The Australian Federation of Medical Women hosted its Annual General Meeting this Saturday 6th November.
We were privileged to have Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO, PSM attend and deliver her address to us in an informal conversational style. Dr Foley inspired us, and acknowledged the importance of the work we do.
After her address, it gave me great pleasure to issue three inaugural President’s awards. This is the first time in nearly 100 years, that AFMW has ever given awards which made it an even more special event.
The list includes:
- President’s Award to the President of RACGP, Dr Karen Price for Excellent Service to the health of the nation, leadership and advocacy for general practice. Dr Price’s acceptance speech was moving and she addressed the ongoing need to continue supporting one another and to call out gender inequity in all systems we interact with.
AFMW Honour to Dr Kathleen Hayes, in Recognition of contribution to the community and professionDr Hayes joined AFMW in 1959 and conducted seminal work in Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Rubella.
Young AFMW President’s Award to Dr Marissa Daniels for excellent contribution to individual states, AFMW and MWIA.
This was followed by the launch of our Annual Report.
It was a fabulous event and we came away feeling good about the future.
Associate Professor Magdalena Simonis AM is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020). She is a full time clinician who also holds positions on several not for profit organisations, driven by her passion for bridging gaps across the health sector. She is a leading women’s health expert, keynote speaker, climate change and gender equity advocate and government advisor.
Magdalena was awarded a lifetime membership of the RACGP for her contributions which include past chair of Women in General Practice, longstanding contribution to the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, the RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is regularly invited to comment on primary care research though mainstream and medical media and contributes articles on various health issues through newsGP and other publications.
Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews. She is author of the RACGP Guide on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery and co-reviewer of the RACGP Red Book Women’s Health Chapter, and reviewer of the RACGP White book
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner, she undertakes general practice research and is a GP Educator with the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence, which develops education tools to assist the primary care sector identify, respond to and manage family violence . Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of the Melbourne University Teaching Health Clinics and the elected GP representative to the AMA Federal Council. In 2022. she was award the AMA (Vic) Patrick Pritzwald-Steggman Award 2022, which celebrates a doctor who has made an exceptional contribution to the wellbeing of their colleagues and the community and was listed as Women’s Agenda 2022 finalist for Emerging Leader in Health.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in 2021. In 2023, A/Professor Simonis was included on the King’s COVID-19 Champion’s list and was also awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medicine through a range of roles and to women’s health.