Tasmanian Regional Committee newsletter

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) Chair's update

After the many challenges, opportunities, and lessons of 2020, the TRC embarks on a new year in 2021 with energy and enthusiasm. We hope all members of our profession have had a chance to enjoy some quiet time over Christmas and New Year. The TRC offers our ongoing thanks and support to everyone for their contribution and resilience through 2020 and look forward to working with you and supporting you in 2021.

The TRC will continue to meet primarily via Zoom in 2021.

Our people and our committee

Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) 

  • Dr Lia Freestone (Chair)
  • Dr David Alcock (Deputy Chair and Perioperative Officer)
  • Dr Joanne Samuel (CME Officer)
  • Dr Angela Ralph (Education Officer)
  • Dr Jeremy Sutton (TAC Officer and Northern representative)
  • Dr Jack Madden (Welfare Officer)
  • Dr Andrew Messmer (Safety and Quality Officer)
  • Dr Bruce Newman (General Member)
  • Dr Margo Peart (North West region representative) - outgoing
  • Dr Sam Walker (New Fellow representative)
  • Associate Professor Deborah Wilson (Ex Officio Council representative)
  • Dr Mike Challis (ASA representative)
  • Dr Nina Loughman (FPM representative)
  • Dr Jana Vitesnikova (Trainee Committee Chair and representative)

Dr Margo Peart will no longer be the NW representative. We thank her for being a great person and a wonderful advocate for NWRH and welcome her to her new position at the RHH. 

If you are interested in joining the committee or contributing in other ways, please contact the Chair or any member of the committee. We welcome all contributions, big or small, and are particularly keen to ensure state-wide representation and participation.

Annual General Meeting

You are invited to attend the upcoming Tasmanian Regional Committee (TRC) Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The meeting will again be held at the Tasmanian Annual Scientific Meeting at 5.15pm on Saturday 27 February 2021, at the Medical Science Precinct (corner of Campbell and Liverpool Streets, Hobart).

Dr Lia Freestone, Chair of the TRC will present her annual report, with the ASA AGM preceding the meeting.

Continuing medical education (CME)

The Tasmanian Annual Scientific Meeting and Trainee Day is almost here. Numbers have been restricted due to COVID and the meeting is now full. But it's not necessarily too late. Due to these unexpected times there could be border closures which could result in places becoming available. If you are interested in attending, it's recommended that you add your name to the waiting list via email as soon as possible, and you will be contacted if a position becomes available.

The organising committee are confident that it will be another great meeting with a host of interesting and expert presenters. Please find the ASM program here.

The Trainee Day is also set to be another great meeting with plenty of places still available. Registrations close 12 February 2021 so you are encourage to register straight away. Please view the Training Day program here.

Don’t forget the upcoming annual combined Winter meeting. Please save the following date in your diary so you don’t miss out. 

  • The Annual Winter Meeting Barnbougle will be held on Saturday 21 August 2021, with numbers quite restricted. Registrations are due to open in March and are expected to sell out quickly.


The TATP state-wide teaching program has commenced.

The LGH is hosting the Foundation Day and Part Zero course on 19-20 February, 2021.


COVID-19 in Tasmania remains under control largely due to strong border management and public health measures. The TRC recognises the challenge of avoiding community complacency and maintaining preparedness of the health system should an outbreak occur. The TRC supports all measures to ensure ongoing education and readiness of our health workforce, access to adequate PPE, and widespread fit testing which is now available to anaesthetists throughout the state.


The STP review and renegotiation of STP funding for Tasmania is a priority for 2021. Work and consultation with existing stakeholders have already commenced. Please contact the TRC if you have any comments or suggestions.

Tasmanian Anaesthetic Training Program (TATP)

The new hospital year for 2021 has commenced. The TATP welcomes all trainees, especially those who are new to our program, and wish you every success and support for the upcoming year. 

During 2021 the TATP will continue to develop our professional fellowship program and work towards further HR reforms including length of training contracts.

The TATP recognises and thanks the Supervisors of Training, Education Officer, SSU and Clinical Fundamentals supervisors, mentors and all who have offered their teaching, expertise, and time to our trainees. 

Stay safe and stay well.

Dr Lia Freestone
Chair of the Tasmanian Regional Committee

Trainee committee update

The last year has certainly been an interesting one for Tasmanian trainees!  
Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the challenges and disruptions that many trainees have experienced due to COVID over the last 12 months. However, it has been encouraging to see all the trainees adapt to these challenges, support each other and contribute to COVID preparations within their departments. 
The second half of 2020 has seen the successful continuation of online education and training opportunities and the reintroduction of some of the invaluable face-to-face teaching. Trainees from around the state attended an excellent Trauma Day in Hobart in December. Highlights included practical skills stations and simulation sessions.  
Due to COVID restrictions, all exam candidates from 2020 sat delayed vivas in November and December. This included many of our trainees participating in the first ever ANZCA exam vivas via video-conference. Congratulations to all the candidates who managed to sit their exams under these challenging and unpredictable circumstances. We would also like to thank all our colleagues, examiners and departments for their support, flexibility and endless viva practice in the prolonged lead-up to these exams. 
Finally, we have a new Trainee Committee for 2021, which will be chaired by Dr Brigit Ikin. Brigit is now in her fourth year of training, located in Hobart this year. The other committee members include North West representative Lisa Allen, North representatives Edward Lim and Sally Perks and South representatives Dylan Sjieka and Jana Vitesnikova.  
This year the Trainee Committee will continue to focus on the wellbeing of trainees, especially those with family interstate or overseas. We aim to utilise the now familiar online platforms to improve regular connection across the state between trainees. We also hope this year provides a bit more consistency in gaining clinical experience, regular teaching opportunities and in the preparation and delivery of exams. This will allow the committee to focus on opportunities for any improvements in the training program, as has been a part of its previous role.  
We are looking forward to the upcoming Trainee Day at the Tasmanian ASM in February as an opportunity for learning, to meet our new trainees, and catch up with familiar faces.  

FPM update

The second half of 2020 saw the resumption of business as usual at the Persistent Pain Service (PPS), albeit within a COVID-normal framework. Face-to-face appointments, group programs, elective admissions and procedural lists resumed, much to the relief of staff and patients. 

Project ECHO has enabled the PPS to disseminate pain-related knowledge to interested clinicians across the state. Participation in this case-based teleconference remains enthusiastic and feedback has been positive. It is hoped that Project ECHO can support primary care clinicians to manage patients with the best evidence-based care, and that a network of multidisciplinary pain management enthusiasts can be created. 

DORA is Tasmania’s current Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) system, the first of its kind in Australia. Its purpose is to reduce opioid prescribing, which has been increasing across the country. Due to its successes, a national integrated system has been proposed, which will replace DORA.

Dr Nina Loughman
FPM Representative on the Tasmanian Regional Committee


Last updated 09:58 3.02.2021