PCHD Council 2017 end-of-year communiqué

Read about the latest key activities of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Council for the second half of 2017.

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) has had another busy and productive year. As a Division, we have achieved a lot and should feel proud. I would like to personally thank all PCHD Council and Committee members for their dedication and significant contribution to a wide range of topics related to improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Key activities

  • The strengthening of paediatric representation across College considering RACP Board governance changes next year has been an ongoing discussion topic. The PCHD Council remains dedicated to having a robust paediatric presence and plans to build on existing ties and communication between paediatric members on key College bodies such as College Council.
  • The Advanced Training Program in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine launched earlier this year. Congratulations to all of those involved on this significant achievement.
  • An advocacy initiative to support the upcoming Inequities in Child Health position statement is under development. It is anticipated the position statement will be published early next year. The Early Childhood and Indigenous Child Health position statements are also on track to launch in 2018.
  • Draft Model of Collaboration agreements are currently under development with thirteen paediatric speciality societies.
  • The PCHD Council and Committees are reviewing the deliverables of a narrative workshop held earlier in the year. This has included evaluating suggested narratives and taglines which articulate the Division’s identity and purpose.


I had the pleasure of attending the European Academy of Paediatrics Congress back in October, to present an oral abstract on Evolve. There are currently two paediatric lists available – the PCHD General Paediatrics and the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group. Other paediatric lists are being developed by:

  • The Chapter of Community Child Health
  • The Australia and New Zealand Child Neurology Society
  • The Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatrics Society of Australasia
  • The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand

The PCHD has supported the Evolve General Paediatrics list through activities such as participation in a podcast, ongoing media interviews, grand round presentations, a published letter in the Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, participation in the related Choosing Wisely campaign, and there are continued efforts to aid implementation of the list including a planned role-modelling video. I encourage you to consider how you could implement the initiative in your practice, and to share ideas and seek advice from your colleagues, please contact evolve@racp.edu.au

Policy and advocacy

The PCHD Council and Committees have provided feedback on many significant policy and advocacy matters.

A prime example of the reach and influence of PCHD advocacy was evidenced through the RACP submission to the Senate Inquiry into the harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet. The Inquiry recommendations closely aligned to the RACP submission, and the Commonwealth Government response supported all the recommendations.

I was pleased to add my voice in support of marriage equality. My opinion piece on 'LGBTI parenting: Love, it seems, is the most important ingredient' garnered significant activity on social media and was also shared by several key LGBTI groups like Rainbow Families Australia.

The plight of children and young people in detention is a harrowing matter and many of us were awaiting the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention in the Northern Territory. In response, the College released a media statement, signed onto an Open statement to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers by Change the Record to demand national action and joined a joint media statement led by the Human Rights Law Commission to advocate raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. Our work in this space will continue.

The RACP continues to support the position that holding refugees and asylum seekers in detention is extremely harmful and detrimental to the health of both children and adults. Refugee and asylum seeker health remains a key priority topic for the RACP and you can follow College advocacy on the matter through our social media channels.

A full list of position statements, submissions and all related media over the past year can be viewed in the PCHD Policy & Media Outputs and media releases.


I would like to invite all of you to consider becoming more involved with PCHD. The PCHD Council and Committees will transition to new membership in May 2018 and offer a terrific opportunity to contribute to issues that matter to paediatricians and to improve healthcare for children and young people. Please consider the positions currently open for nomination through the College elections process, including the important position of President-Elect of the PCHD and positions on the PCHD Council.

Appointed positions on PCHD Committees are through an expression of interest process, which will open in early 2018.

View the membership of the PCHD Council.

RACP Congress 2018

Congratulations to Professor David Forbes, the very worthy recipient of the 2018 Howard Williams Medal. Professor Forbes will present the Howard Williams Medal Oration at RACP Congress on Tuesday 15 May 2018.

Dr Nicholas Wood, and Dr Margie Danchin are the PCHD representatives on the Congress Program Committee, and I would like to acknowledge their hard work and valuable input to date in developing sessions for the PCHD stream. Registration is now open, and the program is available to view on the website.

Finally, your feedback and contribution to the PCHD Council, Committees and their associated activities is very much encouraged. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via paed@racp.edu.au

PCHD Committee communiqués

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

Finally, your feedback and contribution to the PCHD Council, Committees and their associated activities is very much encouraged. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via paed@racp.edu.au

Dr Sarah Dalton, President
Paediatrics & Child Health Division
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