Special interest groups

2016 Combined SIG Meeting

The Combined Communication, Education, Welfare and Leadership and Management Special Interest Groups present

“Building resilience – reflections, culture and changing minds”


We are pleased to announce this year’s Combined SIGs weekend meeting will be held in Sydney from October 7-9, 2016. The conference, now in its thirteenth year, will be held at the Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific and provides an excellent opportunity for an educational update, networking and a chance to see the sights of Sydney.

This annual combined meeting attracts 150 delegates from around Australia and New Zealand each year and we expect a great response again in 2016.
The meeting “Building resilience – reflections, culture and changing minds” captures a very topical theme, exploring contemporary issues relevant to practising clinicians, managers, educators and all of us that need to not only look after ourselves, but those around us.
Leveraging the great diversity of special interests that this combined meeting brings, there will be a mixture of plenary, concurrent sessions and workshops covering topics from workplace bullying to developing strategies to reduce the chance of becoming a casualty yourself on airborne retrieval. Opportunities to develop new skills include how an understanding of models of personality and the use of simple hypnosis techniques can enhance our patient interactions.
We are particularly pleased to advise the inclusion in the program of our international invited speaker - Professor Mark Jensen who is Professor and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington. He is an internationally recognised clinician and researcher who combines cognitive-behavioural, hypnotic and motivational approaches to help his patients better manage chronic pain and its effects on their lives. He has facilitated workshops, nationally and internationally, on treatment approaches for pain management for more than 30 years.
Other confirmed speakers include Mr Graeme Campbell, former Vice President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, ANZCA President Associate Professor David A Scott and
Professor William Runciman.
The beachside location, a great variety of cafes and restaurants and only a short ferry ride to the heart of Sydney will enhance both the educational and social aspects of this vibrant meeting.
I very much look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event.
Associate Professor Scott Simmons
Convenor, 2016 Combined SIG Meeting


Registration for the Combined SIG Meeting is now open. Please register online today via the ANZCA portal
For non-members, please download a registration form.

Updated program

Three new trainee workshops and one new session has been added to the Combined SIG Meeting program

Trainee Stream Brochure

For all information on the new trainee workshops and inspirational session please download the trainee stream brochure



The Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific overlooks the beautiful Tasman Sea and is just steps from the sand and surf.  The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD or only 18 minutes from Sydney’s CBD by fast ferry.
To book accommodation, please download the accommodation form and send it directly to H5462-RE2@accor.com.

Conference optional dinner

The conference dinner will be held on board the Captain Cook III cruise vessel. The cruise will travel past the Sydney Opera House, botanic gardens, historic Fort Denison and the magnificent waterfront homes of the eastern suburbs.

We will then cruise past Kirribilli House, Luna Park and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A delicious meal (and drinks) will be served while cruising around iconic Sydney Harbour. Delegates will be picked up from the Manly wharf and returned at the end of the evening.
Please note, this is an optional dinner. If you wish to attend, please register online or on the registration form.

Invited speakers

Invited international speaker:

Professor Mark Jensen
Mark P Jensen, PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr Jensen’s research program focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions for pain management.

He has been awarded more than 20 research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other funding sources for his research program, and is the author or co-author of more than 400 articles and chapters. He has served on a number of editorial boards of scientific journals, and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pain.  He is recognised internationally as a facilitator of workshops that teach clinicians practical communication and motivation skills which increase their ability to maintain rapport with and motivate their patients and clients.
Local invited speakers:

Professor William (Bill) Runciman
Bill Runciman is Professor of Patient Safety, at the University of South Australia, was Foundation Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Adelaide (1988 – 2007) and is President of the Australian Patient Safety Foundation.
He has published more than 260 scientific papers/chapters and a book.  After 38 years in clinical practice, he is now undertaking full-time research into patient safety, the appropriateness of clinical care and classification and terminology for patient safety. He has been conferred the Pugh Award for his contribution to the science of anaesthesia, the Sidney Sax Medal for outstanding achievement in health services policy, organisation, delivery and research and the Robert Orton Medal in recognition of outstanding achievements in anaesthesia, and contributions  to developing and promoting patient safety both nationally and internationally. 
Mr Graeme Campbell
Mr Graeme Campbell is a general surgeon, practicing in Bendigo in Victoria. He trained at Melbourne University, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and in the United Kingdom. Clinical interests include the treatment of breast and colo-rectal cancer, and the development of systems for optimal management of cancer in rural locations.

He has a strong interest in surgical education. He is a former chair of the RACS Rural Surgical Training Program. He currently chairs the CCrISP committee of RACS, and is an original author of and Chair of the Management of Surgical Emergencies (MOSES) course for General Surgeons Australia (GSA) He is a former President of GSA. He has been a RACS Councillor for nine years and served as RACS Vice-President from 2015-2016.

He was a member of the RACS Expert Advisory Group on Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment, and has had oversight of the RACS response to this report.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Molloy PhD, B Physio (Hons)
Associate Professor Elizabeth Molloy is Director of the HealthPEER team in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University. She provides curricular consultation and evaluation, professional development workshops for clinical supervisors and academics, and has published research on feedback in clinical education, professional transitions, assessment and the role of educators in designing experiences to encourage active student learning.

In 2009 she co-edited a book with Elsevier, Clinical education in the health professions, targeting a multi-professional audience, and in 2013 co-edited a book, Feedback in Higher and Professional Education, with Routledge. She has a clinical background as a physiotherapist and worked as team physiotherapist for the Australian Athletics Team for seven years. She is currently chair of the National Educators' Group within the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Werner Naef
  • Initially studied engineering at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), followed by 32 years parallel pilot careers with Swissair & Swiss air force (Swissair: captain, instructor, fleet and training manager, GM Human Factors Training; Swiss air force: fighter pilot, CO, Colonel (AUS: Group Captain)).
  • Postgraduate in psychotherapy (1976-81), Member of the Board with the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP) for eight years.
  • Registered Aviation Human Factors Specialist. Human Factors expert of Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation. Representative of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) in the European Joint Aviation Authority’s Human Factors Steering Group.
  • Research funded by Daimler-Benz-Foundation: GIHRE (Group Interaction in High Risk Environment), managing the “Aviation" project from 1999-2004.
  • Lecturing, consulting and training in Australia/NZ and in Europe.
  • Director Kahler Communications Oceania Ltd (KCO), Master Trainer in PCM.
  • 2008 EAAP Award "for his outstanding international commitment and achievement in Aviation Psychology".

Transport to venue

The hotel is roughly a 30-minute drive from Sydney CBD, an hour drive from Sydney airport or only 18 minutes away from Sydney’s CBD by fast ferry. 


Introduction to Motivational Interviewing – Professor Mark Jensen
Patient motivation plays an important role in treatment outcome. Regardless of the setting, patients are more likely to improve if they follow through on recommended treatments.  Motivational Interviewing is both a general approach and a set of specific strategies that clinicians can use to help clients resolve their ambivalence about making positive lifestyle changes. This three-hour workshop will introduce participants to the theory and practice of Motivational Interviewing.

Much of the workshop will involve “hands on” practice of basic Motivational Interviewing strategies and techniques for increasing patient motivation to achieve treatment goals. After participating in the workshop, the attendee will be able to:
  1. understand the theories and concepts underlying Motivational Interviewing;
  2. be able to evaluate a patients’ readiness to participate in chronic pain treatment;
  3. learn approaches that are most effective for patients at different readiness levels; and
  4. learn strategies for effectively dealing with patient resistance to pain treatment and rehabilitation.

Educational objectives:
  1. Identify the patient’s readiness to follow through with treatment recommendations, and match the clinical response to the patient’s readiness level.
  2. Improve clinician-patient rapport by providing reflective statements.
  3. Identify patient and selectively encourage “change talk” that increases the probability of adaptive pain management.
Motivational interviewing and advanced communication skills – Professor Mark Jensen
This three-hour workshop is designed to build on the communication and motivational skills learned in the initial Motivational Interviewing workshop, although participants are not required to participate in the first workshop to participate in this one.

This workshop will summarise additional key aspects of Motivational Interviewing not covered in the previous day’s session. Through modelling and practice, participants will then learn more advanced communication skills, including advanced reflective listening techniques, as well as using patient responses to identify the most helpful suggestions to give to patients at the end of the encounter.

Participants will also learn strategies for effectively dealing with “difficult” patients who appear to be resistant to treatment.

Educational objectives:
  1. Be able to provide effective reflective statements.
  2. Identify and then provide clinically effective summary statements (also known as clinical suggestions).
  3. Respond effectively to “resistant” statements made by patients.
Becoming a Compassionate Presence – Mindfulness and Compassion in Action – Jane Gray, Director, Research, Innovation & Partnerships and Dr Allysan Armstrong-Brown Rigpa Spiritual Care Programme
Jane Gray works full time for Hunter New England Local Health District in NSW, leading a team that supports research, innovation and partnerships. She also leads Rigpa's Spiritual Care Programme in Australia.
Dr Allysan Armstrong-Brown works as an anaesthetist in Newcastle, Australia. Her subspecialty is neuroanaesthesia, and she has interests in consciousness, meditation, compassion practices, medical education and end of life care.
In this workshop participants develop their capacity for compassionate presence, which is the practice of mindfulness and compassion in action. 
This workshops draws on the wisdom of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings and the Rigpa Spiritual Care Programme's experience of presenting the practices of mindfulness meditation (presence) and loving kindness (compassion) practices. Participants will experience these approaches and learn how to integrate them into their professional work and personal self-care.
Cultivating compassionate presence in our work and life has many benefits. We can stay better focused on the needs of our patients, families and colleagues, thereby delivering more person-centred care and contributing towards a positive workplace. These practices help engender better situational awareness and clinical decision-making, improve patient satisfaction and reduce rates of stress and burnout among professionals.
The workshop begins with an investigation into what compassion is, from everyday, scientific and experiential perspectives. On the basis of this understanding, we explore the benefits of an altruistic, other-focused attitude, compared to a wholly self-centred attitude.
Understanding the benefits of compassion, we look at why we aren’t as compassionate as we would like to be.
Firstly, we address our habit of distraction through the practice of meditation. Then we explore the role of the mind in our experience of happiness and suffering. Through this we recognise the possibility of changing the way we normally react to life’s circumstances.
We take this further by considering our fundamental nature: appreciating our natural capacity as human beings for love and compassion from a scientific and evolutionary point of view, as well as our inherent fundamental goodness from a Buddhist point of view.
Recognising this also helps free us from one obstacle to compassion: that we do not feel we have enough love within us. Here we also begin to develop the practice of cultivating love for ourselves.
Note: This workshop is suitable for people who have attended past workshops and will deepen their experience of these methods. It is also suitable for complete newcomers.
Practical hypnosis for the busy anaesthetist – Dr Allan Cyna
This workshop will give participants skills and structures that they can use to effectively communicate with patients, relatives and colleagues. It emphasises interesting communication concerns with patients interacting with anesthetists in different clinical contexts. Participants will learn how communication can be structured to optimise patient perceptions that allow autonomy, cooperation and decreased anxiety.
Part 1: General principles of the workshop will introduce participants to how the exploration of language structures, underlying conscious and intuitive (subconscious) aspects of communication can be utilised to improve almost any anaesthesia interaction. Part 1 will finish with an exercise on how to use the four principles of listening to what patients and colleagues are actually saying and how this important skill increases rapport. The placebo effect has long been considered an embarrassment to the serious practice of pharmacology yet half of all drugs that fail in late-stage trials drop out of the pipeline due to their inability to beat sugar pills! What does this have to do with communication? Part 2 of the workshop will develop ideas of nocebo and placebo communication and how to make communication and interactions with colleagues and patients maximise their placebo potential.
Part 2: Advanced communication skills. Hypnosis provides valuable insights into how anaesthetists can communicate more effectively with colleagues and patients. This is particularly when patients are so stressed they cannot cooperate with their clinical care. This session will integrate the previous session and demonstrate how a structured, practical approach to communicating hypnotically with patients can enhance anaesthesia care. Workshop participants will also be shown how a rapid self hypnosis technique that can be taught to patients in less than three minutes so they can relax without the need for sedative pharmacological premedication.
Process Communication Model: Key2Me workshop facilitated by Dr Marion Andrew, Women’s and Children’s Hospital
This workshop gives you an introductory insight into Process Communication Model (PCM). PCM is a language-based communication, personality assessment and management methodology offering a logical and structured skill-set. Understanding personality, how and why others are different, is a first step to building authentic working relationships and honing leadership skills. It provides a tool to identify individual language preferences and characteristics, and an understanding of how to learn to predict and influence behaviour. Participants will be provided, through a pre-workshop online questionnaire with a personal profile. You will leave this workshop with a tool you will be able to use straight away.
Morning yoga – Andrea Binks
Andrea Binks is a Specialist Anaesthetist at Wollongong Hospital, a mum to two young children and a yoga teacher. She has been practicing yoga since 2001. Andrea was looking for something of a physical challenge as well as a means of relaxation. Andrea attended Ashtanga yoga classes in her local neighbourhood and was instantly hooked.
Since then Andrea has found herself giving more and more time to her yoga, practicing at home, going to classes, workshops and weekend retreats. She began to study more about the history and philosophy of yoga through yoga teacher training and qualified as a yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2008. Andrea teaches Hatha yoga classes, which take influences from various yoga styles she has encountered, including ashtanga, vinyasa flow, and womb yoga during and after pregnancy. She has studied extensively with Christopher Gladwell and Uma Dinsmore Tulli in the UK, and has practiced with Radha and Pierre in Europe and with Christina Brown and Dena Kingsberg in Australia.
Andrea’s own personal yoga practice is continually changing, from a strong Ashtanga practice, through vinyasa flow yoga, hatha yoga, prenatal yoga and at times no yoga at all. Through Andrea’s years of practice, it is clear to her that yoga is a powerful tool to help us cope with the fast paced world of 21st century Western living. It brings a sense of ease, contentment and joyfulness; however hard it is to step on to the mat, it is always worth it.


Participants in the ANZCA CPD program will have the following activities automatically allocated to their CPD portfolio under Knowledge and Skills ‘Short Courses, Workshops’ for 2 credits per hour attended, requiring confirmation:

Practical hypnosis for the busy anaesthetist
3.5 hours (7 credits)

Introduction to motivational interviewing 
3 hours (6 credits)

Becoming a compassionate presence – mindfulness and compassion in action
3 hours (6 credits)

Motivational interviewing and advanced communications skills
3 hours (6 credits)

Key 2 Me
4 hours (8 credits)


For further information or to register please visit the meeting website, or contact the meeting secretariat:
Kirsty O'Connor
P: +61 3 9510 6299
ANZCA House, 630 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004
Copyright © Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.