New RACGP CEO shares leadership lessons

3 minute read

Georgina van de Water made one of her first appearances as RACGP CEO at the college’s practice owners conference in Cairns. 

Newly sworn-in RACGP CEO Georgina van de Water gave a glimpse into how she will be leading the multimillion-dollar charity into the future at last weekend’s Practice Owner’s Conference in Cairns.  

The conference was attended by more than 850 delegates and industry representatives from across the country, and was Ms van de Water’s first chance to engage with members en masse since stepping into the top job in April.  

“For me, [to deliver] leadership you need to be able to have an anchor – a purpose behind what you do and how you do it,” she told conference delegates.  

“And that’s about strategy, it’s about values and being clear on expectations, but it’s also about regular check ins.” 

Strategy, Ms van de Water admitted, used to make her “nervous”.  

“I remember saying to a consultant once … some 15 years ago, that I didn’t have a strategic bone in my body and that I just wanted to do the job,” she said.  

“And he explained to me that strategy is about why you do something.” 

Taking the RACGP as a broad example, she said, some members may view one of its big roles as a CPD provider.  

“If what we do is develop CPD content, why do we do that?” said Ms van de Water.  

“And we might do it because GPs will gain education and knowledge in their areas of interest to develop their skills.  

“Why would we want that? To build competency and confidence perhaps.  

“And … we do that so the general practitioners can best provide best practice, safe and high-quality care.”  

The fact that CPD also supports the regulatory requirements, she added, is less important.  

Despite being new to the CEO role, she has previously worked in the primary care sector at PHNs and regional training organisations.  

Most recently, she managed the college through the transition to profession-led training.  

Ms van de Water succeeds Paul Wappett, who was abruptly dismissed by the RACGP board in December. 

Explaining her personal philosophy on leadership, Ms van de Water said she was inspired by examples of leading from the back.  

“It’s really important that we have the management and the ability to manage the tasks that are required of us, but we can’t slip into being the solver for everything,” she said.  

“We have to help build and empower others so they know that we have their back as leaders.”  

The RACGP’s Practice Owners Conference 2024 was held at the Cairns Convention Centre in Queensland between 24 and 26 May.  

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×