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Over the last several weeks or so, due to massive public interest and ACEM’s careful advocacy, there wouldn’t be many people living in Aotearoa New Zealand, or in any state or territory in Australia, who are now unaware of the pressures we are facing and of the urgent need for health system reform.

While ACEM has always had a strong media presence, the last month has been our busiest in recent years and I thank our office holders, and the College staff, for their careful work in advocating collaboratively and inclusively for positive change in the public health systems we work within.

And change is in the air; I can smell it.

I have already admitted my love for elections and this last one – the Australian federal election – was no different. Whatever your political leanings, there is no doubt that a Labor majority provides potential for real, substantive change in the health system and ACEM welcomed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler and all of the ministers with health portfolios.

Now, the next step is all health stakeholders coming together to address the healthcare emergency. We can do it, together, and ACEM will continue to tirelessly work towards the creation of an integrated Australian health system that ensures real health for all people – and this includes emergency physicians and all other healthcare workers. Because emergency care is a team sport, and we are all in this together.

Until we see genuine systemic change, we must continue to take care of ourselves and each other.
Crazy socks for Docs was held last week, an important movement designed to break down the stigma around mental health in doctors and I thank everyone who took part.

Next up in the ACEM calendar is the 21st International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) held virtually and on-site at the Melbourne Convention Centre from the 14th to the 19th of June 2022. Emergency clinicians from around the world will come together, in a COVID-safe manner, to discuss how we can deliver ‘Better Care for a Better World’.

ICEM will also host our first admission ceremony of recently admitted Fellows for some time. An important event on the ACEM calendar, this ceremony will welcome our next cohort of new Fellows into our team of 6000 members and trainees and growing. Personally, I find it to be a powerful and moving occasion. We each know how much work, sacrifice and focus goes into the journey towards Fellowship – and beyond – and it is a privilege to be present as the loved ones of new members bear witness to this deeply meaningful professional transition.

There will be another ceremony in Christchurch later this year, and in Canberra in 2023, to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of members and trainees over the last few years, that were, unfortunately, not able to be marked in the usual ways through the pandemic.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the ceremony, and at ICEM. Thank you to all the participants, speakers, guests and College staff working behind the scenes to ensure ICEM is a success.

And until next month, thank you, for all that you do. As always we will get through whatever it brings, together.
Dr Clare Skinner
ACEM President