Despite the terrible choice of locations I pre-planned from Australia by looking at an (inaccurate) map of the conference venue, most of the Critical Physiotherapy Network members who were at WCPT 2015 in Singapore were able to meet up during afternoon tea on the second day of the conference. A huge thank you to Carol McCrum for initiating the meet up.
An wonderful group of critical minded physiotherapists were present. Names are listed in order of appearance in the picture from left to right: Joan McMeeken, Petronella Van De Merwe, Carol McCrum,Veronika Schoeb (front row of photo), Amy Hiller, Lester Jones, Jenny Setchell, Uffe Holmsgaard Rasmussen, Anita Hartmeier (back row of photo) and Ralph Hammond (in picture below in deep discussion with Uffe) .
Apologies came from one CPN member (fair enough as she was one of the conference organisers), and another who was a victim of my bad pre-planning and was waiting in the far corner of the huge exhibition hall where we met. Sorry Bhanu! Another told me the next day he totally forgot until after he had hopped onto the MRT (Singapore’s immaculate answer to The Tube) and was speeding off into the distance. Despite these inevitable conference consequences it was a great turn out.
At this informal meet-up session we introduced ourselves, and discussed our interest in the network. I gave a brief update of latest activities of the executive committee and people offered insightful suggestions about the direction of our new network. Aside from that we all just got stuck into some great critical conversations, sharing theory and theorists, research topics, teaching methods, and deconstructing presentations we had seen at WCPT. Needless to say most of us were well and truly late for the next session. I was 1hr and 15mins late for my next session, which left me with only 15mins – luckily WCPT was very encouraging of, and well designed for movement between rooms during sessions!
One thing I noted at the conference was that the CPN members in attendance at WCPT had quite a presence. This included many platform presentations in different conference streams, poster presentations, organisational and management roles as well as being interactive audience members. I see it as a credit to the WCPT congress that some of what we presented was from at least an implicitly critical perspective. Discussions are underway about what plans the network might make for a more visible presence at the next WCPT conference (South Africa 2017). Watch this space!