Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Advisory Working Group

RANZCOG convened the independent Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination (BHD) Advisory Working Group in 2021 to inform its work in preventing mistreatment in O&G. 

These behaviours have no place in the College or in any modern workplace. They can have devastating impacts on physical and mental health, relationships, career and quality of life. The College aspires to eliminate such conduct in all areas where it has influence.

Bullying, harassment and discrimination are also patient safety issues. It is vital that we foster respectful O&G work environments so that women and babies receive the best possible care.


The group will provide recommendations to the Board on how RANZCOG can support and advocate for the prevention of mistreatment in O&G.

The group's responsibilities include:
  • examining the deidentified results of RANZCOG's Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment survey 
  • advising the College on content for training, workshops and e-learning modules 
  • advising the College on appropriate professional development activities and study material
  • reviewing the effectiveness of the College’s advocacy to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination 
  • reviewing the College's current approach, support mechanisms, policies and procedures to ensure they are contemporary and appropriate
  • ensuring the College has an appropriate complaints mechanism for bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Call for submissions

The BHD Advisory Working Group is inviting submissions from RANZCOG members, trainees and SIMGs on their experiences of BHD and how the College can respond to and prevent mistreatment in O&G.

Submissions close on Monday 1 November 2021.

The working group is interested in your submissions and stories on:

  • promoting action to address BHD in the workplace and training
  • education and training of Fellows, Diplomates and trainees and what might be mandatory
  • improving complaint handling in the workplace and in College policies and processes
  • how you think the College could more effectively prevent BHD
  • sharing information on BHD between the College and employers with appropriate privacy safeguards
  • changes to the College Code of Conduct.

Working group members also want to hear your positive experiences and success stories:

  • What policies, practices or programs have worked well in your workplace?
  • What would you like the College to do more of?

The working group will not conduct hearings of complaints. RANZCOG takes complaints in a separate process; see our Complaints Policy for more details.

The working group will consider the themes of submissions when preparing its recommendations for the RANZCOG Board.

You can make a written submission to the working group, or register your interest in making an oral submission, using our online form:

Complete online submission form

More information on making a written or oral submission

Written submissions 

You can make a written submission of up to 1000 words to the advisory working group. You may make an anonymous submission. We encourage you to speak up if you have experienced or witnessed BHD that has not been adequately addressed in your workplace. The form outlines the confidentiality of your submission.

Oral submissions 

To register your interest in making an oral submission, select 'oral submission' in the form, and we will be in touch to make further arrangements.


Working Group Members

​There are six members of the working group:
Jane Bell, Chair (Australia)

Mrs Bell is a banking and finance lawyer and non-executive director with more than 30 years’ experience in leading law firms, financial services and corporate treasury operations gained living in Melbourne, London, Toronto, San Francisco and Brisbane.

Mrs Bell has been a non-executive director since 2002, serving on 13 boards including nine health and medical research boards. Jane currently serves as Director of Amplia Therapeutics Limited (ASX:ATX), Deputy Chair of Monash Health, Director of Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, Chair of the Community Advisory Group of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and is a Tribunal Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Mrs Bell is a former Chair of Melbourne Health (Royal Melbourne Hospital), Chair of Biomedical Research Vic, Deputy Chair of Westernport Water Corporation, Director of UCA Funds Management, WorkSafe Victoria, Hudson Institute of Medical Research-Monash Institute of Medical Research-Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research, Queensland Institute of Medical Research Trust, Australian Red Cross (Qld) and Victorian Women’s Housing Association.

Mrs Bell holds a Master of Laws from Kings College, London; Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne; Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Helen Szoke AO, Deputy Chair (Australia)

Dr Szoke has had a career spanning community, health, education, regulation and international development. She is a strong advocate for human rights and has extensive experience in management, advocacy and public presentations.

Dr Szoke is a non-executive Director, currently sitting on several Boards – including the Council of the University of Melbourne – and is an independent member of the Judicial Commission of Victoria. She led the Review into Sexual Harassment in Victorian Courts, with the report released in April 2021. She was the inaugural Chair of You Matter, an independent charity supporting women who are relocated following domestic violence.

Dr Szoke was the Chief Executive of Oxfam from 2013 to 2019. Prior to this appointment, she served as Australia’s Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner and as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner.

Dr Szoke has also provided her expertise on a number of advisory groups. These have included chairing the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Expert Advisory Group investigating racism and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Bullying and Harassment Advisory Group. She was Deputy Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Expert Advisory Committee examining bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.

Ria Earp (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Ms Earp has had an extensive career in management and leadership, having worked in the public and not-for-profit sectors of Aotearoa/New Zealand. With a deep interest in quality health services and Māori community development, her focus has been on policy and service delivery in social development and health.
Her experience includes:
  • over 10 years as Chief Executive, Mary Potter Hospice (Wellington)
  • almost 10 years as Deputy Director General – Māori Health, Ministry of Health
  • policy development and issues associated with the portfolios of youth, women and Māori
  • social policy development and design in health, employment training, education and Māori natural asset management.
Ms Earp is a descendent of Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Pikiao tribes of Te Arawa. Her qualifications include BA (Anthropology), MA (Applied) in Social Work and MBA, all from Victoria University.
Prof Maxine Morand (Australia)

Prof Morand has a background in health, behavioural research in cancer, government, public policy, not-for-profit executive management and public sector governance. She was a Member of the Victorian Parliament for eight years including three years as Minister for Children, Early Childhood Development and Minister for Women’s Affairs, giving her extensive experience in government administration and regulation. As Minister for Women’s Affairs, Prof Morand led major legislative reform in women’s health and is still a passionate advocate for equality of opportunity for women. 

Prof Morand is an experienced Board Chair and director on government and non-government Boards. She is currently Board Chair of Victorian Public Health service Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Board member of Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and Board member of the Association of Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).  She is Chair of the Gender Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee of AAMRI.

Prof Morand was appointed a Professorial Fellow in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in 2016 and has taught in the Master of Public Health for the past five years.
Prof Ron Paterson (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Ron Paterson is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Auckland and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. He was New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner 2000–10 and Parliamentary Ombudsman 2013–16. He is the author of The Good Doctor: What Patients Want (2012) and co-editor of Skegg & Paterson, Health Law in New Zealand (2015). His research interests include complaint resolution, inquiries, healthcare quality, aged care quality and the regulation of professions.

Ron has led several major policy advisory reviews in New Zealand, including the Review of the Veterans’ Support Act (2018) and the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (2018). Major reviews undertaken in Australia include the Review of the Use of Chaperones to Protect Patients in Australia (2017) and the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes (2017).

Ron was awarded an ONZM for services to health in 2011 and made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2014.

Ron is of Scottish and Ngāti Raukawa descent.
Mr Michael Gorton (Australia)

Michael Gorton AM is a senior partner at Russell Kennedy Lawyers and has more than 30 years’ experience advising the health and medical sector on all aspects of commercial law, assisting boards of health organisations to understand their legal obligations for effective governance structures, governance policies and implementing risk management strategies.

He is the Chair of Alfred Health and Chair of Wellways Australia. He is a Board member of Ambulance Victoria and the Holmesglen Institute (TAFE), and is the former Chair of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and former Board member of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. He is a former Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.


Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Survey

RANZCOG is committed to supporting the cultivation of respectful workplaces and training environments, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination of any kind. 

We recently asked for our members’ help to quantify the extent of these behaviours by completing an independent, confidential, and anonymous survey.

From 6 August to 5 September 2021, we surveyed:
  • Fellows (including retired Fellows)
  • Subspecialists
  • FRANZCOG Trainees
  • Subspecialist Trainees
  • Diplomates
  • DRANZCOG Trainees
  • Partially and substantially comparable SIMGs.

Once the results of the survey have been collated, the Advisory Working Group will examine the results and hand its recommendations to the RANZCOG Board for consideration. The summary of results will be made publicly available.


A similar survey was conducted in 2016, however this time we included Diplomates. Since 2016, RANZCOG has launched a Code of Conduct, established the Training Support Unit and introduced a member support program through Converge International (initially for Trainees, now for all Trainees, Fellows and SIMGs).

RANZCOG has also formed working groups for wellbeing, mentoring, and gender equity and diversity; and has created workshops on wellbeing and respectful workplaces.

Independent survey provider

BPA Analytics was contracted to conduct this survey and collate the results. Funding was allocated from an external source. Members were not asked for personal or workplace details and all information will remain confidential and anonymous. RANZCOG will see only de-identified, aggregated data. Please view BPA’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

Access confidential support

We are committed to supporting your wellbeing through this process. If you have encountered discrimination, bullying or harassment in your workplace, we encourage you to seek confidential support from:
  • Your workplace Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The College encourages any Fellow, Trainee or SIMG who needs support to contact Converge International, RANZCOG’s Member Support Program provider. All sessions are entirely confidential, and the College pays for your first four sessions within any 12-month period.

Book a Converge session online

Call from Australia: 1300 687 327
Call from New Zealand: 0800 666 367

If you would like to make a formal complaint to RANZCOG about the conduct of any College member(s) or trainee(s), please consult our Complaints Policy.

Thank you to all members who participated in this important project.


More information

Carly Moorfield
Training Support Liaison
Coordinator of the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Advisory Working Group

Email: ​​[email protected]
Phone: +61 8 6102 2096



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