President’s Message

I have the privilege of holding the position of President of SPANZA for a 2-year period which will conclude with the AGM in approximately October 2022.  During these two years, I will work with the SPANZA executive and SPANZA secretariat to progress the accomplishment of our 2018-2023 strategic priorities.

Our SPANZA executive strives to have membership from all regions of Australia and New Zealand. We currently have representation from all countries and states, and now also have a co-opted member from the Northern Territory.

The Vision of SPANZA is to be a leader in education, science and quality improvement in anaesthesia, perioperative care and pain management for all children in Australia and New Zealand. This care of children will be of the highest standard regardless of age, gender, race, complexity or location.
We hope to assist in improving the quality of care to children in all locations.

SPANZA is an organisation whose members are specialist anaesthetists in New Zealand and Australia who have an interest in anaesthesia for children and adolescents.  In addition, we welcome non specialist medical practitioners as associate members, who have that same interest in children. Our members include anaesthetists from a variety of working locations including those in public and private practice, mixed adult and paediatric practice, and specialist paediatric anaesthetists at tertiary/quaternary institutions. Our membership continues to increase in number.

Our focus over the next few years is to continue to have an impact in improving the quality of paediatric anaesthetic care by providing paediatric anaesthesia education, increase our support for paediatric anaesthesia research, having input into ANZCA policies relevant to children (through our membership of ANZCA Safety and Quality Committee), support low and middle income countries in paediatric anaesthesia education and continue to collaborate with other paediatric organisations.

SPANZA aims to have an impact for all children in all circumstances in our two countries and this means that we also hope to be of relevance and value for all those non-members who anaesthetise children.

We have memorandums of understanding (MOU) with ANZCA and NZSA. Together with NZSA we support PANNZ, the network for paediatric anaesthesia care in New Zealand.  We are working on an MOU with the ASA.

We continue to provide a monthly journal watch, regular EPIC workshops, annual SPANZA Update and PANNZ update meetings and SPANZA update sessions at ANZCA and ASA conferences. Our main education event is our Annual Scientific Meeting that is often held in collaboration with an international Paediatric Anaesthesia Society or local Paediatric Surgical group. We have relatively recently co-badged ANZCA PS29 (Guideline for the Provision of Anaesthesia Care to Children), continue to provide sponsorship in support of WFSA fellowships, and developed our own guidelines for Paediatric Anaesthesia Fellowship.

All this work is only possible by the active participation of our members.  We absolutely appreciate all the effort of our members in allowing us to achieve outcomes and lead in Paediatric Anaesthesia. We encourage all our members to get involved with our subcommittees and working groups and nominate for executive positions when they are advertised.

Ruth Matters

President, SPANZA