Getting to know State and Territory Chairs: Julie Quinlivan

06 March 2020

Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am in private gynaecology practice in Canberra right next door to Parliament house. It makes the day-to-day quite interesting. I see a lot of embassy and military patients. As well as that, I am a Professor of O&G with appointments at Australia National University and the University of Notre Dame Australia. In both these roles I teach and undertake research. Currently I am supervising seven O&G research students. I also examine for quite a few universities. Outside of teaching I am involved with a Commonwealth Agency called the Professional Services Review, of which I am the Agency Head. We report directly to the Commonwealth Minister for Health and the purpose of the Agency is to regulate Medicare. On the research front, I am the Editor in Chief for a research journal and sit on the Editorial Board for ANZJOG and three other journals. ANZJOG is important; it’s our national journal.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The diversity. I love teaching and research. I enjoy seeing patients and being able to influence policy.
You are currently Chair of the ACT State committee, how did you get there and why do you do it?
Originally, I applied to be on the committee because there weren’t many people applying. This time, as I was already on the committee, I reapplied. The new committee had a lot of first timers and as someone who had experience with the committee and the College, it seemed like a good idea to step up as Chair.
What do you get from being involved in this capacity?
It’s a nice committee with a lot of balance. We have representation from the GPs and trainees. In terms of practice, there is also a balance of representation from the two main public hospital groups in the ACT. It is important in hospital practice that you are aware of what is happening outside of your workplace. When you become too focused on what happens in your immediate environment, you can lose sight of the big picture and what happens outside of where you work. Being involved with the College means you can interact with specialists working in other areas. It’s an opportunity to broaden the way you think and work.
If members wanted to get more involved in their state, what advice would you give?
I would encourage talking to someone who is on the committee or the administrative officer. We can always find ways for people to be involved, making that first connection is key. There are lots of ways to engage outside of sitting on a formal committee. For example, there are always government bodies looking for expert representatives. Unfortunately, notification of this usually comes quite late limiting who the committee can put forward. It would be good to have a list of reserves for opportunities like this.
Quick Five
Who is someone you admire, and why?
Rosie Batty. She brought the issue of Domestic Violence to the fore. It’s nice to have an Australian of the Year who isn’t a sports star.
If you could only eat one food/dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s easy. Fish. It’s a wonder food.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Reading a good fiction novel.
What are some causes you care about?
The social determinants of disease are important to me. Ensuring equal access to healthcare for everyone, and education of our children.
If you have/had a motto, what would it be?
Eat the frog. It basically means, when you are planning your day, do what you want to do the least first and get it out of the way.



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