Skip to content

AFMW National Update Sept 2019

  •  AFMW 


Dr Magdalena Simonis
AFMW National Coordinator


  • a number of AFMW Members have taken on MWIA responsbilities
  • AFMW representation at the Centennial MWIA Congress in New York in July 2019
  • AFMW representation at other international meetings include the World Health Assembly and the Commission on the Status of Women
  • advocacy undertaken in the areas of safe working hours, decriminalisation of abortion, equitable fees for part time GP trainees, female genital mutilation, climate change

1. AFMW Members

Australia holds the WPVP position for this next Triennium and we are represented by:

  • Dr Desiree Yap, Western Pacific Region Vice President (WPVP)
  • Dr Magdalena Simonis, National Coordinator for Australia (NC)
  • Associate Prof Deborah Colville, President AFMW


AFMW was very strongly represented at the Centennial Congress of MWIA in NYC in July with 42 attendees and had a major representation on the academic program there:

  • The Australian members of the E&R Committee , particularly , Prof Deb Colville worked hard at the Conference and by email (Dr Susie Close ) to help finalise the wording and intent of the issues voted on at Congress
  • AFMW awarded money to support reps from each State to attend
  • MWIA Centennial: feedback shared with AFMW members.

3. AFMW Advocacy

Letters have been sent from AFMW Exec to:

  • AMA on safe working hours in hospitals and in training
  • to NSW Premier & Deputy Premier to advocate the issue of Decriminalising Abortion in NSW
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) regarding very well publicised & misogynistic remarks of a doctor

Dr Elysia Robb (Vic) and Dr Magdalena Simonis are advocating at national level with RACGP and National GP training organisations for equal pay and for reduced fees for compulsory education for part-time GP trainees. Responses have now been received from all organisations and discussions are progressing.

Dr Magdalena Simonis submitted an amendment to MWIA Resolution on FGM in response to FGM advertisement on Facebook

Dr Magdalena Simonis submitted a recommendation to MWIA for a Resolution on Climate change and its Impact on Women’s Health. To be ratified at General Assembly in 2022.


Significant representation at CSW at UN in 2019.  Both President & Vice President attended, along with other Australian representatives

5. AFMW special projects:

  • Engagement with Aboriginal artist with production of a scarf,  and establishment of a project where a percentage of the cost goes to aboriginal women in medicine. The aim of this project is to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors, particularly females, in Australia from 400 to 4000.Allocation of the funds raised will be determined at our annual Face to Face meeting in November. So far $1000 has been raised since July. The AFMW webpage also contains links to the two videos (short, silent 30 second and longer one). These are beautiful videos made on behalf of AFMW about the fabric square of Purple Bush Medicine Leaves painted by Louise Numina Scarf for the MWIA Centennial Collage in New York, July 2019. In these videos, Louise describes the use of Bush Medicine Leaves in her own language.As a result of this collaboration, the scarves were made in time for the Centennial and these are on offer via Pia du Pradal, a renowned Australian designer.

    We have encouraged those purchasing a scarf to consider a donation to the Project –there is a “donate” button with the online purchasing.

  • Redevelopment of AFMW website underway


ACT MWS has committed $5000  to a research project, still in discussion stage but probably  around providing “Safe Houses“ for victims within the system with A/Prof Louise Stone & ANU


Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our weekly e-Bulletin.

Like to receive AFMW news direct to your email? Please enter your details below to join our list. Please note subscribing to our mailing list does not confer AFMW membership.

* indicates required