International Marce Society Scientific Conference 2016

Welcome to the International Marcé Society
Biennial Scientific Conference 2016!

Looking Back: Marcé Society Biennial Scientific Conference 2016

Six weeks ago, I was surrounded by colleagues from all around the world - close to half of the attendees (300-600) were from outside of Australia. We learnt, shared and partied!! The International Marcé Society Biennial Scientific Conference 2016 was a wonderful event! Abstracts and PowerPoints can be found on the International Marcé website at I think we certainly tackled Frontiers in Perinatal Mental Health – looking to the future (our Conference theme) and made inroads to developing a future agenda to improve the emotional well-being of mothers, fathers and babies.

Some highlights included:

  • Our opening ceremony with Carolyn Briggs, a respected elder from the Boon Wurrung Foundation, was a moving start with a smoking ceremony and some insights into personal experiences.
  • Our Ministers (the Hon Sussan Ley and Hon Martin Foley) not only gave a snapshot of the Australian Perinatal Mental Health scene, but shared with us their passion and commitment to this area.
  • Plenary sessions and invited speakers – too many to name but the feedback from delegates was that the learnings were plentiful and much appreciated.
  • Regional symposia were informative and enriching (Japan had a huge delegation!)
  • Biennial General Assembly – this was well attended and a wonderful process with lots of support for recommendations including revised regional group fees to make membership more accessible.
  • The Australasian Marcé Society hosted dinner for Board members on Sunday was an inviting start to the Conference (and delicious!).
  • The Surprise Gala dinner was certainly a surprise! Our thanks to Anne Buist for the wonderful entertainment and singing, followed by Bollywood dancing and more; and to our speaker, Georgie Harman CEO beyondblue for very much joining in the fun!
  • The historical launch of the Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health (GAMMH), Dr Alain Gregoire inspired us and the first inaugural meeting was held during the Conference.
  • We were able to celebrate the achievements of Vivette Glover and Nine Glangeaud when I awarded the John Cox and Marcé medals respectively.
  • A full house at the Gidget Breakfast with Vijay Roach giving a thought-provoking presentation.
  • In-conference workshops were well attended and provided in depth small group discussions. Pre and post Conference workshops were fabulous, and included the joint APS (PIPIG), AAIMH & Marcé workshop on Mindful and Reflective Approach to Mother-Infant Intervention.
  • Other highlights were the posters and a great film and popcorn night with the moving UK BBC documentary: My Baby, Psychosis and Me with Rebecca Burrell, Producer/Director, streamed live.
  • Mother-Baby Unit tours – buses were full and there was an enormous interest in our units; this built on Dr Roch Cantwell’s Lessons from maternal suicide: 17 years of the UK Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and the impressive presentations from around the world by Nine Glangeaud-Freudential (UK, France, India and USA), Claudia Klier (Germany), Keiko Yoshida (Japan), Megan Galbally (Australia) and Signe Dorheim (Sweden).

We enjoyed the lovely and comfortable conference venue with lots of yummy food and the great views and walks around Albert Park Lake.  With thanks to all the wonderful organisers, no event such as this occurs without the involvement of many, many people.

Here's looking forward to Bangalore in 2018 !!


Professor Jeannette Milgrom
Conference Chair, International Marcé Society Biennial Scientific Conference 2016