Northern Territory - August 2016

A message from the Chair of the Northern Territory Committee

The election of representatives on the Northern Territory (NT) Committee for the 2016 – 2018 term has concluded and with that comes my last newsletter as Chair of this Committee.

As I have written in previous newsletters, being involved with regional committees is extremely professionally rewarding, and I have been honoured to be a member, and Chair, of the NT Committee.

I have enjoyed working collaboratively across the College and I look forward to continuing to be part of the working party supporting the NT Annual Scientific Meeting (NT ASM) in November this year.  

This year’s event themes are Access and Patient Centred Care, and once again the ASM hosts the Gerry Murphy Prize and the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence.  

I encourage all Fellows in the NT to attend the ASM and to support your trainees to submit a competition abstract.  

The work of the NT committee is extremely important and I wish the members well in their continued support of policy priorities that need to be addressed by the incoming government to ensure the NT healthcare system continues to operate at a world-class level, and delivers the health outcomes needed by our current and future generations.

Dr Christine Connors
Northern Territory Committee Chair

Introducing your new Northern Territory Committee

The new Northern Territory Committee commenced its two-year term on 1 July 2016.  

State and Territory Committees have an important role to play in terms of understanding a broad range of issues facing each region, and the following committee members (based in Darwin and Alice Springs) will meet approximately five times per year:

  • Dr Henrik Falhammar
  • Dr Aaron Gaekwad
  • Dr Anna Holwell
  • Dr Nadarajah Kangaharan
  • Dr William Majoni
  • Dr Elizabeth Moore
  • Dr Peter Morris
  • Dr Rosalie Schultz
  • Dr Robert Tait
  • Dr Clif van der Oest

For further information regarding the NT Committee, contact the RACP SA/NT office on +61 8 8465 0970 or via email at

nt-asm-2016Register today: 2016 RACP Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting

The Northern Territory (NT) Committee is pleased to present their Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) for 2016.

Following on from a successful event in 2015, this year’s ASM focuses on two major themes of ‘Access’ and ‘Patient Centred Care’.  

This event provides an opportunity for physicians and trainees to gather for presentations of recent research and updates in areas most relevant to physicians working in the Northern Territory.

Once again, the ASM has attracted high calibre guest speakers and the event organisers are delighted that both RACP President, Dr Catherine Yelland and Adult Medicine Division President, Associate Professor Grant Phelps will present at the conference.

We will also welcome guest speaker Ms Susan Biggar, Senior Manager Consumer Partnerships, Victorian Health Issues Centre.

What makes this ASM so different, is that the program for our ASM is developed by NT specialists for NT specialists, and also features the NT regional presentations for the Gerry Murphy Prize and the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence.  

Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Charles Darwin University, and streamed live to various sites across the Northern Territory
Date: Saturday, 26 November 2016
Time: 9am to 5pm, followed by an optional dinner
Registration: For more information and to register go to the 2016 RACP NT ASM website.

Download the 2016 RACP NT ASM flyer (PDF 393KB)

nt-speed-signNo limit in the NT: Government proposes further removal of speed limits

In the April edition of the NT newsletter, ‘Putting the brakes on open speed limits’ outlined how the RACP, the Australian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) are vigorously opposed to the open speed limit trial in the Northern Territory. 

While most states of Australia are implementing measures to improve road safety, the NT has no road safety plan, and is progressively removing speed limits. 

The NT road fatality rate is around three times the national rate, and tourists make up 16 per cent of deaths on NT roads. 

One million dollars has been allocated to upgrade remote roads and speeding has been encouraged by removing speed limits. 

For every 10km per hour increase in speed, the chance of a fatal crash doubles. 

A number of recent deaths on NT roads have been attributed to a failure to wear seat belts. Enforcing road rules such as seat belt legislation is costly in remote areas, but so are road deaths. 

It is possible that the million dollars allocated to upgrading roads in preparation for the removal of speed limits could have saved lives through better enforcement of seat belt legislation.

The RACP NT Committee, together with colleagues in surgery and emergency medicine, has been actively lobbying government around road safety, particularly speed limits. 

As medical professionals we see the devastating impacts of road trauma, and the terrible consequences for individuals, families and communities, first-hand.

RACP, ACEM and RACS maintain that public awareness campaigns highlighting the role of fatigue, alcohol and seatbelts in road accidents and promoting the need for increased driver awareness are not sufficient measures to address road safety in the Northern Territory while open speed limits remain in place. 

Road safety requires a comprehensive approach, and a vital element is missing when speed limits are not included.


Northern Territory RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence – Submit your abstract today

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.

The Northern Territory regional competition will be held at the NT Annual Scientific Meeting. 

Two representatives, 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. 

Abstracts for the Northern Territory regional competition close Friday, 28 October. Trainees from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters are eligible to apply.

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.

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

Attention Public Health trainees – apply today for the Gerry Murphy Prize competition

Northern Territory (NT) based public health trainees are encouraged to participate in the NT regional competition for the Gerry Murphy Prize.

A regional finalist will be selected to represent the NT at the national competition, to be held at the 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in Melbourne from Monday, 3 to Friday, 7 April 2017. The regional finalist will receive:

  • full registration for the WCPH
  • return economy airfares for travel to and from their home town to the WCPH
  • an invitation to the AFPHM dinner at the WCPH.

The national recipient of the Gerry Murphy Prize receives a certificate signed by the AFPHM President, A$500, and a copy of The People's Health written by Faculty Fellow, Dr Milton Lewis.

Regional presentations are scored using:

  • the criteria for the Oral Presentation Assessment which forms part of the AFPHM training program. The competition outcome may be used as part of the trainee assessment
  • additional criteria relating to the quality of the project and importance of findings.

Presentations must be no longer than 10 minutes and up to five minutes extra will be allocated for questions.

Judges will take into consideration the extent to which the trainee covers background, objectives, methodology, results and implications.

It is the responsibility of the trainee to lodge the assessment if they wish to submit it as part of their overall assessment.

Presentations at the national competition will also be scored using the above criteria but the outcome cannot be included as part of the trainee's overall assessment.

Please visit the Gerry Murphy Prize page for further information on eligibility and the application process.

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