Champions of Change


As leadership is a core part of the Strategic Plan 2019–2021, AOA aims to involve more members in leadership positions. As such, AOA has created the Champions of Change Working Group after a five-year Diversity Strategic Plan, to encourage action against gender inequality within the organisation. 

The Working Group works with the AOA Board, Orthopaedic Women's Link (OWL) Committee and AOA membership to address and take action on issues relating to diversity.

The AOA OWL ASM Bursary Program

The AOA Champions of Change Working Group has created the AOA OWL ASM Bursary Program to encourage and facilitate attendance at AOA's flagship scientific meeting among female emerging orthopaedic surgeons.

The program, provided to existing AOA OWL members, aims to achieve new and greater female member attendance at the ASM. It recognises the gender-equity issues faced by emerging OWL trainees and early-career OWL fellows.

The 83rd AOA Annual Scientific Meeting, with theme 'Rural Surgery – Build it and they will come', will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 12 to 16 November 2023.

Five OWL bursaries will provide registration the ASM, open to two AOA fellows and three AOA trainees.

To find out more and apply, visit the AOA OWL ASM Bursary Program page

CC Photo Essay 2022

Introducing the CC Photo Essay


Congratulations to the winner of the inaugural CC Photo Essay, Anum Awais, orthopaedic service registrar at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

View the Anum's essay, and highly commended entries, through the CC Photo Essay Results page.
The Champions of Change (CC) Working Group introduced the CC Photo Essay in 2022.

Australian medical students, interns, residents, registrars and trainees were invited to submit a series of photos and captions on the theme We come in all shapes, sizes, colours and genders and focused on gender diversity.

Champions of Change Working Group representatives


Chair: Andrew Saies

VIC: Anita Boecksteiner

NSW: Andrew Wines

WA: Richard Carey Smith


NSW: Alice Chang


SA: Meenu Shunmugam


ACT: Mike Gross


QLD: Michael Lutz


FTC representative:
Li-On Lam

Objectives of the group

  • To work with the OWL Committee to step up beside women to listen and learn from their experiences and leadership and advocate for women’s representation.

  • Prioritise achieving progress on women’s representation by seeking out innovative and effective approaches and investing time to achieve aspirations.

  • Identify and implement progressive and high impact actions that disrupt the status quo to create meaningful and sustainable change
  • Lead with action and advocacy, by working with the state branches, subspecialty societies, AOA Committees.
  • Assisting with the implementation of the relevant milestones in the AOA Diversity Strategy. 
Please refer to the Terms of Reference or contact for further information about the Working Group.