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AFMW President Aims for 2009

I would like to think the AFMW committee can meet more regularly online using Skype conference calls – which are free for up to 9 users. I hope committee can use this facility to meet every other month online for an hour in addition to one or two face-to-face meetings during the year. The definite face-to-face meeting will be before the AFMW AGM, and all members from all States will be welcome to this. It will probably be held in about November 2009 and we will post more details once they are confirmed.
I am also hoping that the internet will provide us with a way to centralise resources, so we are not all reinventing the wheel, and thus reduce individual workloads in terms of Organisational administration.
On the theme of keeping the onerous organisational task minimalised, my second ambition is to have a ‘Society Starter Pack’ available so that any State/ Territory or even Country who wants to get their local Medical Women’s going can have a bit of an administrative leg-up. I am hoping this pack will include a Newsletter template, perhaps some example constitutions, tips on finding, communicating and recruiting a Membership plus a template on how to manage a Membership: a standardised database, membership forms, invoice and receipting templates etc. I would appreciate an avalanche of suggestions and materials from you for this initiative!! At the last AFMW AGM it was proposed that each active State be the buddy for an inactive State or territory, adopting any direct AFMW members from these States or Territories. Currently Medical Women in States or Territories without an active Society can directly join AFMW. I hope that with some support from the active Medical Women’s Societies, that the inactive States could become functional again.
My third ambition is to increase the sphere of our influence. I would like this to be with respect to issues covered by our charter i.e. Issues around Women’s and Children’s Health and Professional Development for Women Doctors. I would like to think we could increase our profile within Government and Policy making bodies, advocate where necessary not only to Government but Medical Colleges and Universities about training issues, as well as provide or facilitate the provision of assistance to our less well-off neighbours. In particular I am thinking about East Timor, PNG and the South Pacific, although the recent Regional Conference underscored how easy it is, once we are aware of a need, to help out any sister organisation. This of course leads back to the facilitation of communication issue.
No one person can do all this – it will be about all of us playing to our strengths. I hope that you share ambitions like mine so we can work together and make bigger things happen. As a start, I would really appreciate hearing what you and your organisation would like to see AFMW doing. This organisation is only as good as its membership, and AFMW is made up of its States, which are in turn made up of their members.
So please, let me know what you want, what you are thinking and most importantly, what you think we can do. I am not worried about a big list, I am worried about doing too much talking and not enough doing! So on that note, I will leave off to wait to hear from you!
Yours Faithfully, 
Desiree Yap
Dr Desiree Yap
Australian Federation of Medical Women

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