2024 | Volume 25 | Issue 3

Author: Dr Shehnarz Salindera, Chair, Younger Fellows Committee

Younger Fellows group


A successful 2024 Younger Fellows Forum (YFF) took place at the RACS ASC from 3 to 5 May at the stunning Hanmer Springs.

The forum is an annual leadership retreat hosted by the RACS Younger Fellows Committee that takes place over the weekend before the RACS Annual Scientific Congress (ASC). The forum provides an opportunity to reflect on the issues that matter most to our Younger Fellows. It also offers opportunities for networking, interaction with senior RACS Councillors, and leadership development.

Around 20 Younger Fellows from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand representing a range of surgical specialties were selected to attend the forum. Associate Professor Kerin Fielding, RACS president, Professor Owen Ung, RACS vice president, and exchange surgeons from Hong Kong, Thailand and the USA also attended. The forum was co-convened by Younger Fellows, Dr Sarah Gardiner and Dr Bridget Watson.

Associate Professor Fielding welcomed the delegates on day one of the forum with a president’s address. RACS councillor, Dr Nicola Hill and Associate Professor Owen Ung spoke of the  opportunities that enable Younger Fellows to contribute to the profession and their College.

Delegates also heard from high-profile mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka who spoke on how to develop high performance teams and create a sense of belonging among teams members. The next two days included a Ramsay Health session on developing safe surgical workplaces, a Medtronic session on sustainability, robotics and artificial intelligence, a Frais Capital session on ethical investing, and a MIGA session on how to set briefings for safety. Other sessions included a RACS 2027 centenary planning and a session led by Associate Professor Rhea Liang on sustainability in surgery.

A key outcome of the forum was the formulation of recommendations to influence RACS priorities and strengthen the future of surgery. These recommendations will be presented to the College Council in October 2024 and thus will ensure Younger Fellows have a voice in determining the future of RACS.

Dr Sarah Gardiner said, “Both Bridget and I were once again impressed by the energy and enthusiasm at the YFF. The new structure with bespoke sponsor involvement was a success. And Gilbert Enoka was outstanding. Looking forward to 2025 in Sydney.”

Thank you to sponsors Medtronic, MIGA, Ramsay Health Care, Device Technologies and Frais Capital for their support.

We also acknowledge the contributions made by the individual Councillors and Fellows to the Younger Fellows corpus in supporting this event.

The Younger Fellows Committee looks forward to hosting the forum again in 2025, ahead of the Sydney ASC.