The Women in Surgery Section aims to:
- encourage and support all Fellow and 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 Younger Fellows.
- 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)
Women in leadership webinar series
A series of interactive webinars to develop leadership skills in women were held throughout 2023. Catch up on these webinars by viewing the recordings.
Women in Surgery microlearning activity
Opportunity to gain CPD points in "Professionalism" by completing this microlearning activity which explores a session from the 2023 RACS ASC, in which Associate Professor Susan Neuhaus presents the topic, 'No Profession for a Lady: The pioneering women surgeons of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand'.
RACS Women in Surgery essay competition for 2024 - now closed
The Women in Surgery section once again run a medical student essay competition. This year's topic was How should surgeons both as individuals and a college be responsible for addressing barriers to diversity and inclusion in surgery and/or surgical training.
The author of the winning essay chosen by the committee will receive complimentary registration to the 2024 RACS Annual Scientific Congress in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand (06 to 10 May 2024). A winner outside Christchurch will receive complimentary flights and accommodation. All other costs will be at the winner's own expense.
Good luck to all entrants!
Since 2019, the Women in Surgery section has run 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.
- 2023 - "Is seeking gender equality in surgery enough or should we be seeking equity?" (PDF 224.02KB). Congratulations to Dewi Ang of the University of Western Australia for her essay.
- 2022 - “The myth of meritocracy: What RACS can do to dismantle it.” (PDF 197.89KB)Congratulations to Denna Fryer of Australia National University for her essay.
- 2021 - "Women in medical leadership: having a quota makes for better representation." Congratulations to Yun-hsuan Stellina Lee (PDF 270.17KB) and Emilly Heaney (PDF 106.32KB).
- 2019 - "Are surgery and social media incompatible? The impact of social media on Surgery in our Brave New World. (PDF 266.17KB)" Congratulations to the competition's inaugural winner, Jesse Zhou from Monash University.
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 Pecky De Silva (FRACS)
Deputy Chair -Dr Nadya York (AoNZ)
Committee member - Dr Tracey Barnes (aoNZ)
Committee member - Dr Suellyn Centauri FRACS (VIC)
Committee member - Dr Anita Jacombs FRACS (NSW)
Committee member - Dr Wendy Liu (NSW)
Committee member -Dr Railya Mousina FRACS (NSW)
Dr Samantha Khoo (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 Sharon English FRACS (Co-opted member - 2024 ASC Convener)
Dr Ella Nicholas (AoNZ) (Co-opted member - RACSTA representative)
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