PCHD Council 2019 mid-year communiqué

Read about the latest key activities of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Council for the first half of 2019.

Key activities

  • The Early Childhood: Importance of the Early Years position statement was launched at Congress 2019 as part of the shared session on The First 1000 Days – the Window of Opportunity for Long Term Health.
  • Also held at Congress 2019 was a session on Transition from Paediatric Care into Adult Medicine. This was a collaborative effort between PCHD and Adult Medicine Division with direction provided by our Congress Organising Committee and reflects the Council’s commitment to supporting the transition of paediatric patients to adult services as promised in the PCHD Council Work Plan 2018-2020.
  • The Academic Career Pathways document was launched at Congress 2019 and will soon be supplemented by a video resource. Delivery of this guideline was promised as part of the PCHD Council Work Plan 2018-2020 and it was developed and finalised by the PCHD Research Committee.
  • PCHD Council and its committees continue to work closely with the College to support and align with the RACP Health & Wellbeing Roadmap. Member journey mapping, workforce, and the PCHD narrative also remain as regular update items on our agenda as we continue to give input and guidance to these important pieces of work.

RACP Congress 2019

Clinical Professor Cathy Choong, the PCHD representative on the Congress Program Committee, worked with Dr Andrew Day and Dr Hamish McCay to develop the paediatric program for this year’s Congress, which was held in May in Auckland, New Zealand. I would like to thank them all for their enthusiastic contribution to the PCHD stream, and to extend that thanks to all PCHD members and guests who were involved in this very successful event. RACP Congress 2020 will be held in Melbourne; information will be available via the RACP website and Pot-Pourri newsletter as the program develops.

Highlights from the Congress 2019 can be found here.

PCHD award winners at Congress 2019

  • 2018 Examination Medal in Paediatrics & Child Health: Dr Fran Gehrman
  • Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics and Child Health: Dr Elaine Zaidman “Impact of health literacy of parents on the health outcomes of children with chronic disease: A systematic review.”
  • Rue Wright Memorial Award: Dr Peter Vuillerman “Maternal gut microbiota during pregnancy and allergic disease in the offspring: a birth cohort study.”

Trainee research awards at Congress 2019


Dr Martin Hansen: “Maternal and childhood anaemia in remote Aboriginal communities.”


Dr Valentina-Maria Milosescu: “Traumatic lumbar punctures in children and contributory factors: A 10 year retrospective study.”

Dr Yassmin Musthaffa: “Changes to Thyroid function (TF) following Growth Hormone (GH) Therapy in children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS).” – Dr Musthaffa received her award in 2018 but was unable to attend the 2018 Congress and so attended the 2019 Congress instead.


Dr Natalie Morgan: “A whole-of-country analysis of antimicrobial stewardship resources, activities and barriers for children in hospitals in Australia.”


Dr Cathryn Poulton: “The Babyface project.”


Dr Aaron Ooi: “Evaluation of a simulation teaching programme for medical students: Does effective learning occur despite resource constraints?”

Policy and advocacy

  • RACP submission: TGA public consultation on proposed changes to the recommended use of pertussis vaccines in pregnant women – January 2019
  • RACP submission: Consultation on NSW music festival safety guidelines – January 2019
  • RACP submission: Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the social and economic benefits of improving mental health – March 2019
  • RACP submission: MBS review reports in primary care which are relevant to paediatrics – February 2019
  • RACP submission: The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – April 2019
  • RACP submission: The Royal Commission Terms of Reference re Victoria’s Mental Health System – June 2019
  • RACP submission to South Australian Public Health (Early Childhood Services and Immunisation) Amendment Bill - Consultation Discussion Paper – June 2019

Highlights of policy and advocacy activity since January 2019 can be found in the PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee Communique – see link at the end of this post.

See the RACP website for more details on PCHD policy and advocacy priorities and media releases.

PCHD Council meetings 2019

The PCHD Council met via teleconference on Tuesday 12 February, and we held a face-to-face meeting in Sydney on Friday 15 March. The PCHD Council is scheduled to meet on the following dates in 2019:

  • Thursday 25 and Friday 26 July (face to face in Sydney)
  • Thursday 7 November via teleconference


The PCHD Council membership has remained stable since the my last report in the end-of-year 2018 Communique. Only one new member has joined the committee in 2019; I am pleased to report that Dr Gopinath Subramanian will be taking up the Continuing Professional Development representative position and welcome him to the Council.

My thanks go to all current PCHD Council members for contributing their time and expertise to the work of this committee. View the current PCHD Council membership. Positions on PCHD Council are held for two years; the current term runs from May 2018 to May 2020. Expressions of Interest will be called in late 2019 to form the new Council to take over from May 2020 – please watch your emails and the Pot-Pourri newsletter for information as it comes to hand.

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

Professor Paul Colditz, President
Paediatrics & Child Health Division
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