Vol. 24 No 4 | Summer 2022
From the President
Dr Benjamin Bopp

Welcome to the 2022 summer edition of O&G Magazine that focuses on ‘Community’.

A community is loosely defined by Wikipedia as a social unit with commonality, such as place, norms, religion, values, customs, or identity. Our College has great diversity spanning many of these areas, with the commonality being our dedication to teaching and leading in women’s health across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Topics explored in this edition cover various areas of College work, and showcase some of the individuals that best represent the dedication and achievements of the broad RANZCOG community.

December 5 is International Volunteer Day, and RANZCOG is a majority volunteer organisation.

Our paid College staff consists of approximately 120 employees across two countries; however, a large body of our invaluable College work is undertaken by the membership. All their work is pro bono, and around 450 members give their time freely to fill some 700 positions on over 70 College working groups, committees, Council, or Board. Still more members contribute as training supervisors, assessors, interviewers, question writers or examiners.

Recent months have seen the return of face-to-face assessments after the rapid and very successful pandemic pivot to online exams. Congratulations to the entire College assessment team for their flexibility and professionalism during these challenging times.

An online news story caught my eye, unfortunately I cannot remember where it appeared, but it commented that in 2010, one in three Australians volunteered in some capacity, which provided 700 million hours of input across sectors including sports, religion, education and social service.

The hours committed by volunteers have reduced by 250 million per annum, which is the equivalent of 6 million full-time jobs. Community still relies on volunteers, but the ability or wiliness to get involved appears to have declined considerably.

The importance of RANZCOG is not simply it’s trans-nationality, but also it’s scope across generations from prevocational to post-retirement members. It’s a broad church with a diverse membership, and has always relied on people giving time to pass on knowledge, experience, and expertise.

Much recent and ground-breaking work has been done with our First Nations members around cultural competency, which will be detailed in an upcoming issue. Again this issue, we benefit from the opinion of our consumers and their network – it’s important to note how others see us, what we do and how we could improve our service delivery.

Since the last O&G Magazine there’s been significant College work including our highly successful Annual Scientific Meeting, held on the Gold Coast in October, with over 1000 face-to-face registrants and another 200 attending virtually. Thanks to the Organising Committee and College staff, particularly the events team, for a wonderful conference, and to the membership and trade supporters and sponsors.

We have continued with strong advocacy for our members, trainees, and their patients by meeting with the Health Ministers of New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland in recent weeks, and visiting training hospitals and teams in NSW and Western Australia.

The RANZCOG Women’s Health Foundation is our College’s philanthropic arm that supports education and research through scholarships and grants to local and international applicants. For our time-poor members or those with limited opportunity to contribute, a tax-deductable donation to the Foundation will go a long way to assist it’s many endeavours; you can donate here.

To those members of our College community who have and will continue to volunteer their time and expertise to RANZCOG activities – thank you!

To those who are considering involvement, please reach out, become engaged with our RANZCOG community, and help this and the following generations of our profession.

Please have a safe and happy summer and festive season, and see you in 2023!


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