Pot-pourri eBulletin - 28 July 2023

A message from your President

Professor Nitin Kapur

I travelled down from Brisbane to Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital on Monday, 18 July to present the RACP Howard Williams Medal to Professor David Isaacs.

Nitin Kapur David Isaacs Jacqueline Small 180723 croppedThe Howard Williams Medal annually recognises a member of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the health of children and young people in Australia and/or Aotearoa New Zealand. This year, it was my great privilege to confer this award to David, who is such a very worthy recipient. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (JPCH) since 2009 and has always been a staunch advocate for the rights of underprivileged children. It was wonderful to be part of this celebration of David’s remarkable achievements.

Following a recruitment process, I am pleased to advise that Professor Geoff Thompson has been appointed to the Editor-in-Chief position of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. I would like to take this opportunity to, once again, thank David for his years of service to the JPCH, and to welcome Geoff to the role. I would also like to thank the JPCH Editorial Board for their ongoing contributions to the JPCH, particularly over the last few months.

In my last message I flagged there would be a summary this month of the business undertaken at the last PCHD Council meeting held on 15 June. Key topics are listed as follows:

  • I gave updates to Council on my conversations and correspondence with various parliamentarians concerning child development services in Western Australia, junk food advertising regulation, and advocacy for the Raise the Age campaign. These matters have been highlighted in previous President’s posts – you can read those on the College website. Regarding the Western Australian parliamentary inquiry, you can read the transcripts of my verbal submission and follow-up questions.
  • The College’s Policy & Advocacy team gave updates on a number of important paediatric priorities, including the formation of a Youth Advisory Group to inform the Youth Appropriate Health Care position statement, and the launch of the Health Care of Children in Care and Protection Services (see more details from Dr Niroshini Kennedy later in this post).
  • Members of the College Specialist Training Program (STP) team gave an informative update on this crucial area and Council discussed efforts to include positions to address physician shortages.

The PCHD Council will next meet on 16 and 17 August in person at the College. The first day will be a business-as-usual meeting of the Council, and the second day will bring together our Council with representatives from paediatric specialty societies and Paediatric Advanced Training Committees. I am looking forward to seeing everyone face-to-face, and for spirited discussions across critical areas.

On 18 August, the College will host the RACP Trainee Research Symposium 2023. Fellows, trainees and non-members are all welcome to attend to support the recipients of the 2022 RACP Trainee Research Awards. Recipients across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand will present their research on topics related to paediatric and adult medicine. The event will feature a guest speaker, Dr Amali Mallawaarachchi, speaking on genomic diagnostics in polycystic kidney disease.

Find out more and register for this event

On 12 July, I, along with members of the RACP Policy & Advocacy team, met with the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Honourable Michelle Rowland MP. The meeting’s intention was to progress the College’s campaign to Switch Off the Junk, which seeks to regulate junk food advertising targeted at children. We were advised that a feasibility study is underway through the University of Wollongong to explore this issue, and we look forward to receiving further details from Ms Rowland’s office as the study progresses. I was interviewed by the ABC on this important matter on 19 June 2023. You can listen to that short interview here.

Later in this edition of Pot-pourri you will find a short summary from Dr Niroshini Kennedy, the PCHD President-elect, of the Parliamentary Roundtable held in Canberra on 21 June. The Roundtable saw the launch of the College’s Health Care of Children in Care and Protection Services position statement. Thanks to Niroshini and all our colleagues who were able to attend the event, and to all who worked so hard to finalise this important document (PDF).

Lastly, but definitely not least, I wish to warmly congratulate those who sat the Paediatrics & Child Health 2023 Divisional Clinical Examinations (DCEs). These were held from 19 May to 4 June 2023, and were undertaken by 275 candidates across 33 Australian sites. The overall pass rate of the DCEs was 81.1 per cent. The DCE 2023 involved 63 National Examining Panel members (NEP) and 228 Local and Provisional Examiners. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in these crucial, complex events. Well done, everyone. 

Best wishes,

Professor Nitin Kapur
PCHD President


Parliamentary roundtable and launch of the Health Care of Children in Care and Protection Services position statement

The RACP’s parliamentary child health roundtable was held on 21 June 2023. The event was held to mark the launch of the RACP’s position statement: Health Care of Children in Care and Protection Services Australia 2023, by RACP President Dr Jacqueline Small, and brought together physicians, policy makers, and stakeholders to discuss how to improve the health care delivery to children involved with care and protection services and those in youth justice settings. Several paediatricians contributed to the writing of the paper, which was chaired by Dr Alison Vogel. See page four (4) of the position statement for the full list of working group members.

The event included a panel discussion by experts including Ms Elizabeth Harnett, Professor Frank Oberklaid, Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Professor Ngiare Brown and Professor Sharon Goldfeld. The panel discussion was followed by presentations and roundtable discussions by working group members, including Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Karen McLean and Dr Paul Hotton, and presentations by Dr Kim Isaacs, Tracey Brand (CEO, Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service), and Professor Elizabeth Elliott.


The event was well attended by ministers and MPs, including Linda Burney (Minister for Indigenous Australians), Emma McBride (Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Rural Health), Dr Anne Aly (Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth), and Dr David Gillespie, Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Dr Monique Ryan, Dr Mike Freelander, Ms Marion Scrymgour, and Mrs Melissa McIntosh (Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention). 

Dr Niroshini Kennedy FRACP
PCHD President-elect

Celebrate community 2023_EA_F

Final dates announced for the RACP Networking Series

Dr John O'Donnell and Ms Ngapei Ngatai (1)The RACP Networking Series continues to bring members together with final dates now announced.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to grab some refreshments, catch up with friends and colleagues, and to enjoy an informal panel discussion about the physician of the future.

Spaces are limited. Register now 

RACP Foundation grants, medals, prizes and awards

PCHD trainees and Fellows are eligible to apply for most awards. Visit the RACP Foundation webpage to see the eligibility criteria for each award and to access the online application form.

RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for research development grants and travel grants are now open.

Other awards and grants

  • RACP Trainee Research Awards (TRA) – applications are open until 31 August 2023. The TRA provide an opportunity for trainees and New Fellows to present their research at local regional events. The best presenters from each local event are invited to present their work alongside recognised researchers in 2024.
    • Please register for the TRA symposium on Friday, 18 August 2023. 2022 award recipients will present their research at a hybrid event held at the RACP Sydney office.

College medals and awards

Nominations will open soon for the following College awards and medals. These awards and medals acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by members in their respective fields. Consider nominating a colleague, a mentor, or a trainee, deserving of recognition. Applications for these opportunities close on 30 September 2023.

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto hominum servire saluti. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities. Applications close on 30 September 2023.
  • RACP International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries. Applications close on 30 September 2023.
  • RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • RACP Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • RACP Trainee of the Year Award recognises a Trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.
  • The Eric Susman Prize is awarded by the College to a Fellow for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Severe myocarditis in neonates associated with enterovirus (Coxsackie B3 & B4) 

Severe neonatal sepsis associated with enterovirus (Echovirus-11)

A message from the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU):

The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit has been alerted to two disease outbreaks in neonates in Europe by the Commonwealth Department of Health (Communicable Disease, Epidemiology and Surveillance Section) and asked to notify our contributor network.

Information about these two conditions is provided in the World Health Organization Disease Outbreak News on enterovirus infections in neonates, and can be accessed at the links below.

  1. Severe myocarditis in neonates associated with enterovirus (Coxsackie B3 or B4) in Wales
  2. Severe neonatal sepsis associated with enterovirus (Echovirus-11) in France

Although these conditions have not been reported elsewhere internationally, we would like to raise awareness amongst APSU contributors.  We are not currently conducting surveillance of these conditions but encourage you to contact the APSU and advise if you do encounter a case that may signal an outbreak in Australia. Please email SCHN-APSU@health.nsw.gov.au and include your contact details if you see a relevant case, and contact us if you have any questions. 

RACP 2023 Member Satisfaction Survey (MSS) – now live

Your College. Your voice. We’re listening.

Member survey 2023From Monday, 10 July and by Wednesday, 12 July, you should have received an email from surveys@slmr.com.au with the subject heading: Have your Say – RACP Satisfaction Survey 2023 containing the survey link. If you didn't receive this email, please contact us.

The survey is being conducted by EY Sweeney, an independent contractor. They will provide aggregated results back to us and any individual comments are not identified as coming from a specific member – your survey responses are anonymous. 

The MSS survey findings were used to inform the 2022-2026 strategic plan and are the means to measure our success via several key measures.

Please complete the survey and have your say so we can understand your overall satisfaction with your College and identify areas for improvement. The survey closes on Monday, 7 August 2023.

More information about the survey is available on the RACP website.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

JPCHThe Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health publishes original research articles of scientific excellence in paediatrics and child health. The latest edition is now live and available to view online.

Articles in this edition include:

  • Neonate with suprasternal bulging during crying: A case report and review of literature
  • Child traumatic physical abuse rates and comparisons during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Late effects of prematurity: Psychiatric outcomes of 17-year-olds born very preterm
  • Impact of early treatment with valaciclovir on vertical cytomegalovirus transmission
  • Blue and red Doppler jet on the echocardiogram.

Read the journal

TRAs eDM image

Stand out from the crowd

The RACP Trainee Research Awards are open to all RACP trainees and first year Fellows. This is a terrific opportunity to have your research recognised and it makes a great addition to your CV.

Trainees who take out top honours at their regional event will be invited to present alongside recognised researchers at a College event in 2024. They will also be invited to have their abstracts published in the Congress supplement of the Internal Medicine Journal or Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Applications close on 31 August 2023.

Find out more

trainee digital health survey

How can we support your digital health learning needs?

Trainees, to assist us in developing digital health training and educational resources and opportunities that suit your needs, we are asking for your input. You are invited to complete a short survey to help us understand your current level of digital health experience and skills.

Findings from the survey will guide us in developing appropriate digital health resources and professional development opportunities, and identify areas where you may need further training, education and support.

Take the survey

Paediatric clinical practice guidelines evaluation

You are invited to participate in a survey study investigating your views and experiences of paediatric clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in addition to the impact of the CPGs on your daily practice. The study is being conducted by researchers at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, and will take 10 to 15 mins to complete.

Read more and participate in the survey

Randomised trials in child and adolescent health in developing countries - 20th edition July 2022 to June 2023

This booklet summarises the evidence on child and adolescent health derived from randomised or controlled trials in developing countries over the previous year. Review the booklet to stay up-to-date on information relevant to paediatricians and other health workers, such as insights on reviewing treatment policies, clinical practice, and public health strategies.

See the latest booklet

Pomegranate Health podcast – Ep97: The governance of AI

ep97 Ep97: The governance of AI

This is the third part of a series on artificial intelligence in medicine. Previously we explained how to train and test machine learning models that assist in decision-making, and then how to iron out ergonomic friction points in the clinical workflow. We’ve mentioned how deep learning neural networks are more capable than classical models at dealing with big noisy data sets, but also that the reasoning they use to solve questions asked of them might be inexplainable users.

This creates a certain unease among clinicians and regulators like Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. According to some, we just need to test outcomes from use of AI-assisted decision-making with same rigour we do for pharmaceutical interventions, not all of which we fully understand. But despite updates to the SPIRIT and CONSORT for reporting of randomised controlled trials, there hasn’t yet been a lot of high-quality clinical research into use of AI-based medical devices.


  • Adjunct Associate Professor Paul Cooper PhD (Deakin University)
  • Associate Professor Sandeep Reddy MBBS PhD IPFPH ECFMG CHIA FAcadTM FAIDH FCHSM SFHEA (Deakin University)
  • Professor Brent Richards MBBS FRACP JJFICM (Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service; Director, IntelliHQ)

IMJ On-Air podcast - A tiger in the mallee: Victoria's JEV cluster

imj on airA tiger in the mallee: Victoria’s JEV cluster

On 28 January 2022, a 75-year-old man was admitted to the regional Albury Wodonga Health Service with a high fever and Parkinsonian symptoms. The patient spent over a week in intensive care, but brain scans did not reveal an obvious aetiology and assays for a range of pathogens came up negative.

When serology eventually revealed the presence of antibodies against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) this became only the second ever locally-acquired case on Australia’s mainland. Even more startling was the fact that the previous one had been way back in 1998 in Cape York, far north Queensland. 

He was the first of 43 symptomatic human cases, and an outbreak that resulted in six deaths. The JEV would be detected in all mainland states and retrospectively linked to another fatality in March 2021 from the Tiwi islands of the Northern Territory. In this podcast we hear about the confluence of factors that brought a classically tropical disease to the southern states. The story is told from the perspective of the treating clinicians, microbiology specialist and public health physician who started putting the puzzle together from four sentinel cases.


  • Adjunct Associate Professor Ian Woolley FRACP (Monash Infectious Diseases; Monash University) 
  • Dr Justin Jackson FRACP (Albury Wodonga Health)
  • Dr Sam Thorburn (Austin Health)
  • Dr Paul Kinsella (Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity)
  • Associate Professor Deborah Friedman FRACP (Victorian Department of Health; Deakin University)
  • Samuel Thorburn, Deborah Friedman, John Burston, Paul M Kinsella, Genevieve E Martin, Deborah Williamson, Justin Jackson. Sentinel cluster of locally acquired Japanese encephalitis in southern Australia. Internal Medicine Journal. 2023;53(5):835-840

Member access to Internal Medicine Journal, Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health and Occupational Medicine Journal.


Have you completed your ‘my work profile’?

By completing your ‘my work profile’ you will provide us with valuable insights which we can use to make evidence-based and informed advocacy decisions for improving workforce planning. All you need to do is log in to My RACP, click ‘update my work profile’ and answer a few questions about your work activities.

Complete ‘my work profile’

ROC tips and tricks


Did you know that you can tag your ROC posts so other members can easily find them? Tagging increases the visibility of your posts and makes your content searchable. Adding a topic tag enables you, and your colleagues, to find information on a specific topic by simply searching for the tag that’s been used. It is a helpful way to find information if you don't know where to start.

Completing your member profile is another good way to increase your visibility and engage with other members. It helps build your network by allowing other members to learn more about you, your work, and your interests. This can lead to new opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Visit ROC tips to find out more.

Log into the ROC

Great savings with your Member Advantage

MA option 2 miniYour benefits platform has great savings this July. Save on groceries, shopping, whitegoods, health insurance, travel and more!

Available online, 24/7. That's your Member Advantage. *Terms & Conditions apply.

Australian member access    Aotearoa New Zealand member access

Career opportunities  

New South Wales

Private practice: General Paediatrician, Port Macquarie | Closing: Tuesday, 1 August 2023 

View all career opportunities on the RACP website.

Pot-pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Update your details with the College

Did you know that you can update your address details online? Simply log into MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.

Close overlay