If you had the chance to have a break over the holiday season, I hope it was a good one and you are raring to go. I know that, like myself, many of you were working, looking after everyone who needed care over Christmas. January has flown by and February will bring a new team of trainees for many departments.

In saying that, I have just returned from a small break exploring the Great Ocean Road and I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a holiday. Spending time with the family and getting some fresh air has certainly recharged my batteries. So if it’s at the beginning of the year, middle or end, make sure get some well-deserved rest. Your body and mind will thank you.

Whichever way you have come to read this blog, I hope 2019 is a safe and prosperous year for you.

For the College, 2019 is sure to be another busy year. All of our work and priorities – across education, advocacy, member support and wellbeing, research, standards and organisational sustainability and awareness – will be guided by our strategic plan, which was released in November last year at the College ASM in Perth.

On the political front, New South Wales goes to the polls in March, while all reports point to a federal election in Australia in May. I can assure you the College will be front and centre making its case on important issues such as access block, mental health care, long-term system reform and workforce planning. This is an important role of the College; in advocating for our patients, we are advocating also for our communities.

Advancing women

The response to the Advancing Women in Emergency (AWE) Section has been extremely strong and encouraging as ACEM looks at practical initiatives to remove structural barriers and better support women in their career development.

Terms of Reference for this Section are pending approval by the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships and, once approved, will be made available to members and trainees.

All members and trainees are welcome to become a member of AWE.

ACEM is your College and we want to hear from you

A reminder that there is still an opportunity for you to help shape two important issues for all of us involved in the College and its activities – diversity and inclusion, and core values.

The Diversity in College Governance consultation seeks feedback on seven recommendations made by the ACEM Board and the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group in regard to possible changes to the structure and composition of the College’s three governing bodies – the ACEM Board, the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships and the Council of Education.

Our work around defining core values aims to support building positive workplace cultures for both College members and staff. The core values proposed have been formulated through collaborative workshops involving the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and members of College staff, and drawing upon the existing set of College staff values.

Again, I encourage you to have a look at the proposed values and to have your say by submitting your feedback via the My ACEM portal.

Both consultations close on Thursday, January 31 at 5.00pm (AEDT).

We want to see you

When we hold ACEM events we do so to deliver leading edge education, scientific and networking opportunities for members and trainees.

In March the College will host a patient safety workshop, providing an opportunity for members and trainees to hear from experts about the type of errors made in emergency care, the range of factors contributing to these errors and how to develop and support teams and cultures that result in a safe emergency department.

Check out the program and book your place via the ACEM website.

At the end of April I will be traveling to Rotorua, New Zealand for the 2019 Winter Symposium. As part of this meeting we will hear from keynote speakers Dr Tim Parke, an emergency physician from Glasgow and the former Director of Auckland City Hospital’s Emergency Department, and Dr Jan Bone, an emergency physician from Christchurch who responded to the extraordinary challenge of a major earthquake and is a strong advocate for resilience in emergency medicine.

Check out the 2019 ACEM Winter Symposium website for full details of the program, workshops and social functions.

Earlybird registrations close Friday, February 1. Register now.

I hope to see you at both events.

Until next time,