Optimising Surgical Outcomes
Vol. 26 No 1 | Autumn 2024
Meet your councillors
Dr Kathy Saba
O&G Consultant, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital
Dr Emma Jackson

Here, we meet Dr Kathy Saba, a returning councillor from Queensland.

Councillor Kathy Saba is a part-time O&G consultant at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital in Queensland. Photo: Supplied by Kathy Saba

I’m writing this a little sleep deprived after being called in to supervise my registrars for a preterm twin delivery early this morning. Luckily, I made it home in time for present opening and chocolate crêpes for breakfast for my son’s birthday before the school run.

I represent other fellows and trainees also residing on “juggle street”. I am a part-time public O&G consultant at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, a busy tertiary unit. I have two children at primary school, and I have a day and a half off a week to help get the family balance right.

Why did I nominate for Council?
I had enjoyed being involved with college activities as a trainee rep and then state committee member since 2008. This is my second term on council. I nominated for council in 2021 so Queensland could have representatives more reflective of current college membership. I cannot remember when Queensland last had a female councillor. On the last council we had two, in our current council we have three. Progress!

I hope to maintain and improve communication and engagement with members and trainees. There is so much rewarding work at RANZCOG – contributing to the various committees, examinations, reaccreditation visits, diploma and pre-exam courses. Before I was on council, I was regularly involved with these activities, and I’d encourage more fellows to be involved in college work (with the bonus of CPD points!). Find your niche area, identify what interests you most or consider how and what you want to advocate for in women’s health, and dive in.

What are the key issues in QLD?
I feel one of our biggest issues in Queensland is maintaining the regional and rural maternity workforce. We are such a big state with maternity services dotted in towns up the coast and inland. Each of those towns would support more rural hospitals with GP obstetricians. It’s important that rural hospitals have the staff to safely run maternity services and have access to clinical support and upskilling opportunities from their larger regional and tertiary centres. Our other ongoing issue in Queensland is equity in access to abortion care. In my first term on council, I was able to be a voice for women and for our state’s Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as a RANZCOG representative at state government meetings on both issues. I found it very rewarding to see progress in areas such as provision of abortion care in Queensland over this time having been involved in the process of change.

What does the college mean to me?
To me, RANZCOG means a sense of belonging and support for members and trainees and being part of the key organisation advocating for, and maintaining, high standards in women’s health.


Here, we meet Dr Emma Jackson, a councillor based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Councillor Dr Emma Jackson and her dog Tui in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Supplied by Emma Jackson

I am originally from the UK, raised in North East London, and am a graduate of Manchester Medical School. My journey in medicine took an adventurous turn in 1996 when I left the NHS and three-day weekends behind for a year-long working holiday in New Zealand. Little did I know that this single year would extend to nine and mark the beginning of a pivotal change in my career and life.

Returning to the UK in 2005 as an O&G trainee, accompanied by my Kiwi husband and our one-year-old son, I completed my final 18 months of training, rotating through Chelmsford and Cambridge Hospitals. Juggling the challenges of motherhood (my two other children were born during this time) and the demands of training, my passion for women’s health continued to drive me.

In 2009, I returned with my family to New Zealand as a Fellow, eager to contribute to the healthcare landscape at Middlemore Hospital before accepting a Consultant role at Christchurch Women’s Hospital, Waitaha, a tertiary unit with around 6,000 births per year. Over the next seven years, I dedicated myself to consolidating my skills, mentoring others, and embracing leadership opportunities. During this time, I was a training supervisor and later became a member of the NZ committee of RANZCOG, now the ANZ committee.

In 2018, I took on the role of Clinical Director in my department, splitting my time between a clinical and a leadership role. I’m Chair of the RANZCOG Aotearoa New Zealand Practice Visit subcommittee who are currently reviewing the Practice RV program and I was Conference Convenor of the 2022 RANZCOG ASM in Otautahi, Christchurch.

I’m now an NZ Councillor on the RANZCOG Council just starting my second term. This position has afforded me the opportunity to contribute towards shaping decisions, providing the Aoteoroa New Zealand perspective and working towards equity and consistency of (best) practice between our two countries.

I’m currently a member and Deputy Chair of the CPD committee. In this role, I actively engage in discussions and decisions around our CPD program and the review and approval for circulation of surveys. I have also just joined the Progress review committee ensuring that a just process occurs where trainees are unable to meet the requirements of the training program.

Being part of the College, and now on Council, has allowed me to be actively involved in initiatives aimed at improving healthcare policies and practices. I was part of a working group convened by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), addressing factors affecting ACC cover for perineal tears and leading to the legislation changes and subsequent maternal birth injury cover (MBI). Also, as part of the ANZ committee, I recently represented RANZCOG at a National Maternity Quality and Safety Forum convened by the HDC/HQSC. Currently with such a huge upheaval in our health system in Aoteoroa New Zealand, and with what has sadly been a decline in quality of provision of care to our patients at a local level in Waitaha (Canterbury) New Zealand, I am more committed than ever to working with the College to uphold excellence in Women+ healthcare and best practice, and to advocate and push for consistent, capacity planned, appropriately staffed and funded, equitable services for patients across the whole of New Zealand and Australia.

When I’m not in a meeting, buried in my computer, or in the operating theatre where I particularly enjoy laparoscopic surgery, I work to support my clinical team and keep our department running. Outside of work, I can be found running in the hills with my dog daughter Tui and spending time with family and friends.


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