Inclusion and diversity

We believe that all forms of discrimination are unacceptable, and can negatively impact the health and wellbeing of our trainees, fellows, staff, and the wider community.

Discrimination against individuals or a group including trainees, staff and fellows of the college, causes a negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. We recognise that anyone may have experienced this themselves or may have experienced this within their community.

As the membership organisation for more than 7000 specialist doctors and 1500 specialists-in-training supported by more than 100 staff, we have a responsibility to support those affected through those challenges so they can meet their responsibilities to their patients and the community.

Find out what we're doing to advocate for - and improve - inclusion and diversity in all areas of anaesthesia and pain medicine practice.

Understanding inclusion and diversity

In short, diversity is the representation of different people and inclusion is ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities.

In recognition of our diverse workforce we continue to support work throughout the college in areas of Indigenous health, gender equity, reconciliation, cultural safety, population health and much more. Our goal is for our fellowship to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

Our workforce consists of trainees, fellows and specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) and we recognise that within these cohorts, are a wide range of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

A number of initiatives currently exist and continue to be built upon as part of routine college diversity and inclusion activities such as;

  • Gender equity in speaker numbers and on panels at all conferences and events.
  • A code of conduct for all ANZCA meetings
  • Catering at meetings that recognises culture / ethnicity
  • Childcare and feeding facilities available at the ASM
  • Unconscious bias and interview panels toolkit
  • The use of gender neutral and inclusive language throughout college documents and communications.
  • A diversity matrix assessment for college committees to ensure a broad and diverse representation.
  • Special consideration processes for fellows and trainees throughout the training and continuing professional development programs, and within the annual subscription process in recognition of our members changing life circumstances.
  • Support for fellows returning to work after a period of absence.
  • Support for fellows and trainees on parental leave.
  • Scholarships and programs to support Indigenous trainees and fellows/trainees
  • Resource documents in library guides within the ANZCA library and the Wellbeing SIG webpage
  • Continuing professional development opportunities for cultural safety and wellbeing education sessions
  • Zoom access for remote and regional learning.
  • Eligibility criteria for prizes and the Emerging Leaders Conference now takes into account career disruption.

Read more

Supporting marriage equality

In 2017, ANZCA joined other medical colleges to support marriage equality in Australia by releasing the following statement:

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) considers all forms of discrimination unacceptable, with the potential to negatively impact on the health and well-being of our trainees, fellows, staff, and the wider community. To this end, the ANZCA Council collectively supports marriage equality and urges our members, trainees and staff to give serious consideration to the health impact of ongoing discrimination.

Background to this decision

ANZCA Council recognises and acknowledges the diversity of views and beliefs within our community. We oppose discrimination in any form; and support diversity, and the health and well-being of our trainees, members, and staff. Doctors who are suffering stress or depression are less effective in delivering care for their patients.

In the ANZCA Constitution, the objectives of the college include to "advocate on any issue that affects the ability of Members to meet their responsibilities to patients and to the community" (1.1.4), and "provide advice and support to Members to assist them in establishing and maintaining an appropriate work/life balance and to meet effectively the challenges of professional life" (1.1.18).

In 2017, our ANZCA Bullying Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (BDSH) Working Group published Prevent, Protect, Respond, a report on BDSH in healthcare environments. The first line of this report states that “ANZCA considers bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment (BDSH) to be unacceptable behaviours and is committed to ensuring that it is appropriately addressed into the future.”

Our BDSH policy also states: “The college considers bullying, discrimination and harassment unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Beyond discrimination in the workplace, the ANZCA document, Supporting Anaesthetists’ Professionalism and Performance states: “ANZCA considers all forms of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment to be unacceptable.”

Therefore, after careful consideration, ANZCA Council members, in their positions as leaders of our college, strongly supported the need to represent these values to support marriage equality.

As of 9 December 2017, marriage equality is protected in law in both Australia and New Zealand.


Gender equity

Gender equity has ethical, social, and economic benefits to our fellows, trainees, specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs), and the broader community. Find out what we're doing...

Find out more

Last updated 17:18 16.05.2022