The 10th International Myeloma Workshop officially commenced with a wonderful Welcome Ceremony on Sunday, April 10th at 4:30PM.
Members of the Yidaki Indigenious Didgeridoo and Dance Troupe performed a traditional Aboriginal welcome. One of the performers played a didgeridoo, a musical instrument indigenous to the Aborigines that has a very low and almost mournful sound. Interpretive dancers did a traditional welcome, dressed in their native costumes against a stunning backdrop of slides of the varied and truly beautiful Australian scenery. You could have heard a pin drop as the audience was clearly moved by this incredible performance.
Aboriginal elder Les Saxby welcomed the participants to Australia on behalf of the indigenous people,
Next up was a special treat- The Colla Voce Youth Choir performed "Waltzing Matilda" and "Australia Fair."
Prof. Doug Joshua, Chairman of the Workshop, asked the audience to stand as Her Excellency Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales, entered the room to give her official welcome.
Her Excellency spoke of how proud she was that the Xth International Workshop was being held in Sydney and noted that Australia is made up of extremely varied and diverse ethnic cultures that go back over 10,000 years. Being a doctor of psychiatry, she understood the importance of the Workshop and was excited about what the next few days would hold for the 1,100 people attending this important meeting. Governor Bashir noted the involvement of the International Myeloma Foundation in the organization and success of previous Workshops, and Susie Novis was thrilled when she spoke of her personally and the work she’s done on behalf of myeloma patients.
Prof. Joshua then took the stage and introduced Susie Novis who gave a brief greeting, thanking Prof. Joshua for the opportunity and also thanking the IMF's Scientific Advisors, the International Working Group, and the IMF's grant recipients. She then invited the esteemed attendees made up of researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies, to join the IMF by collaborating with the IMF on its three research projects, Bank On A Cure®, Circulating DNA, and Proteomics. She then directed their attention to the screen for a video that highlighted the IMF's exciting and groundbreaking research programs. CLICK ON THE VIDEO ICON ABOVE TO VIEW THE IMF RESEARCH INITIATIVES VIDEO SUSIE PRESENTED.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Executive Director Scott Santarella provided an overview of the MMRF's research programs. Ann Man, Executive Director of the International Waldenstroms Macroglublinemia Foundation presented its Robert Kyle Award To Dr. Steven Treon of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the presentation of the Waldenstrom Award, for a lifetime of achievement in myeloma to Professor Jean-Luc Harrouseau,. Dr. Harrouseau has been a leader in the French Myeloma group, IFM, which has conducted groundbreaking clinical trials in multiple myeloma, most recently a tandem transplant trial whose results were presented at a plenary session at the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Harrouseau, as is the tradition with this award, delivered an overview of his work in multiple myeloma.