About

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Background

NoWEM was founded as a community of Emergency Physicians committed to promoting equality, diversity and respect in our profession.

Women represent just over one third of Emergency Physicians in Australasia, yet we are sorely underrepresented in leadership positions. In 2018, only 16% of Australasian Emergency Departments have a female director, and there has been only one female president in the College’s 35-year history. An emerging body of research is increasingly confirming a reality that many women in medicine have known for a long time: sexual harassment, discrimination and inequality are commonplace, and these issues are adversely impacting our profession, our wellbeing and the quality of our patient care*. The situation is even more stark for women of colour and those identifying as LGBT+.

*For a detailed and accessible summary of the latest literature we highly recommend the Be Ethical Campaign Whitepaper, freely available here.

Mission

NoWEM aims to constructively address barriers to gender equality at both structural and personal levels.

We create opportunities to support professional collaboration, networking and mentoring between women in Emergency Medicine. We facilitate and engage in discussion of the systemic issues preventing women from achieving full representation in Emergency Medicine. We promote inclusivity, diversity and respect in our profession and our community.

We are deeply grateful to the women and men who have gone before us in the pursuit of equality, and we hope to continue this work for the benefit of the women and men who come after us.

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Core Values

Words matter, actions matter.

We are all individuals. As individuals we each have different personalities, ideas and experiences. NoWEM values its community’s voice and embraces its diversity, whilst adhering to certain core values. What we say and how we interact with one another can define us and have a profound impact on others.

Integrity and Ethical Conduct

  • NoWEM aims to represent the community that has shown commitment to and alignment with its goals of empowerment and advancement of women in emergency medicine

  • NoWEM aims to be transparent, accountable and honest

  • NoWEM invites feedback or concerns with regard to any content shared in its name or at its events, and aims to respond fairly and swiftly to any concerns raised.

Respect and Equity

  • NoWEM celebrates diversity and is committed to creating a culture of compassionate inclusivity at all levels and across geographical, specialty and hierarchical lines.

  • NoWEM values respect and empathy in all of our interactions

  • NoWEM opposes discrimination and exclusion on the basis of race, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

  • NoWEM strives for equity and the elimination of discrimination 

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Future

While we have started out as a Sydney-based Network, we want to welcome members from across Australasia. If you are interested in becoming a NoWEM champion and building a local network in your area please contact us, we would love to support you!

NoWEM’s founding members

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Dr. Rhiannon Browne

Rhiannon is an Emergency Physician from the South Coast of NSW. She works at Campbelltown Hospital and teaches at Western Sydney University. Her interests include sustainable access to healthcare, clinical leadership and medical education. In her spare time she co-directs a media production company with her partner, creating films that promote progressive social change.

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Dr. Helen Rhodes

Originally from the UK, Helen is an Emergency Physician working at Campbelltown Hospital. She is passionate about medical education, improving doctor welfare and advancing palliative and terminal care for patients attending the ED in their last phase of life. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring her adopted country, cooking for friends and spending as much time as possible in and around the ocean.

Dr. Ellen Meyns

Ellen Meyns is a Belgian emergency physician working at Campbelltown and Prince Of Wales Hospitals. She is a mum of two rugrats as well as an unfiltered feminist. She is working hard on overcoming her imposter syndrome while passionately trying to clear the path for junior doctors towards a Utopia of Connection, Egalitarianism, Empowerment, and Kindness (CEEK) in healthcare. She does this through education and simulation and by chairing the Wellbeing Committee. In her free time she plays with the rugrats, bonds with other unfiltered feminists and hangs with her unfiltered friends.