by Dr Dimity Williams.
DEA’s Victorian Committee had several members promoting our organisation at the AMA National Conference last Saturday.
It was a very worthwhile initiative and it seems that things are changing at the AMA! This was their inaugural ‘carbon neutral’ annual conference and speakers for the morning’s Environment and Health Session included Prof. Tim Flannery from the Climate Commission, Rob Cawthorne of the Carbon Reduction Institute and Rob Adams, the City Designer for the City of Melbourne who spoke on greening a city. The session was chaired by Prof Geoffrey Dobb (ICU physician from Perth) who seemed insightful.
Kristen Pearson from Vic DEA says “I had the opportunity to meet the President of the British Medical Association (who came across with his wife spontaneously) as well as the both National President and Treasurer of AMA. Both the AMA president [Dr Steven Hambleton, Qld GP] and treasurer [Dr Peter Ford, Adelaide GP] spoke of how well received the Health & Environment session was and that it would make a good basis for a further meeting, devoting more time. During the session there was also a proposal to review/update the AMA position statement on climate change.
“Thank you to Stephen Parnis (ED physician Melbourne), the incoming Victorian AMA president who facilitated our presence – he is going to share with us a photo of the VicAMA car parking spot which has his bike parked in it! We presented him with a DEA Keepcup as thanks. Stephen suggested that DEA members that are also AMA members write to the AMA asking it to considering becoming a carbon neutral organisation“.
I also spoke with the Editor of the AMA’s flagship publication, the Medical Journal of Australia, Annette Katelaris who is very interested in issues where health and environmental issues intersect, such as climate change and health.
There was interest amongst participants in the concept of a ‘green clinic’ especially with the carbon tax soon to be introduced – the Carbon Reduction Institute being mentioned as a good resource for clinicians wanting to have a carbon audit done of their practice (see www.noco2.com.au).
Photo: The President of the Britsh Medical Association, Dr David Haslam (with his wife) inspects the DEA stand at the AMA National Conference. To his left is DEA National Committee member Dr Dimity Williams. DEA member Dr John Merory stands cheerfully in the background (right of frame).