Engaging event examines vulnerable populations

Date published:
01 Nov 2018

Vulnerable populations were the centre of engaging presentations fronted by impressive local and international guest speakers at the 2018 Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting (NTASM) in Darwin on Friday, 26 and Saturday, 27 October. NTASMgroup2019

Pictured (L-R): L-R Dr Simon Quilty, Dr Ameeta Patel, Dr Rob Tait, Dr Richard Budd, Dr Jane Davies, Dr Yousuf Subair, Dr Geordan Shannon, Professor Richard Doherty

Hosted by Dr Rob Tait, Chair of the RACP NT Committee, the event presented perspectives on healthcare from near and far, before returning home to focus on current issues in the Territory.

Professor Richard Doherty, RACP Dean, delivered an inspiring opening address, hosted a trainees breakfast and judged the Trainees Research Awards for Excellence and the Gerry Murphy Prize.  

In her address, keynote speaker Dr Geordan Shannon, Young Australian of the Year in the UK, took us on a journey around the world and back to explore radical, human and effective medicine that transforms health.

With Dr James Cush, we travelled to Laos where he spoke of his privileged opportunity to be part of the incredible work setting up a Childrens Hospital.

There was one more stop to make before returning home to the NT.  As an expatriate medical director in Qatar, Dr Ameeta Patel took us into a unique multicultural, rapidly developing society and health system.

Session two brought delegates closer to home with a focus on sizeable issues relating to homelessness, alcohol, child protection and the syphilis epidemic.

Professor Melissa Haswell gave an outstanding presentation about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the NT and the associated health risks for local communities.

Delegates were privileged to hear from Tony (Duwun) Lee, a Traditional Owner of Larrakia, Healer and Artist. Tony co-presented with clinical psychologist Tanja Hirvonen on trauma informed ways of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Shannon returned to co-present with Dr Simon Quilty on the Wellness Support Pathway in Katherine – a simple innovation from a community that owns the problem.

Following the ASM, Fellows, trainees and guest speakers enjoyed dinner and a sunset cruise around the beautiful Darwin Harbour aboard the Charles Darwin.

Find out more about adjunct events

Advocacy workshop – Friday, 26 October

Patrick Tobin and Dr Rob TateThis informative and interactive workshop was designed to enhance skills to advocate  effectively. Under the guidance of RACP Director of Policy & Advocacy Patrick Tobin, participants explored what good advocacy is and how to:

  • influence and connect with key decision makers
  • effectively frame a message
  • successfully engage with government and other organisations.

There was further opportunity to learn the fundamentals of developing a highly effective advocacy strategy, including drafting one.

Pictured: Patrick Tobin and Dr Rob Tait

Arts in Medicine Workshop – Friday, 26 October

Dr Ameeta Patel

This fascinating and experiential workshop was led by Dr Geordan Shannon and Dr Ameeta Patel (pictured). 

Participants were introduced to examples of arts in medicine from overseas and around Australia before having the opportunity to create their own personal artwork.

It was a powerful and moving session with participants sharing personal stories and experiences.

Breakfast Networking Session – Saturday, 27 October

NT trainees enjoyed a relaxing breakfast networking session at the Darwin Waterfront.

Professor Doherty chatted at length with the group, which included members of the NT Trainees’ Committee.  This session was included free as part of the NT-ASM registration and was strictly for trainees only.  It provided a unique opportunity for trainees to speak directly with special guest RACP Dean, Professor Richard Doherty (pictured below with trainees).

Trainee breakfast

Trainee Research Award winners announced – Saturday, 27 October

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held to select State, Territory and New Zealand representatives to present their research at RACP Congress 2019.


This year, trainees were assessed by a judging panel (pictured) comprising of Professor Richard Doherty and Drs Clif van der Oest, Jane Davies, Keith Edwards and Richard Budd. Two trainees, one presenting in the field of adult medicine and one presenting in the field of paediatric medicine, will represent the NT.

Congratulations to our trainees selected to represent the Northern Territory in the Trainee Research Awards for Excellence:

Dr Martin Hansen and Professor Richard Doherty
  • Dr Martin Hansen in the field of paediatric medicine for his presentation – ‘Maternal anaemia in pregnancy and childhood anaemia in remote Aboriginal communities’.
  • Dr Johanna Warren in the field of adult medicine for her presentation – ‘Neurosyphilis and dementia in the Northern Territory’.
Pictured: Dr Martin Hansen being presented with certificate from Professor Richard Doherty.

Gerry Murphy Prize winner announced – Saturday, 27 October

Dr Johanna Warren and Dr Priya JanagarajNT trainees currently enrolled in the AFPHM training program are eligible to compete for the Gerry Murphy Prize.  Regional finalists are selected to represent their region at the national competition, held at the RACP Congress.

Congratulations to NT Regional Winner Dr Priya Janagaraj (pictured above) for her presentation – ‘Fireworks related injury in the Northern Territory 2018’.

Pictured: Dr Johanna Warren (winner NT Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in the category of adult medicine, and Dr Priya Janagaraj (winner of the NT Gerry Murphy Prize).

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