Northern Territory – August 2017

A message from the Northern Territory Committee Chair

Following on from my last bulletin – Prevention is better than cure... SUGAR - Are we poisoning our patients? – I am delighted to announce two exceptional guest speakers at this year’s Northern Territory RACP Annual Scientific Meeting (NT ASM) who are strong advocates for the fight against sugar. Dr Jeff Brown, RACP New Zealand President-Elect will present on his success in persuading hospitals to ban/remove sugary drinks from their vending machines. And, following her highly regarded presentation at RACP Congress, we welcome Ms Jane Martin, Executive Manager at the Obesity Policy Coalition.

This year’s NT ASM will be held in Alice Springs on 27 and 28 October and we are delighted to be partnering with the Baker Institute for Heart & Diabetes to bring an exceptional educational event to central Australia.  Once again, the NT ASM includes the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence and the Gerry Murphy Prize and I encourage all Fellows and supervisors to support their trainees to submit an abstract for the Awards this year.  More details about the NT ASM and the Awards later in this Bulletin.

I recently attended a meeting at the office of The Hon. Natasha Fyles MLA, NT Minister for Health to discuss sugar and obesity, lead toxicity, and inequities in child health. The College has also made a submission to the Northern Territory Alcohol Policy and Legislation Review. Going forward, the Minister’s office gave a commitment to meeting with me on a regular basis to progress these issues.

I would like to acknowledge one of our Committee members Dr Simon Quilty, who was recently awarded the RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas. This award is judged across a number of categories including clinical service contribution, promotion, collaboration and advocacy, education and training.  Congratulations Simon on a wonderful achievement.

Dr Rob Tait
Northern Territory Committee Chair

Calling all NT trainees – We are forming a new NT Trainees’ Committee

Once formed, the Trainees' Committee will be supported to play a role in promoting the views of all trainees in the NT.

Find out more.

Dr Simon Quilty – RACP Medal for Clinical Services in Rural and Remote Areas recipient

nt-quilty-ceremonyAt RACP Congress held in Melbourne in May, Dr Simon Quilty was awarded the RACP Medal for Clinical Services in Rural and Remote Areas.  

Dr Quilty has resided and worked full time at Katherine Hospital for the last four years, arriving as an Advanced Trainee and subsequently working in the capacity of General and Acute Care Physician. He is the only resident Staff Specialist at the hospital (and one of two in the region). He is a strong advocate for remote health, establishing and participating in the Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia’s Northern Australian Remote Hospitals Network. He has been instrumental in the development of telehealth services in the region and his visionary nature and persistence in seeing change implemented provides inspiration and leadership. 

Dr Quilty has established RACP training positions at Katherine Hospital for both Basic and Advanced Trainees, and also acts as a supervisor for Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners trainees working in general medicine, and for Flinders University medical students who spend six months of a four year program in Katherine. 

Dr Quilty’s incredible accessibility, both for clinicians and patients, is remarkable. He is highly regarded throughout the region by patients and their families, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, and by his peers. 

Northern Australian Medical Training: unique training opportunities beyond comparison

The intersection of many Indigenous cultures, tropical medicine, remoteness and rich and diverse landscape of Central Australia, Katherine, Darwin and the Kimberley offers a unique, challenging and rewarding experience for trainee specialists.

Find out more.

Northern Territory RACP Annual Scientific Meeting – Friday, 27 and Saturday, 28 October


Incorporating the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition, AFPHM Gerry Murphy Prize presentations and a seminar on doctors’ health and wellbeing.

The RACP Northern Territory Committee is pleased to present this year’s Northern Territory RACP Annual Scientific Meeting (NT ASM) in Alice Springs. This year the Committee is delighted to be working with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and coordinate activities with their Educational Symposium being held prior to the NT ASM.

Find out more at the Northern Territory RACP Annual Scientific Meeting website.

Venue: Alice Springs Convention Centre
Date: Friday, 27 and Saturday, 28 October 2017 
Registration: Register now at

Doctors Health and Wellness Seminar

To begin the NT ASM on the afternoon of Friday, 27 October, Alice Springs General Practitioner (GP) Dr Sam Heard will present a two-hour workshop on supporting doctors’ emotional health and wellbeing.

Dr Heard is a member of Doctors Health NT, a program which has emerged in recognition of the many barriers which stop doctors sourcing independent health care for themselves, the uncertainty around helping unwell colleagues and the value in doctors and students having their own GP of choice. This exciting health program aims to provide clearer ways for doctors and medical students in the Northern Territory to seek health care for themselves, and to provide assistance if they are uncertain where to start.

Using a mixed format of didactic presentations, panel and small group discussions plus video case studies, this medico-only workshop will address the complex topic of doctors’ health and wellness and the additional burdens faced by medical practitioners on a daily basis. 

The learning outcomes from this seminar are:

  • increased awareness of the health of doctors
  • broader understanding of the ways doctors seek help in the health system
  • increased awareness of the barriers to help-seeking by doctors
  • greater understanding of the ways sustainable doctors remain well
  • broader awareness of the doctors’ health services available across Northern Territory and Australia.

The two hour workshop, included as part of the NT ASM registration cost will conclude with a social event providing opportunity for participants to network in a more relaxed and informal setting.

Register for the NT ASM now at

Northern Territory RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence and Gerry Murphy Prize

Submissions for both these awards close Friday, 1 September 2017

This year, the NT Trainee Research Awards and the Gerry Murphy Prize will be hosted in Alice Springs as part of the NT ASM. Trainees based in Darwin will have the opportunity to present via videoconference. To present for either award, trainees must register for the NT ASM.


RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held to select State, Territory and New Zealand representatives to present their research work in Sydney in May 2018. 

Two trainees, one presenting in the field of adult medicine and one presenting in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to represent the Northern Territory. 

Representatives will be given the opportunity to present their research in Sydney in May 2018 and will receive the following benefits:

  • return economy class airfares from the place of nomination
  • accommodation for three nights (including breakfast)
  • complimentary registration including Trainees' Day (if still a trainee)
  • Congress Gala Dinner or Paediatrics & Child Health Division Dinner.
Trainees from all RACP Divisions, Faculties and Chapters are eligible to apply. The Northern Territory competition as part of the NT ASM on:

Date: Saturday, 28 October 2017
Venue: Alice Springs Convention Centre, 93 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs
Registration: To register go to the NT ASM website

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

Gerry Murphy Prize

Public health trainees are invited to participate in the 2017 Northern Territory Gerry Murphy Prize competition. This is a great opportunity to present a summative oral presentation and trainees are strongly encouraged to participate at least once during their training.

Go to the Gerry Murphy Prize page for more information.

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