An end of year message from RANZCOG President Dr Benjamin Bopp

“It’s an honour and a privilege to lead RANZCOG.”

Dr Benjamin Bopp

MBBS FRANZCOG

Welcome to the hot seat!

Stepping into the very big shoes of my predecessor, Dr Vijay Roach, I’ve quickly come to discover the role of President is all-encompassing. It’s an honour and a privilege to lead RANZCOG. In my time so far, witnessing and hearing the dedication and passion of our Members and trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and what Women’s Health means to them, has been extraordinary.

Just over a month into my Presidency and it has been non-stop. Though I’m not starting from scratch, the commitments so far have been a continuation of the fantastic work undertaken in recent times by numerous colleagues. As the leading voice in Women’s Health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, RANZCOG is a busy organisation. I would urge you to review the RANZCOG’s 2020-2021 Annual Report and discover how the College supports its Members and trainees, and the role it plays in the advancement of Women’s Health.

In the first month of Presidency, I can testify to this volume of work. Our last exams for 2021 have just wrapped up – more than 20 exams were held throughout the year, with candidate numbers surpassing 900. Thank you to all the dedicated Members and trainees (+200), and College staff (+40) involved in progressing exams in these challenging times.

My time has been spent in many meetings, getting to know the work of colleagues who are involved in the numerous committees and teams at the College. Meeting (via Zoom!) members of Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku and He Hono Wāhine was a privilege, as well as sitting in on the latest New Zealand Training Accreditation Committee meeting. Zoom attendance averaged 3 hours a day, 7 days a week with the equivalent time having to be spent on pre-reading, research, and meeting preparation.

The work of the Board and 12th Council is well underway, and we cannot wait to meet in person at our new College Place next year.

Advocacy and collaborating with key stakeholders are a huge part of the College, and I have already worked with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, and the UroGynaecological Society of Australia, as well as being a panellist on a webinar at the SPHERE annual meeting. We have also squeezed in time with the Australian Federal Government, Chief Executive Officer Vase Jovanoska and Board Director Dr Jared Watts recently meeting with the Minister for Regional Health, David Gillespie.

Moreover, I managed to have a wonderful night and shared some dance moves with colleagues at the Queensland Scientific Meeting Dinner, held earlier this month. I will be visiting Members and trainees as part of a tour of North Queensland hospitals later this month.

Next year will kick off with the first RANZCOG Symposium to be held on Monday 28 February and Tuesday 1 March, and planning is underway for the 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held on the Gold Coast in October. In between, I will be hoping to get to as many Aotearoa New Zealand, State and Territory, and Regional Fellow meetings as possible and visit Members and trainees in their workplaces to hear from them and discuss how the College will be implementing projects around mentoring and wellbeing, and how New Fellows and Late Career and Transition to Retirement will be key priorities.

Get involved in College life
I urge all Members and trainees to put up your hand and be active in College life. The College relies on the volunteer work of our membership, and it has never been a more important time to be involved.

Your opinions matter and we want to hear from you. Specifically, keep an eye out for our draft 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. We will be circulating it to the membership for consultation and review, and I encourage you to provide feedback that will help shape our strategic direction for the next three years.

More generally, this is your College. The College leadership and I realise that, first and foremost, we are a membership organisation with our primary purpose servicing the needs of the fee-paying membership. Please Connect with the College; if you ever want to chat, get in touch through president@ranzcog.edu.au.

Holiday season
As 2021 comes to an end, thank you to all our Members and trainees for your tireless contribution to Women’s Health and the communities that you serve.

To you and your families, wherever they may be, have a safe, happy, and healthy summer.

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