AFRM eBulletin – 7 February 2020

Successful bid for a new Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Cerebral Palsy

We are excited to tell you that our bid for a new Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Cerebral Palsy has been successful. This Centre is called CP Achieve which stands for the Australian Centre for Health, Independence, Economic Participation and Value Enhanced care for adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy. It has been funded for five years by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

CP Achieve is focused on adolescents and young adults (aged 10 to 30 years) with cerebral palsy. Our aims are to understand and address the healthcare and service needs of this group. Currently there is very little research in this area. Our vision is to ensure that adolescents and young adults receive the best healthcare throughout this critical period of development, to enable them to contribute to, and participate in, all aspects of life. 

CP Achieve aims to deliver a program of research in partnership with people who have cerebral palsy, their families, clinicians and other interested people. 

We plan to improve physical and mental health and promote participation by: 

  • understanding how common physical and mental health problems are for adolescents and young adults
  • learning about how those health problems impact participation in the community
  • understanding the long-term outcomes of some childhood treatments – like surgery
  • delivering therapy that supports participation in healthy lifestyles and recreation
  • understanding and promoting good quality transition from childhood to adult healthcare. 

We have prepared an overall plan to work on these issues, but we need your help and input. We are committed to involving people with cerebral palsy, their families, clinicians, service-providers and other interested people so they can contribute to and influence this research. 

If you want to be involved or want to be kept up-to-date on our activities, please leave your details via the CP Achieve webpage and we will contact you. 

CP Achieve is led by Professor Dinah Reddihough, a paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne, and includes the following Chief Investigators: 

  • Professor Christine Imms – occupational therapist at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
  • Professor Rob Carter – health economist at Deakin University
  • Professor Nora Shields – physiotherapist at La Trobe University, Melbourne
  • Professor Kerr Graham – orthopaedic surgeon at the RCH in Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Prue Morgan – physiotherapist at Monash University
  • Professor David Coghill – child and adolescent psychiatrist, the RCH in Melbourne
  • Professor Susan Sawyer – a paediatrician working in adolescent health, the RCH in Melbourne
  • Dr Margaret Wallen, occupational therapist, at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney
  • Dr Ingrid Honan, psychologist at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Sydney. 

We also have ten Associate Investigators: Professor Bruce Bonyhady, Dr Anthony Carpenter, Ms Evelyn Culnane, Dr Gabrielle Drake, Professor Jan Willem Gorter, Professor Peter Rosenbaum, Professor Mats Granlund, Professor Leanne Johnston, Dr Jane Tracy, Professor Jenny Ziviani. 

Professor Dinah Reddihough
AFRM Fellow

A message from your President

Seeking an enthusiastic AFRM Fellow for RACP Congress Program Committee and other open Expressions of Interest

Welcome to the first AFRM eBulletin of the year. The start to 2020 has been terrible and traumatic for many Australians and dramatic for all of us and we have been shocked by the loss of life, property, livestock, environment and wildlife. Our thoughts are with those affected by the unprecedented and ongoing bushfire season. Hopefully 2020 will get better, notwithstanding the current challenges associated with the emergence of a Novel Coronavirus.

For those of you who have not attended RACP Congress for some time, it has been enhanced significantly in recent years attracting around 1,000 registrants and is definitely worth re-visiting. The Faculty’s peak oration, the Burniston Oration, is also now held as of the Congress program and we have enjoyed some excellent orations over the past few years including from John Walsh, Michael Pollack, and Chris Poulos. The presence of the Burniston Oration in the Congress program has given us a great opportunity to talk about important aspects of rehabilitation medicine to a wider audience of RACP physicians and trainees and other health professionals and raise the profile of the specialty. It also gives us a great jumping-off point from where we can do even more, and we will be looking to increase our involvement in Congress in the future. This may vary from year to year but could include a rehabilitation focused session aligned to the Congress theme which follows on after the Burniston Oration or even a rehabilitation focused stream that runs through the program. 

At present we are seeking an enthusiastic AFRM Fellow to help shape the AFRM content and the wider Congress program for 2021 (Brisbane) and 2022 (Sydney). The AFRM representative on the Congress Program Committee (CPC) will be appointed for a term of two years and will lead the development of the AFRM stream (in collaboration with the AFRM Executive Team) and work with other CPC members and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions. Please see the Expression of Interest (EOI) document and I hope that you will apply.

On the matter of EOI, there are a number of other current opportunities for Fellows and trainees to get involved with and assist the Faculty. Please see the EOI section later in this eBulletin for other positions currently available.

All the best,

Professor Tim Geraghty 
AFRM President  

Important message for Australian members

The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be publishing an advance copy of the revised mandatory notification guidelines and supporting resources.

The Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered health practitioners and Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered students provide information about how to meet mandatory notification requirements. The guidelines aim to help practitioners, employers and education providers understand who must make a mandatory notification about a registered health practitioner or registered student and when.

Summary of changes

The guidelines were revised following amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law passed early in 2019 and is expected to commence in early March 2020. 

The amendments changed the reporting obligations for treating practitioners by establishing a new, higher risk threshold for treating practitioners to report impairment, intoxication or practice that significantly departs from accepted standards. This further limits the circumstances for treating practitioners to make mandatory notifications. These changes aim to give practitioners confidence to seek help for health conditions if they need it, while continuing to prevent the risk of harm to the public. 

The requirement to make a mandatory notification about a practitioner is different for different notifier groups. For that reason, the guidelines about practitioners have been structured according to notifier type (that is treating practitioner, non-treating practitioner, employer) so that relevant information for that notifier group is easier to find.

As there are only limited circumstances when a mandatory notification can be made about a student, separate guidelines for notifications about students and practitioners have been developed.

You can find information and resources such as case studies and FAQs on the AHPRA website

Save the Date – AFRM Symposium
Aotearoa NZ AFRM members

Saturday, 22 February 2020 
9am to 3pm
RACP Wellington Office

Open to all New Zealand AFRM members, the Symposium’s purpose is to:

  • provide a forum for AFRM Fellows and trainees in Aotearoa NZ
  • present research
  • share case presentations and education
  • discuss updates in rehabilitation medicine.

The Symposium will also include the Dr Boris Mak Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee Award for Best Presentation

The award, which is made possible through the generosity of the late Dr Boris Mak FAFRM, offers a first-place prize of $1,000 for the best trainee presentation and a second prize of $500.

For more information about the event or for accommodation near the venue, contact

Trainee re-registrations due

A reminder that registrations for Basic and Advanced Trainees for the Australian 2020 clinical year are closing soon:

As a trainee, you must re-register your training annually.

New Zealand registrations have now closed.

For more information check your relevant handbook or contact us.

RACP AFRM Educational Development Grant

Applications are opening soon for the 2020 RACP AFRM Educational Development Grant worth up to $10,000. This grant can go towards gaining new technical expertise, training at an appropriate institution or participation and presenting a paper at a conference or scientific meeting in fields and competencies relevant to rehabilitation.

Other Educational Development Grants available include:

  • Aotearoa New Zealand Educational Development Grant
  • Queensland Regional Committee Educational Development Grant.

Submit your applications online from Friday, 21 February to Monday, 23 March 2020. Information about this award including eligibility criteria and the link to the online application form is available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Congratulations AFRM Scholarship recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 AFRM scholarships and grants:

2020 RACP AFRM Research Entry Scholarship – Dr Simon Paul Paget

Project: The inter-relationship between early life determinants, health service utilisation and hip health in childhood cerebral palsy.

Dr Simon Paget is a paediatric rehabilitation medicine physician. He trained in paediatrics and rehabilitation in London and Sydney. He has worked as a staff specialist at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales since 2012, where he leads the Cerebral Palsy and Movement Disorders Service of Kids Rehab. Simon has a strong clinical background in the rehabilitation of children with congenital and acquired neurological disorders, with particular interests in the treatment of childhood movement disorders and delivery of health services for this group. He is passionate about improving the quality and safety of patient care. This is reflected in his research interests which focus on safety and efficacy of rehabilitation treatments, quality of health service delivery and assessment and treatment of pain of children with cerebral palsy. Simon is a member of the AFRM Paediatric Training and Assessment Committee and Accreditation Committee and a board member of the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.

2020 RACP AFRM Research Development Scholarship – Dr Yuriko Watanabe

Project: Do patients from non-english-speaking backgrounds (NESBs) have access to health care interpreters during inpatient rehabilitation? An audit study.

Dr Yuriko Watanabe is a rehabilitation physician working at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. Her areas of clinical interests are musculoskeletal, neurological conditions, geriatric rehabilitation and pain management. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in clinical rehabilitation, a Master‘s in Medicine in pain management and a PhD. She has been actively involved in clinical research nationally and internationally.

Having a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background herself, she advocates for vulnerable CALD populations. Yuriko is one of the founders of a charitable organisation and has helped to improve the accessibility of healthcare and aged care services particularly to older Japanese people with limited English ability.

The AFRM stream at Congress 2020

You’re invited to one of the premier annual events on the RACP calendar, Congress 2020: Balancing medical science with humanity. Held on Monday, 4 to Wednesday, 6 May in Melbourne, we’ve developed an immense program filled with a diverse range of local and international speakers.

The program includes shared-interest topics and thought-provoking sessions, and a dedicated AFRM stream for all rehabilitation medicine physicians. 

You can learn about rehabilitation in first nations and remote settings, as well as a joint session with the Faulty of Occupational Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) on promoting an inclusive community for people living with disability. 

A stand-out session will be delivered by Associate Professor Adam Scheinberg – the George Burniston Oration on Growing, living and ageing with disability.

This is a unique networking opportunity for you to meet members of the Faculty, as well as members from the broader College, while learning about a diverse range of clinical and rehabilitation medicine topics. For more information and to register, visit the Congress website. Hurry, early-bird rates only available until 3 March 2020.

Register now

The Australian bushfires

As the bushfires and hot weather continue, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster. Your College released a media statement on the bushfires last month and we recognise that the full extent of the health impacts are not yet known.

We’ve had many members contacting us to ask how they can help. We encourage members who can assist to contact the relevant rural doctors’ organisation coordinating your state’s health workforce response.

For more information, please visit these websites: 

How to protect yourself and others from bushfire smoke

In response to the recent bushfires, the Australian National University (ANU) has put together some useful material for protecting yourself and others from bushfire smoke.

Further details are available on the ANU website.

Bi National Training Program – 2020 timetable. 

Please visit the event listings webpage for more details of each presentation. 

Date  Time  Topic 
Wednesday, 26 February 2020  3pm to 5pm AEDT 

Adults with developmental and intellectual disability

  • Adults with developmental and intellectual disability: Cerebral Palsy
  • spina bifida incl. Paediatric
Wednesday, 25 March 2020  3pm to 5pm AEDT 

Models of care (Australia and NZ)

  • Community Rehabilitation
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 3pm to 5pm AEDT 


  • Shoulder
  • Knee
  • Elbow
Wednesday, 27 May 2020  3pm to 5pm AEDT 

Inflammatory Arthopathy

  • Rheumatology
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT  Peripheral Neuropathy 

Guillain Barre Syndrome
Wednesday, 22 July 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT  SCI and disease

Paediatric SCI
Wednesday, 26 August 2020  3pm to 5pm AEDT   
SCI and disease
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT  Multidisciplinary management of spinal cord injury
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 

  • pathogenesis and management
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT  Parkinson’s disease

Motoneuron disease

Taking further action on outdoor alcohol advertising

Alcohol is one of the most harmful yet most heavily promoted products in the world. Evidence clearly shows that young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing increases their alcohol consumption as well as the risk of starting to drink at a younger age. WHO recommends bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion to reduce alcohol use and harm.

Market research indicates that 92.6 per cent of consumers are exposed to outdoor advertising at least once per day and that three out of five shoppers are influenced by outdoor marketing immediately prior to shopping. This form of marketing is extremely influential and therefore acutely harmful, especially for young people. 

As highlighted in the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education’s Snapshot of the current state of play, most Australian jurisdictions have introduced some controls on outdoor alcohol advertising. While these restrictions work to limit exposure, they are not comprehensive enough to prevent children and young people from viewing all outdoor alcohol advertising.

Current restrictions need to be strengthened by legislating bans or more comprehensive restrictions and introducing sanctions and monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. The RACP’s Alcohol Policy supports the three options proposed by the Foundation to remedy this policy shortcoming:

  • ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and sponsorship across the jurisdiction
  • ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and ban on sponsorship at all family-friendly events
  • ban on outdoor alcohol advertising on government-owned assets and public transport infrastructure. 

More about these policy options is available on the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia's website.  

Improving clinical case management, infection prevention and control of Clostridioides difficile infection

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care supports health service organisations in implementing effective infection prevention and control strategies to reduce the risk of patients acquiring preventable healthcare-associated infections. In 2016 the Commission established a Community of Practice to investigate what future measures would support maintaining low rates of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in Australia. The Commission continues to monitor the prevalence of CDI in Australian public hospitals annually and has recently published the Clostridium difficile 2017 Data Snapshot report along with an associated Infographic. The Community of Practice also made several recommendations relating to the surveillance and management of CDI in Australia which can be found in the 2018 technical report: A Model to Improve Prevention  and Control of  Clostridium difficile infection in Australia.

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep55: Starting out in practice

This podcast is about one of many pathways in medicine; private practice. It’s a pathway that presents many opportunities, but also personal and financial challenges. When doctors are starting out in private practice, they typically do so within the safety net of an established practice, and perhaps only for part of the working week. In a simple model, they would be renting a room in exchange for an agreed portion of the consultation fees to cover administration costs.

The next level of complexity is setting up shop for one's self, and this requires registering a company in order to employ other staff. Finally, one can partner in a group practice, which may bring efficiencies of scale, but potentially also personality clashes with other shareholders.

And behind all of this, there is the need to build awareness and trust among the patient community. In this podcast we hear the experiences of a private rheumatologist practising for 25 years, as well as learning about accounting and financial planning. 


  • Dr Louis McGuigan FRACP, Consultant Rheumatologist, Miranda
  • Paul Copeland, Director, William Buck Chartered Accountants
  • Scott Montefiore, Managing Director Hillross Montefiore and Co.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources.

Subscribe to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunesSpotify or any Android podcasting app.

Listen to podcast

The Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium

Register for the Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS), on 'Providing care to underserved populations'. The symposium will be held on Friday, 20 March 2020 at the Amora Hotel in Sydney.

This annual event provides a great opportunity to share the latest insights in higher medical education. The program will explore how best to train, prepare and retain medical specialists to care for underserved populations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada due to isolation, geographical location or many other social determinants and how innovative technologies can enhance their access to healthcare.

Keynote speakers include Professor Roger Strasser, formerly Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, an expert renowned for promoting the importance of socially accountable medical education to serve communities and Dr Lisa Richardson, Faculty of Medicine Strategic Advisor, Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, an expert in urban underserved populations in Canada. Professor Diane Sarfati, a public health physician and cancer epidemiologist from the University of Otago with expertise in the area of ethnic disparities in disease outcomes and Dr Belinda O’Sullivan, a researcher leading international scale studies on rural health systems, from the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School will provide the other keynote presentations. 

Other sessions will provide interesting insights into education and training to support access to care from Associate Professor Elana Curtis, a public health physician from the University of Auckland. The Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Rural Surgery Section Committee, Dr Bridget Clancy, an ENT surgeon based in rural Victoria, will also provide interesting perspectives on meeting the challenges of practice for rural and underserved populations.   

More information is available on the IMS website.

The member colleges of the Tri-Nation Alliance are the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

Quality and safety resources for members

Quality and safety is central to the delivery of healthcare in Australia and New Zealand. We offer a number of resources to help you create a culture of quality and safety in your healthcare setting. Register for the Quality and Safety online course to learn about developing a preventative mindset and identifying and remediating situations where the quality and safety of patient care may be compromised. Refer to the Quality and Safety Curated Collection for a peer-reviewed list of high quality resources on the topic. Or to learn about strategies for communicating effectively with patients about the risks and benefits of treatment options, enrol in the Communicating Risks and Benefits online course.

RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

2019 Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide from the American College of Physicans

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed educational resources that are freely available to the healthcare community as a public service from ACP in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide – an online learning activity providing a clinical overview of infection control and patient care guidance
  • Coronavirus: What the clinician needs to know podcast.
Access resources

Member Advantage benefits on offer

Start the year with an exclusive AMEX welcome bonus

Enjoy a specially negotiated welcome offer of 100,000 bonus membership rewards points and reduced annual fee of $1,200 simply through your RACP benefits.

Apply today for The Professionals American Express® Platinum Card for highlights including:

  • $450 Travel Credit each year
  • 24/7 Platinum Concierge service
  • Access to 1,200 airport lounges in over 130 countries.

Make life easier and start turning your dream holiday into a reality with all these offers and more. Now add up to four additional Platinum Cards to enjoy many of the same benefits you do, for no extra fee.

Apply for your card online or call 1300 853 352 for more information.

*Terms and conditions, eligibility criteria and minimum spend apply. 

$0 OFX fees* and competitive exchange rates on all international money transfers 

If you are looking to transfer money overseas, OFX can help you save money with bankbeatingexchange rates and $0 OFX transfer fees* through your benefits.

OFX is an ASX listed company, providing fast and secure international money transfers for private clients and business customers, with 24/7 support. Since launching over 20 years ago, OFX have helped more than 1 million customers worldwide and securely transferred over AU$100bn.

You will enjoy:

  • $0 OFX transaction fees on all transfers over AUD$250*
  • competitive exchange rates
  • dedicated Account Manager.

To access this offer and learn more visit the Member Advantage website or contact the Member Advantage dedicated Account Manager:

*Third party fees may apply. OzForex Limited trading as “OFX”. ABN 65 092 375 703 | AFSL 226 484. Read our PDS and FSG at

For individual response: FPM Procedures in Pain Medicine Clinical Care Standard

The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) is conducting a consultation of the pilot 'Procedures in Pain Medicine Clinical Care Standard'. This professional document has been developed to articulate what is considered to be the appropriate and safe use of procedures in the practice of pain medicine and is intended for use by FPM Fellows and trainees. Please provide any feedback you may have directly to the FPM via Further details are available in the letter from the FPM.

National lung cancer screening program

Cancer Australia is investigating the feasibility for a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. The consultation is being hosted on the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub until Monday, 17 February 2020.

You are invited to provide your input into the Consultation Hub. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete and submissions can also be attached.

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry, please visit the Cancer Australia website.

Medical Board of Australia Newsletter January 2020

Read the latest news from the Medical Board of Australia.

Career opportunities

New South Wales


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.

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):
Jane Henderson, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315

AFRM NZ Committee
Executive Officer DFAC’s NZ
AFRM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6350

AFRM oral examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator 
Phone: +61 2 9256 5422

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
Close overlay