Pot-pourri eBulletin 25 June 2021

President's Message

NAIDOC Week 2021 is from Sunday, 4 July to Sunday, 11 July 2021, an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. All Australians are encouraged to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culture, and to that end NAIDOC Week events are taking place all over Australia to promote great opportunities for personal involvement at the local level. This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is 'Heal Country, Heal Our Nation'. We must work towards redressing historical injustice. Through telling the truth about our nation’s past we will change the way history is viewed.    

Please see our position statement to find out more about how the College is working to improve Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Contact your local regional network to find out more about NAIDOC Week 2021 events.

The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) has just released Real, Urgent & Now: Communicating the Health Impacts of Climate Change. This guide seeks to empower all health professionals to talk confidently and publicly about climate change and impacts on health, and to promote actions that deliver immediate health benefits and reduce costs to health systems and communities. It’s a valuable toolkit to help you become an effective advocate for positive environmental change for our patients, our communities and our planet.

The College was involved in significant advocacy recently calling on the Australian Government to urgently release the Tamil family from Biloela, Queensland from held detention.

It is now my very great pleasure to congratulate the following PCHD members who’ve been named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. A list of all RACP recipients may be found on the RACP website.

Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Robert (Simon) Rowley FRACP: Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to paediatric and neonatal care.

Dr Suzanne Packer AM, FRACP: Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for distinguished service to children through roles in health, welfare and protection initiatives.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Clinical Associate Professor Gary Sholler FRACP: Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for significant service to paediatric medicine, and to tertiary medical education.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

  • Dr Geoffrey Byrne FRACP: For service to paediatric endocrinology.
  • Dr Laurence (Larry) Roddick FRACP: For service to paediatric medicine.
  • Dr Karen Zwi FRACP: For service to paediatric medicine.

Public Service Medal (PSM)

Professor Nicola Spurrier FAFPHM, FRACP: Public Service Medal (PSM), for outstanding public service to community health in South Australia.

Professor Catherine Choong
PCHD President

The 2023-24 PREP program requirements survey is open

Please provide feedback on proposed changes to the 2023-24 PREP program requirements by completing an anonymous 5-10 minute survey.  

The survey closes on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

RACP Training Programs are evaluated biennially by the responsible Training Committee (TC) to ensure they are in line with educational best practice and enable physician professional development. 

Your feedback will be considered by your TC to decide whether:

  • the proposed changes for 2023-24 are beneficial, equitable and achievable
  • a sufficient notice period has been provided before the proposed changes are implemented.

The proposed 2023-24 PREP program requirements will be reviewed by the College Education Committee later this year. 

Approved requirements will be published on the RACP website in early 2022.

Complete the survey

From the RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards are closing soon. Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding under the following award categories:

New grants

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division has introduced the RACP Paediatric Small Study Grants. Multiple grants are available with funding from $5,000 to $10,000 each, which aims to support and encourage clinical paediatric research led by Advanced Trainees and Fellows.

Also available is the Eric Burnard Fellowship valued up to $10,000, which supports further education in the field of neonatology and/or improve health outcomes of infants.

Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpage for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Be part of the Grants Advisory Committee

The RACP Foundation is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Fellows to join the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC is the College body that coordinates the College program of research grants and training awards, including assessment of applications and determining recipients. Successful candidates must be available to join the GAC meeting on Thursday, 4 to Friday, 5 November 2021 and are expected to review applications for the Foundation’s 2022 research awards current round, with the review period from Friday, 16 July to Monday, 20 September 2021.

Please submit an EOI form, along with a copy of your CV, to foundation@racp.edu.au.

Howard Williams Medal

Recognise a member of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division for their outstanding contribution to improving the health of children and young people in Australia and/or Aotearoa New Zealand. The medal is awarded by the College each year at RACP Congress, where the recipient gives an oration regarding their contribution. See the RACP website for further details. Nominations close on Tuesday, 10 August 2021.

The Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel in 2017.

This award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as individuals outside the College. However, the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of the RACP to be considered.

Details on the application process and selection criteria are available on the RACP website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Rue Wright Memorial Award

The Rue Wright Memorial Award is presented to the applicant who best demonstrates excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to community child health in an oral presentation. This year the presentations will be held via webinar on Tuesday, 26 October 2021. See the RACP website for further information. Applications close on Friday, 10 September 2021.

College medals and awards

Nominations are now open for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.

We encourage you to nominate for the following medals:

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto 'Hominum servire saluti'. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
  • International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • Trainee of the Year Award recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.
  • The Eric Susman Prize is awarded by the College to a Fellow for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Trainee Research Awards 2021

Applications for Trainee Research Awards open from Thursday, 1 July to Tuesday, 31 August 2021. Trainees and new Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited to present their work alongside recognised researchers at the 2022 RACP Congress. Each will receive complimentary Congress registration, travel and accommodation and a certificate to acknowledge their achievement.

Award recipients are also invited to have their abstracts published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health RACP Congress supplement.

Please see the RACP website for further details.

College Medals 2021 recipients

  • RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas  Dr Allan Kerrigan
    The RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • RACP Mentor of the Year – Dr David Levitt
    The RACP Mentor of the Year prize is presented to a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • RACP Trainee of the Year – Dr Davina Buntsma
    The Trainee of the Year prize is presented to a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.

RACP Constitution Review

As part of the RACP Constitution Review project, the College is undertaking a review of its constitution and governance.

Extensive consultation with the membership is crucial to this process so please complete this survey, which gives you the opportunity to provide feedback on some key questions.

It should take no more than five minutes to complete, and your answers will help guide the direction the College takes with this work.

The survey will remain open until 9am Monday, 28 June 2021 so there is still time for you to have your say.

Refugee and asylum seeker advocacy

The RACP was involved in significant advocacy recently calling on the Australian Government to urgently release the Tamil family from Biloela, Queensland from held detention. The family has been held in immigration detention since March 2018 – first on the mainland and then on Christmas Island since August 2019. This represents most of the children’s lives. Even though the family has not been legally classified as refugees, the College has a long standing Position Statement (2015) opposing children being in held detention, which was the focus of our advocacy.

The advocacy efforts involved publishing a media release, promoting it on social media, securing an interview for RACP President-elect Dr Jacqueline Small, who was Acting President, on SBS, writing multiple emails to MPs, and publicly releasing an open letter to Minister Karen Andrews signed by nine medical organisations, including the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and others.

The open letter received broad media coverage, including 685 online media mentions, 26 radio mentions, 14 print media mentions and three TV mentions. Notable media mentions include:

This successful advocacy by the College, including from RACP Fellow MPs Dr Katie Allen and Dr Mike Freelander, and other supporters, resulted in an announcement on 15 June 2021 that the Murugappan family would be reunited in Perth and allowed to live in community detention while their legal claims are determined in the Federal Court.

The release of the family into community detention represents a significant win that demonstrates the power of the College’s voice in providing support and medical leadership on important public policy issues. On 16 June 2021, the RACP issued a media release welcoming the Government’s decision.

The RACP continues to advocate for the Australian Government to end the detention of children.

Webinar: The Origin Project

The Chapter of Community Child Health continues to roll out their Webinar Series 2021. The latest webinar on 'The Origin Project' features Professor Desiree Silva presenting on a birth cohort study run through the Telethon Kids Institute. The study looks at developmental origins of health and disease, following mothers, fathers, and children from pregnancy through the first five years of life. You can watch this webinar now via RACP Medflix.

Telehealth online learning resource

Access all the information and tools you need to prepare for and conduct culturally competent and patient-centred telehealth consultations in this new Telehealth online course. We understand you’re busy, so we’ve made sure RACP Online Learning Resources are accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning. Our courses are designed to enable you to dip in and out, or just do the parts that are relevant to you.

New online course: Physician wellbeing in challenging times

Physicians often fail to put on their own oxygen masks when dealing with the challenges and stresses that come with practising during a pandemic. This new online course explores in-depth how to better support your own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of your staff and colleagues through compassionate leadership. The course covers concepts, strategies, and tools to help you mitigate the impact, set healthy boundaries, prevent burnout, and build support networks during a crisis.

Evolve Webinar Series – Addiction medicine: First, do no harm

The July session of the Evolve Webinar Series on ‘Addiction medicine: First, do no harm’ will be held on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 from 6pm to 7pm (AEST)/8pm to 9pm (NZST).

There are concerns in addiction medicine regarding inappropriate forms of treatment, and forms of treatment that are unsupported by evidence. In this virtual forum, Professor Nicholas Lintzeris and Professor John Saunders discuss why the new Evolve recommendations on addiction medicine are relevant and important for all physicians to understand.

Register now

Positions open on the Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee welcomes expressions of interest from members (Fellows or trainees) with relevant skills and expertise in ethics, continuing professional development, education and the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand health systems to fill two vacant positions.

The Committee is responsible for providing the Board with advice on areas that raise ethical considerations in the context of policy and advocacy, education, clinical practice and the health of our communities, research and financial investment.

For further information and to apply, please visit the Expression of Interest webpage.

Applications close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Expressions of Interest: Member Health and Wellbeing Committee

The RACP is seeking to appoint representatives to its Member Health and Wellbeing Committee from the following:

  • a representative from the Paediatrics & Child Health Division
  • a representative from a Chapter of the College
  • a trainee representative.

Applicants should:

  • provide relevant interest, skills and expertise to the Committee
  • not represent any particular organisation
  • be prepared to devote the time to prepare for and attend Committee meetings on a pro-bono basis.

The Member Health and Wellbeing Committee is a Committee of the Board charged with the responsibility of assisting the Board to discharge its responsibilities:

  • to represent the view of physicians and trainees on health and wellbeing
  • to promote the personal and psychological health and wellbeing of physicians and trainees
  • to advocate on behalf of physicians and trainees in matters relating to health and wellbeing
  • to provide expert advice on matters relating to member health and wellbeing
  • to increase awareness of wellbeing issues in physicians and trainees
  • to oversee the ongoing management and implementation of the Member Health and Wellbeing Strategy and associated activities
  • to provide guidance on the evaluation of the Member Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • to work with College health and wellbeing staff to revise the Member Health and Wellbeing Strategy when required.

The Member Health and Wellbeing Committee meets up to four times a year by video conference and one face-to-face meeting per annum according to its By-laws/Terms of Reference.

The Committee is chaired by a Fellowship Committee member nominated by the Fellowship Committee.

The Member Health and Wellbeing Committee has a role in ensuring the College continues to deliver high quality physician education and training programs, support future health care systems and provide health policy leadership.

If you are interested in applying for the available position on the Member Health and Wellbeing Committee, please complete the Expressions of Interest form and provide your CV to:

Lucie Taggart, Health and Wellbeing Officer
Subject line: Member Health and Wellbeing Committee

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health June 2021 is available online

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Volume 57, Issue 6, June 2021 is now available on the JPC Wiley page.

An early view is also available of future articles.

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep70: Zeroing in on ‘the renal troponin’

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) makes a greater contribution to early mortality than acute myocardial infarction and it's been argued we should consider the concept of ’kidney attack’ to give it the weight that it deserves. However, the presentation of kidney injury isn’t as overt or timely as a heart attack often is. While serum creatinine is a pretty good reporter of chronic impairment in kidney function, it’s very insensitive to acute injury, so for two decades there’s been a concerted search for more proximal biomarkers of AKI.

The three most promising candidates are neutrophil gelatinase‐associated lipocalin (NGAL), tissue inhibitor of metallo-proteinase 2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-7 (IGBFP-7). Commercial assays for these exist that can predict moderate to severe AKI with a lead time of many hours. Many questions remain as to whether these are specific enough to be useful at point of care, whether we have the interventions to respond to the information they provide, and what ‘false positives’ might indicate.


  • Professor Rinaldo Bellomo AO FRACP FCICM FAHMS (Director of Research Intensive Care, Austin Hospital; University of Melbourne; Monash University).

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotify,Castbox, or any podcasting appFellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website. 

University of Otago, Otago Medical School Freemasons Postgraduate Fellowships in Paediatrics and Child Health

The fellowships are open to university graduates who intend to pursue work in paediatrics or child health in Aotearoa New Zealand long term. The fellowships may be either of the following:

  • Training Fellowships in which the recipient would devote his/her entire time to an approved training program, which should include research.
  • Research Fellowships (medical or non-medical) which are designed for the recipient to engage in full-time research in clinical or basic medical sciences related to paediatrics and child health.
  • Postgraduate Scholarships intended to provide support to a scholar whose program of work or research would lead to a higher degree and whose work is within the field of paediatrics and child health.
  • Such other categories of fellowship that may be agreed to from time to time between the Lodge and University.

Fellowships or scholarships are to be awarded annually and be for a duration of one year, but with provision for a further year. In exceptional circumstances it may be extended for a longer period.

Applicants are required to provide the following information in 12 point, Arial or Times New Roman font:

  • Name, date of birth and address (work and private)
  • Cover letter that includes how the applicant will use this research for their future training/career/research plans for postgraduate degrees related to the pursuit of work in paediatrics or child health, including an outline of full-time versus part-time and any other background required to set the scene for their proposal.
  • CV using RST format (two pages maximum)
  • Names of referees and their details (provide two)
  • Detailed outline of the planned research or training program, starting date, together with written approval from the Head of Department in which tenure of the fellowship (or scholarship) is proposed:
    • Scientific Abstract (maximum half-page)
    • Lay Summary (maximum half-page)
    • Significance to child health in Aotearoa New Zealand (maximum half-page)
    • Research Proposal (three pages maximum)
      • Background
      • Hypothesis/Aims
      • Methods
      • Statistics (e.g. sample size calculation if relevant)
    • References (typically one page)
  • Letter of support from relevant Supervisor
  • Letter of support from relevant Head of Department.

Preliminary information and advice may be obtained from the Head of any Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Otago Medical School:

Associate Professor B Wheeler
Department of Women’s & Children’s Health
Dunedin School of Medicine
PO Box 56

Associate Professor Tony Walls
Department of Paediatrics
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345

Professor Dawn Elder
Department of Paediatrics & Child Health
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343

Applications should be sent to the Lead Administrator, Department of Women’s & Children’s Health via wch.admin@otago.ac.nz.

For fellowship to be awarded for 2022, applications close on Saturday, 17 July 2021.

International Society for Social Paediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP) ebulletin

ISSOP promotes knowledge of social paediatrics to stimulate research in this field, disseminates such knowledge at meetings and works together with national and international agencies. Check out the latest issue of the ISSOP ebulletin.

Bionics Challenge 2021

Bionics Challenge 2021 is a unique medtech competition enabling new or early stage bionic innovation projects to win Australia's first-ever National Bionics Innovation Prize – $25,000 cash plus a share in $25,000 expert insights from Morgans Financial. With $300,000+ in prizes and support for winners, the challenge, which closes for entries on Friday, 2 July 2021, aims to create a Human Bionics LivingLab to ignite collaboration across borders. 

Visit the Bionics Queensland website for further information on the four categories of medical bionic innovations.

Conferences and 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.

Pot-pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Update your details with the College

Did you know that you can now update your address details online? Simply Login to MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.
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