On 25 May 2018, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) held its Annual General Meeting, where members voted unanimously to create a position on the AMA Federal Council for a representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors.
The Chair for the AMA Federal Council Dr Beverley Rowbotham says “AMA members last year voted to amend the Constitution to create a new position on Federal Council for a representative of Australia’s Indigenous doctors, through a nomination from their representative body, the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)”.
AIDA President Dr Kali Hayward was recently selected as the representative for this position on a twelve-month appointment. Her term began with all other members of Federal Council, from the close of the AMA National Conference in May.
Dr Rowbotham says “Kali has been attending meetings as an observer but will take up her position for the first time as a voting member at the August meeting.
“The AMA welcomes the insights brought to the Federal Council by the participation of an Indigenous doctor.” Dr Hayward is a GP Supervisor at Nunkuwarrin Yunti, the largest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in South Australia and a cultural and medical educator.
Dr Hayward is a member of several medical advisory groups, task forces, and panels, including the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s National Training Survey Advisory Group, AMA’s Taskforce on Indigenous Health, the AMA’s Indigenous Peoples’ Medical Scholarship Selection Panel, and is a member of the AMA.
Dr Hayward says “I look forward to contributing to the Council to complement their collective expertise in identifying and addressing the emerging issues. This appointment is a positive step to ensuring that the AMA is able to better represent the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors, medical students and patients”.
AIDA CEO Craig Dukes says “AIDA is extremely honoured and we see this as an enormous leap forward for the medical industry in promoting cross-cultural collaborations and acknowledging the value of Indigenous doctors on the AMA’s Federal Council. The AMA’s mission in Leading Australia’s Doctors – Promoting Australia’s Health, compliments AIDA’s purpose of contributing to the cultural wellbeing and equitable health and life outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, supporting Indigenous medical students and doctors, and promoting a culturally safe healthcare system”.
The decision reflects the close relationship between AIDA and the AMA as well as the work, advocacy and commitment of outgoing President Dr Michael Gannon. The announcement comes as the AMA have further demonstrated their commitment to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through the Federal Councils endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
AIDA looks forward to strengthening our partnership with the AMA, under the leadership of President Dr Tony Bartone and its Council, to build a robust and responsive healthcare system that represents all Australians.