Pot-pourri newsletter 1 June 2018

President's Message

It’s a pleasure to write my first message to you as PCHD President.

The recent RACP Congress in Sydney had much relevance to paediatrics. The theme of disruption was manifest across issues such as the health effects of climate change, changing disease patterns, and the march of health technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

Two key new position statements were released at Congress. One on obesity and the other, on inequities in child health, which was released by Megan Mitchell, the Australian National Children’s Commissioner. A session on the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) celebrated 25 years of success. Congratulations to the team and to Professor Elizabeth Elliott who founded and remains the Director of APSU.   

RACP President, Associate Professor Mark Lane, announced this week that one of his personal goals during his time as President is a focus on the first 1,000 days of the child. This is of great significance to the Division and I’ll personally be supporting him to achieve this goal and sustain it, as it’s also very close to both my heart and professional expertise. The theme of next year’s RACP Congress in Auckland will also strongly capture ‘the first 1000 days’ as a key determinant of health throughout life.

I’d like to thank Dr Sarah Dalton for her dedicated service to the RACP as PCHD President over the last two years. There is much to be celebrated. My own recollections of the key activities Sarah led were her advocacy for the health needs of children in detention and highlighting the adverse consequences on children of alcohol advertising in sport.

I look forward to representing you to achieve a strong Paediatrics & Child Health Division with an effective voice for paediatricians, children and youth. We must look internally to our own needs and support the well-being of paediatricians and trainees. I’d also like to promote a strong external view, where we lead the research and policy agendas on topical issues within our professional expertise, such as the definition of autism spectrum disorder and its impact on children and their families within the NDIS.

We are already a voice for children, but a challenge I’d like to address is how we can capture the voice of children as they respond to abuse, neglect, violence, war, advertising, technology and the new existential threats including for the first time in history, of a lifespan shorter than that of their parents.

Many of you are already working within the College to ensure the efficient planning and delivery of core functions of training and fellowship. Others are involved in the College Council with its revised function. Dr Jacki Small is the paediatrician on the Board. To all, please don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas, opportunities, or concerns.

Professor Paul Colditz
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

Inequities in Child Health Position Statement launched

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell launched the RACP’s position statement on inequities in child health at Congress on Monday, 14 May 2018.

Developed by a paediatric Working Group co-chaired by Professor Sharon Goldfeld and Associate Professor Susan Woolfenden, the position statement includes recommendations calling on the government to:

  • report annually against the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Children’s Headline Indicators to keep governments accountable
  • develop equitable access indicators for children accessing health services and report on performance annually
  • appoint a National Chief Paediatrician to provide clinical leadership in paediatric healthcare policies and programs
View the Position Statement now or contact policy@racp.edu.au for further information.

Reminder — RACP IT Systems update

Systems unavailable on 3 June and 9 to 11 June 2018
* Please note the updated times

Due to essential technology upgrades, all RACP internal and external facing IT resources will be unavailable on the following dates:

  • Sunday, 3 June – 12.01am to 11.59pm* AEST
  • Saturday, 9 June – Monday, 11 June inclusive 12.01am to 11.59pm* AEST

This will impact all Fellows, trainees and staff.

These weekends have been chosen to minimise disruption as many Australian states have a public holiday on Monday, 11 June. Unfortunately, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand who are not on a public holiday will experience a greater impact as there will be no access until 11.59pm on Monday, 11 June during the outage.

We apologise for any inconvenience, but these upgrades are essential and cannot be deferred.

We are aware a number of members access College systems on weekends, and we want to provide you with as much advance warning as possible.

Systems and resources that will be unavailable include:

  • RACP.edu.au
  • All member portals
  • All trainee portals
  • MyRACP
  • MyCPD
  • eLearning@RACP
  • College Learning Series
  • College Intranet
  • Outlook (Email via webmail will still be accessible through outlook.office365.com)
  • All remote access services
  • Alfresco Share Sites

If you have to complete essential tasks during either of these weekends, we strongly recommend you save any required documents to the device you will be using before the outage begins.

If you have any further questions or enquiries, please contact RACP Member Services on memberservices@racp.edu.au or in Australia on 1300 MyRACP (1300 69 7227) or in New Zealand on 0508 MyRACP (0508 69 7227).

Representative​ required

Expressions of interest are sought from interested Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Fellows to nominate for the PCHD representative position on the Congress Program Committee (CPC) for the RACP Congress 2019. The Congress will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in May 2019.

The PCHD representative on the CPC leads the development of the paediatric stream, and works with other CPC members and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions.

The PCHD representative will: 

  • coordinate all content within the paediatric stream, while linking to the purpose, goals and key themes of Congress
  • collaborate with the Chair and other CPC members to optimise the shared interest sessions and broader Congress program through identifying notable speakers, significant topics and innovative delivery formats
  • attend the CPC fortnightly planning meetings via teleconference. The CPC requests some email discussion in between teleconferences which is often on suggestion and opinion of speakers and sessions
  • proactively encourage registration for Congress. 

Please submit your EOI along with your CV to paed@racp.edu.au by 5pm on Friday, 29 June 2018. The PCHD Council Executive will appoint the position.

Research funding available

Close to $2.5M in research funding is currently being offered through the RACP Foundation in the following award categories:

Visit the PCHD awards and prizes web page for details of funding and award opportunities offered by the Division.

For any queries regarding the eligibility criteria, or application process contact the RACP Foundation Senior Administration Officer by calling +61 2 9256 9639.

Conference invitation

The Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine (AADDM) is an organisation of medical practitioners, allied health practitioners and others who specialise or have an interest in improving the health and function of the over 500,000 Australian children, adolescents and adults with intellectual disability. AADDM aims to improve the health of children, adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disability through professional development and advocacy.

AADDM is holding its annual conference on 6 and 7 September 2018 in Sydney at the Aerial Function Centre, Broadway. It will be a diverse and stimulating conference addressing a range of topics relevant across the lifespan such as End of Life Care, Young People at Risk of Contact with Juvenile Justice and Management of Nocturnal Enuresis in Children and Adolescents with DD.

Visit the AADAM website for details about our organisation, membership and the conference. 

Dr Jacqueline Small and Professor Julian Trollor
President and Vice President, AADDM

FaceMatch project

FaceMatch uses IMAGUS computer face-matching technology to match the faces of individuals with undiagnosed intellectual disability (ID).

Despite recent advances in genetic testing, up to 70 per cent of children with a moderate to severe ID do not receive a diagnosis.

Parents describe the diagnostic odyssey as spending years searching for an answer.

Many people with ID have facial features which can provide a clue to diagnosis.

By matching faces of people from around the world with similar facial features, we hope to help families find a diagnosis earlier and potentially discover new genes important in brain development.

Participation in the FaceMatch project can be initiated by either the parent or the doctor.

Parents will be asked to nominate a doctor to enable the FaceMatch team to work in partnership with families and their own doctor.

Parents of children with a known genetic diagnosis will also be invited to participate.

More information about the project including confidentially and privacy can be found on the Face Match website.

More information about our published data can be found at the following links:

Obesity Position Statement launched

The RACP’s Obesity Position Statement and Evidence Review was launched at RACP Congress 2018 on Wednesday, 16 May.

A Working Group chaired by Professor Boyd Swinburn including leading paediatricians, endocrinologists and public health physicians developed the position statement. It makes evidence based recommendations on the management and prevention of obesity and calls on governments to:

  • introduce regulations to restrict the marketing of unhealthy diets to children and young people
  • implement an effective tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and use the revenue to facilitate access to healthy diets and culturally relevant initiatives to improve health equity
  • revise the Health Star Rating system’s nutrient profiling algorithm to give stronger weight to sugar content and by 2019 require the labelling be mandatory to encourage consumers to choose healthier options and motivate food manufacturers to develop healthier products.

View the Position Statement and Evidence Review now or contact policy@racp.edu.au for further information.

Acute Coronary Syndrome podcast

Listen to author Professor David Brieger discuss secondary prevention of acute coronary syndrome and adherence to therapy in the newest Pomegranate Health podcast.

Access podcast

New benefits website

Same benefits, same savings, new design.

The new member lifestyle benefits website has been re-designed to offer improved navigation and functionality while allowing you to see the full benefit range on offer.

Access to your benefits directly.

Updates from the MBA

News from the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) is now available for viewing online.

Read more

Position statement on paediatric prescribing released

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) recently released its Position Statement on paediatric prescribing.

The RACP worked with the ACSQHC to ensure the Position Statement captured the specific needs of children and young people when prescribing medicines. These issues include the importance of verifying the appropriate dose is prescribed and considerations when managing medication for overweight or obese paediatric patients.

The Position Statement is not intended to be exhaustive, but provides an overview of the key principles at play when prescribing medication to paediatric patients.

The RACP has endorsed the Position Statement, which is available on the ACSQHC website.

HCF Foundation Research Grants

Would you like to undertake a research project based on the RACP Evolve recommendations

The HCF Foundation is currently accepting Expressions of Interest for their 2018 Research Grants, which focus on research projects aiming to reduce the incidence of low-value health care provided in the hospital setting.

Find out more 

​Groundbreaking report into brain injury and family violence

New research from Brain Injury Australia identifies a strong association between brain injury and family violence.

The Australian-first report also shows significant gaps in service responses, ranging from lack of screening for brain injury through to inadequate opportunities for effective rehabilitation, recovery and support.

Read more

Spread the Evolve message

Evolve ​call-to-action and implementation resources, including media, podcasts, posters, presentations, research, training, videos, webinars and worksheets are now available.

Download now

Core competency guidelines released

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ha​s developed guidelines on Core competencies for Australian academic clinical trialists (available on the NHMRC website). It is envisaged that NHMRC-developed competencies will eventually be incorporated into higher education and general education frameworks in Australia.

These guidelines support the training of staff involved in the conduct and oversight of clinical trials. The competencies are designed to support graduated and stratified learning with three competency levels and three roles. The competencies can be incorporated into RACP educational materials and courses, adapting to align with practice areas.

Health, Parenting and Family Violence Forum invitation

You are invited to attend a free forum exploring ​the implications of early health intervention and parenting programs for families vulnerable to domestic violence in Melbourne on Monday, 18 June.

Dynamic, stimulating and action-oriented discussions are taking place at the forum. They will be facilitated by champions in the field including University of Melbourne Professors Cathy Humphreys, Lena Sanci and Kelsey Hegarty.

The Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) is organising the forum and a range of Safer Families CRE programs and models will be presented​.

 Please note: There are a limited number of places available. For more information and to register by Tuesday, 12 June 2018 please visit the Safer Families website.

NDIS webinar invitation

​Join a discussion and learn more about how the NDIS will impact Australia's children and young people with disability at a webinar organised by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) on Thursday, 28 June.

Peter DeNatris, an advisor to the National Disability Insurance Agency administering the NDIS, will provide and overview of the design for early childhood years, discuss the challenges and highlights of the NDIS rollout to date, and also address ​your questions and concerns.

Register your questions and topics for discussion 

Learn from new Curated Collection

Access high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) resources and learn more about the social determinants of health in the newest Curated Collection learning resource guide.

Find out more

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.

Expressions of Interest

You can now go to the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.​ 

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.

View all Paediatrics and Child Health events here.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Career Opportunities


Consultant Paediatrician: Medical Centre in Bankstown
For more information contact Nadia Gewargis on +61 4 2106 3310 or email duttonstmedical@outlook.com


Kidz First Community Child Health Fellow (Fixed Term) Kidz First, CM Health
Reference number: CMH03515
Closing date: Friday, 8 June 2018

Kidz First General Paediatric Research Fellow (Full Time) Kidz First CM Health
Reference number: CMH03514
Closing date: Friday, 8 June 2018


Applications are open for all Victorian Paediatric Rural Advanced Training positions for 2019

​Go to the Medical Positions Vacant page at any time to see all job listings.

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