Pot-pourri newsletter July 29

President's Post

This week has seen horrific revelations of the abuse of male teenagers in a Northern Territory youth detention centre which has shocked paediatricians and the Australian community. The RACP has responded immediately, calling for support for victims and a repeated call for Australia to ratify the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. My thoughts and sincere thanks go to all paediatricians who care for young victims of abuse and all those who are actively working to improve conditions in the Northern Territory and beyond.

Last week I attended my inaugural RACP Board meeting in Auckland. It is great to see so much good work going on at RACP, from comprehensive plans to make RACP training the best it can be, to an exciting commitment to do more for the health of Indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand. Look out for the upcoming Board Communique to learn more.

I would like to take the chance to thank Professor Paul Colditz, PCHD President-Elect for his ongoing contribution to the Board on paediatric matters – this being his second term.

Meanwhile we continue to draft the PCHD work plan for 2017.We are working towards a number of priorities including contributing to the Basic Training Curriculum Review and ongoing excellent work from the Paediatric Policy and Advocacy Committee such as the development of a statement regarding The Role of Paediatricians in Mental Health Care of Children and Young People.

I look forward to sharing more about Council priorities and actions in coming newsletters, but in the meantime welcome your feedback. Engagement and communication with colleagues is very important to the Council. You can contact me via paed@racp.edu.au

Another important priority for PCHD is to collaborate meaningfully with our paediatric specialty societies. Planning is underway for a forum later in the year to discuss a model of collaboration as well as to move closer towards identifying the top five low-value practices and interventions for each specialty as part of the RACP’s Evolve initiative. 

With engagement and collaboration in mind I will advocate for the RACP Congress 2017 Bringing Specialists Together. Sharing Knowledge. Building Skills from 8 to 10 May. Put the dates in your diary now and come along to receive clinical updates, share your insights and contribute to the ‘big health issues’ with your peers in Melbourne. 

Finally, the PCHD mid-year communique 2016 is now available and I encourage you to read this for an overview of activity achieved and/or underway.
Dr Sarah Dalton
PCHD President

RACP urges immediate support of victims of abuse in detention in the Northern Territory

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcomed the announcement of a Royal Commission into the abuse of male teenagers in a Northern Territory youth detention centre.

The move follows Monday night’s Four Corners program which aired multiple examples of child abuse including being tear-gassed, held in solitary confinement and stripped naked.

It is clear that the fallout of this abuse will be significant and long term for the victims, but immediate care is also needed and immediate steps must be taken to support the affected children. Many of the victims are now at risk of long-term physical and mental health problems.

Adolescence is a critical time in a person’s development. It is imperative that juvenile detention provides opportunities for young offenders to rehabilitate and develop healthy behaviours for life. The Four Corners program revealed that this is clearly not happening.

RACP President, Dr Yelland said paediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists are well placed to assist the Royal Commission.

“RACP members can offer invaluable expertise and experience. Sadly, many have seen the negative impacts of incarceration on detainees and the community.”

Dr Yelland also repeated the RACP’s call for Australia to ratify the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This is one of many recommendations in the RACP’s The Health and Well-being of Incarcerated Adolescents position statement.

Nominate a colleague for the Howard Williams Medal

Nominations for the Howard Williams Medal are now being accepted.

The Howard Williams Medal is a prestigious award bestowed annually by the Paediatrics & Child Health Division of the RACP. 

The Medal acknowledges a Fellow (in exceptional circumstances a person not connected with the College can be considered) who has made an outstanding contribution to paediatrics and child health in Australia or New Zealand in the area of education and teaching, research, professional service/leadership, policy and advocacy, or contribution to disadvantaged groups.

The Medal will be awarded at RACP Congress 2017 – Bringing Specialists Together. Sharing Knowledge. Building Skills.

Recipients are strongly encouraged to give an oration at RACP Congress. Nominations, including a statement of support that addresses the key selection criteria and the nominee’s CV close Monday, 3 October 2016.

Find out more about the Howard Williams Medal and the nomination process.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Read the latest articles including:

  • Anger and aggression
  • Variation in paediatric clinical practice: A review of care in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department settings
  • Vitamin A deficiency and xerophthalmia in children of a developed country
  • Parents as advocates

Read the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health July 2016 (member login required).

RACP Trainee Research Awards – Submit your abstract today 

Recognising researchers of the future

The annual RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence identifies and acknowledges the best trainee research presentations in the fields of adult medicine and paediatric medicine.

Each region hosts a competition and two representatives from each region, one in the field of adult medicine and one in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to present their research in Melbourne in May 2017. This year, 16 regional representatives were selected to present their research at RACP Congress 2016, eight in the field of adult medicine and eight in the field of paediatric medicine. Abstracts are now being accepted for regional competitions from trainees enrolled in:

  • Adult Medicine Division
  • Paediatrics & Child Health Division
  • Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine.

This is an excellent opportunity for trainee representatives to present their ideas and research in a professional and public setting.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence are funded from donations received from Fellows and trainees.

For more information, including abstract submission information, go to the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence page.

Regional submission and competition dates are below.


Abstract closing date (by 5pm)

Abstracts to be submitted to

Competition date and time

Competition venue

New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory

Friday, 30 September 2016


Thursday, 17 November 2016

RACP Sydney Fairley Room
Level 9, 52 Phillip Street, Sydney  

Northern Territory

Friday, 28 October 2016



Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting
9am to 5pm
Saturday, 26 November 2016

Charles Darwin University
The Waterfront Lecture Theatre
21 Kitchener Drive, Darwin

Queensland Friday, 23 September 2016 RACPQLD@racp.edu.au 6pm to 9pm
9 November 2016

Royal Brisbane Place
Level 3, Unit 20
17 Bowen Bridge Road, Herston

South Australia Friday, 9 September 2016



6.30pm to 9.30pm
13 October 2016

RACP Adelaide
Suite 7, Level 2
257 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide


Friday, 5 August 2016


Saturday, 10 September 2016
Time TBA

Medical Sciences/Menzies Building
17 Liverpool Street, Hobart


Thursday, 1 September 2016


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

RACP Victoria
Level 2, 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Western Australia

Friday, 26 August 2016


12pm to 2.30pm
Thursday, 6 October 2016

13 October 2016
5.30pm – 7.30pm

Princess Margaret Hospital McDonalds Lecture Theatre Level 2, Administration Building Roberts Road, Subiaco


WA State Office
Unit 1-3
24 Leura Street, Nedlands

New Zealand

In the field of paediatric medicine
Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand website

17 November 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2016
16 – 18 November
Bethlehem College, Tauranga

In the field of adult medicine

Listen to the latest Pomegranate podcast – A fresh start for disability services

This month’s episode of the Pomegranate podcast – A Fresh Start for Disability Services – takes a look at the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with perspectives from physicians and parents.

The NDIS is designed to provide better care for the 460,000 Australians who have significant and permanent disability. 

The NDIS supports individuals in making personalised therapy goals, accessing appropriate care, and participating in mainstream life. Since 2013 the scheme has had a staged launch across parts of Australia. 

This month, the NDIS will start rolling out across New South Wales and Victoria and will have complete coverage by 2019.

On this episode internal medicine physician Dr Robyn Wallace, of Calvary Hospital in Hobart, explains how the NDIS differs from past disability services, and rehabilitation specialist Dr Elizabeth Thompson shares the hopes her Sydney clients have for the personal funding. Kerry O’Kane talks of her relief at having found a secure future of care for her son in the ACT, while Dr Katherine Langdon describes the impact the scheme has had for paediatric therapy models in Perth.

The 20-minute program, along with all past Pomegranate episodes, is available to download or stream on both iTunes or Subscribe on Android.

Pomegranate is a monthly medical podcast created by physicians, for physicians. The show is produced by the College's Learning Support Unit with member input guiding every step of development – from deciding on an episode's theme to peer review of the show's final content.

New episodes of Pomegranate are released on the last Tuesday of every month. 

RACP Foundation Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the following awards which recognise Fellows and trainees for excellence and outstanding contributions or achievements:

Please visit the RACP Foundation, College & Congress prizes webpage to download the nomination forms and for further details about each award.

Applying for Advanced Training? What you need to know

Advanced Training applications are now open.

Note, all Basic Training must be completed prior to applying for Advanced Training.

Due dates for submitting Basic Training requirements


If you wish to commence Advanced Training during the second half of 2016 , all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Wednesday, 31 August 2016.

If you are commencing Advanced Training in 2017, all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

New Zealand

If you are commencing Advanced Training in 2017, all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Tuesday, 20 December 2016. 

Due dates for applying for Advanced Training


Online registration is now open for trainees who wish to apply for Advanced Training for the second half of 2016. To be considered for approval, completed applications including supervisor approval need to be submitted via online registration by Wednesday, 31 August 2016. Applications for the 2017 training year are due Wednesday, 15 February 2017.

New Zealand

Applications for the second half of the 2016 training year were due by 31 May 2016. Applications for the 2017 training year are due Monday, 31 October 2016. Go to the RACP website to download and complete the appropriate application form and follow the online instructions to submit your application.

Have you completed your Basic Training but want to commence Advanced Training at a later date?

If you have completed your Basic Training but want to commence your Advanced Training at a later date, you must complete an Interruption to Training form.

For further queries, please contact the College on 1300 MyRACP (1300 697 7227) or email PREP_BT@racp.edu.au or Advancedtraining@racp.edu.au 

New Zealand trainees – phone 0508 MyRACP (0508 69 7227), or email Basic.Training@racp.org.nz or Advanced.Training@racp.org.nz 

Are you a New Zealand Fellow and intending to apply for a MyCPD exemption?

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) requires approval of CPD exemptions to be obtained prior to leave being taken, rather than retrospectively. 

If you are intending to be absent from practice for a period of time and may be eligible for a CPD exemption, please contact the New Zealand CPD unit at MyCPD@racp.org.nz or on +64 4 460 8122 in advance of your planned leave to enquire about eligibility. 

If you are eligible, MCNZ approval can then be obtained and an exemption organised. 

Expressions of Interest

EOI: RACP CPD Committee Fellowship representatives, closes 5 August 2016

The Continuing Professional Development Committee (CPDC) is seeking to appoint a Fellow with experience in paediatrics and child health. The successful applicant will be invited to join the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Council as the CPD Lead Fellow.

The College Education Committee (CEC) has established the CPD Committee to:

  • set the agenda for CPD program upgrades and resource development to ensure the College CPD program meets the needs of the Fellowship
  • consider, review and make recommendations on a range of CPD resources (including podcasts, practice review materials and face to face events)
  • identify and facilitate peer review of learning resources suitable for CPD and promote development of learning resources to meet any unmet needs
  • encourage CPD participation through a range of strategies
  • consider and approve minor changes to the MyCPD program (including functional fixes and improvements, aesthetic changes, updates to content)
  • consider and recommend major changes to the MyCPD Program to the CEC (including changes to the MyCPD framework)
  • report to relevant education committees and CEC on statistics and issues arising from CPD participation
  • monitor exceptions to CPD completion
  • consider government regulation on CPD and revalidation in Australia and New Zealand and recommend program and policy change to CEC where appropriate
  • work with the Office of the Dean, other College bodies and specialty societies to support Fellows’ ongoing learning.

The CPDC meets up to three times a year face-to-face with up to four additional teleconference meetings as required. The remaining 2016 meetings are:

  • Friday, 9 September (face-to-face)
  • Friday, 11 November (teleconference)

Valuable (but not essential) experience includes:

  • research experience
  • medical administration experience

Interested Fellows are asked to submit their brief EOI and CV by email to MyCPD@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 5 August 2016. For further information, contact Sarah Champion, CPD Senior Executive Officer, Office of the Dean on +61 2 8247 6249 or sarah.champion@racp.edu.au 

EOI: RACP Representation on NSW Health State Scope of Clinical Practice Working Groups, closes 8 August

The RACP has been invited to nominate Fellows to a number of Working Groups the NSW Health State Scope of Clinical Practice Unit (SSCPU) is establishing for the development of model Scopes of Clinical Practice (SoCP).

The Working Groups are in:

  • general paediatrics
  • paediatric medical oncology
  • paediatric cardiology
  • paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology

The SoCPs are being developed for each medical and dental specialty in NSW Health to assist their hospital credentialing committees to “define an individual’s SCoP in reference to the role delineation of a NSW Health facility in they work”.

A pilot is currently underway to test the SoCP template that NSW Health has developed. In the meantime, the SSCPU is establishing the Working Groups to create the content to populate the ‘core’ and ‘specific’ elements of the model SoCP for the specialty, relevant for use within NSW Health. 

Appointed individuals will be required to attend three, three hour workshops, with some additional work to be carried out via email. Further information can be provided on request.

If interested, please send your EOI statement and CV to paed@racp.edu.au by 9am Monday, 8 August 2016.

Nominate a colleague for the 2016 Australian Human Rights Awards

Nominations for the eight categories in the 2016 Australian Human Rights Awards are now open.

The eight award categories are:

  • the Human Rights Medal
  • Young People’s Human Rights Medal
  • Business Award
  • Racism. It Stops With Me Award
  • Media Award
  • Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award
  • Community Organisation Award
  • Law Award.

2016 marks 30 years since the Australian Human Rights Commission was established and this year’s Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the significant milestones in human rights advancements made over this time.

 “The Commission has a long and proud history of working with the community to protect the rights of all Australians.

“Just one of the significant moments in the last 30 years was the landmark ‘Bringing Them Home’ report which highlighted the plight of the stolen generations,” said President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.

“In this special anniversary year, I am keen to ensure that the 2016 Awards build on our success.

I’d like to encourage everybody who knows an individual or organisation doing inspiring work on human rights to nominate them for an Award,” she said.

Nominations close Sunday, 11 September 2016. 

The awards will be presented on Friday, 9 December 2016.

Details and nomination forms are available on the Human Rights Awards 2016 website

Apply for SIDS and Kids and Cure Kids sudden and unexpected perinatal and infant death collaboration research funding  

SIDS and Kids (Australia) and Cure Kids (New Zealand) are pleased to announce a collaborative Trans-Tasman funding initiative to support research projects aimed at improving the lives of babies and young children.

Funding is available for research relating to the cause/s and prevention of sudden and unexpected perinatal and infant death. 

Trans-Tasman research project proposals of up to A$190,000/NZ$200,000 are encouraged. Projects are to be one to three years in duration.

Australian specific proposals, with no New Zealand collaboration, with a maximum budget of up AU $100,000, are also being accepted.

Applications will undergo a thorough review by the SIDS and Kids National Scientific Advisory Group (NSAG). Cure Kids will run a parallel review process. In addition to scientific excellence, reviewers will consider the following:

  • potential of the proposed research
  • adequacy of experimental design
  • applicant’s training and experience
  • originality of project
  • appreciation of methodological problems
  • value for money.

Based on the above criteria, the SIDS and Kids National Advisory Group will shortlist proposals.

Successful applicants will be advised of proposal outcomes by mid-December, 2016.

Each proposal should be completed on the Application and Guideline form template (MS Word 120KB)

Applications close 5pm on Monday, 22 August 2016.

For more information, please contact:

2017 – 2018 Australian and New Zealand Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice

The Commonwealth Fund invites promising mid-career professionals (government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists) from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom to apply for an opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States (US) as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice

Harkness Fellows work with leading US experts to study health care delivery reforms and critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the US and their home countries. A rich program of seminars organised by the Fund throughout the year further enhances the fellowship experience. The Harkness Fellowship awards up to US$130,000 in support, with an additional family allowance (approximately US$60,000 for partner and two children up to age 18).

The deadline for applications from Australia and New Zealand is Tuesday, 6 September 2016.

New Australian Chief Medical Officer appointed

Professor Chris Baggoley recently retired as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) effective 15 July. Professor Brendan Murphy FRACP has been appointed as Australia’s new CMO.

Professor Baggoley contributed to the PCHD Council meetings in 2013 and 2014 and he sought advice from the RACP via the PCHD on a number of matters including Newborn Bloodspot Screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), and involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people and the Medical Workforce Plan for Tasmania. 

Professor Murphy is a former President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology.

Survey: Health professionals’ attitudes towards using Whole Genome Sequencing in newborn screening 

University of Sydney and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are currently exploring health professionals’ attitudes towards the use of new genetic technologies in newborn screening programs. 

Specifically, they are interested in paediatricians’ opinions on the potential use and ethical issues pertaining to whole genome sequencing (whereby the whole genome is analysed) in newborn screening. 

If you would like to provide your opinion participate, of for more information about this project contact researcher team member, Stephanie White at swhi8396@uni.sydney.edu.au for more information.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) public consultations

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board is undertaking consultations to develop the Australian Medical Research and Innovation strategy and related priorities, to improve the wellbeing of Australians through health and medical research and innovation. Public consultations will be held during August 2016. 

A national live public webinar will also be held. For details on the consultations and to register your interest, please visit the Medical Research Future Fund website.

Career opportunities

New South Wales

Medical Director – Sexual Assault Forensic Medical Service – Part time 32 hours per week: Liverpool
Reference Number: 329272
Closing date: Sunday, 31 July 2016

Staff Specialist – Paediatrician: Griffith Base Hospital 
Reference number: 333515
Closing date: Monday, 1 August 2016

Staff Specialist or Visiting Medical Officer General Paediatrician: Tamworth Hospital 
Reference number: 336124
Closing date: Sunday, 21 August 2016


Paediatrician/Neonatologist: Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane 

Paediatrician: Cairns Private Hospital 
Contact: Shane Mitchell, CEO on +61 7 4052 5213 or email MitchellS@ramsayhealth.com.au

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.

2016 Annual Conference of the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia (NBPSA), 25 to 27 August 2016, Fremantle

Venue: Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia
Date: Thursday, 25 to Saturday, 27 August 2016
Registration: For more information visit the NBPSA conference website.

Caring for Colleagues 2016, 28 August, Sydney

Venue: AMA (NSW) House Conference Centre, 69 Christie Street, St Leonards
Date: Sunday, 28 August
Time: 9am to 5pm
Cost: A$69 for AMA/DHAS members or A$105 for non-AMA/non-DHAS members
Registration: For more details and to register visit the AMA (NSW) website or email events@amansw.com.au

34th International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP) Conference, 31 August to 2 September 2016, Chile

Venue: Ex National Congress, Santiago of Chile
Date: Wednesday, 31 August to Friday, 2 September 2016
Registration: For further information and to register visit the ISSOP Congress website.

11th Annual Paediatric Allergy Update, 2 September 2016, Sydney

This year sessions will include: 

  • allergic rhinitis, diagnosis and management
  • drug allergy in children
  • anaphylaxis, time trends and risk factors
  • primary prevention of food allergy
  • the new infant feeding guidelines
  • improving the understanding of diagnosis and management of FPIES
  • what is allergy and why is there an allergy epidemic – plus our interactive bring your own case session.

Venue: The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. 
Date: Friday, 2 September 2016
Time: 11.30am – 5pm
Cost: This is a free event.
Registration: For detailed program information and to register please contact Jennifer Cook at Jennifer.cook@health.nsw.gov.au

RACP 2016 Tasmanian Physicians' Conference, 10 September 2016, Hobart

The program of this one day conference will include a number of informative presentations as well as research presentations for the Tasmanian RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence (abstract submissions close Friday, 5 August).

The inaugural T.C. Butler and F.R.T. Stevens Award recipients will also be announced. Nominations for these awards close Monday, 1 August.

Venue: Medical Science Precinct, 17 Liverpool Street, Hobart
Date: Saturday, 10 September
Cost: This is a free event
Registration: To register, or for more information, email tas@racp.edu.au

4th International Conference on Oesophageal Atresia (OA 2016), 15 to 16 September 2016, Sydney

Venue: Four Seasons, Sydney
Date: Thursday, 15 to Friday, 16 September 2016
For more information visit the OA 2016 conference website.

5th Singapore Paediatric & Perinatal Annual Congress (SiPPAC) 2016 in conjunction with the 2nd Asian Paediatric Pulmonology Society (APPS) Annual Scientific Congress, 21 to 23 October 2016, Singapore

Venue: The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore
Date: Friday, 21 to Sunday, 23 October 2016
Registration: For more details and to register visit the event website.

ASID Trainees Weekend, 3 to 4 December 2016, Perth

Venue: Telethon Kids Institute, Subiaco
Date: Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 December 2016
Registration: For further information and to register, please visit the ASID website. Registratiosn close Friday, 18 November 2016.

4th World Congress on Controversies in Pediatrics (CoPedia), 30 March to 1 April 2017, Amsterdam

Venue: Mövenpick Hotel, Amsterdam
Date: Thursday, 30 March to Saturday, 1 April 2017
Registration: For further information and to register please visit the CoPedia website.

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