Nominations for the 2023 elections to Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Council open Friday 1 September and close Monday 18 September 2023.
RACS Council is the governing body of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The RACS Constitution defines its role and responsibilities. It is a privilege to be elected to the trusted role of a RACS Councillor. It is important that nominees for Council are aware of the commitments and responsibilities that come with the position.
RACS leadership is currently developing a strong and sustainable governance structure to ensure the College's future stability. The proposed shift is towards a smaller skills-based Board, including Fellow representation. Whilst this reform will require Constitutional change and therefore take some time to implement, it will change the remit of the elected council, allowing them to focus on strategic priorities and fellowship engagement.
Council embraces and encourages broad diversity of membership gender and ethnicity including Indigenous and Māori. Amongst other diversity, Council should comprise a mix of Fellows from public, private and academic practice. Candidates from Aotearoa New Zealand are strongly encouraged to nominate to ensure constitutional representation.
Governance experience and previous involvement in College activities, e.g. course facilitator or examiner, committee member, is an advantage.
Councillors are company directors with fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Fellowship in fulfilling their governance responsibilities to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Councillors are required to put the interests of RACS ahead of any other interests, including their own or those of other organisations to which they may belong, and to publicly represent the views of Council. The Corporations Act 2001 defines the legal and statutory requirements of a Company Director. RACS reports to the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission (ACNC). The Governance for good: A guide for Responsible People | ACNC outlines some of those responsibilities.
Councillors are expected to participate in continuing professional corporate governance training and development activities, including those provided as a regular Council activity.
Council meeting commitments are for two to three days, three times a year towards the end of February, June and October. In addition, Councillors are expected to be members of Council committees and working parties, and to fulfil any committee role conferred on them by Council.
Australian Capital Territory and Tasmanian Fellows are also encouraged to nominate, as currently they do not have elected representatives on Council, but are currently represented by co-opted Councillors.
Candidates must have current unrestricted registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (Ahpra) or New Zealand Medical Council, and must be able to travel to Australia for meeting and Committee attendance, as determined from time to time. It is highly recommended that candidates reside and practice (or have practiced if retired) in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand. This is to be familiar with the bi-national issues that Fellows currently face. Candidates and their supporters are required to declare they have no restrictions or conditions placed on their practice by Ahpra or the New Zealand Medical Council or any other regulatory authority.
Fellows passionate about equitable distribution of surgeons, improving the culture and respect amongst all surgeons in helping our trainees progress to the next generation of surgeons and healthcare sustainability are also encouraged to nominate.
The three-year term of office commences at the Annual General Meeting on 9 May 2024.
FELLOWSHIP ELECTED COUNCILLORS as at August 2023
|Adrian Anthony||General Surgeon||SA|
|Deborah Bailey||Paediatric Surgeon||QLD|
|Richard Bradbury||General Surgeon||NT|
|Ruth Bollard||General Surgeon||VIC|
|Jennifer Chambers||Vascular Surgeon||NSW (retiring in May 2024)|
|Sarah Coll||Orthopaedic Surgeon||QLD|
|Kerin Fielding||Orthopaedic Surgeon||NSW|
|Andrew Hill||General Surgeon||AoNZ (retiring in May 2024)|
|Nicola Hill||General Surgeon||AoNZ (standing for re-election)|
|Annette Holian||Orthopaedic Surgeon||VIC|
|Rebecca Jack||Vascular Surgeon||QLD|
|Christine Lai||General Surgeon||SA (standing for re-election)|
|Christopher Pyke||General Surgeon||QLD|
|Maxine Ronald||General Surgeon||AoNZ (retiring in May 2024)|
|Owen Ung||General Surgeon||QLD|
SPECIALTY ELECTED COUNCILLORS as of August 2023
|Mark Ashton||(Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon)||VIC|
|Andrew Cochrane||Cardiothoracic Surgeon||VIC (standing for re-election)|
|John Crozier||Vascular Surgeon||NSW (retiring in May 2024)|
|David Fletcher||General Surgeon||WA (retiring in May 2024)|
|Phil Morreau||Paediatric Surgeon||AoNZ (standing for re-election)|
|Raymond Sacks||(Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgeon)||NSW|
|Gregory Witherow||Orthopaedic Surgeon||WA|
CO-OPTED COUNCILLORS as at August 2023
|Ailene Fitzgerald||General Surgeon||ACT (in the absence of an elected ACT Councillor)|
|Nishanthi Gurusinghe||General Surgeon||TAS (in the absence of an elected Tasmanian Councillor)|
Fellows may nominate as a Fellowship Elected Councillor or Specialty Elected Councillor – not both.
Specialty Elected Councillor positions can be filled only by a member of that specialty and are elected only by the Fellows in their specialty.
Fellowship Elected Councillors are elected by all Fellows.
Fellows will receive an email on Friday 1 September with a link to the nomination form. Submission of the nomination form, including supporting statement and photograph, is completed online.
To complete the online nomination, candidates are required to:
- Declare there are no restrictions or conditions placed on their practice by any regulatory authority
- Declare their scope of practice has not been limited or credentialing restricted as a sanction or disciplinary action by any hospital where they practise or have practised within the last five years.
- Complete information to the candidate statement form, including demonstration of their suitability for the role
- Contact two other Fellows who agree to support their nomination
- Provide the names and email addresses of their two supporters
- Upload a recent photograph (JPEG)
Candidates are also expected to observe the Campaigning during RACS elections guidelines and the RACS Social Media Policy
PLEASE NOTE: If you agree to support a candidate, you will receive a subsequent email with a link for you to submit your brief supporting statement. You are asked to respond promptly.
Please be aware that RACS has a robust and confidential election process and does not release data pertaining to individual election results in the interests of maintaining candidates’ privacy.
For more information, please contact the President’s Office and Council at College.President@surgeons.org.