Welcome everyone, to the latest issue of O&G Magazine, focusing on rural and remote health.
It has been an encouraging and busy start to 2021 at the College, as we adapt to working in our new COVID environment. For most of us, it is starting to feel as though we are out of the woods, but we remain ever-so-conscious that things could change in a matter of days or weeks. What we do know, and what 2020 taught us, is that we are ready and equipped to adapt and be agile should the situation call for change. We embrace new technology and ways of working to be able to continue to provide a high standard of service to our members and trainees.
Firstly, I would like to extend my congratulations to President-elect, Dr Benjamin Bopp, who will officially commence his term as RANZCOG President at the November 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM). I look forward to working closely with Dr Bopp to continue the work of the College and carry on the strong leadership of our current President,
Dr Vijay Roach.
Elections for the Twelfth College Council and RANZCOG Board will commence in May with successful candidates announced in July. RANZCOG members are encouraged to nominate for the College Council to engage with and be part of the pivotal work that RANZCOG does for the women of Australia and New Zealand. If you would like more information about the nomination process, please visit our website.
In March, President Dr Vijay Roach and myself had the great fortune of travelling through NSW to visit a number of rural and remote hospitals and speak with many of our members and trainees about their challenges related to workforce and training. As always, it was a pleasure to see our RANZCOG community hard at work and to hear about the positive impact that they were having on their local communities and families. The College co-presented with the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) at Parliament House in early March to advocate for the importance of quality rural maternity services across Australia. RANZCOG, in partnership with an external designer, created a special animation for this event which can be viewed via our Vimeo channel, here: https://vimeo.com/524091391.
The RANZCOG Women’s Health Summit 2021 is being held on 27 May at Parliament House in Canberra and will host many influential stakeholders from across the women’s health landscape in Australia, as well as key ministers, organisations and media. The Summit program will comprise a series of panel discussions relating to some of the important and topical issues in women’s health and what we can do collectively, to improve the care we give to the women of Australia. It is Time to act. Later in 2021, Aotearoa New Zealand will also host a Women’s Health Summit and I look forward to sharing more details about that event, in due course.
RANZCOG is committed to providing a respectful workplace, and training environment, that is free of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination is unacceptable, and is a risk to mental and physical health, and safety. The College recognises that there are systemic issues within the College, in our workplaces and in our broader society and these must be addressed.
The RANZCOG Board recently approved the development of a Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Survey that will be distributed to all members and trainees. A similar survey was conducted in 2016 and it is timely for us to gather this important data again. The College will also form a BDH Advisory Working Group, which will include independent members. Both initiatives will inform the College’s work in preventing bullying, discrimination, and harassment in the O&G specialty.
It has been a long time coming but work on the new College building, 1 Bowen Crescent, is nearing its first practical completion phase in mid-May. College House at Albert Street is in the process of being packed up as we get closer to our relocation date. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and acknowledge the work of the Building Project Working Group led by Dr John Regan, and the Historical Collections Committee chaired by Dr Scott White, who have spent many hours reviewing the College’s artefacts, books, and collections, as part of the relocation project. The College is steeped in rich history and tradition and we intend to take as much of this as we practically can to Bowen Crescent, preserving the rest appropriately.
July 2021 Council Week will be the very first Council Week held at Bowen Crescent and our new facilities, as well as the first hybrid Council Week we have hosted. The last meeting of the Eleventh College Council will also take place that week and we look forward to welcoming Councillors to Melbourne in July.
As always, I extend my thanks for the support, encouragement and direction of the RANZCOG Board and our President Dr Vijay Roach who have led the College from strength to strength over the past three years.