Pot-pourri newsletter 15 December 2017

Highlighting the important role of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Policy and Advocacy Committee (PPAC)

Who are PPAC?

PPAC consists of the following Committee members and representatives:

  • New Zealand representative - appointed Fellow: Dr Alison Vogel 
  • Appointed Fellow: Dr Alison (Sally) Poulton
  • Appointed Fellow: Dr Niroshini Kennedy
  • Chapter in Community Child Health representative: Dr Terence Donald
  • Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Committee representative: Professor Rachel Skinner
  • Neonatology representative: Associate Professor John Sinn
  • Advocacy representative: Dr Pat Tuohy
  • Trainee representative: Dr Julie Chen
  • Australian Paediatric Society representative: Dr Allan Kerrigan
  • Consumer representative: Ms Karen Rankin

Improving the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families is a fundamental priority for the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD).

PPAC was inaugurated by the PCHD Council back in 1998, to lead the paediatric and community child health policy and advocacy agenda. PPAC have a mandate to:

  • maintain advocacy on important child health issues and support the PCHD’s response to emerging matters
  • oversee and develop paediatric position statements
  • contribute topical policy and advocacy issues to the College Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • act as the authoritative source of advice within the College in regard to paediatric policy and advocacy.

Current PPAC Policy Portfolio

The existing portfolio of position statements encompasses a large body of work and the PPAC schedule regular reviews of these existing statements every few years to ensure currency.

Position Statements Under Review

PPAC are scheduled to review if the following existing position statements require updating and this significant work will continue into 2018: 

Position Statements Nearing Completion

The following position statements are in development and will be published in 2018: 

  • Inequities in Child Health
  • Early Childhood
  • Indigenous Child Health.

The PPAC would like to thank all the working group members who have contributed their time and expertise to develop these position statements.

RACP Submissions and Media Releases

The PPAC have also heavily advocated for the health of children in detention, children seeking asylum, immunisation, the mental health needs of children and equity of access to health care.

Most recently, the PCHD have commented on marriage equality and tighter restrictions on alcohol advertising.

All RACP submissions, position statements and related media can be viewed in the Policy and Advocacy Library and media releases

Dr Jacqueline Small
PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee


President's Message

Where has this year gone? Incredibly we find ourselves in December, meaning this is the final eBulletin for 2017 and a time to reflect on the achievements of this year.

What have your Council and Committees been working on in 2017? End of year communiques from the PCHD Council and PCHD Committees are now available on the College website. You can see our work covers a wide spectrum of issues across policy, education, research and Fellowship. Below are a few significant activities of your Division in 2017: 

  • The PCHD has had an active media profile in 2017, with significant coverage across the following areas: Evolve and recommendations from the general paediatrics list; alcohol advertising in sport; immunisation; child protection; marriage equality and LGBTI parenting. Most recently we’ve joined the chorus for change in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
  • PCHD position statements have been used as the basis for approximately 30 RACP submissions, statements, letters and contributions this year.
  • 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 and Child Health, an oral abstract presentation at an international conference, participation in the related Choosing Wisely campaign, role-modelling video (in development) and continued efforts for implementation of the list.
  • Collaboration has increased between our PCHD Committees across shared interest topics. The strengthening of paediatric representation across the College 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 PCHD Council are reviewing the deliverables of a narrative workshop to support the identity and purpose of the Division into the future. Paediatricians were interviewed as part of the Member Journey Mapping project and I look forward to the results so we can support our membership in the key areas they’ve identified.
  • Draft Model of Collaboration agreements are under development with each paediatric specialty society.
  • There was an increase in PCHD delegate registrations for Congress 2017, compared to 2016. On the back of that, I’ll remind you to please register for 2018.

It is with pride that I acknowledge that the work of PCHD is very much a team effort and I thank all who contributed to the College this year. I know there are many of you who give up your time for committees, working groups, consultations, supervising, training, examinations and many more activities to ensure our College and our paediatric voice remains at the peak of professional medical service. Your time, expertise, leadership and contribution is very much appreciated.

Given we are now beginning another election cycle, 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 for you 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. Note that appointed positions on PCHD Committees are through an expression of interest process, which will open in early 2018.

As I reflect on the progress of PCHD activity in 2017, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the remarkable work you do in your day to day lives across a variety of clinical areas, each with their own unique challenges. So as we approach the end of year I would like to say thank you. Thank you for improving the health and welfare of children, young people and their families and for looking after each other.

I wish you and your families all the best for a happy and peaceful holiday season. 

Dr Sarah Dalton
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

Response to the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

The report into the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the
Northern Territory
(Royal Commission) was released on Friday, 17 November. The RACP provided two submissions to the inquiry.

  • The Change the Record campaign invited the ​RACP to add its name to an Open Statement  to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers which calls for reform to our youth justice systems and to implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission. 
  • The ​RACP was invited by the Human Rights Law Commission to join a combined media statement that advocates for raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years and reducing the overuse of solitary confinement. 

In addition, the RACP issued a media release calling on all Australian governments to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission report.

Dr Mick Creati, a paediatrican working at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service with experience working in the juvenile justice system, acted as the RACP’s spokesperson on this issue and was interviewed for national radio and print coverage. Dr Creati previously provided testimony to the Royal Commission.

You can read the RACP's submissions and position statements at the links below:

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. RACP Submission - December 2016

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory RACP Submission - October 2016

The Health and Well-being of Incarcerated Adolescents. RACP Position Statement - May 2011

End of year communiques from the Division Committees

End of year communiques for the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Council and the Committees of the Division are now available. Find out about activities across the Division from the:

College elections: Call for nominations now open

The terms of office of the RACP President-Elect, New Zealand President-Elect and for various positions on Division and Faculty Councils and Chapter Committees will conclude in May 2018.

A Call for Nominations is now being made and will remain open until the close of business on Friday, 2 February 2018. Eligible College Members are encouraged to nominate for these vacant positions.

For more information about the positions and how to nominate go to the College Elections 2018 page.

College Learning Series Editorial Group

As part of the Education Renewal program, the College will introduce the College Learning Series (CLS), an interactive online educational resource that will complement the renewed RACP Basic Training curricula in Adult Internal Medicine, and Paediatrics & Child Health.

Advanced Trainees and Fellows are invited to join the College Learning Series Editorial Group, to provide clinical quality assurance for recorded lectures and similar audio-visual content. Members of the Editorial Group may also be asked for advice on clinical or technical aspects of the CLS – such as the suitability of a proposed set of lectures.

To apply, please complete the application form including an uploaded CV by 5 PM (AEDT) Monday, 8 January 2018.

If you would like further information or a copy of the Terms of Reference, please contact the Project Manager, Michael Davidson at Michael.Davidson@racp.edu.au or on +61 2 9256 5425.


RACP Congress 2018 will take place at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from 14 to 16 May 2018.

In Australia and New Zealand, child health inequities mean children have differential health, development and wellbeing outcomes. This disparity is unjust, unnecessary, systematic and, most importantly, preventable.

On Monday afternoon of RACP Congress join us to discuss the inequity in child health: addressing the inverse care law – be part of the solution not the problem. The session will consider opportunities for governments and health services to reduce these disparities, and the powerful role paediatricians can play.

For more information on the RACP Congress program and speakers visit the Congress website www.racpcongress.com.au

Register before 18 February 2018 to receive the early bird rate.

RACP supports Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign

RACP is a supporter of the Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign and committed to raising awareness of the impacts of cognitive impairment, and working proactively to promote best possible care.
Read more

RACP releases NDIS position statement

The RACP has launched its ‘Health and the National Disability Insurance Scheme’ (NDIS) position statement to coincide with International Day of People with Disability.

The position statement addresses the NDIS and its relevance for the health of people with disability. The recommendations are intended for a broad audience, including physicians and the broader health sector, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), governments, disability service providers, and people living with disability and their families and carers.
Read more

Ngā Kaitiaki Hauora – Podcast

Ngā Kaitiaki Hauora means guardians of health.

This episode of the Pomegranate Health podcast, recorded at the recent RACP Māori Health Hui, discusses progress in addressing health inequities in Aotearoa.

Read more

Read RACP Quarterly online

RACP Quarterly is the RACP's member magazine.

Stories in the December 2017/January 2018 edition include:

  • A physician in the loop – artificial intelligence and big data
  • Are our children addicted to our screens?
  • Real-world datasets key to improving multiple sclerosis treatments
  • Horse riding, music therapy and stroke rehabilitation.

Download RACP Quarterly December 2017/January 2018 (PDF 6MB).

Access previous editions of ​RACP Quarterly on the RACP website.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Read the December 2017 Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Articles include:

  • Disease marketing
  • When best interests are not good enough
  • Say a prayer for the safe cutting of a child's teeth: The folklore of teething.
Read More

International Medical Symposium 2018

The full program for the International Medical Symposium 2018 is now available. 'Mauri ora: connecting health professionals’ wellbeing and quality care' is taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, on Friday, 9 March 2018.

Hosted by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the symposium will bring together an international array of health professionals to discuss the current landscape of health professionals’ wellbeing, and how this relates to providing quality care to our communities.

Register now to secure your place for this unique event.

The conference will feature keynote addresses exploring the current health and wellbeing landscape for doctors throughout their professional lifespan, from: 

  • Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie (Canada)
  • Dr Kym Jenkins (Australia)
  • Dr Fiona Moir (New Zealand)
  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne (Australia)

Moreover, the conference will include a panel of symposium speakers examining successful health and wellbeing interventions and programs. Delegates will be invited to participate in table discussions on the major challenges for doctors’ health and wellbeing and suggest possible solutions. The day will end with an interactive session where real-life scenarios will be presented panelists and delegates for examination from different viewpoints.

View the conference program.


The International Medical Symposium 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to benefit from the perspective of other specialists on issues common to all areas of medicine. We hope to see you in Sydney for what promises to be a stimulating and thought-provoking event.

To register, view the program or for more information, please visit the International Medical Symposium 2018 website

Free Interpreting Service Access for Medical Practitioners

General Practitioners and approved Medical Specialists can access the Free Interpreting Service through TIS National, when delivering Medicare‑rebateable services in private practice to anyone with a Medicare card. Nursing and practice support staff working with practitioners registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code. Interpreters in over 160 languages and dialects are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Once registered for the Free Interpreting Service medical practitioners get access to the Doctors Priority Line, which gives priority access to interpreters over other callers.

Working with professional interpreters is essential to ensuring medical practitioners are able to communicate effectively with their patients and are protected from professional risk. This is particularly important when seeking consent, in crisis situations, dealing with complex issues and assessing patient competence.

Research by the Australian National University Medical School provides examples of significant physical and psychological harm resulting from not using a professional interpreter. There is also significant professional risk for practitioners not able to communicate effectively with their patient, particularly in regards to; understanding symptoms, prescribing medication or treatment and/or obtaining informed consent.

To access this free service complete the client registration form. For more information contact TIS National Language Policy Liaison team on tis.lpl@border.gov.au or by calling 1300 575 847. 


RACP Foundation committed to raising an extra $150,000 to fund research

An unprecedented number of high quality applications was received for the research awards offered through the RACP Foundation for 2018. ​Recognising the importance of supporting early career researchers, the Foundation ​is committed to raising an extra $150,000. These extra funds will fund three new RACP Research Establishment Fellowships of $50,000 in addition to those already offered. 

Funding for RACP Fellowships is made possible by the generosity of the Membership through the opt-in or personal donations. Visit the RACP Foundation webpages for more information about the Foundation and its research awards or to contribute to the Foundation make an online donation today

The Foundation helps fund the best and brightest medical minds across Australia and New Zealand and inspires the beginning of major medical breakthroughs through Awards by means of fellowships, scholarships, grants and prizes.

Publication of AFOEM’s Guide to Pregnancy and Work

The College’s Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) has released a Guide to Pregnancy and Work.  

Read more

Call for Abstracts: World Hospital Congress 2018 due 15 January 2018

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), working together with Queensland Health, have announced the Call for Abstracts for the 42nd World Hospital Congress to be held in Brisbane 10 to 12 October 2018.

For more information on the Congress and Call for Abstracts visit the event website

Invitation to comment: Optimal cancer care for people with sarcoma (bone and soft tissue sarcoma)

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services are seeking comment and input into a new draft Cancer Optimal Care Pathways publication on Optimal cancer care for people with sarcoma (bone and soft tissue sarcoma). Background information and the draft publication can be found on the Cancer Council Victoria website.

Please provide feedback by Thursday, 1 February 2018 to Jenny Post, Project Manager, Cancer Council Victoria, via email . If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact ​Jenny on +61 3 9514 6346.

Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

This prize is open to Paediatrics and Child Health Fellows or Advanced Trainees to submit an abstract for a poster presentation.

Abstracts are submitted via the RACP Congress website.

Selected applicants will be invited to give a short oral presentation at the RACP Congress.

The prize recipient will receive $1500 and a certificate.

Closing date Friday, 16 February 2018

Visit the link for more details: Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

Rue Wright Memorial Award

Have you done research in Community Child Health? Consider applying for the Rue Wright Memorial Award, for a Fellow or trainee who demonstrates excellence in hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to Community Child Health in an oral presentation at the RACP Congress. 

Applications close Friday, 2 February 2018

For more details go to the Rue Wright Memorial Award page.


RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize

This prize is for medical students, junior medical officers and physician trainees who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori descent. 

The prize includes:

  • return economy airfares from home town to the RACP Congress
  • up to three nights’ accommodation
  • full Trainee Registration (​four days) or Medical Student Registration (four days).

Applications close Monday, 5 February 2018

For more details go to the RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize page.

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.

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

​New South Wales

Paediatrician: Campbelltown

Opportunity for part-time private work for paediatric physicians in Campbelltown. Flexible work arrangements in highly supportive environment with mentoring support.

Email your CV and cover letter to physicianmedjobs@gmail.com

Qualifications: RACP or equivalent

Contact Details: Tina Brown, +614 1249 8983

Queensland ​

Queensland Clinical Director of Paediatrics: North West Hospital and Health Service

Reference number: QLD/MI261405

Closing date: Wednesday, 3 January 2018


Unaccredited Paediatric Registrar: Latrobe Regional Hospital

Commencement date – 5 February 2018 for 1 year (6 months possible by negotiation)

Reference number: 10061

Closing date: Friday, 22 December 2017

​Western Australia

Developmental/General Paediatrician: One Central Health, Perth

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

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