2023 | Volume 24 | Issue 6


On 3 November, the South Australia (SA) state office hosted a highly successful Papers Day, where medical students, junior medical officers, Trainees and Younger Fellows showcased their research through presentations for RP Jepson and the Justin Miller Medals.

The awards are named in honour of two of the state’s most distinguished vascular surgeons. The RP Jepson Medal is awarded to the best scientific research presentation, and the Justin Miller Medal awarded to the best clinical paper and presentation.

Twenty presentations were made across the two categories, with the event also providing participants with the opportunity to discuss their presentations and receive feedback from the judges. The judges were former RACS president Dr Tony Sparnon, RACS SA Chair Associate Professor Amal Abou-Hamden, RACS SA Committee member Dr Nadia Wise, and the Dean of Medicine at Adelaide University, Dr Danny Liew.

Later in the evening presenters from the Papers Day were invited to join Fellows, Trainees and SIMGs at the SA Annual Dinner, where the medal recipients from the Papers Day were announced.

Congratulations to Dr Harleen Kaur who won the RP Jepson Medal for her presentation ‘Patient-Derived Organoid Culture: Advancing Personalised Chemotherapy’.

Congratulations to Dr Luke Traeger who won the Justin Miller Medal for his presentation ‘Pyridostigmine to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery after colorectal surgery—a double-blinded randomised controlled trial'.

The annual dinner also featured the presentation of the Sir Henry Newland Award, which was made to Associate Professor Robert Bauze for his long and distinguished service to surgery and the South Australian community.

In his acceptance speech Associate Professor Bauze said that he was humbled to receive the award. He paid tribute to his family, friends, and colleagues—many of whom were in attendance—for their ongoing support and encouragement throughout his career. He particularly thanked his wife Elizabeth, who he named the ‘co-winner of the 2023 Sir Henry Newland Award’.

Later in the evening, the annual Anstey Giles Lecture was delivered by South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. The highly respected police commissioner has become one of the most recognisable faces in South Australia following his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his lecture, Commissioner Stevens spoke of ’Leadership in crisis‘ where he discussed the many challenges the police force faced during the height of the pandemic, reflected on the learnings that could be taken away, and on the achievements that he is most proud of for South Australia.

The day was an enormous success for RACS SA and broke previous attendance records for both events. We would like to thank all the presenters, attendees, and organisers who helped contribute to a most successful and thoroughly enjoyable day and look forward to the ongoing growth and success of these events.

Tragically, just two weeks after the annual dinner, Commissioner Stevens’ youngest child, Charlie, was killed in a road accident. Charlie was the 101st life lost on the roads in SA this year and through the grief, Commissioner Stevens courageously wrote this deeply touching tribute to Charlie, the human story behind the road toll number.

The RACS SA community sends our deepest condolences to Commissioner Stevens, his wife Emma, and their family following this terrible tragedy.