International Perspective
Our Presidents: Judith Phillips, Mim Bernard and Robin Means
Chaz Simpson and Vanessa Burholt
Professors Geoff Rodgers and Mary Gilhooly with Professor Chris Jenks, Vice Chancellor, Brunel Unive

This year, for the first time, I was fortunate to attend the conference of the British Society of Gerontology, held at Brunel University, London.  First, I would like to thank the organizers for their hard work, and congratulate them on creating an excellent event to showcase work in ageing research from around the globe.

I attended the event as a representative of the Emerging Researchers in Ageing initiative in Australia, and presented a paper as part of the ERA symposium organized by Michelle Heward.  It was a great experience to meet my overseas counterparts, and to learn more about their programmes to support emerging researchers in ageing.

I found this conference particularly impressive in the range and depth of research that was presented in the paper sessions, the keynotes and the panel sessions.  I learned much about the face of ageing research globally, and met many interesting and knowledgeable people from all over the world.  I also recognized that issues that affect older people in Australia are reflected in most other western economies.  We are not so very different down under after all, it would seem. 

And therein lies the dual benefit of attendance at international conferences – the opportunity to network and develop contacts for future collaborations, and the opportunity to compare what is happening in your own country with the experience of other societies.

I came away from the 2010 BSG conference with a better understanding of the global picture of ageing, and of how Australia fits into that picture; with interesting and useful information about how ERA initiatives are developed and maintained in other countries; and with very useful contacts in New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and Europe.

Thank you once again to the conference organizers for their marvelous work, and I hope to see you again at BSG conferences in the future.  

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