ACLAPA Conferences

13th ACLAPA Conference 27 and 28 October 2023, Pan Pacific Hotel Southbank Melbourne.

Dear Friends

With the COVID-19 situation seemingly easing worldwide, we are able to once again invite you to attend the 13th ACLAPA Conference to be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Melbourne’s Southbank from 27-28 October 2023.

Please save the Date for 13th ACLAPA Conference, amended from 10-12 November 2023 now updated to 27 and 28 October 2023.

13th ACLAPA Conference 27-28 October 2023

We have confirmed our international guest speakers, all with extensive industry and audit experience and are currently planning the program with our local speakers. A draft program will be available early next year.

Please find a short bio for our international speakers.

Stephanie van Eeden (Speech and Language Therapist)

Stephanie has worked at the Regional Cleft Lip and Palate Service, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 17 years and has led the speech and language service since 2009. Her research includes speech and language disorders related to cleft palate and velopharyngeal dysfunction. Stephanie is currently undertaking a PhD researching linguistic and auditory skills in children with cleft palate.

Craig Russell (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon).

Craig is a Consultant Cleft, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Clinical Project Lead CRANE The Cleft Registry and Audit Network.  The Cleft Registry and Audit NEtwork (CRANE) is a national clinical audit run by the Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CE and U) of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS).

Simon van Eeden (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon)

Simon is a specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, having completed training programmes in South Africa and Oxford (UK) and a fellowship at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Simon has been a consultant specialising in cleft lip and palate at Alder Hey and Aintree University hospitals since 2006.

We look forward to announcing the draft program, local speakers and calling for abstracts in the new year.


In place of face to face meetings for the past few years, ACLAPA have hosted webinars for our members. We are happy to be able to return to face to face meetings.

Due to the success of our webinars, we will be offering a webinar to members in the new year. Information will be made available soon. 


13th ACLAPA Conference cancelled for May 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Dear Friends

With the COVID-19 situation escalating globally, and the declaration of a pandemic, it is disappointing but necessary that we will now officially cancel the 13th ACLAPA Conference for May this year. We will investigate alternative dates as the year unfolds.

We would like to thank you for your support and understanding in these uncertain times.


We advise that a full refund of your registration costs will be made shortly and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.


I wish you and your family safety.


with kind regards


David Chong,
and the ACLAPA Organising Committee




Conference update for COVID-19. 

With the current situation concerning the COVID-19 virus and the imposed international travel bans and required quarantine periods, we are considering the options for the viability of hosting the 13th ACLAPA conference in May this year.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation for another 14 day period and then make the decision of whether to continue, re-schedule or cancel the Conference. We ask that in this time that you do not book travel or register for the Conference. We will keep you advised of this decision and any other pertinent information as it arises.

Please be assured that should the Conference be postponed or cancelled, the registration fee (less booking fee) will be refunded.


Thank you for your patience and support during this time. We wish to ensure your safety and protection during this unexpected event.


Registrations are now open.

The Australasian Cleft Lip and Palate Association (ACLAPA) Executive invite you to attend the 13th ACLAPA Conference to be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Melbourne’s Southbank from May 8-10, 2020. Melbourne is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most vibrant, exciting and cosmopolitan cities, and visitors from all over Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the rest of the globe can look forward to having an unforgettable Australian experience in this truly global city. Please find the link to the Conference Call for Abstracts and Registrations Brochure PDF here .

Who nose?

Your Australian experience begins with the theme for this year’s meeting: who nose? Australians love a good play on words and with this year’s conference including a particular focus on primary and secondary nasal surgery, coupled with our ongoing efforts to assess and treat nasal-sounding speech, we will be asking ourselves the very important question – who knows?

Who knows what the most effective cleft lip and palate surgical protocol is? Who knows the best techniques for improving speech outcomes? Who knows how to best look after our patients’ psychosocial needs? And most importantly, who knows what we are missing in our current cleft and craniofacial care provision and who knows what we could do better?

Come to Melbourne in 2020 as we work together to find out the answers to these questions, and much more.

The ACLAPA Executive has invited a number of highly regarded international and Australasian speakers to participate in the conference, and coupled with a call for abstracts for oral and poster presentation submissions (opening August 21, 2019), the programme promises to be a rich and rewarding educational experience.

As is now standard for all ACLAPA conferences, a Speech Pathology Preconference day will be held on May 7, where our Australian and New Zealand Speech Pathologists will come together to work on specific projects. All regional and international Speech Pathologists are welcome to attend this day. We will also have inaugural Nursing and Dental preconferences with all clinicians who work with children with cleft are invited to attend.

Abstracts are now open – click here to go to abstracts brochure – see page 4 for instructions and link / QR code
Abstracts extended to January 31, 2020

Social Programme

In addition to a comprehensive scientific programme, we also have two social events planned for attendees – a Welcome Reception BBQ on Friday, May 8, and an 80’s themed conference dinner on Saturday, May 9. I would encourage all attendees to join us for these two events to meet new friends and colleagues and to catch up with old friends.

Conference Venue

The Pan Pacific Melbourne is located in the heart of the city’s Southbank precinct, only one minute away from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre; 10 minutes’ drive from Melbourne’s Flinders Street Railway Station; and 30 minutes’ drive from Melbourne International Airport.

The hotel’s contact details are included below:

Address: 2 Convention Centre Place South Wharf,

Melbourne, Victoria, 3006, Australia

Telephone: + 61 3 9027 2000



The Pan Pacific Melbourne has provided a very generous accommodation package for our conference and preconferences, and I would encourage all ACLAPA members and our international attendees to consider reserving a room at the discounted accommodation rates below. These rates apply to Deluxe Twin Bed, Deluxe King, or Family Queen (1 Queen + 1 Single) Rooms.

 Room  Rates
 Reservations made before June 7, 2019  AUD $ 229* *Non-refundable, non-cancellable rate
 Reservations made after June 7, 2019  AUD $ 299** **Changes permitted

To access these special accommodation rates, please follow this link:

The conference dates are as follows:

 Thursday May 7, 2020  Friday May 8, 2020  Saturday May 9, 2020  Sunday May 10, 2020
Preconference Meetings:


  • Speech Pathology
  •  Nursing
  • Dental
 ACLAPA Conference Day 1


Welcome Reception BBQ

 ACLAPA Conference Day 2


Conference Dinner

ACLAPA Conference Day 3

 Conference Registration

Registration for the conference is now open for ACLAPA members and non-members at the following online ticketing site:


For international attendees, Melbourne International Airport’s airport code is MEL.

For attendees requiring assistance with their travel plans, I would urge you to contact Sid Jones-McCallum from Travel Counsellors Pty Ltd at the details below:

Address: Level 4, 34 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Telephone: + 61 1300 292 743

Mobile/Cell: + 61 415 242 629



Next Steps

  • Please review the profiles of our international invited speakers on the second announcement brochure;
  • Talk to your team and your colleagues about your participation in what will be a great conference;
  • Please add the abstract opening (August 21, 2019) and closing (January 21, 2020) dates to your diary;
  • Please consider reserving a room now at the Pan Pacific Melbourne at the reduced rates on offer.

Should you have any enquiries about the conference, please to contact Mr David Chong, or Dr Wendy Nicholls, our ACLAPA conference contact, at the emails addresses below: