The Women in Surgery Section aims to:
- encourage and support all Fellow Trainees, but females in particular;
- be a source of advice and guidance for Council in relation to gender and Trainee issues;
- develop guidelines and policies to combat the numerous issues faced by all individuals in the surgical field, and
- remove any barriers Trainees or medical graduates face through the development of a mentoring program within the College to assist medical students, Trainees and young surgeons.
- Developing the Women in Surgery Strategic plan (PDF 263.71KB).
- Advocating for flexible training and assisting in the development of resources and toolkits to support trainees and hospitals.
- Assisting in the development of some of the College's key policies and related documents. It has been fundamental in establishing guidelines on issues such as discrimination and harassment, and safe working hours, and plans to continue this work with a mentoring scheme
- Scientific and education programs, including the Women in Surgery Breakfast, are run at the Annual Scientific Congress (ASC)
RACS Women in Surgery essay competitions
Note: Entry to the 2023 essay competition is now closed. All the best of luck to competitors.
Since 2019, the Women in Surgery section has ran a medical student essay competition for female medical students. The author of the winning essay receives complimentary registration to the RACS Annual Scientific Congress. A winner outside the congress city will receive complimentary travel and accommodation to attend the 5 day Congress.
In 2022, the topic was “The myth of meritocracy: What RACS can do to dismantle it.” Congratulations to Denna Fryer of Australia National University for her essay. (PDF 197.89KB)
In 2019, Monash University medical student, Jessie Zhou, won the inaugural competition with her essay 'Are surgery and social media incompatible? The impact of social media on Surgery in our Brave New World.' (PDF 266.17KB)
International Women's Day
RACS and the Women in Surgery Section celebrate International Women's day each year. Events can be found on the regions' events pages.
Medical student/Women in Medicine events
The Women in Surgery Section welcome enquiries from medical student organisations and societies about events they may be organising. The Section is keen to work with these organisations and can provide some assistance such as providing speakers, panel members and presenters. Email the contact below for further information.
Membership to the Women in Surgery Section is optional and open to Fellows, Trainees, SIMGs, junior doctors and medical students.
All members have access to the WiS Section's strategic plan, papers for the Section's annual business meeting at the ASC and various other resources via the RACS Portal. If you are interested in becoming a member, please forward your details to the Secretariat.
Fellows, Trainees and IMGs are welcome to discuss issues with an Executive Committee member via email.
The Section is governed by a Committee as per the Sections Terms of Reference (PDF 177.86KB)reporting to the RACS Fellowship Services Committee:
Committee Chair - Dr Christine Lai (FRACS)
Deputy Chair - Dr Pecky De Silva FRACS (NSW)
Committee member - Dr Tracey Barnes (NZ)
Committee member - Dr Sarah Coll FRACS (QLD), also 2022 ASC Convener
Committee member - Dr Edwina Moore FRACS (VIC)
Committee member - Dr Stephanie Weidlich FRACS (NT)
Committee member - Dr Nadya York (NZ)
Dr Hari Bandi FRACS (Co-opted member - ACT representative)
Dr Gausihi Sivarajan (Co-opted member - Tasmania representative)
Dr Amanda Foster FRACS (Co-opted member - WA representative)
Dr Tara Luck FRACS (Co-opted member - NT representative)
Dr Catherine Cartwright FRACS(Co-opted member - 2023 ASC Convener)
Dr Sharon English FRACS (Co-opted member - 2024 ASC Convener)
Call for nominations now open
The term of the current Women in Surgery Section committee comes to an end in May 2023. RACS seeks nominations from Section members to join the committee taking office from May 2023.
Nominate for the committee online. Nominations are welcome from all Fellows, Trainees and SIMGs on a pathway to Fellowship, and we encourage nominations from diverse groups.
The nomination period closes at 5.00pm AEDT, Wednesday 07 December 2022.
Women in Surgery Section Secretariat
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1259
Fax: +61 3 9276 7432