Message from the CEO

Dr Pat Giddings

Welcome to the Summer edition of our Journeys e-newsletter!

What a busy year it’s been – and notwithstanding the challenges, like floods in some of our communities and subsequent COVID subvariants, it has largely been a more positive one.

A highlight for RVTS has been our return to face-to-face training. It was wonderful seeing the team once again delivering our flagship skills training workshop in Brisbane in September.

It’s also been another very successful year for us on the GP training front – 46 registrars joined us in 2022, training in towns across every state.

Strong interest in our program will see another 18 registrars joining us for the commencement of training in January 2023.

Welcome to our new and returning Board members!

RVTS welcomes the new Board following our AGM in October.

Dr David Moniz replaces Dr Jacki Mein as RVTS Chair (following the completion of her three year term in the role). Jacki is now serving as Deputy Chair, and we thank her enormously for her service to date.

David is a Rural Generalist Anaesthetist based at Corowa, NSW. He is a FACRRM, serves as a Medical Educator with ACRRM, and originally joined the Board as an ACRRM Representative. Read more about David in the article below.

Our new Director is Dr Merran Auland (Class B (ACRRM) membership). Merran is a Rural Generalist doctor working as a GP VMO (Anaesthetics and Emergency) in Scone, NSW. Since moving to Australia, she has worked predominantly in Western NSW, including with the RFDS. Merran is an ACRRM Examination Writer and has also enjoyed roles with RVTS as a Supervisor, Clinical Teaching Visitor and facilitator for RVTS Exam Preparation Webinars. A very warm welcome Merran!

We are very pleased to welcome our ongoing Board Directors for another term:

Dr Sanjaya Kapuwatte (Class C membership)
Dr Jacki Mein (Class C membership)
Dr Rod Omond (Class A (RACGP) membership)
Dr Ross Wilson (Class A (RACGP) membership)

Please click here to read short biographies on each of our Board members.

We would also like to acknowledge the substantial commitment that outgoing Director, Dr Vlad Matic, made to RVTS over his six years in the role, including the corporate governance and medico-political experience he brought to the table, and the significant contribution this has made to changes within RVTS. Thanks very much Vlad!

Meet new RVTS Chair, Dr David Moniz

Four layers of clothing in forty degree heat:
Meet new RVTS Chair, Dr David Moniz

A Canadian native, Dr David Moniz almost came to Australia by accident…and despite the best efforts of a scorching Aussie summer he stayed on. Little did he know he’d be here more than a decade later, with a beautiful spot on the Murray River to call home. Patrick Daley spoke with our new RVTS Chair about his journey through medicine and across the continents, and his future vision for RVTS.

Read more.

Congratulations to our recently Fellowed registrars!

Dr Anslem Ogbujieze

Dr Salma Hanif
Dr Reza Meschi
Dr San Keshavarzi
Dr Thompson Gana
Dr Tania Altaf
Dr Kumosha Abeyweera
Dr Safaa Essa
Dr Amit Kshatriya
Dr Fahima Chowdhury
Dr Abdullah Haddid
Dr Adeel Chaudhry
Dr Tom Henderson
Dr Pooja Singh
Dr Indi Wijegoonewardene
Dr Vijay Dubey

A number of RVTS registrars are currently awaiting conferral of Fellowship early in the new year – we look forward to congratulating them in the next issue of Journeys!

Train with RVTS!

Enquire now to be ready to apply for our July 2023 mid-year intake!

Choose RVTS to support you through training to General Practice or Rural Generalist Fellowship.

Recruitment for our July 2023 mid-year intake will open on 6 March. Training will commence in July 2023, with 16 positions available.

Visit to find out more!

Train with confidence with the support of RVTS – experience counts!

With 23 years’ experience in General Practice and Rural Generalist Fellowship training, RVTS is well recognised for its remote supervision model, supportive learning environment and high quality training.

Our comprehensive training and support is second to none, there is no application fee to apply, and training is fully funded by the Australian Government.

The RVTS program delivers the three to four year Fellowship training program through structured distance education and supervision. Doctors can complete their RACGP or ACRRM Fellowship while they continue to provide medical services to their remote and/or isolated community.

  • Doctors already working in an eligible MMM location can apply direct to the Remote Stream or Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) Stream. Check eligibility and read the applicant guides here.
  • Targeted Recruitment Stream: There are 5 training positions available for Targeted Recruitment locations – find out more and read the Targeted Recruitment Applicant Guide here.

RVTS training update

Dr Ronda Gurney
RVTS Director of Training

It’s been a busy and productive year, and for the RVTS Training team, a very successful one!

Dr Ronda Gurney reflects on the achievements of the year, and the many goals we’ve accomplished in the delivery of the RVTS training program.

That includes the delivery of 3 workshops (including the return of our much-loved flagship face-to-face workshop in September), and 190 regular webinars covering the breadth of the RACGP and ACRRM curricula!

Click here to read her full report.

Warm welcomes, and a fond farewell, for the RVTS Medical Education team

We recently welcomed new members to the RVTS Medical Education team…and sadly bid farewell to long-term Medical Educator, Dr Lorri Hopkins (pictured).

Dr David Baker has commenced as our Deputy Director of Training, in addition to his existing roles as AMS Medical Educator (ME) and Remediation ME. Dave worked at Mareeba in an Aboriginal Medical Service for 13 years before commencing at Ochre Medical Centre Noosa in 2017. He has particular experience with tropical and infectious diseases, prisoner and men’s health, mental health, substance abuse, chronic disease and child health.

Dr Abby Harwood commenced as our eLearning ME in July. Abby has extensive Rural Generalist and Medical Education experience, and is based in WA. Abby will have oversight of RVTS Online.

Dr Karen Quinn commenced as our Workshop ME in October. She also has extensive Rural Generalist and Medical Education experience, and is based in Yeppoon, Queensland.

Farewell Lorri!

After 13 years of dedicated service, Dr Lorri Hopkins finished her role as an RVTS ME in November. Lorri’s contribution has been enormous. Hundreds of RVTS doctors will have cherished memories of the workshops devised by Lorri, in turn benefitting hundreds of rural, remote and First Nations communities.

Lorri’s efforts were recognised by the RACGP in 2020 when she received the Brian Williams Award for exceptional mentorship and support of rural GPs.

Lorri plans to devote more time to her practice, her family and her love of art. She will maintain her interest in Medical Education with the University of WA’s Rural Training Hub in her hometown of Albany. We hope to entice her to do some casual ME work at our future workshops too!

We wish Lorri all the very best for her future endeavours, and thank her for her enormous contribution.

Introducing our RLO and SLO teams!

Our Registrar Liaison Officers (RLOs) and Supervisor Liaison Officers (SLOs) provide an important connection between the RVTS management team and the wider RVTS family.

Meet our current RLOs – supporting our Registrars

Dr Rebecca Loveridge (Portland, Victoria)
Read our Q&A with Bec

Bec works as a doctor in Portland, Victoria, and moved there in 2022 to take up a GP training place via RVTS’s Targeted Recruitment stream. She commenced as an RLO in September 2022, and brings considerable experience in representing student and junior doctor groups.

She’s also had considerable experience in organising repeated attempts at getting married! (Read our Q&A for details). Outside medicine, her passions are food, wine and her dog Frank – a Great Dane X who is a rescue dog from Orange…and played a role in Bec’s marriage to husband Nick.

Dr Emmon Mubbashir (Katanning, WA)

Read our Q&A with Emmon

Born and raised in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi (population over 20 million), Emmon’s upbringing was far from rural – but since 2019 she has been enjoying working as a GP registrar in Katanning, in WA’s Great Southern region, while training with RVTS towards her RACGP Fellowship.

She’s endeared herself so much to the locals that one farmer brought her a rather special gift a few years ago! (Read our Q&A for details). Emmon’s husband Syed is also pretty popular with the locals – he’s the telecommunications guy for the region. “He fixes their internet and I try to fix their health issues!” she laughs.

Dr Andre Sannazzaro (Cootamundra, NSW)

Andre has now completed his term as RLO, having been in the role for two years.

He is a keen advocate of the RVTS program and we thank him for the significant contribution he has made in the role.

We look forward to featuring an interview with Andre in the next issue of Journeys!

Meet our current SLOs – supporting our Supervisors

We are very fortunate to have two wonderful SLOs continuing in their roles in 2023!

They are:

  • Dr Chris Carroll (Parkes, NSW)
    Chris was appointed as an SLO in July 2021
  • Dr Akil Islam (Mareeba, Queensland)
    Akil was appointed as an SLO in January 2022

Watch for Q&A articles with Chris and Akil in future editions of our Journeys e-newsletter!

Pictured below (left to right) – Dr Emmon Mubbashir, Dr Chris Carroll, Dr Andre Sannazzaro, Dr Akil Islam and Dr Rebecca Loveridge.

Opportunities to join the RVTS team

RVTS is currently offering the following opportunities to join our team!

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) invited for Medical Educator Roles

  • Workshop Medical Educator – Workshop Planning Team
  • Supervisor Support
  • Remediation Medical Educator

Find out more about these roles here.

Other opportunities

RVTS is always interested to hear from experienced GPs from all over Australia who would like to inspire and support the next generation of GPs in rural, remote and First Nations communities.

Tune in for some summer listening!

Podcast interview featuring RVTS registrar, Dr Salma Hanif

Take a moment over the holiday season to listen to a recent podcast featuring our very own Boggabri-based registrar, Dr Salma Hanif, who was recently named as a joint recipient of the ACRRM-RDAA Rural Registrar of the Year Award for 2022!

Salma recently had conferral of her RACGP Fellowship, and is now continuing training towards her ACRRM Fellowship.

In the podcast, she talks about her rural upbringing in Fiji to her arrival in Boggabri, the COVID pandemic, a mouse plague…and everything in between!

Listen to the podcast by clicking here (YouTube) or here (access it on various streaming services via Buzzsprout).

Pictured below – Dr Salma Hanif with RVTS CEO, Dr Pat Giddings, at the recent Rural Medicine Australia conference in Canberra.

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About our cover art

“Walking Together” is an artwork created by artist Wendy Rix for RVTS, using our existing corporate colours. “Walking Together” represents the healing journey that RVTS undertakes with patients, doctors, health staff and communities. The artwork was commissioned in line with the RVTS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is 30x40cm acrylic on canvas. Wendy is a contemporary Indigenous visual artist living in Queensland, Australia. Her family are from Goodooga, New South Wales, and she is a descendant of the Yuwaalaraay people of that area. Wendy is a trained nurse, but painting is her passion. Read more at