A/ Prof Karen Flegg, New WONCA President 2023 - 2025

November, 2023

Sydney, Australia, 27/10/2023 — We are proud to announce the appointment of Associate Professor Karen Flegg as our new President, marking a remarkable moment during the 2023 WONCA World Conference held in Sydney, Australia.

On the third day of the conference, attendees witnessed the transition of leadership as Dr Anna Stavdal, the immediate Past President, passed the torch to A/ Prof Karen Flegg. This event unfolded during the prestigious WONCA Awards Ceremony, where President Karen Flegg was formally inducted and received the symbolic WONCA commemorative presidents chain.

After the Acknowledgment of Country, President Flegg expressed her gratitude to Past President Dr Anna Stavdal by presenting her with an Honorary Life Direct Membership and a special gift— a wombat, an Australian symbol representing the continuity of leadership in WONCA.

During her inaugural address, President Karen Flegg recognised her Australian predecessors: Dr Monty Kent-Hughes (1972 – 1974), Dr David Game (1983 – 1986), and Prof. Michael Kidd (2013 – 2016), and briefly recounted WONCA's remarkable journey over the past 50 years since its inception with 18 countries in Melbourne in 1972.

President Flegg outlined the key priorities for her tenure, and her three fundamental pillars: Governance, Greening, and Growth. She emphasized the importance of robust internal governance and processes to ensure accountability to members, including streamlining regional procedures and fostering engagement with Working Parties and Special Interest Groups. Furthermore, she stressed the significance of equity and inclusivity, irrespective of factors such as gender, language, or region. President Flegg also pledged to continue developing the young doctors' movement, recognising them as the leaders of the future.

The new President made a commitment to position WONCA as a global leader in environmental sustainability. Her vision encompasses a "green" office, eco-friendly conference guidelines, and a significant reduction in the organization's carbon footprint, with a particular focus on minimizing travel-related emissions.

President Karen Flegg also underlined WONCA's aspiration to become the "go-to" organization for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international medico-political bodies seeking input on primary care policy. To achieve this, WONCA will work at a political level to influence health systems, support member organizations in enhancing the role and recognition of Family Medicine and Family Doctors at the local level, and strengthen collaborations with WHO and other primary healthcare organizations to expand global influence.

The President's commitment extends to supporting research in Primary Care to demonstrate its value to health systems and working towards high-quality postgraduate training in family medicine and Continuing Professional Development in all countries.

WONCA Executive 2023 - 2025

President Flegg concluded the ceremony by introducing the members of the WONCA Executive Committee 2023 – 2025, a dedicated team that will work collaboratively to turn her vision into reality. The committee members include:

• Karen Flegg - WONCA President
• Anna Stavdal - Past President
• Viviana Martinez Bianchi - President Elect
• Karen Price - Member at Large
• María Pilar Astier Peña - Member at Large
• Steve Mowle - Member at Large
• Jane Namatovu - Regional President, WONCA Africa
• Brian Chang - Regional President, WONCA Asia Pacific
• Shlomo Vinker - Regional President, WONCA Europe
• Abdelaziz Al-Mahrezi - Regional President, WONCA East Mediterranean
• Dora Bernal - Regional President, WONCA Iberoamericana - CIMF
• Victor Ng - Regional President, WONCA North America
• Sri Ranjan - Regional President, WONCA South Asia
• Chan Yuen Ching (Cheryl) - YDM Representative
• Harris Lygidakis - CEO

We anticipate an exciting era under President Karen Flegg's leadership, as we continue to champion the cause of Family Medicine and Primary Care on a global scale.

Welcome, WONCA President Karen Flegg!