After a lengthy recruitment process Dr Matthew Miles, veterinarian and MS Research Australia chief executive, has been named the new CEO of the RACGP, the college announced this morning.
Dr Miles has held a variety of executive leadership positions at the Australian Veterinary Association, the University of NSW’s faculty of medicine, and more recently, MS Research Australia.
Dr Miles will begin his new role on August 3, taking over from Nick Williamson, who has been acting CEO since the resignation of Dr Zena Burgess (PhD) in October 2019.
While acknowledging he won’t be an immediate expert in general practice, Dr Miles said he has a deep appreciation for the work of GPs in supporting the health of the Australian community.
“It’s been a long and thorough process, through which I’ve gained the beginning of an understanding of the RACGP and its long and valued history,” he said.
“I’m excited to join the RACGP and am confident that working together with members, the board and our key stakeholders will be the key to moving general practice forward in Australia.”
RACGP president Dr Harry Nespolon said Dr Miles was chosen following an extensive selection process from more than 150 applicants.
“This is an important time for the RACGP and there are major challenges and opportunities ahead over the next five years,” he said.
“That includes the return of the training program for members, changes to continuing professional development and achieving cultural change within the organisation.
“Matthew comes to this new position with the expertise necessary to take on these tasks and affect real change.”
Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe, chair of the NSW and ACT RACGP, said the decision to offer the role to Dr Miles was unanimous.
“The process has been undertaken with due diligence to make sure we got the right person and I can say that we are delighted that Matthew is up to the challenge of accepting this role,” she told The Medical Republic.
Dr Miles is no stranger to advocacy in Canberra either, working closely with Health Minister Greg Hunt to acquire sizeable research grants in his time as MS Research Australia chief executive.
“Matthew is not fresh to the idea of the need for very targeted advocacy, but at the same time it’s a bigger challenge across the space of general practice, and I think it will be good to give him that challenge,” Professor Hespe said.
In his time working at MS Research Australia, Dr Miles also established good working relationships within the primary care community, understanding the importance of general practice in the Australian healthcare space.
“MS is an illness that effects the whole person, and it’s important those patients have a good GP to oversee their health, so I think that’s where Matthew has been particularly struck by the importance of general practice, and that aligns with the vision the RACGP has for our role as generalists and primary care physicians in the Australian health space,” Professor Hespe said.