Dear <<First Name>>


Virtually all surgeons are involved in our College at some stage in their career: from training registrars to teaching on College courses.  It is our great strength.  Taking a formal role such as joining a College Board, Committee or facilitating a course is not for everyone, and not everyone can spare time from family or patients. 

Recently we had State Committee elections. Queensland is fortunate currently to have dynamic and engaged members for the State Committee. In reflecting on the nomination and voting process, feedback was given that not many Fellows, especially younger, know the place and role of the State (and NZ) Committees.  This may explain confusion over email reminders that resulted in a relatively small voting turnout.

When I welcome new committee members, I remind them that we consider all our debates, remarks, and decisions within the lens of upholding surgical standards and education.  I summarised the role of the State Committee recently at Council, when presenting issues and achievements from Queensland. “Where there are concerns regarding Surgical Standards, Education, Training and Professionalism; the Committee members act as the interface between surgeons and Queensland Health, Queensland Parliament, Media, Health Service jurisdictions, private sector, Medical Schools, the Community, and College Council.” 

I have expanded in my reports to Council on how Queensland State Committee members represent what is concerning surgeons in their professional lives in places a long way from Melbourne.  Thirty five percent of our Queensland population and surgeons live outside the southeast corner. Queensland has the most decentralised population with multiple major regional hubs of several hundred thousand people up to the Cape, and out west past Toowoomba to Mt Isa. 

A long list of advocacy issues from the last two years follow – all should be familiar from our newsletters and your lived experience:
  • Regional and rural surgical workforce
  • Rural surgery training program
  • Rural surgery fellowships
  • On call rosters and fatigue provisions especially rural
  • Protecting training opportunities and surgical standards in outsourcing elective public surgery
  • Response to COVID PPE and Kimguard shortages
  • Elective surgery categorisation during and after lockdown (including private)
  • Health Transparency Act (“govt trip advisor ratings for surgical services”);
  • Trauma Committee advocacy on alcohol lockout zones, e-scooter, quad bikes, dog-bites
  • QASM funding, surgical outcome database funding (NSQIP)
  • Emergency surgery KPIs
Finally, the subject of responsibility for censoring, investigating, verifying and complaining about alleged lapses of professionalism in surgeons in Queensland remains a major subject of debate and controversy between surgeons, jurisdictions, health ombudsmen, state committee and councillors.

The Committee is made up of elected members, co-opted members including the Chair of the Trauma Committee, QASM Chair, Younger Fellow representative, and Queensland Councillors. Further we co-opt a representative of specialities who are not otherwise represented – usually by asking the society state equivalent leadership group. I was originally the paediatric surgery co-opted member before being honoured to accept an elected role.   To harness the strong leadership abilities of our Committee members we are introducing more formal portfolios of responsibilities for Committee members.  As the Chair often needs to represent RACS at government meetings we propose supporting that role with two deputies – one who will have metropolitan liaison role and the other with regional liaison role. There will a Liaison portfolio for training, medical students and educational activities. The secretary will support the Chair in the government liaison role. We are also exploring an events and awards coordination position.

Thus, the RACS State Committee does not act as a union and does have strong links with College Council.    College Councillors have formidable governance responsibilities as “Not for profit Company Board” members for the strategic oversight of college functions such as the examinations, surgical training, ASC, CPD health advocacy, scholarships, and interactions with federal government, ACCC and AMC accreditation on our behalf. The State Committee represents all surgeons (public and private), trainees, SIMGs and potential trainees to local authorities in matters of surgical standards, advocacy, and education.

Thank you to all the Committee members whose dedication to the integrity of the process of upholding surgical standards and professional continues to inspire me with their integrity and collegiality at our meetings.

Next when you think someone needs to ‘do something about that’ – and you don’t feel that is in your personality’s toolbox to be that someone - then support your state committee members.  Nominate them, vote for them, and communicate with them. It is the best way to ensure we do something about that.

Professor Deborah Bailey
Chair Queensland State Committee
Queensland Charity Dinner
Featuring Opera Queensland 

Proceeds from the night will go to the RACS Foundation for Surgery The Official Charity of the ASC and fund the work they undertake.
Time: 7pm
Date: Friday 14 May 2021
Venue: W Brisbane 
Register Here
Charity Dinner 's Auction Items

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is a non-profit organisation training surgeons and maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand.Please help us to raise critical funds by participating in our auction or by making a donation. 

View Auction Items
Surgeons' Month 2021
Surgeons' Month will take place in October/November this year please see our events schedule:


  • Tuesday 26 October - Past Chair's Dinner and Younger Fellows Dinner
  • Saturday 30 October - Preparation for SET
  • Sunday 31 October - Surgical Skills Competition


  • Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November - Younger Fellows Preparation For Practice
  • Wednesday 10 November - Committee Dinner and Awards Night
  • Friday 12 November - FSSE course
  • Saturday 13 November - Equality in Medicine Event
  • Thursday 18 November - Directors of Surgery Forum
  • Friday-Sunday 19-21 November - QLD State Conference
Neville Davis Prize 
The Neville Davis Prize is a premier research prize open to Queensland Surgical Trainees of all specialties and PHOs in Surgical Departments. For more information, please click here.
RACS Papers Prize 
The annual Queensland RACS Papers Prize is a premier research prize open to all Queensland Medical Students and Junior Doctors for presentation on a surgical topic.
For more information, please click here.
Abstract Submissions open date:
Monday 3 May 2021
Abstract Submissions close:
Monday 16 August 2021
How to Write an Abstract

Date: Thursday 20 May 2021
Time: 6pm - 7pm
The 2021 State Conference
The State Conference will be held at Peppers Resort Noosa 20-21 November 2021. Please reserve the date in your calendar. It is anticipated that registration will open June 2021. Sessions will include the following:
  • Planning – QHealth/Directors of Surgery
  • KPI – QHealth /Directors of Surgery
  • Resources – theatre, anaesthetists, surgeons
  • Generalism in surgery – training/college
  • Trauma/Emergency Surgery
  • Rural issues - RACS Rural Health Equity Strategic Action Plan and SOSS Program
  • Medical students – work life balance versus acute surgery provision in the future
  • Trainees – fatigue, supervision, flexible training impacts strategy/supervision in training afterhours/quality
As is customary at the State Conference, we will have the David Theile Lecture which will be delivered by Dr Michael Wagels and a dinner speech from the Honoured Guest Dr Rosslyn Walker.
Have you secured your place at the 2021 RACS Annual Scientific Congress? In-person and virtual registrations are available. Fellows are reminded that attendance at the Congress will meet 50 per cent of your CPD requirements for the January to June 2021 period. Your attendance will be automatically updated in your CPD records.

Sessions will be streamed from the Melbourne Exhibition Centre to hubs throughout Australia and New Zealand. RACS Queensland will host a hub at the College’s Office at Kangaroo Point. The following areas of interest will be streamed into the Queensland Office.
  • Plenary sessions from Tuesday to Friday
  • Trauma
  • Global Health
  • Surgical Education
  • Surgical Trainee
  • Rural Surgery 
Please view the Queensland program here.

You will need to register as a virtual attendee and email the Queensland College at to advise of your attendance at the Office Hub.
8th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium 
The 8th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium, 'Connecting research, practise & communities is being held in Canberra 6-7 October 2021 and the call for abstracts is now open.

The Symposium will focus on rural and remote health research that informs strategic health policy, and health service challenges in rural and remote Australia into the future.  Presentations are now being sought from emerging and active researchers.

For abstract guidelines and details about the various presentation types visit the Symposium website at 

The call for abstracts closes on 13 June 2021.
Global Advances and Controversies in Skin Cancer 

Register today to attend The Global Advances and Controversies in Skin Cancer (GAC-SC)! Benefit from the event taking a hybrid approach to conferencing in 2021, with in-person attendance to be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) and virtual attendance to be live-streamed online this 5-6 November 2021. You can view the Program here. 

Listen, learn and network about state-of-the-art advances in both science and clinical areas across all aspects of skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research.

This exciting event will bring together leading experts, working in skin cancer and will focus on the latest advances across a wide range of disciplines.

Secure the limited time only 40% off Launch discount today! Use discount codeLAUNCH when registering before 4 May 2021. Click here to 

The Gift Giver: Is it okay to Accept a Patient's Gift?
Avant Mutual Sponsor Update

Sometimes patients are so thankful for a doctor’s care, they want to express their gratitude in the form of a gift and may even bequeath money or property.
However thoughtful on behalf of the patient, this situation can throw the most experienced doctor into a tailspin about whether accepting the gift is ethical or legal and can potentially lead to a complaint. 

Check out the full article at

Practice Succession Success:
Start Early

Medical practice succession can be a daunting proposition. When you have worked so hard to build a practice, you want to ensure it changes hands in a fashion that enables patient care and service to be best maintained and in a manner which sees you achieve maximum value. Craig Hong, Director of Hillhouse Legal Partners shares seven key strategies to ensure a smooth and cost-effective practice succession.
2021 End of Financial Year Tax Tips

RACS partners, Walshs are specialist tax accountants in the medical industry, regularly working with surgeons to maximise tax savings. Here, the team discuss how forward planning for the 2021-22 financial year creates opportunities for greater understanding of tax liabilities, potential tax savings and wealth creation opportunities for surgeons.

Read more.
Surgeons wellbeing
RACS encourages all surgeons to recognise and discuss any challenges facing them and to ensure self care is part of managing their professional life.
Check out our support program and resources
Member advantage
Fellows and Trainees of the College can access exclusive discounts on a range of quality lifestyle products and financial services through the RACS Member Advantage benefit program.
Further information
Prevocational doctors can subscribe to an ePortfolio and educational resources that have been designed to support the Framework and promote flexible online self-directed learning.
Subscribe to JDocs
SimuSurg app
Experience a virtual operative environment to refine your operating skills. The app created by surgeons for surgeons simulates minimally invasive surgery.

Download SimuSurg via the
App Store or Google Play.
Speak Up app
RACS' new app can assist surgeons to comfortably address unacceptable behaviour using the Vanderbilt model, from the Operating with Respect (OWR) course.

Download the app via the App Store or Google Play.
Confidential support services are available for College members and their immediate family or household members. Experienced counsellors are available to speak with you about personal or work related matters.
More information

Professor Deborah Bailey
Queensland State Committee
RACS Queensland webpage
RACS Queensland Email
RACS Twitter
RACS Facebook
RACS YouTube
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