We are already three months into 2020, but I would like to take the opportunity to welcome everyone to a brand new year. A new year brings new opportunities for growth, development and improvement and I look forward to what 2020 will bring our College.
The end of 2019 and start of 2020 saw Australia devasted by some of the worst bushfires in our nation’s history. I’d like to acknowledge and send thoughts and wishes to all those communities and our members that have been affected.
What has been humbling to witness are the acts of generosity and kindness from Australians who continue to support each other through this difficult time. This includes the RANZCOG community – our members, trainees and College staff – who have come together and helped in any way they can by donating money, goods or services to charities to help people and wildlife affected by the fires.
Work across education and training, member and training support and wellbeing, ongoing professional development, standards setting, policy, advocacy and engagement is progressing well.
We are investing more into trainee and member wellbeing initiatives and have formed a Trainees and Members Wellbeing Working Group to further build on support services for our trainees and members and to take a proactive approach to health and wellbeing.
An O&G Workforce Working Group has been formed to analyse and assess the current state and trends, scope of practice and distribution of the O&G workforce. This working group will also undertake workforce modelling and deliver recommendations to the Department of Health and other regulatory bodies, to address the maldistribution of workforce in regional, rural and remote areas.
Work continues on a number of projects that will increase the breadth of services and educational resources offered to members and trainees. The College also plans to increase and build on last year’s successful advocacy and engagement activities with our neighbours in the Pacific, and continue to provide leadership in the pursuit of excellence in women’s health in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
Following the sale of College House, the search for new College premises has commenced. The criteria briefed for the new premises is for a fit-for-purpose facility that is efficient and practical. The new location will future proof the College, be conveniently located to public transport, have easy access to the airport, accommodation, amenities and dining in close proximity, and we will aim to create an environmentally sustainable workplace, with a reduced carbon footprint.
Ready to take on challenges
Following a comprehensive review and realignment of College functions and staff in late 2019, we are better positioned to address our challenges, embrace new opportunities and maximise efficiency to meet the College’s current and future needs.
We have welcomed several new staff including Dr Sarah Hanieh, commencing in the role of Executive Director, Women’s Health and Engagement in February. Dr Hanieh brings a unique mix of leadership, extensive research, global health and indigenous health experience to RANZCOG.
College staff are very excited and ready to work alongside our members and trainees to achieve everything that we have planned for the year ahead.
See you in Darwin
We look forward to welcoming Fellows, trainees, Diplomates, PVOGS, midwives, medical students, allied health professionals and prominent guests from both federal and state government, to the RANZCOG 2020 Regional Fellows Scientific Meeting (RSM) being held in Darwin, Northern Territory, in April.
The theme of the meeting is Outback and Beyond, with sessions focussing on the day-to-day experiences and realities within regional obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as a focus on our nearest neighbours in the Pacific and give participants the opportunity to find out how to become involved in important activities within these regions.
The four-day program begins with two days of practical pre-conference workshops, including a dedicated Diplomates Day for general practitioners. The Friday and Saturday programs are designed for both specialists and generalists to encourage innovative solutions and applications.
I look forward to seeing many of you there.
As always, I would like to remind you that your feedback is crucial to ensuring that our College remains the leading voice for women’s health in Australian and New Zealand. The College’s ongoing success depends on the continued support and engagement from our valued members and trainees. There are many opportunities to get involved in College activities and I encourage you to do so.
The best outcomes will always be achieved by working together. All the best for 2020.