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President’s report AFMW January 2009 e-newsletter

I am now the President of the Australian Federation of Medical Women. As I promised succinct, I will try to keep this brief, but in case anyone wants to know, you will find an expanded bio and my aims for my Presidency here.
I am an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (yes, sorry, another one…) with a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I currently work part-time in both Private and Public, whilst trying to mother two young children (3 and 4 ½). In another life, I travelled widely and have worked in some very interesting places.
I joined the Victorian Medical Women’s Society (VMWS) after attending the Sydney MWIA conference in 2001 to present a paper on Refugee Health. I found the conference a transforming experience. The recent Regional Conference in Melbourne provided a little taste of this! I believe that the Medical Women’s Societies spring from a fine tradition, and that as one who has reaped the benefits of those who went before, in addition to having strong feelings about social justice, I have a responsibility towards maintaining the organisation and furthering its aims.
During my Presidency, in addition to keeping us solvent, I would like to:
– Improve Communication by optimising our use of electronic media including maximising what we can gain from our $89,000 Office for Women grant for a Leadership Project and Web Portal (a project designed and implemented by Victorian Treasurer Dr Jillian Tomlinson, click here for more details)
– Centralise administrative resources in a web-based format so that we are not all reinventing the wheel and hopefully thereby reduce individual workloads. This includes having a ‘Starter Pack’ available so that any inactive State/ Territory or even Country who wants to get their local Medical Women’s going can have a bit of an administrative leg-up.
– increase the sphere of our influence, both as a voice for advancing Professional issues for Women Doctors (particularly in the light of the rapid ‘normalising’ of the workforce’ and what this means) as well as in the arena of Women’s and Children’s health.
No one person can do all this, it will be about all of us playing to our strengths. I am hoping that you share ambitions like mine so as we can work together and make bigger things happen. I would appreciate an avalanche of suggestions and materials from you as to what you want AFMW to be, as an organisation is only as good as those who make it up.
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 wait to hear from you!

– Dr Desiree Yap, AFMW President

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