Hello and welcome to the first issue of O&G Magazine for 2021. I am sure I speak for most of us when I say that for the most part, I am glad that 2020 is behind us, and we can look forward to a new year full of renewed opportunity and growth.
As we move into what has been dubbed our ‘COVID-normal’, we face new challenges where uncertainty remains an undertone, where the future seems better but, we remain cautiously aware that things might change very quickly.
The College achieved so much in 2020 despite the limitations we faced, and we flourished, found community and engagement in unconventional ways and continued to support our members through many workshops, events, webinars and through the consistent delivery of a high standard of education and training.
I would firstly like to welcome our new trainees to the College and wish you all the best for your journey through the O&G specialty. RANZCOG is committed to providing you the best learning and assessment experience we can. I hope you have enjoyed the orientation sessions facilitated by College staff; we have enjoyed seeing you all and welcoming you to RANZCOG. I am sure that you feel that it is both an exciting and challenging time to commence your training, but we are elated that you have chosen us as your College.
In March 2021, the College will see the appointment of a new President-elect; the formation of a new College Board will take place in July and in November, the 12th College Council will officially commence their term. This activity brings with it many opportunities for engagement and diversity within the College’s governance and we look forward to sharing news of these changes as they happen.
In 2021, the College will also relocate to 1 Bowen Crescent, Melbourne, where the construction and fit-out phase of the project is well and truly underway. Our new head office, located in a fantastic part of Melbourne, will provide just the environment for College staff and for our members to work and gather. It will allow for more collaboration and creativity whilst still paying homage to the heritage, history and traditions of Albert Street.
We have several important projects and initiatives that will gain momentum in 2021, including our work on wellbeing initiatives, leadership and mentoring. It is important now, more than ever, that we provide the much-needed support and services to our trainees and Fellows as they dedicate their time to advancing healthcare for women and babies across Australia and New Zealand through the various stages of their career lifecycle.
Following the release of the College’s Gender Equity and Diversity Report, a formal Gender Equity and Diversity Policy will be finalised early this year which will provide the guiding principles for RANZCOG to promote, advance, enable and support gender equity and diversity practices at the College, through education and training, governance, and advocacy efforts. Consultation for the College’s new Reconciliation Action Plan is already underway, and we are also starting work with He Hono Wāhine on the development of a Māori Strategy.
2020 was an extraordinary year, especially with regards to the coordination and delivery of assessments and workshops. In 2021 we will continue with online assessments and workshops and some face-to-face workshops where feasible. We also plan to facilitate some face-to-face meetings where possible, compliant with state and territory requirements for COVID-19.
I would lastly, but not least, like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the RANZCOG Board led by President Dr Vijay Roach. The past 12 months have been trying for everyone, not the least our Board, who all reside in different states of Australia and New Zealand and met over 20 times (via Zoom) last year, during the pandemic. Their commitment to College governance and prudent decision making, through an arduous and often disheartening time, has been commendable, and I thank them for their support of all members and staff.