VMWS Committee 2016

  •  AFMW 

VMWS Executive 2016

A/Professor Deborah Colville, President/AFMW Representative
Dr Rosalie Cooper, Vice President
Dr Kasia Michalak, Secretary
Dr Marissa Daniels, Treasurer, Victorian Representative on AFMW Council
Dr Catherine Duncan, Public Officer, Victorian Representative on AFMW Council
Dr Magdalena Simonis, Immediate Past President
Dr Raie Goodwach, General Committee Member
Dr Desiree Yap, General Committee Member
Dr Allison Hempenstall
, General Committee Member
Dr Anne Stanaway
, General Committee Member
Dr Claire Felmingham
, General Committee Member
Dr Sally Cockburn
, General Committee Member
Dr Elysia Robb
, General Committee Member
Dr Natalie Yap
, General Committee Member
Dr Adele Storch
, General Committee Member
Dr Alyce Lim
, General Committee Member
Dr Skye Siskos
, General Committee Member
Dr Kelly Hughes, Newsletter Editor
Dr Claire Felmingham
, Assistant Newsletter Editor
Ms Nishani Nithianandan, Shadow Newsletter Editor and Monash University Student Representative
Dr Francesca Bridge, Social Secretary
Dr Rosalind Terry, Senior Members’ Representative and AMA Representative
A/Prof Jan Coles, 
Victorian Representative on AFMW Council
Dr Michelle Li, IT Officer
Ms Hui Ling Yeoh, Shadow IT Officer 
and Monash University Student Representative
Ms Rhea Navani,
 Monash University Student Representative
Ms Farzana Y Zaman, 
Monash University Student Representative
Ms Lydia Di Stafano, Monash University Student Representative
Ms Christine Shanahan, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Jasmin Fisher
, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Nicole Lancaster
, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Julia Filipovska
, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Sylvia Ye
, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Rachel Shingaki-Wells
, Deakin University Student Representative
Ms Kiri McEwan
, The University of Melbourne Student Representative 
Ms Kim Pham
, The University of Melbourne Student Representative
Ms Asika Pelenda, The University of Melbourne Student Representative 

A/Professor Deborah Colville – President


Deb is a Melbourne ophthalmologist who graduated from Monash in 1975 and is a Fellow of the College of Ophthalmologists and the College of Surgeons (1983). She has a small private practice in Ivanhoe. Deb was a Director of Ophthalmology at Austin Repatriation Medical Centre and recently retired from the College of Surgeons Council and as Chair of the RACS Women in Surgery Committee, a position she held for nine years. Deb’s Master of Public Health degree focused on educational program evaluation in health care and she now researches curriculum and public health themes, including ophthalmic public health, gender and curriculum, and women in leadership in vocational education and training. She is interested in ‘doing leadership differently’, developing ways of participation that ‘work for women’ in the profession. Arising from the MWIA meeting in Sydney 2001, Deb taught medical students in Sweden and participated in curriculum development for MWIA with its Executive, alongside gender experts from the WHO and UN, in Italy.

Dr Rosalie Cooper

I was born in Queenstown, Tasmania, on the west coast (19/11/1937).  As a child, I lived in Victoria and Queensland. My MBBS was from the University of Melbourne 1961 with BSC 1964. Internship was at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

After two years teaching Anatomy at Monash I went to McGill University in Montreal where I completed an MSc in Histology. Following that I spent 15 months in Toronto as a paediatric resident backing up the twelve months as a second year resident at RCH in Melbourne.

Paediatrics and Public Health became my major career. This included training in London, UK, then working in Community Child Health and School Health with the Victorian Government for 21 years. This reached an unfortunate end in 1991 when the State Government closed our Department. I was then doing an MPH with Monash University, which led to a few years with the Centre for Mothers’ and Childrens’ Health doing Perinatal Epidemiology Research. This was under Dr Judith Lumley who proved to be the most inspiring teacher I had experienced.

Due to limited funding, I decided to do General Practice as well to keep mind and body together. Having graduated before the RACGP started it was very difficult at this time to get accredited. I was able to complete my Fellowship of RACGP with an accelerated 6 month program, and completed this in 2003.

For the remainder of my working life I was a GP moving along from Wantirna South to the Dandenongs, in Belgrave, Emerald and Pakenham. I did some committee work with the Knox then later with the Yarra Ranges Divisions of General Practice. I retired in 2007.

I have had a long association with VMWS and AFMW from graduation. In the 1990s, I was President and Secretary of VMWS, and the National Corresponding Sec for AFMW. I have just returned to the committee following a move to retirement in Chelsea, i.e. closer to the city.

I have been married for 40 years to John who is an electronics technician (retired) and we have one son who is a town planner.

Dr Marissa Daniels – Treasurer

Marissa is an intensive care trainee who is currently working towards a PhD in the genetic basis of lung cancer. As a member of VMWS, she has discovered the opportunity to expand her academic interests in the molecular basis of disease and bioethics to explore how these may benefit minority groups and those in resource-limited settings. She is inspired by the extensive collective knowledge and vast experience of the VMWS in addressing issues of local, national and international importance to individuals and communities. Through VMWS she is gaining an understanding of issues facing the international medical community, and how she can contribute in a meaningful way. As a trainee, she has found VMWS to be a source of great support and advice, as well as inspiration. In her spare time, Marissa enjoys playing the violin, running and cooking with fresh food from her garden.

Dr Kate Duncan – Public Officer


Kate is an Obstetrician in private practice in the south-east suburbs. Interest in VMWS goes back to early days as an intern, RMO and Registrar at the Queen Vic (where we had such wonderful mentors and role models). Kate has been a Committee member of both the VMWS and the AFMW. As an AMA Board member Kate is working at the State level on several issues including efforts to resolve the Medical indemnity crisis and the Provider number issue.

Dr Skye Siskos – Newsletter Editor / Social Media Liaison


Skye Siskos is the first VMWS student representative from Deakin University. She grew up in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree at Monash University before embarking on her medical training at Deakin University in Geelong. She is currently undertaking her final clinical year at Geelong Hospital and is loving every minute. She is also the social chair of the Geelong Clinical School Committee, a role she thoroughly enjoys. She is passionate about women’s health and women’s role in healthcare. Her current medical interests include obstetrics and gynaecology as well as general practice. After attending a VMWS function where she met such influential women who so impressively balanced work and life, she knew she had to be involved. She is honoured to be part of the VMWS as shadow newsletter editor and is keen to be involved any way she can. When she is away from her study she loves to spend quality time with her family (including her two puppies), partner and friends as well as run, go to the movies and play piano.

Dr Zoë Dorevitch – Social Secretary


Zoë is in the final year of her medical degree at the University of Melbourne. As a graduate student, having previously completed an Arts degree also at the University of Melbourne, Zoë has approached her medical studies with an enthusiasm for the philosophical and social issues in medicine. She has just returned from an eye-opening medical elective in Dili, East Timor, which reaffirmed her keen interest in global medicine, with a particular focus on the health and wellbeing of women and children in resource-poor areas. With the hope of meeting like-minded people, she joined the VMWS late last year and is very happy to be a student representative for the University of Melbourne in 2012. She is very much looking to the events and discussions regarding issues facing women in medicine as well as to the many other opportunities that involvement in VMWS will bring.

Dr Magdalena Simonis – VWMS Immediate Past President


As a full time General Practitioner with interests in Women’s Health, Magdalena joined the VMWS after attending the Western Pacific Medical Women’s Conference held in Melbourne in 2008.

She believes that the interaction and collaboration with medical women from around the world, to discuss and design changes that can enhance the well being and livelihood of women and children around the globe, are crucial. The ability to take those recommendations through to the UN level via VMWS and AFMW are what drew her to being involved.

Magdalena is also on the board of directors for the Australian Greek Welfare Society and in 2011, was appointed GP representative to the National Standing Committee on E-Health. She is also a GP examiner and a committee member of the Victorian Medico Legal Society.

Dr Desiree Yap – AFMW Immediate Past President


Desiree is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine who has appointments at Monash Medical Centre and The Royal Women’s Hospital but who is currently working part-time in her East Melbourne Private Practice whilst trying to mother her two young children. Before becoming so domestic, Desiree travelled widely, working both in rural and remote Australia as well as overseas including with WHO. Desiree believes VMWS springs from a fine tradition, and that as one who has reaped the benefits of those who went before, in addition to having strong feelings about social justice, feels a responsibility towards maintaining the organisation.

Dr Rosalind Terry – Senior Members’ Representative/AMA Representative


Rosalind is the first member in the new position of Senior Members’ Representative. Nearing seventy, she works part-time as an Emergency Consultant at The Alfred Hospital and spends her other time breeding beef cattle and enjoying her four grandchildren aged 1-13.
Originally Melbourne-trained she returned twenty years ago after working in places as diverse as Tasmania, Sydney, Chicago, Norfolk Island and Papua New Guinea (ten years) and in many fields chiefly surgery, obstetrics and tropical medicine. Much of that time was spent in relative isolation from medical colleagues, especially female ones, so on discovering VMWS in the 1990s she was delighted to have companionship and shared interests with other medical women.

As the Senior Members’ Representative is a new position she is feeling her way but sees a dual role of interacting with senior members and also as a mentor to medical students and younger doctors.

Dr Raie Goodwach – General Committee Member


Raie is a medically-trained psychotherapist with a Masters in Psychoanalytic Studies. She has published in the areas of adoption and sex therapy. She was a Consultant to the Sexual & Relationship Counseling Clinic at MMC for 18 years and an Honorary Lecturer in the Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. She sees individuals and couples for therapy in her private practice. Her main area of interest is psychosexual medicine. As an Advisor to Andrology Australia and as a member of the teaching faculty of Family Planning Victoria she facilitates professional workshops and is involve in the development of educational resources for general practitioners.
In 2010 she ran the “Happy Healthy Women Not Just Survivors” project on behalf of VMWS with Jan Coles representing AFMW with funding from the AWC. Its aim is to improve the longterm health and wellbeing of women with a history of sexual violence.

Ms Sylvia Ye

Sylvia Ye is currently in her third year of MBBS at Deakin University in Geelong after studying B.Biomed at Melbourne University. She is currently Publication Co-Chair of MeDUSA, the medical student society at Deakin. Sylvia is interested in meeting other medical women and gaining experience and accomplished mentors. In her spare time, she likes to write fiction, daydream and play League of Legends.

Ms Anne Stanaway

Anne Stanaway is a final year graduate


AFMW Author