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The Quarterly


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The Quarterly 2011



Dr Karen Owen
Chief Executive

Karen is the Chief Executive of The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators. She has extensive experience in senior executive positions in charge of operation portfolios in the health services, community services in central and regional offices of Victorian government and higher education. Previous appointments have included, Director of Services Epworth Health Care, Deputy University Secretary Deakin University (Melbourne Campuses), Deputy Directorships in Programs, Planning and Technology in TAFE, corporate planning in education and community services in government departments. Karen's special interests include change management, governance and human resources, quality and safety improvement (currently an ACHS surveyor), strategic planning and programs management.
Among her achievements Karen recalls:
  • Preparing Epworth to be three times awarded "Employer of Choice" status in the years 2001 - 2004 by the Commonwealth EOWA, achieving top ten Business Achievement Awards, special commendation in 2003.
  • Implementing a project at Epworth, recognised by the Victorian government, exploring attitudes to ageing in the workplace.
  • Change management process including organisational restructures and workforce changes due to mergers and acquisitions in Deakin University and Epworth Health Care.
  • Implemented performance management systems using key performance indicators, appraisal and 360 systems in the public sector and in private hospitals and Deakin University and Epworth Health Care.
  • Introduced a quality improvement system to Deakin University that was commended by external audit.
  • Oversight of multi-million dollars worth of outsourced clinical support services and non-clinical services in hospitals including contract and relationship management.
  • Planning and implementation of multi-million dollar capital projects in the TAFE sector, including land subdivision, building design, contractor engagement and consultations.
  • Negotiation of the first cross-Tasman degree to be delivered in an Australian TAFE institute.
  • Development of new curriculum in secondary colleges in the ACT and member of accreditation panels.
In 2006 Karen completed her doctorate with a study about management in the construction of inter-organisational relationships. Her background in education underpins her use of a learning approach to managing 'deep' and sustainable change in an organisation.

Karen is RACMA's first CEO. Her role is broad and increasingly, as the College Secretariat has strengthened, she is focused on governance building and maintaining external relationships, Secretariat management, and broader advocacy and leadership. She manages and develops resources; liaises with external agencies; develops business opportunities; coordinates College communications; identifies funding opportunities; coordinates strategic planning; risk management and attends the CPMC CEO Meetings.

Karen is a servant to her 20 something daughter and their pets. Her pets include two cats Coco and Chanel; two horses Wanda and Kendalee Rockafella and Fino the dog. She enjoys gardening; walking holidays with her husband Mal; skiing; reading; cooking and has a propensity for fast cars!

Elaine Halley
Director of Education

Starting her academic life as a science honours graduate of London University, Elaine then went on to study education. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Kings College, a Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Education from Dundee University and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

She has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in teaching initially in the UK and then in Australia when she moved here with her husband. She was the Head of Science at Grey Coat Hospital in Westminster, Student Advisor at Melbourne University Faculty of Education, Training and Assessment Coordinator at RANZCOG, Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator and Adjunct Lecturer at Monash University's Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, National Training Manager First Intervention, and Curriculum Project Officer at RACGP.

Since joining RACMA earlier this year, Elaine has adopted the role of the Manager, Policy and Programs Education. She has been heavily involved in developing the Fellowship Training Program for both the standard and accelerated pathway cohorts; advisor to the Censor in Chief and Board of Censors on assessment processes; executive support of Education and Training, Training and Credentialling Committees; reviews educational policies; is the author of Ed Notes; supports funding applications; accredits training posts; supports the Young Doctors Program and in her spare time is the College representative on the Network of Medical Educators.

Elaine keeps herself busy with an OCD afflicted dog; a cat with psychological issues; three teenage kids and a husband that loves to tear down parts of the house and rebuild them. She enjoys ballet; theatre; camping; walking; skiing; gym; and watching others scale up cliff faces. She is the token "jock" of the Secretariat team and always has a fragrant curry lunch for us to envy.

Michelle Barrett
Curriculum and Training Coordinator

A science honours graduate of Melbourne University, Michelle also has Graduate Diplomas in Scientific Journalism and Photography.

Working initially as an environmental scientist then entomologist in Western Australia, she then moved into the world of medical science - sleep medicine. Situated at St. John of God Hospital WA, and then moving onto a clinical management position at Cabrini in Victoria, she also held the position of Victorian president of the Australasian Sleep Technologist's Association. With a large part of her position associated with public education, she then moved into teaching and curriculum development at Monash University's Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education.

Michelle joined the team at RACMA back in March this year as the Curriculum Editor, and then was promptly relabelled as the Curriculum and Training Coordinator. She coordinates the College curriculum development for the Fellowship Training Program and Continuing Education Program; provides executive support to the Curriculum Steering and Continuing Education Committees; supports funding applications and responses to Government papers; conference organisation and sponsorship; marketing and promotion of the College; coordinates submissions for The Quarterly; and is the College representative on the Continuing Professional Development Manager's Group.

Michelle enjoys spending not so quiet time with her three boys, and attending to their menagerie of pets. These include: a blue tongue lizard, three spotted marsh frogs, a budgie, three turtles, a rabbit, four fish, a guinea pig, three hermit crabs and a feral cat. Spare time is spent eating out; at the theatre; camping; hiking; snowboarding; running; taking photographs and she is a travel adrenaline junky having climbed to the base camp of Everest, hiked the Kokoda track and is planning to scale Kilimanjaro in 2011.

Cameron Setchell
Education Project Officer

Education Project Officer Cameron initially trained as a musician, completing a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts, leading to several years of session work as a freelance Tuba player. Completing a Graduate Diploma in Education and moving into teaching full time, he taught classroom and instrumental music at a range of schools in Melbourne, and served as Director of Music at East Doncaster Secondary College for a number of years. In 2010, Cameron gained a Diploma of Project Management, and worked as the Community Development Officer at Nillumbik Shire Council on the North-East fringe of Melbourne. Cameron's role at RACMA is as Education Project Officer, where he will take responsibility for researching and initiating various new and existing programs. These will be primarily associated with the Specialist Training Program including development and implementation of a web conference series and online learning modules. Cameron also coordinates the activities of the Cultural Competence and Ethical Decision Making special interest working parties. Cameron still works as a freelance musician (he is a founding member of the Melbourne Tuba Quartet) and occasionally gets the opportunity to play Trombone in funk and big-bands. In addition to going to live music and theatre, he has been known to waste a lot of his spare time watching Star Wars, The Blues Brothers, School of Rock and anything involving Chevy Chase.

Dino DeFazio
Information Systems Coordinator

Dino has a diverse work history in TAFE teaching, web development and design, programming and educational tools development. He founded and managed a textile design and manufacturing business for several years catering for exclusive homes and businesses across Australia and New Zealand. He has extensive training in Multimedia, Programming, Design and Information Technology. He is currently studying Professional Writing and Editing.

Dino occupies the position of Information Systems Coordinator a role that is multi-factorial. His portfolio includes: management of the College's network, servers and ICT services, web administration,  database development and maintenance; design and delivery of functional web infrastructure; online resources development; e-communications; online applications process; desktop publishing; applications and hardware support; external and internal user support; CEP certification; surveys; statistical data analysis and reports; document management systems and the ever expanding area of digital security.

Dino is the Secretariat’s Evel Knievel motor bike rider. He enjoys the martial arts and is a keen sportsman.

Jan Stephenson
Accounts Manager

Jan has been the RACMA contract book keeper for the past four years and her work history involves accountancy work for a number of medical institutions such as St. Vincent's and Mercy Private Hospital; St Vincent's Hospital Pharmacies and the CISMFA. Her other clients are from other interesting industries such as advertising, building, car hire, clubs, restaurants and bars.

Armed with a big smile, infectious laugh and wicked sense of humour, Jan is a welcome addition to the RACMA team. Along with the rest of the RACMA crew she is also preoccupied by good food and wine and her other passion - maintaining her beautiful garden in North Fitzroy. In the office we are most thankful to her prolific lemon tree for its bounty that is distributed amongst us every couple of months!

Many of you will remember Jan's moving article in March 2008's The Quarterly on her "Hospital by a River" inspired visit to a fistula hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She works to travel and with her partner has visited many remote countries off the beaten track. In recent years she has travelled to Ethiopia, Libya, China, Senegal, Zanzibar, Gambia and Rwanda. She harnesses a real love for Africa and if she had her time again would have trained as a nurse in order to help those most in need.

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