Sue Page

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Dr Sue Page AM is a past President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia[1] and current Board member of Future Health Leaders,[2] North Coast GP Training,[3] and RACGP Rural[4] As Associate Professor with the University of Sydney she links to the Northern Rivers University Centre for Rural Health,[5] a collaboration between that university and the University of Southern Cross for the delivery of multidisciplinary health professional education in Australia. Until 2010 she was the inaugural Director of the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration,[6] a venture linking the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Wollongong which established year-long training for medical students in rural areas and later combined with the UCRH.

As Clinical Lead for Education for the RACGP,[7] Dr Page headed a review of national curriculum and the move toward outcomes based learning with statements able to be uploaded onto smart phones.[8] She assisted in the creation of the College's new Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice, the FARGP,[9] which includes processes for Recognition of Prior Learning for rural GPs in established practice. She has championed the uptake of Telehealth in Australian community based practice with roles in the Government Department of Health and Ageing Telehealth Advisory Group,[10] conference speaking engagements [11][12] and contribution to RACGP Telehealth resources [13][14] including a new Active Learning Module.[15]

Page previously held the position of inaugural Chair of the North Coast Area Health Care Advisory Council [16] within the NSW Department of Health, New South Wales Department of Health#Area Health Services and has been a board member of the Northern NSW Local Health District,[17] from 2011 to 2016. She is a rural GP VMO[18] at Ballina District Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital in Lismore. A Fellow of, and Supervisor for, both RACGP and ACRRM, she has post graduate training in the Early Management of Severe Trauma, a Diploma in Shared Care Psychiatry (Eating Disorders) and a Diploma in Obstetrics through the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her practice includes primary health care within an Aboriginal community, and used to involve obstetrics at Ballina Hospital until the unit was closed due to workforce shortages.

Identified as one of the top ten people in Australia influencing General Practice,[19][20] Dr Page was recognised in the Australian Honours as a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 25 January 2008. The award is recognition for outstanding achievement and service. Dr Page received her award for service to medicine and to the community through commitment to improving access to health and medical services in rural and remote areas, and through professional, educational and advisory roles. [21][22][23][24]

Page has been instrumental in bringing cross-sector organisations together to work to common goals.[25] Amongst achievements are listed contribution to resolving the 2003 Medical Indemnity crisis in Australia,[26] the establishment of a dedicated training program for Procedural General Practice,[27] and negotiating Australian Medicare Item Numbers for Nurses working within General Practices for procedures such as Pap smears [28] and for Allied Health Professionals caring for patients with chronic and complex disease.[29] She continues to promote collaborative working arrangements in Primary Health Care, and to inspire the next generation of health workforce through a variety of speaking engagements.[30][31]

Early life and family[edit]

Now an Australian Citizen, Dr Page was born in Washington DC in 1960. She is the third child of Colonel David Page, Chief of Publicity and Psychological Warfare for the US First Army and later deputy chief administrator of the US Veterans Administration, and Diana Hodgkinson Page, one of the three first Australian women trained as Diplomatic Staff Cadets and later posted to New York as Vice Consul. [32] [33][34] Colonel Page was awarded the Croix De Guerre, US Legion of Merit and Bronze Star with V for Valour.[35]

Page attended the University of Newcastle where she later returned as the 2005 David Maddison Orator.[36] In 1987 she married classmate Dr Chris Mitchell, the 2009–2010 President of the Royal Australian College of General Practice. They live on a farm in northern NSW with their three children, Robert Mitchell,[37] Sara Mitchell,[38] and Kate Mitchell.[39]


At the 2007 federal election, Page was the endorsed National Party candidate for the electorate of Richmond in northern New South Wales where she took a strong stance on environmental issues including nuclear power.[40][41] She lost to incumbent Labor MP Justine Elliot.[42]

Ministerial appointments[edit]

2011–2012 NSW, Member of Advisory Board, Commission of Audit

2006–2007 Commonwealth, 4th Pharmacy Agreement Professional Programs & Services Advisory Committee

2004–2007 NSW, Board of Clinical Excellence Commission

2005–2007 NSW, Health Care Advisory Committee

2004–2007 NSW, Rural Health Priority Taskforce

2003–2007 NSW, Chair, North Coast Area Health Service Area Health Care Advisory Council

2003–2007 NSW, Expert Advisory Group for Drug and Alcohol

2002–2007 NSW, Mental Health Sentinel Events Review Committee (MHSERC): Chair,Suicide Sub-committee

2005–2006 Commonwealth, Medical Indemnity Policy Review Panel II

2005–2006 Commonwealth, Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee, Rural Expertise

2004 NSW, Clinical & Community Advisory Group [43]

2003 Commonwealth, Medical Indemnity Policy Review Panel I

2002–2003 NSW, General Practice Advisory Committee

Significant positions[edit]

2016-current board member RACGP NSW

2014-current board member, Future Health Leaders

2011–current board member, North Coast GP Training

2011–current board member & Deputy Chair, RACGP Rural

2011–current Member, RACGP National Standing Committee – Post Graduate Education

2011–current Member, RACGP Rural Education Committee

2011–2016 board member, Northern NSW Local Health District

2014–2016 Member, Medical Services Advisory Committee

2012–2015 board member, Australian Medical Local Alliance

2011–2012 RACGP Representative, NPS Prescribing Competencies Project

2010–2012 RACGP Representative, NPS Medicines Line Advisory group

2010–2012 RACGP Representative, TeleHealth Advisory Group, Medical Benefits Division, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

2008–2012 RACGP Representative, Primary Care Committee, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in HealthCare

2008–2012 RACGP Representative, NEHTA Medication Management Reference Group

2006–2010 Director, North Coast Medical Education Collaboration (University of Wollongong, University of Western Sydney, and the Sydney University)

2009–2010 RACGP Representative, National Education Framework for Primary Maternity Services

2003–2010 North Coast Area Health Service workforce committee later Health Workforce Education Group

2003–2010 Director of Education, Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health

2008–2010 VMO and Medical Advisory Committee member, Lismore Private Hospital

2004–2010 Member, Community Advisory Board, UNSW School of Public Health

2003–2010 Member, North Coast Cross-Sector Collaboration in Indigenous Health Committee

2004–2009 board member, Northern Rivers General Practice Network

1990–2009 GP/Partner, Lennox Head Medical Centre

2007–2008 Member, Working Party: Abuse of Older Adults Prevention Project, Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA)

2005–2007 Member, North Coast Area Health Services Learning and Development Committee

2005–2007 Member, North Coast Australian Health Services Workforce Development Plan Implementation Steering Committee

2005–2007 RDAA Representative, National E-Health Transition Authority

2006–2007 Past-President (Executive role), Rural Doctors Association Australia

2006 Acting Head of Department, Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health

2005–2006 NSW Expert Advisory Committee for Paracetamol Use

2004–2006 President, Rural Doctors Association Australia

2004–2006 Alliance of NSW Divisions (ANSWD) Rural Chapter Representative

2003–2005 ACRRM Panel of Censors

2002–2005 RACGP Representative, NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Maternal & Infant Health Committee

2003–2004 RDAA Representative on National Rural Health Alliance

2002–2004 Member, NSW Rural Health Action Group

2002–2003 Rural Doctors Network Representative to NSW Medical Board Assessment Panel for Overseas Trained Doctors

2002–2003 President, NSW Rural Doctors Association

2000–2004 ACRRM Representative for Far North NSW Coast


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  21. ^ "Doctors seek more rural hospital funding". Melbourne: The Age. 28 September 2004. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  22. ^ "AM Archive – Struggle for rural medical services". Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
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  24. ^ "Measures to save disappearing rural birthing units". Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
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  33. ^ "Doc Evatt's quiz kid bolted at every barrier". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
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  42. ^ "NSW DIVISION – RICHMOND". AEC. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
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