Orthopaedic Women's Link (OWL)




OWL is an advocate for women in orthopaedics. OWL aims to encourage and support women through their orthopaedic careers, from as early as medical school, through to consultant level.

OWL also seeks to create visible role models, encourage women to pursue and complete orthopaedic surgical training, address education issues, monitor gender-related matters and statistics, and providing advice to women trying to overcome work-life challenges.

Sarah Watts initially conceived the idea of OWL as an organisation to support women in orthopaedic surgery in 2008/2009. Peter Steadman, who was the QLD Branch Chair was very supportive and took the idea to the AOA Board. Sarah was advised to put together a proposal and her sister designed the OWL logo. in 2010—2011 the AOA Board approved OWL as an affiliated group. 

The first OWL meeting was held in 2012 at the Sydney AOA ASM. Sarah enthusiastically printed flyers and made balloons, with Sue Liew giving the first presentation — thus, OWL was born. While OWL was recognised and supported by AOA and the membership, OWL was granted official status as an AOA committee in 2016 at the request of the OWL members. In 2018 the OWL membership voted to adopt a revised terms of reference for OWL to further establish a transparent and robust governance structure. 

For more information on OWL's history, please download the OWL chapter of A History of Orthopaedics in Australia 1980–2016.

OWL is currently addressing the following issues: radiation safety and pregnancy, return to work after maternity leave, international policies and organisations of same, and looking at training problems versus gender issues.

For further information and to seek OWL’s services please email owl@aoa.org.au


Find out more at owl.aoa.org.au

OWL representatives

Chair: Jennifer Green

QLD: Danielle Wadley 

SA/NT: Nicole Williams


VIC/TAS: Avanthi Mandaleson

WA: Katherine Stannage

FTC: Ian Incoll


Co-opted Board representative: Chris Morrey


AORA: Lily Garcia


OWL Past Presidents

  • Michelle Atkinson 2016—2018
  • Sarah Watts 2012—2016

OWL AOA ASM Guest Speakers

  • Canberra 2019: AVM Tracy Smart and Commodore Michele Miller
  • Perth 2018: Professor Fiona Wood
  • Adelaide 2017: Chris Castle & Rekha Ganeshalingam
  • Cairns 2016: Sarah Coll
  • Brisbane 2015: Sheanna Maine
  • Melbourne 2014: Annette Holian
  • Darwin 2013: Sarah Watts
  • Sydney 2012: Sue Liew

Surgical Women's Associations

Articles of interest about the following topics: