The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) announces the appointment of the first ever Aboriginal Censor Dr Olivia O’Donoghue, a descendant of the Yankunytjatjara people and the Narungga Nations people.
RACGP Censors play a vital role in supporting all GPs in training as they progress to Fellowship.
As Censor, Dr O’Donoghue will be responsible for maintaining the standards, fairness and integrity of the RACGP Fellowship program – the largest training program for GPs in urban and rural Australia.
Dr O’Donoghue completed an undergraduate medical degree at the University of Adelaide, where she advanced her passion for rural and remote health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Dr O’Donoghue is now working at Pandanus Medical NT in Darwin. She has had significant experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in urban and remote Northern Territory since graduating from university. She is committed to continue working in the Northern Territory and improving health outcomes for all Territorians.
Dr O’Donoghue is also passionate and committed to cultural education and general practice training, and worked as a medical and cultural educator for Northern Territory General Practice Education up until her appointment as Censor. Dr O’Donoghue continues to provide medical education support to the Indigenous GP Registrar Network (IGPRN) and works with cultural education leaders in the Northern Territory.
Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Professor Peter O’Mara congratulated Dr O’Donoghue on her appointment.
“I am immensely proud to be able to announce the appointment of our first ever Aboriginal Censor, Dr O’Donoghue.
“This is a prestigious and important role, responsible for supporting all GPs in training as they work towards Fellowship.
“Australia needs many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in leadership positions in healthcare, and beyond. Without this, we cannot hope to close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.”
Dr O’Donoghue said she was excited to take on her new role as Censor.
“I am extremely passionate about the quality and integrity of general practice training. High quality and holistic training is essential for the delivery of effective primary care to our communities – especially our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“As an Aboriginal woman who has achieved RACGP Fellowship myself, I know the journey to Fellowship well, and am honoured to be tasked with contributing to the high standards and integrity of the program.
“I will endeavour to support all GPs in training on this journey and look forward to working with education and pathways on this. I want to ensure there are effective strategies for access to training opportunities and successful Fellowship for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors as there is much to be achieved in narrowing the gap in GP workforce equity”.
“The challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GPs in training are numerous and varied but not insurmountable and I am proud that the RACGP is prepared to work with the National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and myself as Censor to strive for improved outcomes for our doctors.”
It comes as the RACGP celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, founded in 2010 to help ‘close the gap’.
Now with over 11,000 members, the Faculty is focused on growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP workforce and ensuring high-quality culturally responsive care.