QMWS Update June 2019

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QMWS has had a busy year so far with exciting events in our calendar!

This year we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of QMWS, along with the Centennial of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in New York in July.

We have welcomed incoming QMWS President, Dr Sarah Coll.

These positions were confirmed at our recent highly successful 1st dinner meeting, and Annual General Meeting in February.

We are continuing to grow in terms of membership, attendance at dinner meetings, recognition and participation in relevant medical and community events, and in Facebook friends. Much of our strengthening in the last few months has come from the revamped website that was lauched in December 2018/January 2019 just before our membership drive and 1st meeting with AGM.

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Events for 2019 to date:

February  21st, 2019:1st Dinner and QMWS Annual General Meeting, United Services Club, Brisbane.
Theme: Presidential Address and Medical Women in Leadership.

We are very grateful to Dr Coll, for her candid and inspiring address concerning Medical Women in Leadership. Sincere thanks to our expert panel, Dr Catherine Yelland, Professor Kirsty Forrest and Dr Jacinta Powell for their insights and wisdom, in fielding so many questions from the floor. At the AGM, several other key positions were handed over, including positions of Secretary (Dr Susan Foley), Treasurer (Dr Rachael Weir), Events Co-ordinator (Dr Ali Bullen) and Sponsorship Convenor (Dr Helena Franco). We established a new position of Website co-ordinator (Dr Dana Phang). 

We have further improved the representation from our North Queensland Colleagues (the Far North Queensland Lady Doctors’ Association that has around 50 members in the past), and recognising their new president (Dr Anusha Lazzari), and also allocating to FNQLDA one of our AFMW QMWS positions (Dr Lynne Reid) and a QMWS general committee position (Dr Alice Chang) to represent FNQLDA (in addition our new President, Dr Sarah Coll, who hails from Cairns). This means that within our group there are at least four members from FNQLDA.

Student representation has also been expanded, to include at least one representative from each of the major medical schools in Queensland including University of Queensland (SWIM), Griffith University, James Cook University and Bond University.


March 11-22/ April 2019:
CSW63 Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations, New York, USA
This was attended by QMWS members Dr Naseera Naeem (SWIM President and 4th year medical student who is completing also completing qualifications in Public Health) and Dr Lydia Pitcher (immediate past President QMWS, and Vice-President AFMW), led by past-president AFMW and MWIA, Dr Gabrielle Casper and AFMW President Dr Deb Colville, in a delegation of 40 Australia medical women (and men). A summary of this experience has been provided to the newsletters and social media of AFMW and QMWS, as well as presented at our 2nd Dinner Meeting in May (see below) .


April 28, 2019: QMWS Social Media Sub-committee meeting
A QMWS committee meeting was held to discuss Social media policy /website revamping. It was agreed that an overall strategy for formal education and training of all of the QMWS executive and committee on the internet platforms to enhance our visibility in the wider community as well as assist with making meetings more user friendly was necessary.

AFMW has done a tremendous job in revamping the website and adding additional features to make member engagement easier. New initiatives included a new newsletter format/ Event Brite for dinner meeting payments.


April 30th, 2019: NCWQ Annual Dinner, United Services Club
Guest speaker: Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC DSM, Commander 6th Brigade Australian Army Brisbane, with guest appearance of Hon. Justice Paul De Jersey, Governor of Queensland. This was attended by several QMWS members including Dr Glenda Powell, Dr Ira van der Steenstraten, Dr Susan Foley, Dr Ali Bullen, and Dr Lydia Pitcher, amongst others.


May 7th, 2019: 2nd
QMWS Dinner Meeting, United Services Club Brisbane
Theme: What Does Our Future Hold – Latest Insights From Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

This event was “sold out” a few days prior to the event, and attended by around 80-90 people. It included a number of additional special guests
i)  Hon Di Farmer, MP gave and address on empowering women’, which was truly inspiring;
ii) former Lord Mayor Sally Anne Atkinson AO was presented with a cheque with the proceeds of QMWS raffles to be donated to The Brain Institute, which she has chaired for 10 years. In thanking the group, she invited QMWS members to a personal tour of the facility;
iii) Pia du Pradal, Brisbane designer who is sourcing fabric from a local Aboriginal artist, Louise Numina Napananka, for the AFMW contribution to the MWIA Centennial Collage.

Naseera Naeem (President of SWIM), Dr Deb Colville (President AFMW) and Lydia Pitcher have recently returned from New York where we attended  the United Nations for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) and it was great to hear about the wonderful experiences they all had at this dinner.


July 25-28 MWIA Centennial Congress NYC
USA – approximately 12 QMWS members will be attending including 4 speakers (Dr Ira van der Steenstraten, Dr Mellissa Naidoo, Dr Anita Sharma and Dr Lydia Pitcher), 4 members from QMWS (Dr Ann Alcoq, Dr Lisa Cavaye, Dr Dana Phang and Dr Naseera Naeem), as well as 2 members from FNQLDA and 2 members from Bond University.

Additional QMWS Initiatives for 2019  

  • Office for Women, Qld Government

As a result of the visit of Hon Di Farmer MP to our 2nd dinner meeting, we have been invited to correspond and liaise more closely with the Office for Women, as well as meet in person with the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young in future.

  • Louise Numina and Pia du Pradal collaboration for the MWIA Centennial Collage (see separate correspondence)
  • NCWQ High Tea on October 10th, 2019, celebrating Queensland Women In Medicine

In recognition of the 90th Anniversary of QMWS, there will be a special NCWQ High Tea on October 10th, celebrating Queensland Women In Medicine. In addition, we will allocate the inaugural NCWQ Bursary for QMWS (there have been four applicants to date), to enable a medical student to attend an international event related to AFMW or MWIA, as a representative of QMWS. There are plans for 2 additional NCWQ Bursaries to acknowledge former QMWS member Prof Tess Cramond and author and antomy lecturer, Dr Lesley Williams.

  • Far North Queensland Retreat, Sept 27-28, 2019
  • QMWS Medical History Event – scheduled for late 2019, once the Herston Medical School has been restored
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