Telling the story of our members through our Annual Report 

28 July 2021

By Jamie Morris, Communications Advisor 

This past year has been an unprecedented one for everyone, even more so for our members who are on the frontline of Aotearoa’s COVID-19 response. 

When we (College Communications and Events team) first started talking about this year’s Annual Report back in February, we agreed it had to be special and showcase the great work of our members and the College.

We wrote great stories, and put together quotes from members, and new imagery, and to bring that all to life, Wairarapa based designer and illustrator Andre (Taco) Caraco came to the party!

The concept – from dark to light 

When we first met Taco, we explained we wanted to “go bold” by using more imagery, storytelling and quotes, and by really showing off how hard our members worked in their communities during COVID-19.

Taco understood the importance of the task and presented his design concept ‘from dark to light’, saying “it’s has been the year of the health worker and College members have suddenly found themselves thrust into the limelight as caretakers of all New Zealanders.” 

Going ahead with this concept, the Annual Report design starts off dark and gradually gets lighter, showing our members and the College helped to shift the country from a time of darkness (when we were in lockdown) into the light where the public can lead relatively normal lives.

“Our year with COVID-19” booklet

As part of the concept, Taco included a smaller ‘our year with COVID-19’ booklet to supplement the full Annual Report and capture the year through the eyes of our members. The booklet is made up of anonymised member quotes (tagged to regions) that we gathered from across our communications channels. It paints a very real picture of what it’s been like for our members over the last 12 months across Aotearoa. 

Below are examples of some of the quotes we included:

“This year has been overwhelming.” GP, answering the burnout survey

“It remains extremely difficult to recruit doctors and nurse practitioners in the rural sector,” GP, Whanganui”

“We are always expected just to suck it up and get on with it, so thank you for not taking us for granted. I do sense a change of tone from the College recently and I am very greatly cheered by that.” GP, Auckland

Other aspects – amplifying Te Reo, increasing imagery, and improving digital viewing

This year we wanted to raise the importance of Te Reo so we introduced two new aspects – we used more translations and also raised Te Reo in the text heirarchy so it appears above the English. 

The members needed to be the front and centre of the Annual Report, so we included more member stories and used big images of our members with patients. We also introduced captions so the readers can tell they aren’t stock images; they’re images of real GPs and rural hospital doctors. 

We’ve learnt from previous years that most of our members and stakeholders read the Annual Report online, so this year we asked Taco to reformat the printed version into a PDF that could be easily read digitally. This also meant we could add links to GP Pulse stories about our members as well as media releases and media coverage on news websites such as Stuff. 

View the Annual Report

View the College’s 2021 Annual Report.
What do you think of the Annual Report?

We’re keen to hear what you think of our 2021 Annual Report. If there’s anything your particularly liked, didn’t like, or if you’ve got any comments on how we could improve next year’s Annual Report, please email