The scale and scope of psychology's application to the concerns of the international and Australian communities was highlighted throughout the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, ICAP 2010. Hosted by the APS in conjunction with the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), ICAP 2010 attracted delegates from nearly 70 countries for the first foray of the Congress into the southern hemisphere. Melbourne's mid-July weather was kind for the near 3,400 participants who attended this exceptional demonstration of applied psychological expertise and endeavour from across the globe. Over 90 renowned psychologists presented keynote addresses and the high level of media interest indicated the recognition of psychology's important role in addressing issues of community concern. From poverty, terrorist attacks and climate change to gambling, workplace bullying and substance abuse in youth, the diversity and relevance of psychology in the 21st Century was on display.

27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11–16 July 2010 Melbourne Convention Centre

The delegates

A total of 3,381 participants attended ICAP 2010, half of whom were international delegates. The truly international nature of the Congress was demonstrated by the 67 different countries represented among ICAP 2010 delegates.

Participants by country of origin*

Australia

1,744

Spain

34

Malaysia

14

Japan

277

Netherlands

33

Turkey

13

USA

150

Indonesia, South Africa

32

Philippines

11

China

129

India

31

Belgium

10

Germany

77

Iran

29

Argentina, Finland, Nigeria

6

United Kingdom

67

Italy

24

Columbia, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, United Arab Emirates

4

New Zealand

51

Thailand

23

Canada

50

Portugal, Sweden

21

Ireland, Uganda, Ukraine

3

Taiwan

49

Mexico, Poland

19

Botswana, Denmark, Ghana, Latvia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia

2

France

41

Austria, Brazil

18

South Korea

40

Norway, Switzerland

17

Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Fiji, Grenada, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam

1

Singapore

38

Russia

16

Hong Kong

37

Israel

15

*89 delegates did not specify country of origin

The scientific program

An extensive and rich scientific program of 3,223 presentations was offered in 21 parallel streams for registrants to choose from over the six days of ICAP 2010. Presentations ranged from expert lectures and symposia through lively debates and panel discussions to a large array of electronic posters.

27

State-of-the-art lectures

39

Opening and keynote addresses

37

Presidential and Divisional addresses across 17 IAAP Divisions

38

Workshops

22

Expert panel discussions

15

Debates and forums

243

Symposia (939 presentations)

595

Individual oral presentations

690

Brief oral presentations

550

Electronic posters

The venue

ICAP 2010 was held at the magnificent new state-of-the-art Melbourne Convention Centre, with an expansive glass facade providing views across the Yarra River to Melbourne's skyline. The Convention Centre has a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating, and is comprised of 32 meeting rooms of various sizes and a huge plenary venue, all fitted with the latest audiovisual technology. The impressive nature of the Congress venue and its facilities enhanced the sense of a forward looking international scientific meeting for the psychology profession.

The ICAP 2010 hosts

As the host of ICAP 2010, the APS was responsible for overseeing the organisation of the Congress and arranging the extensive scientific program. At the Convention Centre the APS established a welcoming presence in the central foyer, with a large open booth providing a wonderful opportunity for APS staff to meet international delegates and put faces to the names of many APS members. Information about APS International Affiliate membership was available and visitors appreciated the opportunity to learn more about psychology in the Australian context. The central location of the booth also offered the opportunity to provide delegates with access to a range of APS publications and resources, and answers to the multiple queries about the new national registration scheme.

The Indigenous presence

Psychologist representatives of Australia's first peoples had a strong presence at ICAP 2010. The Chair of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA), Associate Professor Pat Dudgeon FAPS, gave an invited keynote address, and AIPA hosted three symposia highlighting cultural competence, social and emotional wellbeing and mental health, and the lives of Australian Aboriginal women. Several Indigenous psychologists also presented individual papers. Indigenous Australia was also an integral part of the opening ceremony, and present throughout the Congress via the APS Bendi Lango art exhibition, which raises bursary funds for Indigenous students undertaking postgraduate psychology studies. The final day saw the APS Reconciliation Action Plan being canvassed in an open Forum chaired by APS President, Bob Montgomery.

Report from the ICAP 2010 President …

ICAP on the Yarra

The 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP 2010) was held in conjunction with the 45th National Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, from the 11th to the 16th of July 2010, in Melbourne. ICAPs are the Congresses of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the oldest international psychology organisation that was established in 1920. ICAPS are held every four years and national psychology associations bid to host them. Australia has not hosted an ICAP before, and has hosted only one major international psychology congress previously - the 24th International Congress of Psychology, which was held in Sydney in 1988.

Planning for ICAP has spanned almost a decade. It began with a phone call from Mike Knowles, a past President of the APS and future President of IAAP in 2001 when I was President of the APS. Mike suggested that the APS submit a bid to host ICAP 2010, and this suggestion was greeted with enthusiasm by the then APS Board of Directors. The bid was submitted in competition with bids from South Africa and Chile, and at the ICAP in Singapore in 2002, the APS bid was declared the winner subject to a satisfactory site inspection.

In our bid we argued that Australia had a strong track record of organising international events, and that if our bid was successful the Congress would combine state-of-the-art innovation with being warm and friendly. I believe that the APS delivered on its promises.

A total of about 3,400 people participated in ICAP 2010, making it approximately equal with the 23rd ICAP held in Madrid in 1994 as the largest ICAP of all time. We believe this is a major achievement given that Australia suffers from the ‘tyranny of distance', and the global financial crisis resulted in many universities around the world failing to provide funds for travel to international conferences. Also, the Australian dollar was at a record high against other currencies making the event expensive for overseas delegates. The registrants included psychologists from 67 countries, with strong numbers from our regional neighbours, particularly Japan and China. Twenty-six percent of the registrants were students, which bodes well for the future of psychology.

From the outset of preparing our bid for ICAP 2010, we wanted the Congress to stand out and to have an enduring legacy beyond July 2010. With this in mind we negotiated with a number of publishers to bring out a major international handbook in association with the Congress. What evolved from these discussions was the concept of the IAAP Handbook of Applied Psychology. The idea was to issue joint invitations to eminent researchers in their fields who would complete two tasks: (i) write a chapter for the Handbook in their domain of expertise; and (ii) present a state-of-the-art lecture on the subject matter of their chapter. We thought this was a rather cunning idea. State-of-the-art lectures are often the highlight of Congresses but the researchers who are invited to present them are always busy people and sometimes do not commit themselves to completing all the necessary work for presenting excellent lectures. At ICAP 2010, the state-of-the-art lectures were brilliant - the speakers had all just completed chapters on their topics!! The Handbook has seven editors and 73 authors who completed 33 chapters, and will be released by Wiley-Blackwell in March 2011. The rest of the scientific program was awesome, offering a total of 3,223 presentations across 21 parallel streams (see Mike Kyrios' report opposite).

The social program included a number of spectacular events, none more so than the Gala Dinner held in the Peninsula at Central Pier, Docklands. Entertainment was provided by String Diva, Opera in Disguise, and CJ5. I have never attended a conference function where so many people were on the dance floor until the event ended.

The Congress was held in the new award winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Superbly located right in the heart of Melbourne on the edge of the Yarra River, the MCEC lived up to expectations and proved to be a spectacular cutting-edge convention centre.

I would like to thank all the people who made this Congress such a success: the Congress Organising Committee; the Scientific Program Committee, chaired by Mike Kyrios; APS staff; the Divisions of IAAP and Colleges of the APS; the ICAP 2010 ambassadors who promoted the Congress both in Australia and overseas; reviewers of over 4,000 submitted abstracts; volunteers; and sponsors and exhibitors. Finally, I would like to thank the Professional Conference Organisers, arinex, who did a fantastic job of organising a very large Congress, and who were always a pleasure to work with.

Professor Paul Martin Hon FAPS
Congress President and Chair of the Organising Committee, ICAP 2010

About the ICAP 2010 scientific program

The scientific program of ICAP 2010 incorporated the 27th Congress of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and the 45th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society. While we started with relatively modest expectations about the size of our Congress, we held high hopes for presenting a scientific program of global significance and regional relevance, and these were more than fulfilled. We were motivated by the idea that psychologists can and do make a difference within and beyond our scientific and professional boundaries. In particular, we wanted to summarise the state-of-the-art research across applied psychology, and highlight the importance of psychological factors and the application of psychological knowledge to individuals, groups, communities, societies and the world community. We were committed to a Congress that would underscore the potential for psychological training and skills in accomplishing change in local, national, regional and international spheres across areas that concern us all.

The number of submissions and their quality exceeded our wildest expectations. The scientific program included topics from a broad range of areas in applied psychology, including: organisational psychology; clinical, health, forensic, counselling, and community psychology; cross-cultural and Indigenous psychology; educational and developmental psychology; applied gerontology; psychological assessment and testing; statistical methods; sports psychology; applied cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology; psychological treatments; multidisciplinary models of care; future developments in psychological services; consumers; other health professionals; ethics; social issues; traffic psychology; environmental psychology; economic and political psychology; and other global issues.

A series of state-of-the-art addresses in a range of areas in applied psychology covering the IAAP Divisions formed the chief focal point of the scientific program. We added to this through a program of invited addresses, panel discussions, forums and workshops, as well as debates of controversial issues in applied psychology. Complementary components of the scientific program included those for emerging scholars and psychologists from emerging economies, and presentations from Indigenous psychologists, psychologists from regional areas, and a program for allied health practitioners in multidisciplinary contexts. In addition to the traditional keynote and symposium formats, we used innovative modes of presentation by developing a substantial brief oral presentation program, which was further supported by an electronic poster facility. We also incorporated visits to some of Melbourne's best-known psychological research facilities. Finally, a range of satellite conferences prior to and following ICAP 2010 added to the overall contribution of the Congress.

Professor Michael Kyrios FAPS
Scientific Program Chair, ICAP 2010

Psychology in the media at ICAP 2010

By the end of ICAP 2010, 75 separate media items on various psychology topics had been presented through print articles, radio and television interviews, with more in the subsequent weeks through broadcasts of pre-prepared programs. Media coverage of the valuable contribution of psychological expertise to community concerns is estimated to have reached over 3.5 million people - 2.8 million through print, more than 700,000 through radio and over 100,000 through TV broadcasts. The coverage reached all States and Territories of Australia, including rural and regional areas. This extensive media interest was facilitated by the dedicated work of the APS National Office media team.

Showcasing the diversity of psychology

More than 30 diverse psychology topics - and the latest findings presented by psychological experts - were covered in the media during the week of ICAP 2010, including: asylum seekers; body image; children and sleep; climate change; consumer behaviour; driver behaviour; disasters; eating disorders, e-therapy; gambling; genocide; hoarding; Indigenous psychology; irrational fears; jury bias; men's health;  music and sport performance; music and academic performance; occupational health; poverty reduction; reconciliation; psychology in primary health care; psychologists and GPs working together;  posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma; truck drivers and depression; workplace bullying; women and leadership; young people and substance abuse; sustainable transport; and the APS Bendi Lango art exhibition.

Coverage in respected media outlets

  • Three Conversation Hour interviews on 774 ABC Melbourne Mornings with Jon Faine - Professor Robert Ladoucuer (gambling), Professor Richard Bryant (trauma and PTSD) and Amanda Gordon (asylum seekers)
  • The Age - Professor Mike Kyrios (hoarding)
  • The Sunday Age - Professor Robert Gifford (psychology's role in addressing climate change)
  • Two ABCTV News breakfast interviews with Virginia Trioli - Dr Zachary Steel (asylum seekers and the effect of detention on mental health) and Professor Richard Bryant (trauma and PTSD)
  • Two interviews on Sunrise (Channel 7), the highest rating morning TV show - Dr Randy Frost (hoarding) and Dr Judy Kuriansky (mental health issuses in relation to celebrities)
  • A series of in-depth radio features to be broadcast on All in the Mind on Radio National, Radio Australia and Connect Asia, including feature interviews with Professor Paul Slovic (genocide) and Professor Stuart Carr (psychology's application to addressing poverty)
  • A feature story on The Law Report, Radio National - Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty (research on jury bias)
  • A series of articles to appear over the next few months in the career section of the Weekend Australian on psychologists working in the public sector, including those working in corrections and the criminal justice system

Acknowledgements and thanks

The IAAP and the APS would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals for their support and assistance with ICAP 2010.

  • Professor Paul Martin, President of ICAP 2010 and Chair of the Congress Organising Commitee, and Professor Mike Kyrios, Chair of the Scientific Program Committee. The amount of work these two people put into the Congress was phenomenal. Thanks also to all members of the Congress Organising Committee and Scientific Program Committee.
  • All speakers presenting state-of-the-art, invited, keynote and Presidential/Divisional addresses, especially Professor Paul Slovic who presented the opening keynote address on genocide
  • ICAP Congress ambassadors, student volunteers and the many APS staff who made a contribution on the respective ICAP Committees and who worked so hard at the Congress
  • All delegates, some of whom travelled large distances to attend ICAP 2010

The IAAP and APS would like to acknowledge and thank the following businesses for their support of ICAP 2010.

Gold Sponsors
Wiley-Blackwell
Aon

Silver Sponsors
Australian Academic Press
Pearson
beyondblue
SAGE

Congress Satchel Sponsors
American Express

Congress CD Sponsor
MyClientDiary.com

Congress Pads and Pens Sponsor
Queensland Government

Professional Conference Organiser
Arinex

Exhibitors
American Psychological Association
AON Risk Services Australia Limited
Australian Academic Press
Australian Council for Educational Research
beyondblue: the national depression initiative
Cengage Learning
Counsel Link
Footprint Books Pty Ltd
Greater Western Area Health (GWAHS)
HICAPS
ICAP 2014
International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012)
Intracore Online Solutions
iSOFT
IUPsyS
Living is for Everyone
Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
Palgrave Macmillan
Pearson Clinical and Talent Assessment
Peter Berry Consultancy
Pro-Ed Australia
Psychological Assessments Australia
Queensland Health
SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific
SDR Clinical Technology
Solstice-Mind matters - Cogmed Working Memory Training
Taylor and Francis
TripleP International Pty Ltd
Wiley Blackwell

The APS would also like to thank the IAAP for the opportunity to host ICAP 2010.

InPsych August 2010