Brisbane Secures Major International Medical Congress for the First Time in Australia

It took a local, national and international team approach for Brisbane to secure the World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (WCPGHAN) in 2028, which Australia will host for the very first time.

The World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition is anticipated to attract more than 2,000 delegates and will be held at the ASM Global managed Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from June 6 to 10, 2028.

The bid was spearheaded by Director of the Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Liver Transplant service at Queensland Children’s Hospital, Professor Nikhil Thapar. Professor Thapar chairs the paediatric faculty of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia as well as the Gastrointestinal Motility Subcommittee of the Congress host organisation, the Asia Pan-Pacific Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

WCPGHAN is held every four years, with the 7th World Congress being hosted in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, in December 2024.

With bid project management provided by BCEC and additional support from Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia and the Brisbane Economic Development Agency, Professor Thapar was able to combine the strong connections he made during his many years working in Europe with a compelling argument on behalf of the joint bid of Australia and New Zealand why Brisbane should be the host city for 2028 gathering.

Much of this argument focused on Australia’s lead status in the field, the need for education in the Asia Pacific, particularly less developed nations, the planned Congress legacies that Professor Thapar is already working towards achieving and Brisbane’s track record of hosting critically important medical congresses.

Professor Thapar said the importance of research and best practice in gastroenterology and its related areas, specifically nutrition and the impact that has on children, could not be understated, with gastrointestinal conditions accounting for some of the most common reasons for children presenting to hospital.

“This World Congress is designed to assist countries that really need it, specifically in terms of education, and there are many in the Asia Pacific that will benefit,” he said.

“We believe that this is really an opportunity to drive up the quality of care that is currently available.

“There are still too many children dying in the world from gastrointestinal-related illnesses. We want this Congress to be the catalyst for change in this part of the world by providing those who are not able to attend a congress in Europe, with the opportunity to attend the Brisbane Congress.

“We intend it to have a strong education platform where practitioners will be able to take back to their own hospitals and countries new ideas and new practices to implement immediately.”

Queensland Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Healy, said it was great to see this conference come to Australia.

“Business Events are immensely valuable, with this Conference set to inject more than $10 million in direct and incremental spend. We know that the team in Brisbane will prove the perfect venue for the 2028 World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

“We’re looking forward to hosting this event, which brings together more than 2,500 professionals and experts in their extremely important fields to discuss the latest findings, advancements and experiences in the health and well-being space.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner welcomed WCPGHAN to Brisbane for the very first time.

“Brisbane is increasingly being recognised as a destination for major events and we are excited to welcome the World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition to Brisbane in 2028,” Cr Schrinner said.

“As a global Top 40 Innovative City and home of the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest hospital and healthcare cluster, there’s no better place to bring health and biotech professionals together.”

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre General Manager, Kym Guesdon, said the BCEC had been working on securing WCPGHAN 2028 since 2018.

“The Centre’s team works closely with medical, research and scientific leaders to secure major sector meetings of this calibre, which are an endorsement of Queensland’s strengths in the key science and research sectors.

“This is a critical area of medicine and for us to be able to host the world’s best practitioners and to share with them our local expertise, provides us with a strong sense of duty to make this a memorable and rewarding Congress for every attendee,” she said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison, said supporting the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre’s successful bid to host the World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (WCPGHAN) via the Business Events Bid Fund Program, presented a huge opportunity for Australian tourism.

“We are pleased to be supporting this latest event win for Brisbane through Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund program,” Ms Harrison said.

Download Word Version & Images

Direct Media Queries to:

Gail Sawyer Marketing & Communications Manager

Share This:

Scroll to Top