WONCA Sydney HOC Chair: August - September 2023

Gidday to my colleagues around the world! WONCA World is getting close now. In this edition I will be celebrating three rebels of Family Medicine who have moved and shaken our profession!

At this conference, I am excited to be a part of a wonderful session on Generalism, the brainchild of the President of the Australian Society of Psychological Medicine, and RACGP member, Dr Johanna Lynch. This session will have thoughtful, brilliant insights from the wonderful Professor Kurt Stange, Professor Larry Green and Professor Joanne Reeve.

Preserving Generalism is the task of our age. Defending against the commercial determinants of health, along with the continued focus on the social determinants of health remains an important part of Family Medicine advocacy in policy settings.

We will also have a wonderful display by Associate Professor Christopher Hogan, celebrating the 50th anniversary of WONCA. Former CEO of WONCA, and our first rebel, Dr Wes Fabb will be in attendance. We must not forget what rebels our early history makers were to form an international community and establish the academic credentials of General Practice and Family medicine. Michael Kidd pays tribute to Dr Fabb on the WONCA website HERE

“Wes served WONCA with distinction for more than a quarter of a century, first as our honorary secretary and then as our first chief executive officer until his retirement in 2001.”

We are also excited to learn that our second rebel, Emeritus Professor John Murtagh will be attending Sydney WONCA. John is a celebrated international figure of medical education fame and from my own department of General Practice at Monash University. A rebel himself, Professor Murtagh and many colleagues, brought General Practice into the resisting University curriculum. Thank you, Professor Murtagh!

This month we will spotlight another luminary, our third fearless rebel, Professor Trish Greenhalgh. I visited Professor Greenhalgh in the wonderful Radcliffe Observatory building at Oxford in July 2022 to invite her to present at WONCA. This was at the same time as the London WONCA Europe conference where I met many WONCA members at the huge EXCEL building in London. Professor Greenhalgh has been a rebel for Covid and is highly visible on social media which is a fabulous gift and legacy. Health communication was critical and a rebellious act against a dedicated counterculture of misinformation during Covid. Come and hear her plenary!

Due to popular demand, we are expanding our social capacity and the GALA dinner will be moved to a larger venue to accommodate all of you, so purchase tickets now for you and your accompanying person. The Cheeky Docs band will be playing. The Cheeky Docs band play both professionally as musicians and are all medical professionals. So, bring your dance shoes! If this is not your idea of a good night out, you can enjoy all the dining areas within walking distance of the ICC conference center or take a harbour boat ride. China town is also a short walk away and many restaurants can accommodate groups of your friends and colleagues.

This conference has it all for everyone from, the high intensity of pure research, to educational innovations, the use of technology, and the moral, political, and ethical dilemmas upon us. This conference will inspire you. It will situate your individual practice in a global family of primary care doctors. How to better manage ourselves and our patients in the generalist disciplines will be an important articulation for international advocacy.

However, so is drawing strength from your colleagues and restoring a vision of a healthy future in healthcare. Rest is important. We need a rested health workforce after your amazing and continued efforts in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remember your green outfit for Saturday the 28th October, “Green Day”, the gala dinner tickets and dancing shoes. Book your places now. Social Program bookings

Remember too, the practice day visits to visit ‘fair dinkum’ Australian General Practices. Details and registration via email to [email protected].

Let us celebrate you and let us together celebrate our profession.

I can’t wait to welcome you all, the countdown is truly on!

Keep happy, find peace and travel well,

Adj Prof Karen Price
Host Organising Committee chair
Immedicate Past President of RACGP