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Welcome to 2021 Virtual Pre-Conference Global Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Showcase, hosted by the Public Health Association of Australia and supported by the Australasian Injury Prevention Network and the World Health Organization. The Virtual Showcase has been developed to act as a bridge between the 13th World Conference held in Thailand in 2018 and the next Safety conference in 2022 that was due to be to be held in Australia in 2020, however postponed to due to the impact of COVID-19. The Showcase is an unusual event in-so-far-as we will not be meeting face to face but online, however this has not impacted the quality and breadth of topics explored.

The Virtual Showcase continues the theme ‘Innovation, Engagement, Action: for a safe future’ developed for Safety 2020, and is as relevant if not more so with the way we are delivering the Showcase and the need to think about how the future looks. Changes bought about due to COVID-19 are likely to continue, such as people working from home, the impact of children missing school, lack of job security and the increasing uptake of technology into our lives. I am also hoping that some of the cycle ways that have been developed to reduce public transport congestion continue. The way we work, play and live will continue to evolve and we need to understand the impact of these on injuries.

It is also important that we build on the past and remember that if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we need to prevent injuries and violence. At the start of the new Decade of Action for Road Safety we need to reflect on what has been achieved and more importantly provide a vision and action for where we want to be by 2030. We need to continue to build on the development of safety plans and ensure they are enacted. This last 12 months has been ‘unprecedented’ and will have a lasting impact on the future. However, no matter what we do and where we end up we need to make sure that we continue to help prevent future injury events. At the end of the day it is about people and reducing the impact that injuries have on health systems, families, friends, workplaces and people.

Therefore the Showcase acts to connect and ensure the continuity of the series of world conferences, held since 1989, which bring together people from across the globe to discuss, reflect and connect around injury and its prevention. With over 250 presentations and eposters, this virtual event is no different with a range of opportunities to hear about the great work being undertaken, the policy challenges, success stories and new research, connect with friends, colleagues and meet new people at the networking sessions, and engage via the workshops. The Virtual Showcase runs over 5 days from the Monday the 22nd March to Friday 26th March 2021, with sessions happening at various times to cater for a range of time zones.

The Virtual Showcase is an opportunity to build the knowledge base and skills required for effective injury prevention and unlike a normal conference where you can only make one of the concurrent sessions at time, you will have an opportunity to view all the material during and post the Showcase making this a truly innovating and unique event. Topics covered during the event cover the whole range of injury issues from child safety to older person safety, road safety to falls, from the home to the workplace and unintentional to intentional.

The Virtual Showcase is not just about the presenters but also you, twitter (@conf_safety #IPShowcase21) will be used to discuss, distribute, and connect people. There are virtual eposters and opportunities to ask the author all about their work; we have Keynote speakers from across the globe discussing current injury prevention issues and an international panel discussing what the future looks like for injury prevention.

Attending the Virtual Showcase will be different, however to get the most out of the event I encourage you to treat it like a traditional face to face event and provision the time to attend. We are committed to making this the best virtual event possible and to do this we need you. Therefore, we encourage you to use this unique opportunity to engage, participate and connect with the global injury prevention network.

Associate Professor Richard Franklin

Convenor, Safety 2022

Chair, Showcase Advisory Committee