When can I submit my entry?
Entries open from 1 November 2016 at 9am AEDT

What is the deadline for final submissions?
Entries close 28 February 2017 at 5pm AEDT.

When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be notified by Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Will my details be confidential?
Yes. All entries will be processed by the judging panel anonymously. Please also see our Privacy Policy for further details.

Who can enter?
This competition is open to registered doctors working in a NSW or ACT public hospital.


Judges are looking for a well-formed, original and interesting essay rather than a scientific work-paper. Judges are looking for ideas relating to a current issue in public health that require very little additional budget to implement.

The judges recognise that there is no one idea to fix the public hospital system but are looking for an idea(s) that can contribute

Please ensure you have a title and an introduction to your idea to set context and provide a high level overview. You should outline what a successful public hospital system could look like?

All entries will be marked for, among other things:

  • The idea and supporting arguments must be clearly expressed, practical and capable of implementation
  • Evidence of consideration for people, systems and technology
  • The idea must be ethically sound
  • The ideas should be practical non-populist approaches ensuring equity in access to public hospital services
  • The ideas should be practical approaches ensuring equity in access to public hospital services
  • There should be consideration for public hospital services across rural/regional areas in comparison to metropolitan centres
  • The idea should consider how to develop a sustainable and appropriately skilled multidisciplinary hospital workforce across NSW and the ACT including the consideration of Doctors in Training
  • The implementation strategies and the potential for risk should be considered
  • What parameters will be used to define the success of your proposal; are there KPIs or metrics that you would monitor?
  • How should underperformance, with respect to these metrics, best be managed?

Please ensure you have a title and introduction to your idea to set the context, and provide a high level overview at the start of your essay.



  • Professor Michael Morgan
  • Professor Paul Bannon
  • Associate Professor Mark Arnold
  • Doctor Kathryn Austin

Professor Michael Morgan is the Professor of Cerebrovascular at Macquarie University Sydney. He was appointed the first full Professor in Neurosurgery of the University of Sydney in 1998 and the first Dean of Medicine at Macquarie University in 2006. He has operated on more than 700 brain and spine arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and more than 3,000 aneurysms and has published more than 200 papers.

In 2014 he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to medicine as a neurovascular surgeon, researcher and educator, as an international leader and mentor, and to professional organisations.”

Professor Paul Bannon is the Chairman of the Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research, a not-for-profit medical research institute established in 2001, to improve the outcomes and better the lives of those undergoing heart and lung surgery.

He is the Head of Department and Head of Research for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and holds the Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Sydney. He has performed over 2,500 adult cardiac surgical procedures ranging from coronary artery bypass to complex aortic root and arch reconstructions.

He is President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons. He is the Co Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery at RPAH and Co Chair of the Cardiac Devices Committee for the Agency of Clinical Innovation, Ministry of Health NSW, and has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Bannon’s teaching responsibilities are currently to all years of the Graduate Medical Program at Sydney Medical School, Sydney University. He supervises local and international Doctorate, Masters and Honours students as well as international elective students. He is the Co Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a Director of the CORE Group for International Collaborative Research.

Professor Bannon has published widely read books, journals and conference proceedings on cardiothoracic surgery, basic science and evidence based medicine. He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers.

He is a current Chief Investigator on NHMRC and NHF grants for biomaterials and congenital heart disease research and is CID on a current NHMRC CRE grant on mechanical circulatory support. His role in the CRE is to produce NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines and measure their dissemination, adoption and outcomes.

He personally oversees more than $500,000 worth of research funding annually. His Department currently runs 16 clinical trials amongst many other laboratory and clinically based projects.

Associate Professor Mark Arnold is the Associate Dean and Head of School, School of Rural Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Consultant Rheumatologist, Dubbo, Orange & Gloucester, NSW. Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney. Member, Medical Health and Safety Advisory Committee, Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section), NSW Branch Counsellor, Australian Rheumatology Association, Member, Australian Health Ethics Committee (NHMRC) & Director, Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators (FRAME).

Membership of scientific and professional societies: University of Sydney University Alumni, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, Australian Association of Consultant Physicians, Australian Rheumatology Association, American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis Foundation of Australia (Life Member), Australian Medical Association, Rural Doctors' Association of Australia, Association of Medical Educators in Europe, Institute of Medical Ethics (UK) & the Australian Association of Bioethics and Health Law

Reviewer for scientific journals: Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology, International Journal of Rheumatology, Clinical Rheumatology, Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy & The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

Specific interests: Competency and professionalism in health care practice, equity in health care resourcing across rural and regional Australia.

Doctor Kathryn Austin is currently completing her sub-specialty fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital having completed her obstetrics and gynaecology training at The Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney.

She has been director for AMA NSW & Federal Board of Directors following having been a representative for the Council for Doctors in Training at both state and federal levels. Kathryn currently sits on the AMA NSW Charitable Foundation Advisory Board and has had a number of representative roles with state and federal government committees in medical training and quality healthcare. She was the 2015 AMA NSW President's Award recipient for service to medicine.


Round one: The Round One judges will shortlist all valid entries for review by the Final Round Judges. Each submission will be marked by three individual judges. An average mark will be applied to that submission.

Final round: The shortlisted entries will be reviewed by each of the final round judges and a final vote cast to determine first and second place winners.

second place winners. The decision of the judges is final and there is no right of appeal.

Winners will be notified by Wednesday 31 May 2017.
At the finalisation of the competition, all participants who have submitted a viable entry will be emailed a certificate of recognition.


To showcase the ideas put forward in the Bongiorno NSW Essay Competition, a report will be compiled and presented to NSW/ACT Health. All ideas included in the report will be attributed to anonymous authors. No participant information will be included with the report without express permission from the author.