ACEM Winter Symposium

Limited places are available in each of these workshops and positions will be allocated upon receipt of registration and payment. Minimum numbers are not reached, the organisers reserve the right to amend or cancel a workshop.


1330 - 1730
Cost: $150

This three hour workshop aims to introduce the concepts of remote retrieval medicine, a different paradigm to hospital medicine and often a stark contrast to urban rotary work. The workshop consists of an introductory presentation and discussion, skill acquisition and maintenance with a wet lab surgical airway station and clinical scenarios outlining some of the challenges presented by the retrieval of critically ill patients from some of the most remote communities in our vast country.

Rich Johnson is an emergency physician who trained in both the UK and Australia with a long standing interest in delivering medical care to Indigenous populations in remote and austere environments having worked in mission hospitals, with mountain rescue, the UK HEMS service GNAAS as well as currently being Director of the Alice Springs Retrieval service.

Cultural awareness
Time: 1330 - 1730
Cost: $130

“The foundation of Aboriginal culture is the family and connection to the land” - Akeyulerre. This workshop explores this connection and how it relates to health. It aims to provide you with a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and communication. We will delve into the different communication styles, both verbal and non-verbal and compare cultural beliefs and practices, including traditional healing. It will examine the connection between land, family, community and health with a focus on wellness, as opposed to the illness model we are more familiar with. The concepts of cultural safety and cultural competency will be defined. This workshop will provide you with the tools to have a more productive, satisfying and culturally safe interaction with your Indigenous patients.

This course will be facilitated by Ms Colleen Hayes, Aboriginal Cultural Educator with Flinders NT and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Colleen is a custodian of the country north of Alice Springs with extensive experience in health and education settings. She will be joined by A/Prof Kerry Taylor, Deputy Director of the Poche Centre NT, who also has long term experience in delivering cultural safety training and Indigenous heath.

Paediatric critical care
Time: 1330 - 1730
Cost: $150

This workshop will cover the basics of critical care paediatrics including, paediatric arrest and common critical care conditions. Skill sessions will cover the paediatric airway, assessment of paediatric patient and emergency vascular access. This workshop is aimed at a practical level and would be suitable for anyone wanting to brush up on their paediatric critical care skills or gain more confidence.

The workshop will be facilitated by Paediatric Critical Care Specialists.

Time: 1330 - 1730
Cost: $20

Following on from the success of the Mentoring Champions Programs in 2013 & 2014, FACEMs & trainees who share an interest in mentoring are meeting to network and share ideas/successes from their respective Mentor Programs. Anyone with an interest in mentoring is welcome to attend and join a group of likeminded Emergency Physicians to support & develop mentoring in the workplace.

This workshop will cover some of the aspects involved in mentoring and coaching as well as in setting up a mentoring program. It is ideally suited not only for those who want to know more about mentoring and how to gain skills and experience in this role, but also for more experienced mentors who would like to exchange ideas and be involved in planning the future direction of mentoring in Emergency Medicine. There will be talks on mentoring (what it involves and what it isn’t!) coaching skills, and updates from around the country from FACEMs who have, or are in the process of, introducing mentoring programs, along with the lessons they’ve learnt to help make the process less arduous for others and more likely to be successful. Finally, there will be a discussion open to all on how best to proceed with training of mentors and support the introduction of mentoring programs in the future and where mentoring sits within the College structure.

This course will be facilitated by FACEMs who have undergone the Mentoring Champions program in 2013 and 2014 through ACEM.


Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $20

Afraid of eyes? Want to see the light? Want to brush up on some basic skills? This workshop will give you some practical advice and skills to be able to care for common emergency eye presentations. It will cover skills such as: use of the slit lamp, corneal foreign body removal, everting the eyelid, eye patching and basic fundoscopy. There will be a practical approach to undifferentiated ocular pain and common pitfalls and tricks to the trade. This would be suitable for a novice or anyone wanting to do a refresher.

Cultural competency
Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $50

This is an introductory course in cultural safety and cultural competency. It will provide the participants with a deeper understanding of the concepts and provide some practical advice about how you can make some simple changes in your own workplace to improve awareness and make it culturally safe. The same principles could be used to improve the relationships with any cultural group in your area, making the skills you learn here applicable to any part of Australia or New Zealand. The facilitators for this session, A/Prof Kerry Taylor and Ms Colleen Hayes from the Poche Centre for Indigenous health NT, welcome a broad range of views and encourage participants to ask any questions, so come along with an open mind and look at your practice from a different perspective.

Fellowship exam
Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $0

The new Fellowship exam is up and running. Come and get firsthand feedback about the new format. Speak to senior examiners and gain some insight into the common pitfalls and how to maximise your chance of success.

Arrernte Traditional Healing - Bush Medicines and Healing Practice
Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $150

Traditional healing is a sacred form of healing practiced by Arrernte people for over 50,000 years. We believe the power of healing that comes from the land.

There are a range of practices that make up healing for Arrernte people:

  • Kwerte-ileme - Smoking ceremonies
  • Awelye - Healing songs
  • Angangkere - Traditional healers
  • Traditional bush medicines

The power of all these forms of healing comes from the land, from the country itself. Traditional healing knowledge and practice has been passed down for generations and is still going on today, although many non-Indigenous health professionals are not aware of it.

Many Arrernte families prefer to go and see a traditional healer before they see a western doctor or in combination with Western treatment. It is important for health professionals to be aware of traditional healing and respectful of their patients’ right to access this form of healing.

This presentation/workshop by senior Arrernte healers will shed light on the nature of traditional healing as it is practiced by Arrernte people in Central Australia in 2015. The ladies will demonstrate and get participants involved in making bush medicine. They will discuss the elements of traditional healing work through their Healing Painting and story blocks. As well as explore the role of the Akeyulerre Healing Centre in Alice Springs in supporting this work.

We will show that traditional healing and western medicine can operate side-by-side to support the health of Aboriginal people.

Juggling - Insights into learning, teaching and skill acquisition
Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $0

This 90 minute workshop teaches participants how to juggle the basic 3-ball pattern. Juggling is a great way to exercise the mind and body by strengthening the pathways between the creative and analytical parts of your brain. During the process of learning a new skill, we will explore educational topics related to clinical practice including: learning styles, feedback and how to teach a procedure.

This workshop is best suited to individuals with little or no juggling ability. (Equipment provided)

About me: Dr. Shane Tan FACEM is a staff specialist at Alice Springs Hospital and has been a juggler for over 15 years. He has attended several international juggling conventions and has taught beginner to advanced workshops on various juggling skills. He maintains a special interest in clinical education and has been a simulation fellow at Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre as well as completing a Grad Cert of Clinical Education.


The art of performance in medicine
Time: 1330 - 1500
Cost: $0

This interactive session will look at the art of performance in medicine, and life in general. How you act impacts on how people perceive you. This is not just important for your patients, but is also a useful skill for teaching, job interviews and exams, particularly for OSCE style questions. This will provide you with some useful hints and skills to improve your performance. This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Victoria Brazil.