AFPHM eBulletin – 25 June 2021

A message from your President

We continue to celebrate achievements from our outstanding Fellowship. I would like to congratulate AFPHM Fellows who received awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Public service medal 

  • Professor Nicola Spurrier
  • Dr Jeremy McAnulty
  • Dr Michelle Cretikos

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Clinical Professor Flavia Cicuttini
  • Professor David Durrheim
  • Emeritus Professor Ian Riley

Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Professor Adrian Bauman
  • Emeritus Professor Colin Binns

I would like to welcome our new Fellows of the Faculty in 2021 – and of course encourage them to engage with the Faculty as much as they are able through their regional committees and College committees, and support training through supervision. Our New Fellows to date for 2021 are: Dr Eirene Behm, Dr Eleanor Black, Dr Priya Darshene Janagaraj, Dr Anthea Katelaris, Dr Clare Looker, Dr Nishila Moodley, Dr Subhadra Rajanaidu, Dr Elaine Tennant, Dr Yuanee Wickramasinghe, Dr Chatu Yapa and Dr Anthony Zheng.

In the past month I have met with the Presidents of the other Faculties of the College and the CEO, to discuss shared concerns and plans that build on our Future of the Faculty report. I also met with the President of the Aotearoa New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine to discuss shared initiatives with the College, particularly the development of an Aotearoa New Zealand-focused document along the lines of our ‘Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting, and Improving Health for the Whole Population’.

Public health medicine is lagging in having supervisors complete the three Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) training modules. We are hoping to run several public health medicine-specific training sessions before the end of the year, on different days of the week and at different times. Fellows can attend any of the College training sessions – the material is the same, but in the public health medicine-specific sessions, the aim will be to use the existing material and have discussions that are less clinically focused. It would be great to see us charge to the front of completions, rather than lagging at the back!

As you know, the College is currently undertaking a review of its constitution and governance. I would encourage you all to complete the survey to have your say on these important matters.

Thank you again to all trainees and Fellows for your contributions to the ongoing public health challenges particularly as a result of COVID-19.

All the best

Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas
AFPHM President 

RACP Constitution Review

As part of the RACP Constitution Review project, the College is undertaking a review of its constitution and governance.

Extensive consultation with the membership is crucial to this process so please complete this survey, which gives you the opportunity to provide feedback on some key questions.

It should take no more than five minutes to complete, and your answers will help guide the direction the College takes with this work.

The survey will remain open until 9am Monday, 28 June 2021 so there is still time for you to have your say.

AFPHM Monthly Webinar – June 2021

Dr Kate Charlesworth will be presenting the June webinar on the topic ‘The climate crisis: Prescription for action’.

Dr Kate Charlesworth is a public health physician in Sydney. After working as a hospital doctor in Perth and Sydney, Kate completed much of her Advanced Training in the United Kingdom, including at the National Health Service (NHS) Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) in Cambridge. The SDU is a world-leading unit tasked with reducing the carbon footprint of England’s NHS.

Since returning to Australia, Kate has completed a PhD in low-carbon healthcare, and now works in the NSW public health system as a medical specialist in environmentally sustainable healthcare – the first of such a role in Australia.

This online webinar will be held on Tuesday, 29 June from 12pm to 1pm AEST. As usual, there will be the opportunity for AFPHM trainees to stay online after the webinar to network.

For more information and to register, please visit the event webpage.

AFPHM National Training Days

The AFPHM National Training Days will now be held in July and August. Tune in to the first (of three sessions) to be held on Thursday, 22 July from 5pm to 6.30pm AEST (7pm to 8.30pm NZST) to hear Professor Michael Ackland and Dr Laksmi Govindasamy speak on the very important topic of 'Preparing for the AFPHM Oral Examination'.

Register now 

The 2023-24 PREP program requirements survey is open

Please provide feedback on proposed changes to the 2023-24 PREP program requirements by completing an anonymous 5-10 minute survey.  

The survey closes on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

RACP Training Programs are evaluated biennially by the responsible Training Committee (TC) to ensure they are in line with educational best practice and enable physician professional development. 

Your feedback will be considered by your TC to decide whether:

  • the proposed changes for 2023-24 are beneficial, equitable and achievable
  • a sufficient notice period has been provided before the proposed changes are implemented.

The proposed 2023-24 PREP program requirements will be reviewed by the College Education Committee later this year. 

Approved requirements will be published on the RACP website in early 2022.

Complete the survey

Applications closing soon – RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards are closing soon. Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding under the following award categories:

Please refer to the RACP Foundation website for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel in 2017.

This award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as individuals outside the College. However the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of RACP to be considered.

Details on the application process and selection criteria are available on the website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

John Snow Scholarship

The John Snow Scholarship provides opportunities for medical students to increase their appreciation of public health medicine as a medical specialty and potential career path. Medical students currently enrolled in Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand medical schools are encouraged to apply. 

Representatives from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand will be invited to present at a virtual event hosted by the Faculty in 2022. Please see the website for further details. 

Applications open Thursday, 1 July 2021.

College Medals and Awards

Nominations are now open for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.

We encourage you to nominate for the following medals:

  • 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.
  • The International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • The 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.
  • The 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.
  • The 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.

Successful nominees are presented a medal at RACP Congress and receive full Congress registration, travel and accommodation.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Trainee Research Awards 2021

Applications for the Trainee Research Awards are open from Thursday, 1 July to Tuesday, 31 August. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited present their work alongside recognised researchers at RACP Congress 2022, and will receive complimentary Congress registration, travel and accommodation.

Please see the website for further details.

Apply for the 2022 Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology Program

Do you want to be on the frontline addressing public health threats? Do you want sound skills in field epidemiology and be able to use these to make a difference? If so, the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) is for you.

The MAE Program is Australia’s long standing and globally recognised Field Epidemiology Training Program. This is a two-year research degree that emphasises learning by doing. You will spend the majority of your time in a field placement (typically a government health department or other appropriate health organisation) conducting useful and important projects under the supervision of a field and academic supervisor while supported via a tax-free scholarship of $50,000 per annum for your degree. 

The MAE has been run by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University since 1991. The scholars before you have investigated over 500 outbreaks, including important roles in the COVID-19 pandemic established, evaluated, and strengthened multiple surveillance systems, conducted important projects into communicable and non-communicable disease and then gone on to hold senior positions in health in Australia or work with international organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO). The MAE is committed to supporting First Nations scholars. Fifteen per cent of graduates are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons. 

If you are interested in the MAE, please see the MAE website or contact Applications are open from 1 July to 23 July 2021.

Expressions of Interest for AFPHM Committee roles

Chair the VIC AFPHM Regional Committee

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) seeks an AFPHM member to Chair the VIC Regional Committee.

Details of this position and how to submit an application can be found on the RACP website.

Faculty Training Committee

The Faculty Training Committee (FTC) is looking for a trainee representative from Public Health Medicine.  The Committee oversees Advanced Training in Public Health Medicine.

Details of this position and how to submit an application can be found on the RACP website.

Observers needed for the AFPHM Oral Examination

The AFPHM Oral Examination for trainees takes place at various venues and is delivered via videoconference.

Observers attend calibration sessions prior to the event and on the day of the oral examination observe a sample of examiners and candidates.

Priority will be given to Fellows who are available to be part of a strong cohort of future examiners.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Expression of Interest webpage.
Applications close on 16 July 2021. 

Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) – upcoming sessions

SPDP 1: Educational Leadership and Management

We invite you to a supervisor training workshop, SPDP 1: Educational Leadership and Management – specifically for non-clinical members.

The session will be three hours and will cover the following topics:

  • planning and managing for effective supervision
  • feedback in challenging situations
  • supporting training progression.

Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021
Location: Zoom (virtual)
Time: 6pm to 9pm AEST
Facilitator: Dr David Goddard 
Registration: Register via Zoom before 21 July 2021 (places are limited)

*Please note you will receive an email after registration containing your specific Zoom link to access the workshop.

SPDP 3: Work-based Learning and Assessment

We invite you to a supervisor training workshop, SPDP 3: Work-based Learning and Assessment. This workshop is just for public health medicine supervisors. 

The session will be three hours and will cover the following topics:

  • discuss the purpose and importance of work-based learning and assessment
  • analyse the cycle of planning for learning and assessment
  • identify the challenges and solutions associated with work-based assessment in a complex environment
  • evaluate overall performance and progress to make a summative assessment.

Date: Saturday, 24 July 2021
Time: 10:00am- 1:00pm AEST
Location: Zoom (virtual)
Facilitators: Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas and Dr Tony Gill
Registration: Register online

*Please note you will receive an email after registration containing your specific Zoom link to access the workshop.

If you are currently enrolled in the College’s MyCPD program, you can claim credits for this workshop under Category 2, at a rate of three credits per hour.

For more information about the Supervisor Professional Development Program, visit the College website or contact the Supervisor Learning Support unit at

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep70: Zeroing in on ‘the renal troponin’

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) makes a greater contribution to early mortality than acute myocardial infarction and it's been argued we should consider the concept of ’kidney attack’ to give it the weight that it deserves. However, the presentation of kidney injury isn’t as overt or timely as a heart attack often is. While serum creatinine is a pretty good reporter of chronic impairment in kidney function, it’s very insensitive to acute injury, so for two decades there’s been a concerted search for more proximal biomarkers of AKI.

The three most promising candidates are neutrophil gelatinase‐associated lipocalin (NGAL), tissue inhibitor of metallo-proteinase 2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-7 (IGBFP-7). Commercial assays for these exist that can predict moderate to severe AKI with a lead time of many hours. Many questions remain as to whether these are specific enough to be useful at point of care, whether we have the interventions to respond to the information they provide, and what 'false positives' might indicate.


  • Professor Rinaldo Bellomo AO, FRACP, FCICM, FAHMS (Director of Research Intensive Care, Austin Hospital; University of Melbourne; Monash University).

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting appFellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website. 

New online course: Physician wellbeing in challenging times

Physicians often fail to put on their own oxygen masks when dealing with the challenges and stresses that come with practising during a pandemic. This new online course explores in-depth how to better support your own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of your staff and colleagues through compassionate leadership. The course covers concepts, strategies and tools to help you mitigate the impact, set healthy boundaries, prevent burnout and build support networks during a crisis.

Positions open on the Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee welcomes expressions of interest from members (Fellows or trainees) with relevant skills and expertise in ethics, continuing professional development, education and the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand health systems to fill two vacant positions.

The Committee is responsible for providing the Board with advice on areas that raise ethical considerations in the context of policy and advocacy, education, clinical practice and the health of our communities, research and financial investment.

For further information and to apply, please visit the Expression of Interest webpage.

Applications close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Refugee and asylum seeker advocacy

The RACP was involved in significant advocacy recently calling on the Australian Government to urgently release the Tamil family from Biloela, Queensland from being held in detention. The family has been held in immigration detention since March 2018 – first on the mainland and then on Christmas Island since August 2019. This represents most of the children’s lives. Even though the family has not been legally classified as refugees, the College has a long standing Position Statement (2015) opposing children being held in detention, which was the focus of our advocacy.

The advocacy efforts involved publishing a media release, promoting it on social media, securing an interview for RACP President-elect Dr Jacqueline Small, who was Acting President, on SBS, writing multiple emails to MPs, and publicly releasing an open letter to Minister Karen Andrews signed by nine medical organisations, including the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and others.

The open letter received broad media coverage, including 685 online media mentions, 26 radio mentions, 14 print media mentions and three TV mentions. Notable media mentions include:

This successful advocacy by the College, including from RACP Fellow MPs Dr Katie Allen and Dr Mike Freelander, and other supporters, resulted in an announcement on 15 June 2021 that the Murugappan family would be reunited in Perth and allowed to live in community detention while their legal claims are determined in the Federal Court.

The release of the family into community detention represents a significant win that demonstrates the power of the College’s voice in providing support and medical leadership on important public policy issues. On 16 June 2021, the RACP issued a media release welcoming the Government’s decision.

The RACP continues to advocate for the Australian Government to end the detention of children.

Telehealth online learning resource

Access all the information and tools you need to prepare for and conduct culturally competent and patient-centred telehealth consultations in this new telehealth online course. We understand you’re busy, so we’ve made sure RACP Online Learning Resources are accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning. Our courses are designed to enable you to dip in and out, or just do the parts relevant to you.

Evolve Webinar Series – Addiction medicine: First, do no harm

The July session of the Evolve Webinar Series on ‘Addiction medicine: First, do no harm’ will be held on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 from 6pm to 7pm (AEST)/8pm to 9pm (NZST).

There are concerns in addiction medicine regarding inappropriate forms of treatment, and forms of treatment that are unsupported by evidence. In this virtual forum, Professor Nicholas Lintzeris and Professor John Saunders discuss why the new Evolve recommendations on addiction medicine are relevant and important for all physicians to understand.

Register now

Bionics Challenge 2021

Bionics Challenge 2021 isa unique medtech competition enabling new or early stage bionic innovation projects to win Australia's first-ever National Bionics Innovation Prize – $25,000 cash plus a share in $25,000 expert insights from Morgans Financial. With $300,000+ in prizes and support for winners, the challenge, which closes for entries on Friday, 2 July 2021, aims to create a Human Bionics LivingLab to ignite collaboration across borders. 

Visit the Bionics Queensland website for further information on the four categories of medical bionic innovations.

Useful AFPHM training resources

A reminder to all AFPHM trainees, the following resources are available for your training:

Other resources you may be interested in, include:

Career opportunities 

View all positions vacant.

Events and conferences

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. 

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

AFPHM contact details

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

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Ria Kelleher, Executive Officer

Public Health Learning Advisor:
Jennifer Desrosiers

AFPHM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6286

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit
Phone: +61 2 9256 9681

AFPHM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

Phone: +61 2 9256 9674

AFPHM CPD enquiries:
Professional Practice
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

AFPHM Aotearoa New Zealand enquiries:
RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Office
Phone: +64 4 472 6713

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