The event, organised by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and funded by the Foundation for Surgery, will be held at Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa marae, Auckland Airport. 

It is part of a broader RACS initiative to increase diversity and build the workforce of Indigenous surgeons.

Dr John Mutu-Grigg, Chair of the RACS Māori Health Advisory Group, says the hui will provide an important opportunity for whanaungagtanga, building close connections.

“Most of the time, as Māori and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander surgeons and Trainees, we are working in isolation from each other. There’s no chance to share our experiences or discuss issues we may be encountering. Yet Indigenous surgeons on both sides of the Tasman have a common-ground and shared perspective. 

“By creating a community for Indigenous surgeons to rely on for support and understanding we can hopefully smooth the path for each other and for other Māori and First Nation Australians considering surgical careers.”

This will be the first Indigenous surgeons hui since 2017 and the first time it has been open to surgical Trainees and Indigenous doctors considering pursuing a surgical career. Dr Mutu-Grigg says this is an important new development.

“There is a bigger cohort of Indigenous Trainees coming through the ranks now than ever before and we would like to see each and every one of them make it through to Fellowship. For this to happen they need support, mentorship and guidance and that’s why it’s so important for them to be connected in with established Indigenous surgeons. 

“By including Trainees, we’re also recognising their role in attracting other new talent into the profession. They are the role models for future Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons.”

That role will be critical to the Māori Health Advisory Group reaching its goal of training 150 Māori surgeons by 2040, the bicentenary of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Currently, there are 28 Māori surgical Trainees and appoximately 20 fully-qualified Māori surgeons. 

Five of those surgeons have only recently qualified and will be recognised at the hui with the presentation of a taonga (a valuable object, treasure) by RACS’ Indigenous Health Committee.

RACS in Australia also has ambitions for increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgeons and Trainees from the current numbers of 3 and 4 respectively.

The hui boasts an impressive line-up of speakers including:
• legendary Worimi surgeon and NAIDOC Person of the Year 2023 Professor Kelvin Kong
• Te Aka Whai Ora Tumu Whakarae – Chief Executive Riana Manuel
• prominent academic in Indigenous rights Professor Margaret Mutu
• public health academic and honorary RACS Fellow Professor Papaarangi Reid
• RACS’ Māori Trainee Liaison Lead Professor Jonathan Koea
• AIDA Vice President Dr Jonathan Newchurch.


Learn more about the Indigenous Hui.
Learn more about our keynote speakers.