As Chair of the Local Organising Committee, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the XXIII FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics taking place on 24 - 29 October 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
The traditional custodians of the land on which Sydney has been built - the Gadigal of the Eora Nation - represent the oldest continuous culture on our planet. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived here for over 40,000 years.
Today, Sydney is the meeting place for the Western Pacific, and is home to some of the world's great universities, hospitals and learning institutions. I am proud to welcome you to a historic and vibrant city.
The Sydney International Convention Centre is a new and outstanding venue, standing on the shores of magnificent Sydney Harbour. This state-of-the-art facility offers the ultimate experience for learning, networking, and building global friendships. The Convention Centre is located in the heart of Sydney, amidst hotels, restaurants, and transport hubs, all set in some of the most incredible scenery in the world.
My committee has worked hard to provide the ultimate experience of Western Pacific hospitality. Those of us who live in Australia, New Zealand and the Island Nations of the Western Pacific are proud of our reputation for friendliness.
We are thankful to have the support of the New South Wales Government, Business Events Sydney and others, who are working with us to strengthen the Congress and to support the FIGO Fellowship Programme for young professionals from low-resource countries.
I look forward to meeting you in Sydney for the ultimate experience of science, learning and friendship in October of 2021.
Professor Steve Robson MPH MD PhD FRANZCOG FRCOG FACOG
Chair, FIGO 2021 Local Organising Committee
Meet the Local Organising Committee for the FIGO 2021 World Congress. In order to learn more about each team member, please click on the photos below.
Professor Steve Robson is immediate past-President of RANZCOG. He is a general obstetrician and gynaecologist based in Canberra. Steve's special interests include reproductive medicine and IVF. He is the co-founder of the maternal health charity Send Hope, and is a member of Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council.
Professor William Ledger is Head of Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Director of Reproductive Medicine and Senior Staff Specialist at the Royal Hospital for Women and Chair of the Research and Development Committee and a fertility specialist at IVFAustralia. Professor Ledger is a member of the RANZCOG Research Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Fertility Society of Australia. Recently, he was a member of the NHMRC Working Party to review national guidelines on ethics and ART. He is a member of the Editorial Board of 8 scientific journals, author of 273 journal articles and 17 books. His research interests focus on in vitro fertilisation and assisted reproduction, impacts of reproductive ageing and disorders such as endometriosis, premature ovarian failure and polycystic ovary syndrome on fertility and quality of life, reproductive effects of cancer treatment and onco-fertility and health economic and demographic aspects of infertility.
Vijay Roach is an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Sydney, Australia. He is the current President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. His area of clinical interest is perinatal mental health and he is a passionate advocate of the importance of emotional wellbeing for patients and medical staff. Vijay is married and has five children.
Dr. Tanya Nippita is an obstetrician and gynaecologist practising at Royal North Shore Hospital, a tertiary hospital in Sydney, Australia. She is a RANZCOG NSW Councillor, with significant contributions in education and assessment. Her research with Women and Babies Research, Kolling Institute, The University of Sydney, focuses on using large and linked population health data sets to address key issues affecting the health of mothers and their babies, such as obstetric interventions.
Dr. Talat Uppal is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, since 2006. She is the Director of Women's Health Road, a Visiting Medical Officer at Northern Beaches & Hornsby Ku-ring-Gai Hospitals and a Clinical Senior lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Northern Medical School, University of Sydney. Dr. Uppal is a Fellow of the Australian Association for Quality in Health Care as well as a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Her previous role, until November 2018, was a Senior Staff Specialist and Clinical Director of Women’s, Children & Family health at Northern Beaches Health Service. She is a past NSW RANZCOG Regional Committee Member and the past Chair NSW & ACT State Reference Committee, NSW RANZCOG Education Subcommittee Meeting. Dr. Uppal obtained DDU credentialing in ultrasound in 2009 with a particular interest in point-of-care scans, hence her role on the CCPU board. Dr. Uppal is a Clinical Co-ordinator of the advanced Diploma (DRANZCOG) OSCE examination as her special interest is enhancing the role of General Practitioners in the Women’s health context including GP shared antenatal care models. She has a passion for research & teaching both at a local level as well as overseas, a part of her focus and support of migrant health.
Professor Michael Permezel was President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from 2012-2016 after serving on the Council for 12 years. He served 11 years as Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne. His clinical work is based at the Mercy Hospital for Women for 21 years where he practices high risk obstetrics with an interest in medical disorders of pregnancy including preterm labour, gestational diabetes, fetal growth restriction, and preeclampsia. He has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and edited a text book. He is a member of the FIGO executive board as the nominee of RANZCOG.
Luke Williamson is a husband, father of two, an accomplished health economist, and business owner. Before being appointed CEO of the Australian College of Midwives, Luke spent 25 years working with world leading advisory businesses including Accenture and EY where he led business and health sector strategy practices, including with the Australian federal government. Luke’s work history includes projects advising the Australian government on the modernisation of its Medicare scheme, acting as the lead economist advising the King Review into the Australian Community Pharmacy sector, and leading and contributing to numerous clinical reforms. Luke was also a member of a state health human research ethics committee for many years. Luke manages the Australian College of Midwives as its CEO through the week, and wrangles beef cattle with his wife (Louise) at the family farm in his spare time.
Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN is a renowned leader and a passionate CEO who has shaped the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to become a prominent and influential professional organisation. She grew up on the traditional lands of the Darug Nation in Sydney’s West. As well as leading a strong and collective voice for the nursing profession to improve patient outcomes and the social determinants of health for all Australians, Kylie is also driven to improve gender equality and diversity as well as promoting the importance of women in leadership roles both nationally and internationally. Kylie’s distinguished career spans almost three decades and has seen her hold Executive positions in the largest health services in NSW and Victoria. She has been awarded honorary Professorships from Monash University, Deakin University, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and Federation University. Kylie is the first nurse to be appointed by the Federal Minister as a Board Director of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). She is a Board Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council (ANMAC), as well as serving Ministerial appointments to the Aged Services Industry Reform Committee (IRC) and the Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Kylie has received widespread recognition and multiple awards, including the 2017 ACT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Social Purpose and Enterprise and 2018 Western Sydney University Prestigious Alumni’s Award for Professional Excellence.
Associate Professor Kirsten Black is an academic gynaecologist at the University of Sydney where she is the Joint Head of the Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology, and Neonatology. She has a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London and is a member of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK. She has clinical, teaching and research interests in sexual and reproductive health and chairs RANZCOG’s special interest group in this field. She is also a member of RANZCOG’s Global Health Committee and works in research capacity building in the Pacific.
Dr. Jason Abbott is Professor of Gynaecological Surgery at the University of New South Wales. He is Senior Editor of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynaecology an associate editor for ANZJOG and Human reproduction and has more than 125 publications including text-books, book chapters and large-scale RCTs in gynaecological surgery. Jason has an active role in undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral supervision and is the former Chairman of the Practice Committee of the AAGL charged with delivering evidence-based guidelines for surgical gynaecology. He has chaired the Australian government committee's for benign gynaecology and helped shape Australia's National Action Plan for Endometriosis released in July 2018. He is a Principle Investigator and Chair for the National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific (NECST) network in endometriosis in Australia.
Janet is an obstetrician and gynaecologist with expertise in fetal medicine and O&G ultrasound working in private practice in Sydney. She has held academic appointments at both London and Sydney Universities and contributed to numerous committees for NSW Health and RANZCOG, including her current role as the FRANZCOG SAQ Coordinator. Her interest in teaching is substantial with the development of numerous interprofessional post-graduate teaching programs including the current Basic Obstetric Ultrasound Workshop for O&G Registrars.
Greg was born and raised in rural Western Australia and obtained a medical degree at the University of Western Australia. After training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he worked in the Kimberley area of WA before qualifying as a Gynaecological Oncologist now residing in Sydney.
Elizabeth Chatham has served as the Executive Director of Women, Youth and Children [WYC] in ACT Health. Canberra Hospital is a tertiary referral hospital servicing the ACT and the surrounding areas of NSW, a population catchment of over 550,000. The Division of WYC Services comprises, maternity service (approximately 3500 births per annum), women’s health including screening programmes and gynaecology, Neonatology Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery, ACT Newborn Retrieval Service, newborn and children’s hearing screening programme, pediatrics, child development services, genetic counselling, maternal and child health services, immunisation services for children 0-18 years old, a range of targeted services for vulnerable and at risk families, women and children, and school nurse programmes. Due to the small size of the ACT jurisdiction, the Executive Director role at ACT Health provides the unique opportunity of being responsible for the traditional state government health department functions as well as being responsible for policy, service delivery and service development in both the acute and community/primary health care settings. She has also served as CEO of the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals Australasia (WCHA) and Clinical Director at the Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH) in Melbourne.
Dr. Noovao Hill is a clinical academic, general Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Head of Department for Surgery, Anaesthesia and Women’s Health at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University. Based at the Lautoka Hospital, she balances clinical duties with teaching undergrads and postgraduates, and administrative duties including organising visiting overseas specialist teams to complement teaching. With regards to School of Medicine duties, she is the O&G Postgraduate Coordinator and Vice Chair on the Postgraduate Advisory Committee. She is Vice President of the Fiji Medical Association, O&G Consultant advisor to the Secretary of Health, Cook Islands, and Committee Member on the RANZCOG Global health committee.
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