Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIG) provide an opportunity for Fellows and trainees to connect with other health professionals in their area of interest and build on clinical skills and knowledge to improve professional performance

The purpose of each SIG is to:

  • provide advice on matters related to their interest area, including to the relevant Educational Committee on educational policy development
  • develop training and educational resources and practice guidelines
  • support health professionals working in their area of interest
  • support Fellows in private practice, and those working outside of major metropolitan areas
  • advocate for their clinical area of special interest and develop policy position statements related to their special interest area
  • promote awareness of current issues relating to their special interest area

Become a SIG member

Membership to a SIG is free, and available to all Fellows and trainees at the College. Most SIGs also allow other allied health professions or related societies to join as non-voting members. Members can belong to multiple SIGs.

Many of the SIGs meet for discussions by teleconference four times per year and hold the Annual Members and Annual Scientific Meetings.

Active SIGs

Rehabilitation Medicine

Each SIG is part of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM).

Mind SIG

The Mind SIG has a special interest in the area of ‘Mind’ Medicine, including Psychological therapies, Psycho-Neuro Immunology, and Mind-Body Medicine.

The Mind SIG aims to:

  • demonstrate the importance of the mind in maintaining health and adapting to illness or injury, and
  • show the effectiveness of ‘Mind’ Medicine disciplines in Rehabilitation Medicine


Dr Jane Malone, Chair
Dr Barbara Hannon, Honorary Secretary

Mind SIG webinars and presentations

Additional resources

Suggested reading

  • ’Recovering from Multiple Sclerosis - Real Life Stories of Hope and Inspiration, George Jelenik and Karen Law - Allen & Unwin 2013
  • Being Mortal - Medicine and What Matters in the End’ Atul Gawande - Profile Books 2014
  • Think of an Elephant, Paul Bailey
  • Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, Joan Borysenko
  • The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
  • The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge 
  • The Universal Heart, Stephanie Dowrick 
  • Change Your Thinking, Sarah Edelman 
  • Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankel 
  • ID, Susan Greenfield 
  • How Doctors Think, Jerome Groopman
  • The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris 
  • The Essence of Health, Craig Hassad 
  • An Authentic Life, Caroline Jones
  • Quest for Life, Petrea King
  • Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, Ellen Langer
  • Broken Open, Elizabeth Lesser
  • Beyond Revenge, Michael E. McCullough
  • Happiness, Matthew Ricard 
  • Understanding the Mind: The Key to Peace and Happiness, Sogyal Rinpoche
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Depression: The Way Out Of Your Prison, Dorothy Rowe 
  • The Mind and The Brain, Jeffrey Schwartz
  • Various on Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
  • The Mindful Brain, Daniel Siegel
  • Attending, medicine, mindfulness and humanity by Ronald Epstein
  • What patients say, what doctors hear by Danielle Ofri

Paediatric Rehabilitation SIG

The Paediatric Rehabilitation SIG has a special interest in the clinical area of paediatric rehabilitation medicine.

We focus on providing high quality rehabilitation care to infants, children and adolescents by increasing functionality, lessening symptoms and improving quality of life.


Dr Heather Burnett – Chair
Dr Lisa Copeland – Honorary secretary
Dr Olivia Lee
Dr Eliza Maloney
Dr Simon Paget
Dr Gaj Panagoda
Dr Emma Richardson


BoNT-A - Tricky Decisions in the management of the spastic dystonic shoulder | Associate Professor Barry Rawicki

Rehabilitation and Older People SIG

The ROP SIG has a special interest in the clinical area of Rehabilitation Medicine for older people.

Rehabilitation Medicine and older people is a clinical area of practice with a focus on providing high quality rehabilitation care to elderly patients to promote independence and improve quality of life.


Professor Ian Cameron, Chair
Dr Tai-Tak Wa, Honorary Secretary

Suggested re​ading

  • Illness and Injury in Older People Clinical Syllabus 2011
  • Learning Resources 2011

Rural, Remote and Isolated SIG

The Rural, Remote and Isolated (RRI) SIG has a special interest in the practice of Rehabilitation Medicine in rural and remote areas.


Dr Louis Baggio, Chair
Dr Rachel McQueen, Honorary Secretary

Accessible services

Members who are practicing or who are interested in practicing in rural and remote areas can take advantage of the following AFRM resources and opportunities:

  • Mentor Support for Rehabilitation Physicians (and Overseas Trained Specialists) who are practicing in a regional, rural or remote area for the first time.
  • Locum Opportunities for members who are interested in providing locum services, or seeking a locum in a rural or remove area.

Additional resources

Spinal Cord Damage SIG

The Spinal Cord Damage (SCD) SIG has a special interest in the practice of Rehabilitation Medicine for Spinal Cord Damage.

Spinal Cord Damage involves damage to the spinal cord through disease or trauma. Messages to and from the brain are blocked or disrupted, effecting how the body functions. Rehabilitation for SCD involves the treatment of a patient to optimise recovery and functionality, and help an individual adapt to living with a Spinal Cord Damage.

In addition to their other SIG activities, the SCD SIG support Paediatricians in the treatment of children with Spinal Cord Injuries.


Dr Peter New, Chair
Dr Emma-Leigh Synnott, Honorary Secretary

Additional resources


Cancer Rehabilitation SIG

The Cancer Rehabilitation (CR) SIG has a special interest in the practice of Rehabilitation Medicine for Cancer Rehabilitation.

CR SIG is newly established and is currently scoping their activities. The Group aims to focus on service issues, as well as develop training for our registrars in this professional area of practice.

The CR SIG envisions running a Cancer Rehabilitation symposium session during the RMSANZ meeting hosted in Auckland, New Zealand in November 2018. Possible topics include: experiences in cancer rehabilitation, transfer from inpatient to community, experiences in setting up services and in-reach services.


Vacant, Chair
Dr Jamie Young, Honorary Secretary

Visit the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand website for more information about Rehabilitation SIGs.

Contact the AFRM Executive Officer at AFRM@racp.edu.au to obtain an EOI form to join a Rehabilitation SIG.

Community Child Health

Community and Child Health SIGs are now called Reference Groups. Each Reference Group is a part of the Chapter of Community Child Health (CCCH).

Child Development & Behaviour Reference Group

The Child Development and Behaviour (CDB) Reference Group is part of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division at the RACP. The Group is interested in assisting and supporting children with behavioural or developmental problems.

Note: The Child Development and Behaviour SIG Committee was disbanded in August 2019 by the Chapter of Community Child Health Committee (CCCHC). For enquiries regarding the Committee, email Paed@racp.edu.au.

Members with an interest in Child Development and Behaviour can contact the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia (NBPSA). The NBPSA is a not-for-profit organisation. Members are doctors with a specialist clinical or academic interest in neurodevelopmental paediatrics.

For more information about the NBPSA, visit nbpsa.org

Child Protection Reference Group

The Child Protection (CP) Reference Group is part of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division at the RACP. The Group is interested in the field of child protection, including forensic evaluation, clinical practice, policy and service development, and working with vulnerable and disadvantaged children. 

Get involved

You must be a member of the Chapter of Community Child Health to join. View the membership page for further information on getting involved with the CP Reference Group.

Additional resources

Australian and New Zealand agencies responsible for Child Protection Services:

Australian and New Zealand Child Protection Legislation:

Child Population Health Reference Group

The Child Population Health (CPH) Reference Group is part of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division at the RACP. The Group is interested in how the environment affects child health, with a focus on prevention, health protection and health promotion. 

Visit Chapter of Community Child Health to learn more about membership and other Chapter activities.

To contact any one of the Community Child Health Reference Groups, email paed@racp.edu.au
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