In 2018, ACEM is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the College and emergency medicine, with a range of events and activities across Australia and New Zealand to mark the occasion.

The year-long celebration will culminate with a celebration at the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in November in Perth.

ACEM President Dr Simon Judkins says: “We are unquestionably leaders in emergency medicine – and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our founders for establishing this College 35 years ago.
“This year we will recognise and celebrate our history through a range of activities at events and via social media and the ACEM website. It will be a time to savour, reflect and also to look forward.

“We hope that many of you are able to participate in some way.”

Social media campaigns, events in New Zealand or your state or territory, visits from founding members and former Presidents, and a dynamic digital timeline and videos, are just some of things planned to mark the celebrations.

“At the ASM we will release a book, which has been commissioned and currently being written, that will detail ACEM’s rich history, exploring the formative years of the College, and its growth through the 90s, into the early 2000s right up to the present,” Dr Judkins says.

“We have gone from a body which fought hard to get recognition through the hard work and dedication of the Founding Fellows – to a body which has the third highest number of trainees and is increasingly influential in shaping our health care system.

“Our specialty is unique, with a focus no other specialty has on public health. There are great things FACEMs have achieved – and we’ve come a really long way – in our short history.

“It is worth marking the formation of the College and the development of the specialty of emergency medicine, which has so greatly benefitted millions of Australian and New Zealand patients.”

Dr Judkins says looking back at the College’s history also means there is an opportunity to “start on a new chapter”. “A future where our expert voice is heard and where we continue to have a positive impact for our patients.”

Get involved

Throughout the year there will be opportunities for you to help ACEM celebrate. It could be sending through a picture from when you were just starting out in the emergency department, or one that holds special significance on your emergency medicine journey. As we gather the cherished memories, we will share them with your fellow emergency physicians throughout the year.

Keep an eye out for updates in College communications including the weekly Bulletin and posts on social media.

ACEM’s history

Various state-based emergency medicine societies were established in Australia in the 1970s. In 1981, these societies merged to form the Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine (ASEM). Almost immediately, it was recognised that furthering the specialty needed a formal training and examination program, requiring the formation of a College.

ACEM was formed in 1983 at the 4th Annual General and Scientific Meeting of ASEM at Surfers Paradise in Queensland. There were 67 Foundation Fellows. Dr Tom Hamilton, the Foundation President of ASEM, became the Foundation President of ACEM. The first Primary Examination was held by ACEM in 1985 in Melbourne. This was followed by the first Fellowship Examination in 1986 in Sydney.

Today the College has more than 2300 Fellows and 2800 trainees.