AFRM eBulletin – 31 May 2019

College Medal 2019 recipient: Dr Jurriaan de Groot

Dr de Groot was the first New Zealand (NZ) Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) to gain Fellowship through examination. He has served as an outstanding leader, contributor and stalwart of the AFRM, particularly for the NZ Branch of the AFRM and for the RACP, serving on the AFRM Board of Censors, Vocational Training Committee, and Board of Examiners, as well as the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the NZ division of RACP.

Since gaining his Fellowship of the AFRM in 1994, Dr de Groot has worked tirelessly to ensure that the speciality of rehabilitation medicine, the AFRM and the RACP have all been well represented in NZ. He has been pivotal to the development of rehabilitation medicine in NZ and his contributions are exceedingly worthy of recognition.      

Congratulations Jurriaan and very well deserved.

“It is a great honour for me to have been presented with this prestigious award, and this has made me realise how much more significant it is to be recognised by one’s peers than by society as a whole. However, without the support from AFRM/RACP office staff and other New Zealand Fellows, my task of carrying the banner for Rehabilitation Medicine would have been difficult.

There are also no grounds for complacency. Despite all our efforts, our specialty remains vulnerable and threatened within the NZ health environment, and within the last eight years we have lost two District Health Board-based Rehabilitation Medicine services.

To know that younger New Zealand Fellows will carry this banner forward would be the greatest award of all.”

Dr Jurriaan de Groot

A message from your President

The AFRM at RACP Congress 2019

Along with a number of AFRM Fellows and trainees I recently attended the RACP Congress in Auckland. The Congress theme was ‘Impacting health along the life course’ and there were a number of very good presentations and themes of interest to rehabilitation medicine physicians, including the opening keynote presented by Sir Mason Durie – ‘Indigenous knowledge and science: Doctors at the interface’ and major sessions on medically unexplained symptoms, the opioid epidemic and integrated care.

Professor Chris Poulos presented an excellent George Burniston Oration on the topic of ‘Function’ and provided the audience with a thought-provoking and enlightening discussion on why and how the concept of ‘Function’ has changed and developed from George Burniston’s era to the present day, while all the time remaining at the centre of the practice of rehabilitation medicine and of healthcare more broadly.

CeremonyI also attended the College Ceremony on the Sunday preceding Congress which gave me the opportunity to perform one of the most enjoyable and rewarding tasks of any Faculty President – to present the new Fellows with their testamurs. I congratulate them all on this wonderful achievement and wish them all the best for their future careers. 

It was very appropriate that Dr Jurriaan de Groot was awarded a College medal at the same ceremony. Jurriaan has been a leader and stalwart of the New Zealand Branch of the AFRM for many years and is certainly a highly appropriate recipient of the prestigious medal. Congratulations Jurriaan. Please see the article in this edition of the eBulletin for further information. 

Faculty Council and Executive will be considering ways to increase future AFRM participation in RACP Congress and if you have not attended in recent times, I would encourage you to give it another try as Congress has changed substantially over the past seven to eight years. On that note, we are calling for Expressions of Interest for an AFRM member to contribute to the planning of Congress 2020 in Melbourne.

All the best,
Professor Tim Geraghty 
President, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Announcement – Lead Fellow Congress 2020

Following a highly successful Congress 2019, I am pleased to announce that Professor Don Campbell has been appointed to the role of Lead Fellow for Congress 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Campbell is a recent past President of the Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (IMSANZ) and is currently President-elect of the Adult Medicine Division. 

With his interest in and commitment to health system design and fostering medical leadership, Don regards Congress as a unique annual opportunity for College members to meet and be stimulated and challenged to continually strive to achieve better health outcomes for all New Zealanders and Australians.

Congress 2020 will explore how quickly medical science is developing. How can we predict where we will be in five or ten years? How do we keep up when science is changing so rapidly? How do we design a system that puts the patient first? How do we retain the humanity and empathy in what we do; for our patients and for each other? 

These are just some of the themes that will challenge our thinking.

Congress 2020 is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Monday, 4 May to Wednesday, 6 May. To register your interest to attend visit the RACP Congress website.

Associate Professor Mark Lane
RACP President

RACP supports OraTaiao's call for action on climate change and health

The RACP sees climate change as one of the most significant public health challenges of the 21st century. Climate change is also an opportunity for public health: reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have health co-benefits, including changes to diet and physical activity levels. In New Zealand, the government introduced the landmark Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill in May 2019 to transition to a zero-carbon society by 2050. 

The RACP is a strong advocate for evidence-based, equitable climate action policies, and recently supported the Revised Call to Action on Climate Change and Health from OraTaiao, the New Zealand (NZ) Climate and Health Council. OraTaiao is focused on raising awareness and acting on the health challenges and health opportunities climate change presents. 

OraTaiao and the RACP recognise that in Aotearoa NZ, action on climate change will mean a whole-of-society transition founded on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi of partnership, participation and protection. Read more about the work of OraTaiao on their website.

2019 QLD Fellows’ and trainees’ Forum

All Queensland Fellows and trainees are invited to the 2019 Queensland Fellows’ and Trainees’ Forum on Saturday, 29 June at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane. 
This free member event is presented by the RACP Queensland Regional Committee. 
Topics include: 

  • financial wellbeing: tax efficiency and reducing financial stress
  • medico legal
  • clinical ethics
  • medical stewardship.

For more information and to register please visit the event webpage

RACP Congress 2019 

RACP Congress 2019 took place from 6 to 8 May 2019 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. While we are still collating feedback the initial responses have been extremely positive with 86 per cent of attendees saying RACP Congress gets better every year and more than half rating RACP Congress as their go-to educational forum. 

Listen to what 2019 attendees have to say about Congress and why you should mark your calendar to attend RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne from 4 to 6 May next year. 

PCHD President acknowledged for research

Congratulations go to Professor Paul Colditz, who is the recipient of the Queensland Metro North Hospital and Health Service Researcher of the Year award.

Professor Colditz is the President of the Paediatrics and Child Health Division, a past Board Director and current Chair of the RACP Research Committee. He has an extensive research career which has had an enormous impact on improving health outcomes for preterm babies both in Australia and internationally.

Our Research Committee is in capable hands.

Be the RACP Congress 2020 Committee AFRM Representative 


The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) is seeking expressions of interest from AFRM Fellows to join the RACP Congress Program Committee. 


Auckland recently hosted a highly successful RACP Congress 2019. The vast majority of members who attended rated Congress 2019 as one of the best meetings they had attended this year, with some going so far as to describe it as "best Congress ever" – we encourage you to view the highlights from Day one and Day two.

Congress 2020 will be held in Melbourne 4 to 6 May, and we are seeking expressions of interest from AFRM Fellows for the role of AFRM Representative on the Congress Program Committee (CPC).           

The AFRM Representative will lead development of the rehabilitation medicine content and will work with the Congress Lead Fellow, Professor Don Campbell and other CPC members and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions. This is a key opportunity for AFRM members to shape the topics and discussions for next year’s Congress.
The AFRM Representative will:

  • coordinate rehabilitation medicine content, while linking to the purpose, goals and key themes of Congress
  • collaborate with the Congress Lead Fellow and other CPC members to optimise shared interest sessions and broader Congress program through identifying notable speakers, significant topics and innovative delivery formats
  • attend the CPC fortnightly planning meetings via teleconference
  • participate in email correspondence outside of meetings regarding suggestions and opinions of speakers and sessions
  • actively promote Congress to members.

The successful candidate is appointed by the AFRM Executive Committee.

To apply, submit an expression of interest form and your CV to


AFRM Expressions of Interest – Regional Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for several opportunities within AFRM Regional Committees.

The AFRM Regional Committee has been established to:

  • advise the Faculty Council on matters relevant to the Faculty in their region
  • promote rehabilitation medicine in their region
  • respond to new and emerging rehabilitation medicine issues relevant to the Faculty as they arise provided the issue is approved by the Faculty President or Faculty Council prior to work commencing
  • work with other relevant College bodies and staff in relation to training and continual professional development and contributing to policy and advocacy matters
  • the activities of the Committee must be consistent with the College’s Strategic Directions document or any successor document.

For further information please visit:

Apply for research awards and travel grants

Apply now for the following research awards and travel grants offered by AFRM through the RACP Foundation:

Fellows and trainees of AFRM are also eligible for other research awards and grants offered by the RACP Foundation across the different categories: career development fellowships, research establishment fellowships, research entry scholarships, research development scholarships and travel grants.

Full details for these opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation website. Email the RACP Foundation to sign up for updates.

RACP MAIC Research Awards

The RACP Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) Research Awards offers a total of $200,000 for 2020 to promote research capacity and capability to improve knowledge on:

  • medical conditions or illnesses which cause or contribute to road traffic crashes (RTCs) 
  • medical treatments or approaches that improve health outcomes for people involved in RTCs 
  • rehabilitation of people who sustain a temporary or permanent disability through RTCs
  • improving longer term outcomes of people injured in RTC’s including pain management, community re-integration, psychosocial, mental health and vocational outcomes.

Application for these awards are now open under three categories: career development fellowships, research establishment fellowships, research entry scholarships. These awards normally will be tenable in Queensland unless there is a demonstrable benefit to the state of Queensland from the research being undertaken elsewhere in Australia. These Awards are made available by a grant from the Queensland MAIC matched with funds provided by the Fellows of the RACP.

Update and further information on changes to MyCPD

Following the release of the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework, a new 2019 MyCPD Framework came into effect in January 2019.

The 2019 Framework strengthens CPD by engaging Fellows in a range of CPD activities from three categories:

  • educational activities
  • reviewing performance
  • measuring outcomes.

The annual minimum requirement is still 100 credits. Note that there is NO requirement to record credits in all three categories. While Fellows may continue to complete educational activities, they will also need to complete activities that review performance and/or activities that measure outcomes to obtain the minimum of 100 credits. Please also note that there are no mandatory activities.

To give you an overall idea of how you might meet the new requirements there are some worked examples (including an example for academics) of how the new requirements could be met. These examples will not apply to everyone and are designed to give an overall approach to meeting 100 CPD credits.

To help you understand the changes and what they mean for you, further background and frequently asked questions can be found on the RACP website. The background is also covered in two Pomegranate Podcasts – 39 and 40 on rebooting CPD.

Resources have been developed to support you in completing activities in Category 2 – Reviewing Performance and Category 3 – Measuring Outcomes.
Upcoming Continuing Professional Development (MyCPD) Sessions

Two separate MyCPD information sessions in Canberra and Sydney to help you understand what the changes mean for you and why we have made them. There will also be opportunities to ask any questions you may have and speak directly to a member of our CPD team. The Canberra session will be on Thursday, 18 July from 6pm to 7.30pm and the Sydney session will be held the following week on Thursday, 25 July from 6pm to 7.30pm. 

To find out more, visit our event pages: CanberraSydney.

The CPD team is happy to answer any questions you may have, contact us on the details below.

Phone: 1300 697 227
Overseas: (+61) 2 9256 5444 
New Zealand
Phone: 4 460 8122
Overseas: (+64) 4 460 8122

Medico Legal: A physicians update 

Worried about legal matters but don’t know where to turn? As we move through the technology era, social media and online interaction is evolving to play a huge part in the way we interact with patients and other professionals. In addition to this, physicians continue to face legal issues in both civil and disciplinary matters. Join us in Sydney on Saturday, 29 June from 9.30am to 12pm for an informative and insightful workshop in collaboration with Avant Mutual. You’ll be able to learn about your legal and professional obligations from our experienced speakers. 

To find out more visit the event webpage.

Women & Leadership Australia grants

This is the final call for all women currently working in the healthcare sector to express their interest in the current financial year scholarship funding available through Women & Leadership Australia.
This opportunity provides women with funding of between $3,000 and $7,000 to undertake a range of leadership development programs commencing later this year. 
To ensure equitable access to the grants, the funding window has been extended until Friday, 21 June 2019. It is important to note that it is uncertain when these grants will be available again. More information and initial expressions of interest are available on the Women & Leadership Australia website.

The Doctor Dash

The Doctor Dash this Sunday, 2 June 2019 promotes the benefits of exercise and raises awareness for the good mental health of doctors, medical students, nurses and other health professionals. 

You can participate anywhere in the world in your own time, at your own pace and in your Crazy Socks 4 Docs.

My Health Record survey

The My Health Record (MHR) is a secure online summary of an individual’s health information. Over 90 per cent of Australians have a MHR, and healthcare providers authorised by their healthcare organisation can access MHR to view and add to their patients’ health information. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (Australia) has been engaged by the Australian Digital Health Agency to review the private specialist sector landscape and develop an understanding of the key opportunities and barriers around driving further adoption of MHR.

This online survey will only take 10 minutes and seeks to gain a better understanding of private practice workflows and the views of specialists and practice staff towards the MHR. 

All survey responses will remain anonymous.

Please contact Jen Vo-Phuoc or Nick Dimitropoulos from PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting if you would like any further information.

Career opportunities

New South Wales


View all positions vacant

Trainee 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. 

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

Bi-National Training Program (BNTP)

NSW Lecture Series – Wednesday and Saturday sessions

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ)

RMSANZ is the professional body for Rehabilitation Physicians and Trainees in Australia & New Zealand.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre

The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is the national rehabilitation medicine clinical registry of Australia and New Zealand.

AFRM contact details 

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

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Stacey Barabash, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315

AFRM NZ Committee
Lauren Darrah, Executive Officer DFAC’s NZ
AFRM Education and Training enquiries:
Name: Lia Iliou, Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6350

AFRM Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator 

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries:
Name: Sonia Tao, Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
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