Current SOMANZ Council

SOMANZ Council Nominations 2020 – Now Closed

The Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (SOMANZ) is now calling for nominations for Council. The 2-year term will commence at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting which will be rescheduled shortly as it will now no longer occur in Hobart as planned in July. The nominee for Council, the proposer and the seconder ALL need to be current financial members of the SOMANZ. We look forward to receiving your nomination form by midnight on Monday 30 March 2020.

The 2020 SOMANZ Council nomination form and a copy of the relevant constitutional extract are both available for downloaded below:

The following Council members will retire from Council at the conclusion of the 2020 AGM:

  • Angela Makris (NSW), Irena Idel (VIC), Catherine Marnoch (NZ), Marloes Dekker-Nitert (QLD), Helen Robinson (QLD).

The following Council members plan to renominate for Council:

  • Amanda Beech (NSW), Helen Barrett (QLD), Stefan Kane (VIC).

Meet Your SOMANZ Council 2018 - 2020

SOMANZ President

A/Prof Angela Makris

Angela completed her advanced training at RPAH, Sydney. Subsequently she went on to complete a PhD in placental ischemia and preeclampsia. Since 2007 she has been at Liverpool and Bankstown Hospitals as an obstetric and renal physician. Angela undertakes multidisciplinary high risk clinics and also cares for women who are inpatients with medical complications of pregnancy. She is currently actively involved in clinical research, both investigator driven and international collaborations as well as basic science research. The basic science research undertaken is investigating both the pathogenesis of the clinical syndrome as well as ways to ameliorate it. Teaching is also an important part of her role, both renal as well as obstetric medicine to trainees and midwives locally and nationally.

SOMANZ Honorary Secretary

Dr Stefan Kane

Stefan is a maternal fetal medicine subspecialist obstetrician based primarily at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. His clinical engagements cover the spectrum of high-risk pregnancy care, and include preterm birth prevention, multiple pregnancy, fetal medicine and maternal medical disorders in pregnancy. He also performs tertiary-level fetal and gynaecological ultrasound. Stefan’s primary research focus is on the maternal neurological effects of pre-eclampsia. His PhD research project aims to evaluate the potential utility of maternal ophthalmic ultrasound in assessing changes in the cerebrovasculature and intracranial pressure of pre-eclamptic women. Other research interests include structural and genetic fetal anomalies, red blood cell alloimmunisation, preterm birth prevention, and early pregnancy prediction of later complications. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed papers on these topics, and has acted as site co-ordinator for a number of international randomised controlled trials. Stefan is actively engaged in teaching at all levels, from medical students to advanced specialist trainees, and holds an honorary position as a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He has a longstanding interest in prevocational medical education, and serves as an accreditation team leader for the intern accreditation authorities in Victoria and Queensland. He is a member of the steering committees for the Women’s and Newborn Health network of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health, and the Interdisciplinary Maternal Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials (IMPACT) Network of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand.

SOMANZ Honorary Treasurer

Dr Amanda Beech

Dr Amanda Beech graduated with Honours from the University of Sydney in 2010 and completed her basic physician training at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before commencing Advanced Training at The Royal Hospital for Women and Prince of Wales Hospitals. Amanda is undertaking dual training in Endocrinology and General Medicine, with a focus on Obstetric Medicine, and was awarded her Obstetric Medicine Certificate in 2016. She will continue her training at The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in 2017.

Amanda values holistic medical care, and enjoys caring for women through all stages of their life – from adolescent gynaecology, infertility and medical disorders of pregnancy, to perimenopausal care and osteoporosis prevention.

Prior to pursuing a career in medicine, Amanda spent 10 years teaching science, and this experience continues to direct her passion for ongoing medical education.

Amanda is well known for her warm positivity, intelligence, and for working with patients and their families to achieve the best outcomes.

Amanda practices evidenced-based medicine, and her research interests include: hypertension in pregnancy and cardiovascular and haematological disorders in pregnancy.

SOMANZ President-Elect

Dr Helen Barrett

Dr Helen Barrett is an Obstetric Physician and Endocrinologist at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane and a Clinical Academic in the School of Medicine, The University of Queensland. She undertook her endocrinology and obstetric medicine training in Sydney and Brisbane and completed her PhD through the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland examining maternal and placental lipid metabolism in complicated pregnancy. She has a strong interest in improving the outcomes of complicated pregnancy and her PhD studies focussed on the role of lipids in maternal diabetes and preeclampsia.

SOMANZ Executive Officer

Suzie Neylon

Suzie Neylon is the Executive Officer for SOMANZ and as many of you will recall, managed the secretariats for ASSHP and OMGA and assisted the respective presidents with the amalgamation of the two entities to form SOMANZ in 2004. Suzie joined the societies in 1992 bringing with her a background in nursing, travel management, advertising, promotions and public relations. She completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2004 with a preeclampsia based project. She continues to manage the busy SOMANZ Secretariat proving support to the Council and the members.

Immediate Past President

Dr Mark Morton

Dr Mark Morton is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and did physician training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Modbury Hospital. He became interested in Obstetric Medicine while doing clinics at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Adelaide. The Queen Victoria maternity hospital merged with the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1995 to become the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Mark Morton is currently working as an Obstetric Physician at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide, and as a General Physician at Modbury Hospital. He is a clinical lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He was previously the Chair of the Specialist Advisory Committee in General Medicine. He is a foundation member of IMSANZ, and OMGA (Obstetric medicine group of Australasia) which later became SOMANZ. His interests are in all aspects of Obstetric Medicine and post graduate training in Obstetric Medicine and General Medicine. He is keen to promote General Medicine because, not only is it challenging, but it provides a good base from which to train the next generation of Obstetric Physicians.

SOMANZ Council Members

Dr Marloes Dekker Nitert

Dr Marloes Dekker Nitert is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. Marloes is a biomedical researcher with a PhD from Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on the role of metabolism in complications of pregnancy. She currently heads a laboratory research group at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research studying the role of the gut microbiome in pregnancy, the role of food additives on placental function and placental gene expression and epigenetic markers in pregnancy complications. Marloes works closely together with clinician-scientists and clinicians at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. She is part of the SPRING RCT team which assesses if probiotics can prevent gestational diabetes mellitus in overweight and obese women. Marloes is a scientific representative on the SOMANZ council.

Dr Helen Robinson

Dr Helen Robinson is the current trainee representative on the executive council. Helen is a graduate of the University of Otago and completed her basic physician training in New Zealand before moving to Brisbane. In Brisbane she completed her training as a General Physician in 2013 and as an Obstetric Physician in 2014. Helen is currently doing a PhD in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus through the University of Queensland. She is also working as a relieving consultant in Obstetric Medicine at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and as a General Physician at Logan Hospital.

Dr Irena Idel

Irena graduated with honours from Monash University and completed her physician training in nephrology with a fellowship in obstetric medicine in 2011, in Melbourne, Australia. She was instrumental in setting up the Obstetric Medicine Service at Eastern Health in Melbourne, which looks after 5,000 deliveries annually across 2 hospitals, and currently acts as its Clinical Lead. The service is a multidisciplinary and academic team of health professionals caring for women with all medical conditions, from pre-conception care to post-partum follow up, with a focus on empowering patients to participate in a preventative approach to maternal and fetal wellbeing, aiming for improved ‘whole-of-life’ health outcomes. Academically, Irena is actively involved in obstetric medicine teaching to physician and obstetric trainees, and midwives, and has promoted a broad spectrum of clinical research activities, with presentations and publications at national and international meetings. Her other current role is as a nephrologist with the Integrated Renal Service at Eastern Health.

Dr Catherine Marnoch

Catherine is an Obstetric Physician and Lead Clinician for Obstetric Medicine at National Women’s Health, Auckland. A graduate of the University of Auckland, Catherine completed Advanced Training in General and Obstetric Medicine in Auckland and then in 2004, a 2-year Fellowship in Obstetric and Consultative Medicine through Brown University and Woman and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, USA. Prior to her current position Catherine has worked for Waitemata District Health Board in Auckland, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta in conjunction with the University of Alberta, as an Assistant Professor in Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her clinical work and interests are broad, and encompass all aspects of General Obstetric Medicine as well as Diabetes in Pregnancy. Her academic interests have focused on medical education and Obstetric Medicine curriculum development. She enjoys teaching on Obstetric Medicine to medical trainees and graduates as well as midwifery and other colleagues.