Racism diminishes all of us

04 June 2020

A message to all members of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

At the end of Reconciliation Week in Australia, the events unfolding around the world remind us that, sadly, we have a very, very long way to go. Racism diminishes all of us. Everybody loses. The victims of racism lose the opportunity for self-realisation, to participate fully in society, to celebrate and cherish their heritage. Their identity is denied. The perpetrators of racism lose the opportunity to experience and value difference, to find the joy in diversity, to build a harmonious society, to demonstrate compassion and understanding.

Racism isn’t a minor infringement. It cuts to the bone. It wounds a person to their core. It damages humans. No amount of rationalisation can justify the pain inflicted on a person because of racism. I don’t want to live in a society where your health, your employment, your housing and the way that you are treated by police and institutions is determined by the colour of your skin. We know that health outcomes are poorer for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori people and we know that’s because of their race.

Australia has just celebrated Mabo Day, commemorating Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his successful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’. Honouring his legacy means changing the paradigm with words and actions, with meaningful change. Nelson Mandela reminded us that:

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Our College condemns racism in all its ugly forms. We uphold the right of all people to cultural safety, dignity and respect. We call on all our members to speak up for victims of racism and… to our brothers and sisters who have been hurt, physically and emotionally, through racist words and actions, we say sorry… and we extend our hand in friendship, and with love.

Dr Vijay Roach



COVID-19: College events and activities

With COVID-19 restrictions easing across Australia and New Zealand, the College would like to update all members and trainees.



Experiences of providing maternity care during COVID-19 pandemic

A national collaborative study aims to explore the experiences of receiving or providing maternity care during the current COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia. 



Racism diminishes all of us

A message to all members of RANZCOG.