Sydney was overnight announced as the host city for the 24th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatric (IAGG) World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in 2029.
A significant multi-year bidding effort by the Australian Association of Gerontology, the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and the Australian & New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine working with the business events bidding specialists at BESydney has been rewarded with the announcement at the 2022 World Congress delivered virtually from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The decision was made by vote of the more than 80 IAGG member countries who gathered virtually for the IAGG Council and General Assembly this week. The 2029 Congress is expected to attract around 4,500 delegates to Sydney over five days and BESydney estimates it will inject $21.6 million into the local economy.
The quadrennial World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics is the largest, most significant worldwide conference on ageing, sharing the latest science, research, training, technology, and policy development presented by experts from around the world. Delegates include representatives from medicine, nursing, social science, psychological science, finance, policy fields, and other disciplines brought together to address the latest approaches to improving the experience of ageing for the world's older adults.
Speaking immediately after the win announcement, Co-Bid Leaders Professor Julie Byles AO, Global Innovation Chair in Responsive Transitions in Health and Ageing, Newcastle University, and Professor Keith Hill, Director of the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) research centre, Monash University, jointly stated, “This bid win is a wonderful outcome for our gerontological and geriatrician communities across Australia and New Zealand. We are honoured to have been selected by our global colleagues to lead this critical conversation about ageing together and ageing well. Importantly, the IAGG World Congress in Sydney in 2029 represents an opportunity for students and early career participants to come together and to form lasting global relationships that will help shape their professional activities into the future.”
Professor Vasi Naganathan, Consultant Geriatrician, University of Sydney – President ANZSGM said, “Working together with Australian (AAG) and New Zealand (NZAG) Associations of Gerontology for the past six years has brought our organisations closer together and will enable our congress to present a truly multi-disciplinary perspective on how the health and quality of life of older people around the world can be improved.”
Professor Debra Waters, University of Otago - Vice President NZAG said, “The pre-congress leadership summit in Queenstown, in particular, will honour Indigenous leadership in ageing, highlighting the value of holistic, sustainable and culturally relevant approaches used by First Nations and Indigenous Peoples. We will welcome leaders, established and emerging, from across the globe, to join a conversation about ageing well.”
NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Tourism and Sport, and Western Sydney, The Hon Stuart Ayres said, “NSW has an ageing population that is expected to continue to increase over the next decade. By 2031, one in four people in NSW will be aged 60 years or older.
“The ageing population brings with it both challenges and opportunities. The task for all of us – government, academia, business and the community – is how to best manage the challenges and seize the opportunities so that all people in NSW can live healthy, active and happy lives as they age. The IAGG World Congress in Sydney in July 2029 will provide an important opportunity to collaborate on the latest global research, best practice, and education in all aspects of ageing well,” he said.
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said, “The rapid ageing of populations around the world presents an unprecedented set of opportunities and securing the IAGG World Congress for Sydney is the result of our strategic approach to target and attract the most significant global conferences down under so they can stimulate innovation and inform Australian researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in their work helping our country to meet its global potential.
“The Australia and New Zealand vision for the World Congress in Sydney to embrace all cultures to improve the experience of ageing around the world effectively and sustainably captured everyone’s imagination and was the right strategy for now as the world begins to re-open and communities are seeking to build back better than before, with people and planet at the centre.
“This event will also attract talented early-career delegates to expand their knowledge base and make lasting global connections. This is a fantastic global talent pool for Australia to seek to woo back to live, work, collaborate on research or extend their studies,” she said.
IAGG World Congress was last held in Australia in Adelaide, in 1997 and this will be the first time that Sydney has hosted the Congress.
The Australian Association of Gerontology led the bid, working together with collaborative partners the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and the Australian & New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine, the peak bodies linking professionals working across the multidisciplinary fields of ageing in Australia and New Zealand.
The 24th IAGG World Congress will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) from 28 July – 3 August 2029, with a pre-Congress Leadership Summit in New Zealand.