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Margaret Tobin Challenge Award Protocol
Date Reviewed: April 2015

Margaret Tobin Challenge Award
Margaret Julia Tobin (1952–2002), was a psychiatrist and head of government mental health services in South Australia when she was murdered.  She was a medical administrator who expressed confidence and courage throughout her professional career.   She was just 50 and leading one of the most difficult and complex reforms of mental health in Australia or New Zealand when she was shot dead in Adelaide, South Australia on 14 October 2002.  

Dr Tobin became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) in 1986, a Fellow of RACMA in 1991, and a fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Executives in 1998. From 1988 she specialised in the management of mental health services in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

This RACMA award honours a doctor who brought her clinical and management skills to a range of national and international issues; a doctor who was committed to implementing national standards; and one who took on some of the hardest leadership and management roles in healthcare, particularly in improving acute mental health services.

Margaret Tobin Challenge Award Protocol download pdf file

Arrangements for the Margaret Tobin Challenge Award will be compiled and coordinated centrally at the National Office with nominations received from each of the State/Territory/New Zealand Committees.

This year the Margaret Tobin Challenge is being held on Thursday the 10th of September, during RACMA's Annual Scientific Meeting Inequality and Healthcare, Recognising the Healthcare Costs of Inequality, 9-11th of September 2015 at the Langham Hotel, Auckland.

Judging criteria will be:
  • Relevance of the topic to either the conference theme or sub themes
  • Content - clear and concise, non 'jargonistic'
  • Presentation - clearly communicated, systematic structure, audience engaging
  • Impact and Originality - contributes to the theory and practice of medical management
  • Questions - adequately addresses each point of a question

The theme of the conference is:

Meeting Inequality and Healthcare, Recognising the Healthcare Costs of Inequality

The sub themes of the conference are:

Population Inequality
Including international comparisons and links between the social determinants of health and health system management responses.

Workforce Inequality
Intersection of traditional healers and western health care delivery, current and future roles, experience with substitution, training and training quality.

Power and knowledge Inequality
Doctor, nurse and consumer-led health services and service design, power inequalities in the workplace.

Inequality in Service Delivery and Funding
Determining health service intervention priorities, social agency inequality that influences the determinants of health, assessing needs.

Inequality in Outcomes
Health atlases and geomapping, determining and reporting on outcome measures, effecting health behaviour change.

Practical Challenges in Achieving Equality
Examples from the real world of Health System leadership, policy imperatives, towards a RACMA position on Equality in Healthcare.

Presentation should be limited to a maximum of twelve minutes, with a further three minutes allocated to questions.

The Award will be presented to the Candidate who presents a paper of the highest quality in the opinion of the judging panel. This panel will comprise the Censor in Chief, and Chairs Continuing Education Program Committee and Education and Training Committee.

State/Territory/New Zealand Committees are asked to encourage a number of Candidates to present a paper for the Award. These are then shortlisted and a Candidate representative is nominated and declared to the National Office by 7 August 2015. All nominations are to be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Announcement of the winner and presentation of the Award will be made at the Conferment Ceremony at the conference.  The winner of the Margaret Tobin Challenge Award will receive a cheque for $1,500 and an inscribed medal.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2015 11:23