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13 Feb 2018


With 2018 now well underway, following a busy holiday season of media and policy statements released by the AMA, attention now turns to preparation for the year ahead and key reports to be released in coming weeks.

This year is an election year for Federal AMA. Voting members will have received an email calling for nominations for the elected positions on Federal Council. There is also an advertisement calling for nominations in this edition of Australian Medicine. Federal Council is the primary policy-setting body of the Federal AMA and as such should represent the breadth and diversity of AMA membership.

The elected positions represent: 

  • Geographic Areas (six positions);
  • Practice Groups (five positions); and
  • Specialty Groups (12 positions).
  • Each Practice Group has its own Council with the elected representative of that Practice Group on Federal Council also becoming the Chair of the Practice Group Council. It is for this reason that the specialty of General Practice is represented as a Practice Group rather than a specialty.

I encourage eligible members with an interest in the development of AMA policy to consider nominating for one of the elected positions. A voting member may nominate for one specialty only but may nominate for whichever Practice Group is relevant to their practice (and this may be more than one). For example, a doctor in training working in a rural general practice could be assigned to three Practice Groups – Rural Doctors, Doctors in Training, and General Practice – with an entitlement to vote for the representative of each of these Groups.

Where there is a contested position, an election will be held during March by electronic ballot. The successful candidates will take up their position on Federal Council following the close of the 2018 National Conference at the end of May. The positions of President and Vice President are elected at National Conference. Nominations for these positions are called in April.


Members may recall the announcement at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the decision by the Board to sell AMA House in Canberra in order to invest the funds for an improved return on members’ assets. Following an international campaign by Colliers, the Board received an outstanding offer for the property in late 2017. It is anticipated that by the time this edition of Australian Medicine is published, settlement of the sale will have completed.

The Investment Committee of the Board has been working closely with the AMA’s external investment advisers to ensure appropriate management of the sale proceeds. Given the age of the property and the challenging Canberra commercial leasing market, it is anticipated that the external investment of funds will produce better returns. The purchaser of the property has a commitment to improving the sustainability of buildings through improving their energy efficiency and reducing their environmental impact.

AMA retains naming rights to the property and will remain the anchor tenant.

Best wishes for a productive and interesting 2018.

Published: 13 Feb 2018