ACCS Newsletter
ACCS December 2015 Newsletter  
  The President's Message  

Dear Colleagues,

As I begin my term as your new president, the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery is more than half way through its successful second decade of education and advocacy.

The College’s fellows and spokespeople are regarded by government and media as the authoritative source for insight and expert information on cosmetic medicine and surgery.

Media stories featuring College members and spokespeople appeared in major radio, television and metropolitan newspapers. The ACCS was featured in over 100 stories in 2015. The College was featured in the ABC Radio documentary program “Background Briefing”, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and in Fairfax newspapers. Stories in Australian Doctor featuring College fellows achieved some of the highest interest in the magazine’s online history.

That your College is at the centre of cosmetic medicine and surgery in Australasia is due to your support and to the dedication of the fellows and members who contribute their valuable time and efforts working with the College’s secretariat. So much that is achieved to advance standards and training would not occur but for those efforts.


This year’s COSMETEX, held in Melbourne, 29 April to 2 May, was another successful and informative College-hosted annual meeting. Leading academics, scientists, psychologists and cosmetic medical practitioners from a range of medical disciplines presented on topics ranging from beauty concepts across cultures and how people see themselves, to advances in facial rejuvenation, cosmeceuticals, face lifting, dermal fillers, tattoo removal, laser skin rejuvenation, body contouring and lifting and regenerative medicine. Mark Cosmetex 2016 in your calendar to be held 12 to 14 May, at the Sydney Hilton.  See further details re keynote speakers below.

Recognition of Cosmetic Medical Practice as a new specialty:
a matter of when, not if.

The new medical specialty application process is a lengthy one and requires significant commitment of effort and resources by the applicant. It took many years for Sports Medicine, for example, to be recognised as a separate specialty.

As you will be aware, in 2006 the Australian Medical Council invited the College to lodge a full application for recognition of Cosmetic Medical Practice as a new medical specialty after the College’s preliminary application was accepted. The College lodged its full application with the AMC in October 2008.

The College filed its last submission and comments in November 2011 and did not receive a response until February 2013. Unfortunately, a proper review as required by the AMC’s own policies and procedures was not undertaken and the College was forced to take its concerns to the Federal Court.

Aside from procedural fairness concerns such as ongoing criteria and procedural changes throughout the course of the College's Application process, the most significant concern, in the College’s view, that adversely impacted almost every conclusion or judgement of the AMC’s assessment was the uncritical acceptance of the un-supported assertions and misstatements contained in the submissions of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and particularly, its reconstructive surgery training subcontractor, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, and despite the substantial financial interest of ASPS fellows.

For example, although ASPS has for many years and in its submission to the AMC contended that it provided a comprehensive cosmetic surgical training program for all of its fellows, the College presented irrefutable evidence that this was incorrect.  The only mention of Cosmetic Surgery in any AMC assessment of RACS’ education and training program was in 2002, when the RACS Board of Plastic Surgery was quoted conceding that it was merely trying to expose some of its trainees to Cosmetic Surgery as well as the separate non-RACS surgical specialty of maxillofacial surgery.

Justice Katzmann ruled that the AMC was not susceptible to judicial review. However, Her Honour found that the AMC’s review was not conducted properly:

If Mr Wells (who conducted the review) considered that he was ill-equipped or unqualified to deal with these concerns, then, in consultation with the AMC President, he should have appointed to the panel someone who was qualified.

In my view, then, on a proper construction of cl 5.4.6 (of the AMC’s Guidelines)… In an appropriate case, it would include a review of the conclusions or judgements reached by the (AMC). In this case, therefore, it should have included a review of the merits of the committee's (recommendation). Consequently, the review Mr Wells conducted was not the review contemplated by the Guidelines. It addressed some, but not all, of the College's concerns and, importantly, it did not address its "most significant concern".

The College put forward a very strong case for recognition in the face of extreme resistance from ASPS, and though I am disappointed that the AMC has not yet recommended that Cosmetic Medical Practice be recognised as a new specialty, they have indicated that another review in the future could obtain a different result.  Although the College has strong grounds for appeal of the judicial review decision, we are satisfied with the settlement we have obtained from the AMC over costs in lieu of an action in contract against the AMC.

In the meantime, The College is continuing to advocate on your behalf and for your patients. The voices for pragmatic change are growing stronger and whether via the AMC process (which must first be fixed) or an alternative mechanism, the College’s goal for a nationally recognised set of standards of education and training specifically in Cosmetic Medical Practice will be achieved. It is only a question of when, not if.

ASPS Misstatements in Media

A number of College members have raised concerns about statements made in the media by ASPS’ current president about the relative training of cosmetic and plastic surgeons. The College has engaged its solicitors to pursue this matter in the strongest way, particularly as it is not the first time we have been forced to take such action despite previous regrets and promise from ASPS’ in the past. It is the College’s hope that some of the more reasonable views within ASPS will help that organisation choose a more productive and cooperative path in the future.

Injectable Module Course

The College’s newly developed Injectable Module Course has had very strong demand in its inaugural year. The intensive, nine-month diploma course provides in-depth training in all aspects of Botulinum toxin and filler knowledge and practical skills and is fully subscribed for 2016.

Breast Device Registry

The College’s founding president Dr Colin Moore MBBS, FRCS, FRACS, FACCS, has been appointed Associate Professor at Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine and board member of the Australian Breast Device Registry managed by Monash. Dr Moore has been working hard with his board colleagues to roll out the Breast registry nationally, which to date has the participation of over 150 surgeons and more than 50 sites. Data from more than 2,600 patients has been captured with only 1.4 per cent refusing to participate. If you are not yet participating in the very important public health initiative, I strongly encourage you to contact Monash, who can provide you with an enrollment agreement and further information.

As a college we provide world class training, accreditation, advocacy and standards. The College has achieved a great deal since its founding. We have many challenges and opportunities ahead, but my past Council colleagues have laid a strong foundation from which to work, particularly if we remain united in purpose. I also wish to take this opportunity to give special thanks to Jenny who spends many a weekend of her time organising workshops and to our administration staff as they all do a great job.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy, successful New Year.

Dr Ron Bezic

  New Initiatives  

Online Learning Program

ACCS is delighted to advise that commencing 2016 we will be offering in-depth University standard modules on Ageing, Dermatology, Botulinum Toxin, Dermal Fillers and more; together with other modalities. 

The state-of-the-art online platform has been built specifically to cater for higher-education learning.

This will be an invaluable support tool for our Registrars and Injectable Diplomates.


The Latest on Laser Safety

The College responded to the ARPANSA Intense Pulsed Light Sources (IPLs) and Lasers for Cosmetic Beauty Therapy Consultation
The key points made by the College were:

  1. There is an appreciable risk of missed or undiagnosed skin cancers.
  2. Patients should be appropriately screened by medical practitioners before treatment.
  3. There is a need for recognisable education and training qualification including CME.
  4. There should be certain restrictions for non-medical users.
  5. Any new regime should recognise appropriate existing qualifications, and there should be a reasonable transition or phase-in period.
  6. Equipment should be properly certified and labelled.
  7. The same advertising regulations, contained Medical Board of Australia’s Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, should apply to the advertising of IPL and laser treatments.
  8. There is a need for greater public education.
  9. There is a need for proper record and log keeping.

The submission may be found on the member’s section of the College’s website.


NSW Private Health Facility Review

The NSW government is reviewing legislation and regulations governing cosmetic surgery conducted in private facilities.

As part of that review, the department of health has released a discussion paper concerning the Private Health Facilities Act 2007 and Private Health Facilities Regulation 2010, which govern which types of surgical procedures may be performed in licenced and unlicensed facilities.  The discussion Paper, Cosmetic Surgery and the Private Health Facilities Act 2007: The Regulation of Facilities Carrying out Cosmetic Surgery, considers whether there should be a new class of cosmetic surgery under the Private Health Facilities Act; how that class should be defined; and what standards should apply in the event that a new class of cosmetic surgery is created.

The College would welcome your views on the discussion paper (by 14 January). A copy of the consultation may be found here.

  Note From Australian Breast Device Registry  

The Australian Breast Device Registry continues to be rolled out nationally.
Thank you to the 151 surgeons and 53 sites who have signed-on to contribute data.  To date, we have captured data from 2,642 patients, with only 36 (1.4%) choosing to opt out since inception of the pilot BDR (in 2011).

We are moving ahead with attempts to get all hospitals to approve data collection for the Registry but have not yet reached 100%. If you are working at a hospital which has not given approval to collect data, please approach your hospital administrators to ask them to facilitate this.  In the meantime, check the ABDR website for details of how to submit data via the interim process currently in place.

It is a requirement of the Registry that each surgeon must sign a participation agreement before we collect their data.  If you are interested to contribute data and have not yet signed a Surgeon Participation Agreement, please download a form from the ABDR website (About > Forms) and return it, signed, to Monash University.
We are currently in the process of deciding upon quality indicators to be reported from the Registry and developing the tool for follow up of patients. Looking forward, we expect that 2016 will bring closer engagement with Industry and the roll out of the registry’s reporting capabilities.  We will also be distributing a regular e-news update and launching a new and improved website.  So watch this space!

If you have questions or would like to request further information please contact ABDR staff or A/Professor Colin Moore on or 0414 250 234

e:  t: (03) 9903 0205  f: (03) 9903 0227

Level 6, Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004

  Cosmetex 2016  

Thursday, 12th – Saturday, 14th May 2016
The Hilton Hotel, Sydney

The 2016 keynote speakers include Dr Kate Goldie, Medical Director of European Medical Aesthetics training, chairperson of the UK Aesthetic Medicine Expert Group, board member of the Prime Journal of Aesthetic Medicine and a member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine. Dr Goldie will be presenting on her extensive knowledge and is not to be missed as a panellist for the ‘International Face Panel’ in the closing session of Cosmetex 2016.

Dr Jani van Loghem, Director of Doctors Inc and Vice-President of the Dutch Society of Aesthetic Medicine is heavily involved in the Complication Registration Committee and will open the conference with a presentation on whether the Complications Registry has worked for the Europeans. Dr Loghem’s other highly-anticipated presentations include “Needle Vs Cannula in the placement of Soft Tissue Fillers - Surprising Results in a Cadaver Study” and “Avoiding danger zones in a global facial approach with soft-tissue fillers”.

Dr Kate Goldie

Dr Jani van Loghem

Get up close and personal with a not-to-be-missed intimate conversation session between Dr Joseph Hkeik, Dr Kate Goldie and Dr Jani van Loghem. This dynamic session will allow delegates a rare opportunity to hear the interaction between these three very dynamic professionals, covering topics from latest techniques to international differences in practice.

Also recently announced, Dr Christine Dierickx is Director of the Skinperium Clinic in Belgium. Dr. Dierickx is a board member of the International Committee for the American Society of Lasermedicine and Surgery, Inc and in April 2016 she will receive the Leon Goldman memoriam award . This award was established to recognize a practicing physician whose career demonstrates excellence in clinical research, patient care, or education, related to medical lasers. Dr Dierickx will feature on The "Laser Brains Trust": Interactive Panel Discussion.

Rounding out our headlining keynote speakers is Dr Katherine Armour, a dermatologist from Victoria, Australia will be presenting on the prevention and treatment of skin aging, and the management of skin disease through the use of cosmeceuticals.

Dr Christine Dierickx

Dr Katherine Armour

In addition to this outstanding line up of keynote speakers, the three day conference will focus on sessions that explore “Stem Cells: Innovation and Regulation” and “Multi Specialty Approach to Surgical Rejuvenation of the Head and Neck”. The 2016 program will encourage delegates to think outside the square with sessions on off-label use, complications and innovations in breast surgery, emerging business services, and lasers in unexpected places. For more information on the conference program and invited speakers, visit the conference website at

  Q & A with Dr Meaghan Heckenberg - Secretary, ACCS  

Tell us about yourself. What areas of Cosmetic Medical Practice are you passionate about? What inspired you to pursue this path?
I am 49 years of age and had liposuction on my thighs when I was 34. It changed my body shape and made me feel more confident. I could wear all types of clothes, including straight shirts and jeans. Beforehand I had "saddlebags" on the outer thighs that no amount of exercise could remove. 
My background is in women's health and I wanted to learn how to do liposuction one day as it made such a difference to my life.

It wasn't until late 2007 that I had the time to commit to training with ACCS. I dedicated 2 days per week for close to 2 years to do the training for the medical fellowship with the ACCS that also involved training in liposuction. I am pleased I did the comprehensive training with the college in other aspects of cosmetic medicine and surgery but my main goal was to learn the art of liposuction/liposculpture.

Where did you learn your techniques?
I have participated in the liposuction workshops run by Dr Soo-Keat Lim (ACCS) and I have now now been a trainer with the college at these workshops in liposuction for the last 2 years. 

I have learnt from the best liposuction practitioners in Sydney and have also participated in the workshop of Dr Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist from California USA, who pioneered liposuction back in the 1980's, performed totally under local anaesthesia. This greatly increases the safety of the procedure and ultimately the results. He is the guru! 

I love doing the procedure and get great satisfaction when patients are very happy with their results. 

Being a trainer at the liposuction workshops and liaising with my peers during these workshops keeps me abreast. They are all inspiring and everyone has tips to share. It's amazing how much we all learn from each other when we get together biannually.

When did you become an ACCS member? Why?
I achieved my FFMACCS (fellowship (medical) with ACCS) at the annual Cosmetex in Hobart 2011. It took me a while after finishing my training to do my exam, hence the delay in achieving my fellowship. Alas, more studying takes it toll when working full time! 

Currently, to perform cosmetic procedures, there are no rules to state that you have to be a member of a college. But I wanted to be part of a body that is ethical and has standards consistent with being a medical practitioner and have the correct training in cosmetic procedures.

What do you see as being the main challenges and opportunities for the ACCS?
The main challenges with ACCS is getting cosmetic medical and surgical practice recognised as a specialty. This is a major challenge and we are faced with some opposition from other surgical colleges.

  ACCS In The Media  

The ACCS engages the services of independent consultants, Blanche de Winter of PURE Communications and the College’s Corporate and Government Affairs Adviser Alan Jones.
Blanche and Alan have again worked closely together during 2015, devising and implementing a media strategy to support the College’s regulatory, educational and member support goals.

The College routinely pitches stories or responds to media requests, which this year have resulted in over 100 stories across TV news, radio, metro and regional newspapers.

This year’s focus has been geared towards increasing membership and registrations for COSMETEX and the ACCS Diploma in Cosmetic Injectables.

Press release topics included injectable safety, regulations (NSW Private Health Facility review), laser safety, and busting cosmetic surgery myths and facts.

Stories featuring the College, its spokespeople  and members appeared in The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun Herald, OK! Magazine, Women’s Health and Fitness, Harper’s Bazaar, SPA+Clinic, Professional Beauty Magazine, Cosmpolitan, The West Australian,, Lifestyle You, RESCU, Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, Shot til you Drop, Australian Doctor, Medical Observer, Medical Republic, Plastic Surgery Hub, Australian Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty magazine, Clinical Aesthetics, Aesthetic Medical Practitioner, NZ Doctor, Sunday Times, Latte Life, and MJA Insight.

As seen in the current issue of Medical Republic.

  MyFaceMyBody Awards  

The inaugural Australasian MyFaceMyBody Awards held at the Hilton, Sydney on 28 November was a sell out event.

It is the only consumer awards dedicated to the cosmetic and aesthetic industry to recognise and reward brands for their product innovation and popularity. Clinics were also rewarded for exceptional experiences and outstanding service to their consumers.

The awards welcomed leading industry professionals, consumer brands, journalists and celebrities.

Watch this clip.

  Administration Update  

Reminder of TGA Guidelines Covering Cosmetic Injectables.

It is important that all members advertising cosmetic injectable treatments follow TGA guidelines to avoid incurring significant penalties being imposed.

Definition of an Advertisement

In relation to therapeutic goods, an advertisement is broadly defined as any statement, image or design that is intended to promote a product. This includes promotion in traditional media such as television, radio, newspapers, posters and displays such as those included in surgeries, stores.

It also includes electronic media such as: Websites, emails, blogs, discussion forums, social media.

Advertising Legally

To enable you to continue promoting your services to consumers, while also complying with the law, the TGA has published on its website a list of acceptable general terms that can be used for describe certain cosmetic injections in advertisements. 

Examples of these general phrases include:

  • Cosmetic injections
  • anti-wrinkle injections/treatments
  • injections/treatments for lips.

Failure to comply may lead to significant fines. 

For further information please visit the TGA website

Annual Audit/CME Reports

An online reporting mechanism will be introduced to the College, commencing January 2015 which will allow Fellows to complete their audits from anywhere they have a computer and online access.

It will allow Fellows to cut and paste any existing electronic information and complete the audit at their own pace as the system saves updates.

Christmas / New Year Operating Hours

Our office will be closed from Thursday 24th December and will reopen on Monday 11th January and on behalf of the Administration Team I would like to extend our very best wishes to you and your family for the festive season.

ACCS Footer
ACCS Newsletter Base