PCHD Council 2015 mid-year communiqué

Read about the latest key activities of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Council for the first half of 2015.

Dear Fellow and trainee members,

Dr Nicki Murdock recently entered her second year as the President of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) as has Dr Sarah Dalton, PCHD President-Elect. The Division is active on a number of fronts as follows.

Education & training

  • Input to the re-accreditation of the College by the Australian Medical Council and the New Zealand Medical Council
  • The 2015 PCHD Written Examination held across 14 locations in Australia and New Zealand. There were 286 Paediatrics & Child Health (PCH) candidates and the average pass rate was 73%
  • Endorsement that the Australian paediatric clinical Exam dates will move from July to May starting in 2016.
  • Support for the concept of a new Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (AYAM) dual training pathway has been given by the RACP Board, PCHD Council and Executive Committee, AMD Council, College Education Committee, and the PCHD and AMD Education Committees
  • Contribution to the Basic Curriculum Review
  • Contribution to new the development of policy on ‘capacity to train’ and ‘selection in to training’


  • Efforts in pursuing AYAM specialty recognition have been reallocated so that an AYAM dual training pathway may be developed
  • Contribution to the Medical Workforce Plan for Tasmania, Office of the Chief Medical Officer

Policy & Advocacy

  • Protecting Children is Everybody's Business: Paediatricians Responding to the Challenge of Child Abuse position statement was launched by the Lead Fellow of the working group at the 14th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (ACCAN 2015) in Auckland in April 2015. Earlier in the year support was given to the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development to its intent of information-sharing as part of the Government work plan on vulnerable children (Children’s Action Plan).
  • Newborn Screening in Australia position statement was launched by Dr Nicki Murdock, PCHD President and Dr Jim McGill at the College Congress in May 2015. The Lead Fellow of the working group was Dr Janice Fletcher. The Division is contributing to consultation by the Government’s consultation on a national policy framework for newborn bloodspot screening in Australia.
  • An open letter to Emeritus Prof Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, extending support to Prof Triggs and the Commission following the Australian government’s rejections of the report on children in detention, The Forgotten Children. A letter to the Attorney-General encouraging the Australian Government to take up the recommendations of the report.
  • Input to an RACP submission to the National Framework for Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families.
  • Input to an RACP submission to the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity & Intersex Rights Snapshot Report consultation.
  • Input to the RACP submission on the 5th periodic report to the United Nations on New Zealand’s progress under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRoC).
  • Advocacy addressing sugar-sweetened beverages in New Zealand that will ultimately contribute a wider plan around obesity.
  • Meeting with the National Lead of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to discuss paediatric concerns.
  • Contribution to a range of topics including a consumer parent and carer resource, preventative activities, National Disability Insurance Agency quality and safeguarding, the third action plan for protecting children, use of photo and video imaging in child sexual abuse cases, female genital cosmetic surgery, newborn bloodspot.
  • Division representation on behalf of the College at external meetings including: ASCIA primary immunodeficiency resource development; ARACY Annual General Meeting; Newborn bloodspot screening policy framework – consultation; National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children: Third Action Plan Consultations; National Community Child Health Council; Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQH) Australasian Clinical Indicator Report.
  • Determined new Division representation on behalf of the College on: the FASD Diagnostic Instrument Trial and Implementation project Steering Group; and the Australia Pacific Paediatric Association (APPA) Advisory Board.

For more information please see PCHD Policy & Media Outputs 2015.


  • The Australian Paediatric Research Network (APRN) toolkit is available via the RACP MyResources gateway and there is a link to the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) resource. Claim MyCPD under Category 1: Research at 1 credit per hour per when using these resources.
  • Review of the College Research Strategy to ensure paediatric contribution and alignment.

PCHD Awards 2015

  • Professor John Whitehall presented ‘Mustard Seeds’’ at the College Congress and was presented the 2015 Howard Williams Medal.
  • The Wiley New Investigator Award for Research Excellence: Dr James Fitzpatrick - ‘Prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in a population based sample of children living in remote Australia: The Lililwan Project’.
  • Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health: Dr Catherine McAdam – Measuring what matters to patients and families – the impact of attending paediatric services.
  • Rue Wright Memorial Award: Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes - Pulkurlkpa – The Western Desert Kidney Health Project Strategies to build resilience and combat kidney disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

College Awards – paediatrics

  • RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in the field of paediatric medicine 2015:
    • Dr Mary Abraham (WA) Performance of a predictive algorithm in sensor augmented pump therapy in the prevention of Hypoglycaemia
    • Dr Lahiru Amarasena (Tas) Establishing safe and effective minimally invasive paediatric surgery in a regional centre
    • Dr Simon Crouch (Vic) The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex families
    • Dr Anna Francis (Qld) Outcome of Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in Australian and New Zealand (children) Paediatric Renal Transplant Recipients
    • Dr Kathryn Martinello (SA) Temporal changes in plasma club cell secretory protein and surfactant protein-D in very preterm infants across the neonatal period
    • Dr Amin Sheikh (NZ) Histological Findings in Protocol Biopsies Post Paediatric Liver Transplant: Low Incidence of Abnormalities on Predominantly Tacrolimus Monotherapy at 5 Years.
  • RACP Exam Medal 2014 for the PCHD is Dr Sarah Curnow
  • The John Sands College Medal 2015 - Prof David Isaacs
  • RACP Medal for Clinical Service In Rural and Remote Areas 2015 - Dr Charles Kilburn
  • RACP Medal for Clinical Service In Rural and Remote Areas 2015 - Dr John Malcolm
  • 2014 Examination Medal in Paediatrics & Child Health - Dr Sarah Curnow
  • RACP Mentor of the Year 2015 - Professor Craig Mellis


  • The paediatric component of the College Congress in May was well received with topics including newborn screening, physical punishment of children, gender dysphoria in young people, child rights at the end of life, and refugee children.
  • The paediatric working group led by Dr Dyanne Wilson did a fantastic job in developing the program.
  • The PCHD Annual dinner was held Monday 25 May 2015
  • The Chapter of Community Child Health Satellite Day had an excellent program and included a presentation from Professor John Boulton - ‘The Imagined Future: Aboriginal Adolescents' hopes and dreams'
  • The Division congratulated the following paediatricians who received Australian Queen’s Birthday Honours:
    • Officer (AO) in the General Division
      Professor Karen Simmer FRACP - For distinguished service to medicine in the field of paediatrics, particularly neonatal and perinatal nutrition, to medical education as an academic, researcher and clinician, and to the community.
    • Member (AM) in the General Division
      Dr Robert Neil Roy FRACP – For significant service to medicine in the field of paediatrics, particularly through the development of neonatal transport services.
    • Medal (OAM) in the General Division
      Associate Professor Alyson Margaret Kakakios FRACP – For service to medicine in the field of paediatric allergy and immunology
    • Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ)
      Professor Sir Peter David Gluckman FRACP – For services to New Zealand

Become a member of the Chapter of Community Child Health.


  • The PCHD Council endorsed new PCHD Education Committee Terms of Reference
  • The PDEC endorsed numerous Terms of Reference for Advanced Training Committees
  • New membership of the PCHD Council: Dr Roger Tuck, New Zealand Elected Fellow – new
  • New membership of the Chapter of Community Child Health: Dr Jan Connors, Appointed Member
  • New membership of the Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Committee:
    • Dr Jemma Anderson, appointed Fellow on Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Committee (AYAMC) – new
    • Dr Vathsala Agarwalla, Paediatric Advanced Trainee on Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Committee (AYAMC) - new

Learn more about the Committee's governance.

Council Meetings

  • The Council met 12 and 13 February 2015, 25 and 26 June 2015 as well as via teleconference 15 April 2015.
  • The Council is scheduled to 14 October 2015 via teleconference.
  • The Executive Committee met 15 April 2015, 10 June 2015 and is scheduled to meet in late July/beginning of August and 7 October 2015.

PCHD Committee communiqués

For information on key activities of the PCHD Committees, please visit their pages:

Dr Nicki Murdock, President
Paediatrics & Child Health Division
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