The Wellington Faculty covers a wide area that encompasses far-flung remote rural practices, suburban practices and inner city clinics – which can present a challenge to its executive.
“We are very aware of making sure we have events that are relevant and accessible for all our members and would love more representation for our rural colleagues on the team,” says Chair Justine Lancaster (pictured left).
“One of our core aims is to build connections within the membership as well as with other groups and health providers in the area.”
The Wellington Faculty covers the city itself, Greater Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Kāpiti Coast on the west and up to Wairarapa on the east and its 450 members include Samantha Murton, College President and Bryan Betty, College Medical Director.
“We are a really great bunch of people who love coming up with new and different events,” says Justine. “One of the highlights of last year was visiting Kāpiti Island with local rongoā Māori practitioner Sharlene Maoate-Davis. It was fascinating to learn more about the traditional Māori approach to healing and the trip helped give our members a much better cultural perspective which will stand them in good stead when talking to their Māori patients.
“We very much intend to continue with this collaborative approach to build understanding between all groups helping to care for the communities who live here.”
Other activities have included ‘Jam on Toast’, a weekend of music, food, games, a tour of Stonehenge Aotearoa, the launch of the book ‘Beyond the Stethoscope’, a behind-the-scenes look into the health care system and the people who work in it, and a seminar on chronic conditions.
Last year’s AGM was held at Zealandia, with a Kiwi night tour proving to be very popular with attendees.
Participation in the Round the Bays fun run is an annual occurrence, along with the ‘old and new Fellows’ dinners.
“We bring all our retiring GPs together with our newest Fellows for a lovely dinner where stories can be shared and there is a real sense of pride in belonging to our profession,” explains Justine. “There’s also a wonderful feeling of handing over the baton to the next generation to care for patients that many of our retirees have looked after for years.”
The Faculty also sponsors members to attend the annual College conference and regularly supports local requests for help, such as the provision of an AED (automated external defibrillator) at a local sports ground and donating funds to buy warm bedding at a women’s refuge.
“We like to help where we can and in a way that will directly benefit our patients,” says Justine.
Future plans include an educational mini-series of lectures and a Matariki event.
“As a Faculty we very much support the College’s Te Rautaki (statement of strategic intent) which includes supporting members, improving health equity and education excellence.
“We want to make sure our members voices are heard, so we encourage our members to email us with their thoughts, concerns and ideas via the Faculty page on the College website.”