AFOEM eBulletin – 20 September 2019

Dr Kevin Sleigh Memorial Lecture

The inaugural Kevin Sleigh Memorial Lecture was held on 19 August 2019. The lecture was conceived by the Victorian Regional Committee to recognise Kevin’s contributions to AFOEM Victoria when we learnt how gravely ill Kevin had become in August 2018. Kevin was an enthusiastic and inspiring educator who had mentored many trainees in Victoria to achieve their Fellowship. He was a Fellow of the Faculty who went above and beyond expectations in his contributions to the Faculty. This approach was also reflected in his contributions to the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM) and Worksafe Victoria in the roles he served in these organisations.

The lecture will be held each year in August in his honour to acknowledge the contributions to these organisations which he worked tirelessly for, advocated for and supported. It is a joint collaborative lecture between AFOEM, ANZSOM and Worksafe Victoria. When ANZSOM and Worksafe Victoria were approached about whether they would like to be involved in the lecture, the positive response was both quick and decisive. Joint collaborations between three organisations can sometimes be a bit tricky to coordinate but this was not the situation in this case. This was really a reflection of how well-regarded Kevin was by all three organisations. 

This year's lecture was titled 'Through the looking glass – return to work after psychological injury' presented by Dr Dielle Felman, Dr Andrea James and Mr Mark Belanti. The three organisations at the lecture were represented and attendees included AFOEM President, Dr Beata Byok, ANZSOM President, Ms Melinda Miller and Worksafe Victoria Manager of Clinical Services, Mr Mark Phillips. Many other members of ANZSOM and Worksafe Victoria were also present, as well as a large number of AFOEM Fellows. In addition, we were honoured to have Kevin’s wife, Mrs Val Sleigh and all of Kevin’s family present at the inaugural lecture. 

The presentation was an entertaining, informative and thought-provoking look at the genesis of psychological injury claims and looking at how to more successfully change the approach to return to work in mental health injuries. The feedback and response to the presentation has been overwhelmingly positive. The evening ended with Val presenting the main speaker Dr Dielle Felman with the Kevin Sleigh Medal which was sponsored by Worksafe Victoria. Each year the main speaker will be awarded the Kevin Sleigh Medal. All speakers were also presented with a memorial certificate outlining the contributions Kevin made to the three organisations by Val. The certificate was sponsored by ANZSOM and will be presented to all speakers each year.

The Victorian Regional Committee are pleased to have been able to establish the Kevin Sleigh Memorial Lecture honouring his contributions to AFOEM, ANZSOM and Worksafe Victoria.

Dr James Chan 
Chair of the AFOEM VIC Regional Committee

A message from your President

Since my last message I have good news to share with you regarding several appointments:  

  • Dr Evelyn Lee, Chair of the AFOEM WA Regional Committee
  • Dr Sid O’Toole, Chair of the AFOEM QLD Regional Committee
  • Dr Amy Bright, Trainee representative on AFOEM Council.

I would like to thank Dr Michael Lucas, WA and Dr Graeme Edwards, QLD, who are stepping down as Chair of their respective AFOEM regional committees.  

Dr Amanda Sillcock is the AFOEM Lead Fellow and Chair of the Congress 2020 AFOEM stream planning committee; of which the members are Dr David Goddard, Dr Andrea James, Dr Louise Van Geyzel and Dr Mary Wyatt. The Committee had their first meeting on Friday, 13 September, that I also attended. The group hit the ground running brainstorming exciting ideas for the program.   

I want to thank all of the above Faculty members for volunteering to take on these roles that are demanding of their time, but I hope also rewarding.

Accelerated Silicosis remains high on the Faculty’s and RACP’s Policy and Advocacy agenda. Updates in this space include:

The National Dust Disease Taskforce (NDDT) has been established.  The first meeting of the group occurred on 1 August 2019. The Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, is the chair and the independent expert members come from key stakeholders. They include Dr Graeme Edwards and respiratory physician Dr Ryan Hoy. The NDDT will inform a national approach to ensure systems are in place to protect Australians who are at risk from occupational dust disease. 

The AFOEM SA regional committee in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM) held a ‘Silicosis and Artificial Stone Kitchen Benchtop’ information evening that included an update on the SA health surveillance program and an international update from Dr Graeme Edwards. The evening was multidisciplinary in its presentations and attendance by occupational physicians, respiratory physicians, radiologists and regulators. Thank you to Dr Peter Jezukaitis for coordinating this successful meeting.

WorkSafe Victoria held a one-day forum in Melbourne on ‘Silicosis: A Medical Approach’, on Saturday, 31 August that I attended. The presentations and panel discussions, facilitated by Dr Norman Swan, included: why has this condition emerged and in such an aggressive form, what is the national approach to the problem, screening and diagnosis developments, management advice and a research workshop to identify high priority research gaps, informing state and national silicosis-related registries and the translation of research findings into actions.

A reminder that the first ANZSOM/AFOEM Conference is just over a month away, from October 27 to 30 in beautiful Adelaide, ranked as one of the world’s most friendly cities.     

A reminder to ask you to acknowledge the ‘unsung heroes’ and ‘quiet achievers’ of our Faculty, by nominating a colleague for one of the AFOEM President’s Awards, by the closing date of Monday, 14 October 2019. The categories are:

  • policy and advocacy
  • education and training
  • trainee.

To nominate visit the RACP website.  

Until the next eBulletin, wishing you all well,

Dr Beata M Byok
President, AFOEM

Meet the College Board

You are invited to join members of your RACP Board at an informal meeting on Thursday, 26 September from 5.30pm to 7.15pm at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. You will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

Numbers are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment. Please RSVP and advise any dietary or accessibility requirements.

Register now

Share your talents at RACP Congress 2020

We’re looking for talented members to lead extra-curricular experiences for delegates at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Do you have a special interest outside of medicine you would like to share? Volunteer to lead a session at the RACP Congress Fringe Experience.

Express your interest

AFOEM Faculty prizes

Nominate a Fellow or Advanced Trainee of AFOEM for an AFOEM President’s Award to recognise their outstanding contributions to the Faculty in the following areas:

  • education, training and assessment
  • policy and advocacy
  • trainee commitment.

Nominations are accepted until Monday, 14 October 2019.

The AFOEM Essay Prize is also open. Medical students or interns in their first year after graduation are eligible. This prize is awarded for the best essay written, additional to curriculum requirements, or the best research project or assignment on any topic in the fields of occupational or environmental health. The recipient of this prize will receive $1,000.

Applications are due Thursday, 31 October 2019.

Details about these prizes and others are available on the RACP Foundation website.

Eric Susman Prize

The Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine or paediatrics). 

Submit your nominations before Monday, 30 September 2019.

For further details on these and other prizes, please visit the Foundation webpage.

RACP Indigenous health scholarships

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine is proud to offer the 2020 John McLeod Indigenous Health Scholarship as part of the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.

The Program is an opportunity for those who identify as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and New Zealand. Each scholarship is valued up to $40,000 over three to four years, depending on training pathway taken.

Several scholarships are available for 2020 to support Basic, Advanced or Chapter training:

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health.

Applications are open from Tuesday, 1 October to Saturday, 30 November 2019.

Further details on these scholarships are be available on the RACP Foundation website.

AFOEM Regional Committee casual vacancies

There are various casual vacancies on AFOEM Regional Committees to be filled by way of expressions of interest.

New South Wales

  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM NSW Regional Committee

Queensland/Northern Territory

  • one position open for the Trainee Representative of AFOEM QLD/NT Regional Committee
  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM QLD/NT Regional Committee.

South Australia

  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM SA Regional Committee.

Western Australia

  • one position open for Trainee Representative of AFOEM WA Regional Committee.

Before nominating for the role, candidates must familiarise themselves with the following documents:

To nominate, submit a completed Expression of Interest Form and your resume by email to

RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019

Physicians and trainees are invited to come together for an update on the latest research in Tasmania. The RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019  will be on Friday, 8 November at the Launceston General Hospital. Held under the theme ‘Physician vulnerability: are you at risk?’ the conference explores online communications and medico-legal risk. With constant changes in these areas, it’s challenging for physicians to remain informed, confident and protected in their practice. 

Register today

Input to RACP's ongoing work and advocacy on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Thank you to the Fellows who provided input into the College’s submission on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into NDIS Planning. The submission is being finalised and will be available on the RACP website soon. If you would like a copy of the submission sent to you directly, please email to request a copy.

Concurrently to this, the Australian Government has also has promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to support positive participant experiences with the NDIS.The Guarantee will set new standards for the time it takes for key steps in the NDIS process. This means there will be shorter, agreed timeframes for people to receive a decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS, for them to get an NDIS plan, and to have their plan reviewed. A particular focus will be on children and those participants needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology. To help facilitate this, a review of the NDIS Act 2013 has been announced, which will focus on removing legislative impediments and red tape to improve NDIS processes for participants and providers. It is not expected that this review will result in a fundamental reshaping of the NDIS. However, it is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families. Read the discussion paper.

The RACP Policy & Advocacy Unit are currently developing a consultation framework for this review and will send it out to relevant committees soon. If you would like to provide feedback directly to this consultation, please contact Rebecca Randall via

Spotlight on the Integrated Care Subgroup

Integrated care is a much-used term in healthcare. The College designated integrated care as a strategic Fellow-led priority, under the umbrella of the Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG). The work described here is a positive example of successful physician teamwork supported by the College’s Policy & Advocacy team. The HRRG comprises many experienced members who consider a wide range of health reform issues. To lead this stream of work it formed an agile Integrated Care Subgroup.

The Subgroup is co-led by Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius, and members include Mrs Debra Letica, Dr Mohamed Haroon Kasim, Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Carol McAllum, Professor Christopher Poulos, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Tai Tak Wan and Dr Gerard Adrianus. Two team positions are allocated to paediatrics, and importantly, a team member is a consumer representative.

Since commencing at the end of 2018, the national group of Fellows has met consistently, and within a few months has produced a ‘model of chronic care management’. The model has been so successfully received that the College is receiving requests from health service delivery sites asking to be a ‘proof of concept site’. If you’d like to see a copy of Complex care, consultant physicians and better patient outcomes: streamlined care in the community please email This has been the subject of high-level consultation with a comprehensive band of stakeholders.

The Subgroup is:

  • calling for health system infrastructure to better support consultant physicians (both private practitioner and hospital employed) to work in the community and in ambulatory care settings
  • advocating more flexible hospital services and the use of interoperable information systems to create a continuum of care for people with chronic conditions.

New Pomegranate podcast: Getting off the opioids

Dramatic headlines about the opioid crisis are all-too familiar by now. Australia and New Zealand have followed the lead of the US, and seen a fourfold increase in opioid use over the last 30 years. Most of this prescribing has been for chronic non-cancer pain, but systematic reviews will tell you there are no decent trials that would warrant use for this indication.

In this podcast we’ll discuss some of the latest studies that have followed pain patients long-term and provided evidence against the efficacy of chronic opioid use. Addiction medicine specialist Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds (Clinical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, Tasmania) talks about how to identify patients that have developed dependence on or addiction to opioids and how to wean them off this medication. And pain medicine specialist Dr Chris Hayes (Director of the Hunter Integrated Pain Service) describes an alternative approach to therapy that involves breaking maladaptive pain associations in the nervous system.

Listen now

Refugee and immigrant health

Each year, thousands of people who have experienced persecution or other serious human rights abuses settle in Australia. The Refugee and Immigrant Health Curated Collection is a peer-reviewed resource to help you gain access to the key organisations and websites, webcasts, courses, tools and journals. View the resource today, or check out the whole range of RACP Curated Collections. Resources are complimentary for members and count towards continuing professional development requirements.

Access resources today

Medical Panels seeking Expressions of Interest

Medical Panels is seeking Expressions of Interest from experienced medical practitioners interested in becoming a Panel Member. 

Medical Panel members (under statutory arrangements) provide medical opinions in response to medical questions in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.   

  • Consultations and/or examinations are based in Melbourne. 
  • Flexible and family-friendly scheduling is offered.
  • Remuneration and ongoing development are provided.  

For further information about attending an information session, the role or to receive a copy of the applicant information pack please email or contact Jenny Dobell on +61 3 8256 1577. 

WorkCover Queensland Medical Advisory Panel review

As part of their ongoing commitment to improve their services, WorkCover Queensland are undertaking a review of their Medical Advisory Panel (MAP). Part of the review includes aligning the expectations for the MAP with their corporate strategies and values. The MAP is being expanded to include a broader range of services which has resulted in a name change from the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP) to the Medical and Allied Health Panel (MAHP).  

The MAHP is a team of practitioners who work alongside WorkCover Queensland to provide valuable assistance with their rehabilitation and return to work goals through advice.

As part of the panel review WorkSafe Queensland will have an open tender for a new panel. 

Further information is available on the WorkSafe Queensland website.  

What’s happening in Basic Training curricula renewal

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the first to adopt the new Basic Training program.

We will be working with the Gold Coast University Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital Auckland, The Townsville Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide to start rolling out the new Basic Training programs from 2020.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest to become an early adopter of the new program.

We are also seeking expressions of interest for additional training settings to join those listed above as early adopters of the new Basic Training programs from 2021. 

How does a 10 per cent discount on your insurance sound?

Vero offers great quality home and contents insurance in Australia, featuring:

  • new for old replacement for all contents
  • lock replacement
  • cover against fraudulent use of credit cards stolen from your property up to $1,500 (where you have contents cover)
  • flood cover as standard^
  • enjoy an exclusive 10 per cent discount on home insurance through your benefits, which is automatically applied to the price you are quoted
  • plus an additional five per cent discount if you buy combined home and contents cover. 

Get a quote and visit your RACP Member Advantage website for more information.

^Flood cover does not include loss or damage caused by highwater, actions of the sea, tidal waves or water entering your home due to structural defects, alterations, additions, renovations or repairs.

This may contain general advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions and exclusions apply. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available for this product, and can be requested when you call for a quote, or can be downloaded from the Vero website. You should consider the PDS before deciding whether to buy any of these products. The insurer is AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance.
Information correct as at 6 August 2019.

Contribute to improving global standards of stroke prevention

Reviewers are needed to help with a new guideline for stroke prevention for the International Union of Angiology (IUA). The Faculty Advocating for Collaborative and Thoughtful Carotid Artery Treatments (FACTCATS) are a voluntary group of international experts from many clinical specialist and research groups. They promote scientific evidence to inform policy, practice and research regarding prevention of stroke associated with carotid artery disease.

The FACTCATS are seeking enthusiastic multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty health professionals and consumer representatives to help with a new guideline on stroke prevention. All members, trainees and Fellows, are welcome to apply. The guideline is being produced in association with the IUA and aims to help update the field and overcome procedural biases in existing guidelines.

The role will include:

  • systematic reviews of guidelines and studies
  • advising how to best define and modify arterial disease risk factors for primary and secondary prevention.

The project is being conducted in stages, with each stage expected to last between six to 12 months. The time commitment required will vary and flexibility for reviewers can be accommodated. All correspondence will be sent via email.

How to apply

To apply email Associate Professor Anne Abbott.

For more information visit

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses. 

Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops

General information webpage provides an overview of our three SPDP workshops.
Online workshops webpage provides dates and information on how to register for the online SPDP workshops.
Face to face workshops provides a list of dates and registering for the face to face workshops.

Go to the events list at any time to see what other events are coming up.

Career opportunities

View all positions vacant

AFOEM contact details

Member enquiries
(AUS) 1300 69 7227
(NZ) 0508 69 7227

AFOEM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Lucie Perrissel-Taggart, AFOEM Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6351

AFOEM Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) enquiries:

AFOEM Education and Training enquiries:

AFOEM Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit

AFOEM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

AFOEM CPD enquiries:

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