Member Society Highlight: ASCIA
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) was established in 1990 as the peak professional body of clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA’s mission is to advance the science and practice of allergy and clinical immunology, by promoting the highest standard of medical practice, training, education and research, to improve the health and quality of life of people with immune system disorders. These include allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and other immune diseases.
ASCIA members are health professionals who work in the areas of allergy, clinical immunology and immunopathology. Currently there is a total of 680 ASCIA members, comprising 263 Full ASCIA members and 417 ASCIA Associates.
Full ASCIA members are mainly clinical immunology/allergy specialists and they are listed on the ASCIA website How to locate a specialist section www.allergy.org.au/patients/locate-a-specialist
ASCIA Associates include medical practitioners (e.g. GPs, paediatricians), other health professionals (e.g. nurses, dietitians, pharmacists), scientists/researchers, trainee clinical immunology/allergy specialists and retired ASCIA members.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ASCIA
Since it was established in 1990, ASCIA has grown into a world leading, innovative and active professional society with strong and progressive leadership. The current ASCIA President is Dr Brynn Wainstein and past ASCIA Presidents are listed at www.allergy.org.au/members/ascia-past-presidents
From 1990 to 2000, ASCIA built a strong foundation for the future, including:
Hosting of ASCIA Annual Scientific Meetings.
Successful bidding and hosting of the World Allergy Congress in 2000.
Development of a new Strategic Plan in 1999-2000, with a focus on sustainable and accessible web based education.
From 2000 to 2010 ASCIA established an education focus, including:
Implementation of a new Strategic Plan with an emphasis on open access web based educational resources for patients, consumers, carers and health professionals.
Development of the first versions of ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis in 2003, that are now recognised as world leading resources and used throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Development of the first version of ASCIA infant feeding advice in 2008, which did not recommend delayed introduction of allergenic foods to infants, based on emerging evidence from published studies.
Management of ASCIA Annual Scientific Meetings since 2006.
Development of the first ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses (for schools and childcare services) in 2010.
From 2010 to 2019 ASCIA has significantly expanded its education, training, advocacy and strategic planning. Highlights include:
Development of a range of ASCIA e-training courses for health professionals and the community.
New and updated ASCIA action plans, guidelines and other resources that promote high standards, available open access from ASCIA website.
Collaborations to improve patient care, including TAPID (transplantation and PID) and AusPollen projects.
Establishment of AIFA (Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia) in 2013, to fund and support research and raise awareness.
Management of ASCIA Annual Conferences since 2014 (replacing the ASCIA Annual Scientific Meetings).
Development of new ASCIA guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention in 2016, based on published evidence from the LEAP study.
Development of the first National Allergy Strategy for Australia in 2015, in partnership with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and key stakeholders www.allergy.org.au/national-allergy-strategy.
Implementation of the National Allergy Strategy, with the launches of 250K Youth Project (for the 250,000 young people will severe allergies) www.250K.org.au, All About Allergens training for food service www.foodallergytraining.org.au and Nip allergies in the Bub food allergy prevention project www.preventallergies.org.au.
Initiation of the ASCIA Education Project 2018-2020 with a significant redesign of the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au. The ASCIA website is a trusted and extremely popular source of information about allergy and other immune diseases. Access to more than 140 ASCIA educational resources was improved by redesigning the website to be more user and mobile device friendly.
Updating of over 60 ASCIA patient articles www.allergy.org.au/patients/information in 2019.
Development of new ASCIA Fast Facts in 2019 to provide concise, easy to understand and reliable information about allergy and other immune diseases www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts.
Hosting of ASCIA's 30th Annual Conference in September 2019, which provided an international standard of education and unique networking opportunities for ASCIA members. www.allergy.org.au/conferences/ascia-annual-conference#s2019
Announcement of A national Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis at the ASCIA 2019 Conference. ASCIA is now working on a submission for this Inquiry. www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/parliamentary-inquiry-into-allergic-diseases.
Another major highlight of 2019 was the purchase of a new purpose designed office for ASCIA, to enable the Society to sustain its operations and continue to grow. In July 2019 the new ASCIA office hosted its first ASCIA Council meeting.