Greetings! I am Anna Vnuk, the membership secretary for ANZAHPE, also the Diversity Equity and Inclusion lead on Committee of Management. I work for James Cook University on the beautiful lands the Gunggandji, Yidinji, Tjabukai and Yirrganydji people.
Since taking on the role of membership secretary, I have been working with the Committee of Management to continue to assist our members in their roles as health professional educators.
We surveyed the membership at the end of 2020 and know that members want professional development, networking opportunities and assistance in developing in their roles.
The conference/festival is a wonderful professional development opportunity - for people to present their work and to learn from others. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network – interact, exchange ideas, connect, develop a sense of collegiality and shared purpose, even to develop opportunities to work on joint projects together – and this networking is sometimes by chance and sometimes planned. However, due to covid, some of networking opportunities have been missing because the Festival/Conference has been on line.
While we are pleased with the experience of the online Festival in 2021, we have also worked to put professional development on line throughout the whole year.
However, to respond to the need for networking opportunities, we are now organizing to create a series of networking events in 2022 which will aim recreate the serendipitous act of walking to morning tea with someone you just sat next to at a presentation, with whom you have started a great conversation…..
We have three potential networking dates planned for 2022: likely March, May and November but we need some more specific input from Members to ensure that they will hit the mark.
We are aware that members want the opportunity for communication and impromptu conversations but these usually occur best after some shared experience, so one of our ideas has been for a sort of journal club where we choose an article that is interesting to health professional educators (and we are very open to suggestions for this and are thinking of using FOHPE articles) and pre-circulate it so that those who have a bit of an opportunity can read it, but obviously, that would not be compulsory as this is networking not homework. We would start with a 5 minute chat by our session lead, who would be one of the ANZAHPE fellows. Then we would break into small groups for discussion and chat for 20-30 minutes and then have a large group session with people sharing their insights and then a chance for more chatting.
Another need from the membership survey is hearing about career pathways – many health professional educators have come directly from the clinical arena and find the education and academic pathways unclear and confusing and so we are thinking of running a sessions where members can talk with others who have transitioned into education or academia (or are successfully straddling between education and clinical work) to find some tips and strategies.
Another need from the membership survey is mentoring and finding out about the Fellowship scheme and this is another one of our potential networking events for 2022.
So please contact me with any ideas for networking events for 2022 and beyond.
Other possible plans are to encourage members to contribute their career stories which we will publish on line so that we can develop an understand of the diverse backgrounds and journeys of our members.
We are also reviewing the membership fee structure and our recruitment processes to ensure that there is equity, diversity and inclusion within our membership. As ANZAHPE’s aim is to benefit the community by seeking to ensure that medical and health professionals receive training of the highest possible standard, we must also ensure that we are including all members of the community, and all members of the medical and health professions.
Looking forward to hearing from members!
Email Anna here