South Australia State Report – Dr Philippa Harris

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from Luke’s Journal CMDFA 2020 Vol 25 No 1

Things have been a little quiet for CMDFA in South Australia in recent years, so it was a real encouragement to see us formally regenerate a State Committee at the start of 2019.

A group of us had been informally meeting over the previous year to try and get things organised, inspired to see renewed life. So really, 2019 just saw us have a bit more courage under God’s hand, to officially put our hands up and give it a go!

So, what did 2019 look like?

Over the past couple of years we have offered Intern Boot camp early in January, each time run by an outgoing intern, which has been so encouraging for those who have attended. We are definitely keen to continue offering this as a great opportunity for new interns to start out their year, eyes fixed on Jesus, and prepared for what can be a challenging year personally, spiritually and professionally.

In South Australia, our main emphasis in terms of ‘events’, has been on joining together for times of fellowship over a meal. On each occasion there has been the encouragement of seeing old familiar faces, and the delight of welcoming and connecting with students and graduates new to CMDFA. We’ve also used these occasions to hear from a number of different overseas mission workers, using their medical skills to bring the message of hope and healing.

Even during our quieter years, there have continued to be Saline courses offered about twice a year, including a couple held in regional SA locations. A diverse group of health professionals continue to be equipped for sharing their faith through this.

CMDFA SA March meeting.

“There are many here in healthcare in South Australia committed to serving Him, and intentional about how they do this through their profession.”

A student group has been running at Flinders University, and there are also a number of medical and dental student Bible study groups that meet under the banner of AFES on campus at Adelaide Uni, and UniSA. We are still working on how best to provide for students transitioning from University campus Christian groups, into their clinical studies, and then on into early graduate years. Your prayers in this are appreciated.

2019 saw the establishment of our first group meeting specifically for Dentists. It is a delight to see the ‘D’ active in CMDFA in SA!

It is always inspiring to get a sense of the wider National fellowship. Several SA members attended IMPACT and this year’s National Conference in Canberra. We also had the encouragement of meeting with interstate delegates during GP19 – the RACGP’s National Conference, held in Adelaide in 2019. We put out an invite to any CMDFA-ers attending the conference, and shared an informal breakfast, warm fellowship and a time of prayer. In particular there had been a plenary at the conference on Voluntary Assisted Dying so it was helpful to be able to debrief and pray with other kingdomminded colleagues.

At State government level, a submission was made on behalf of CMDFA to the South Australian State Parliament Joint Committee on End of Life choices, with the kind assistance of Dr Megan Best, and the National Office. CMDFA SA contacts were also encouraged to consider supporting a submission to SA State Parliament in regards to the Abortion Law Reform Bill.

When put into writing it is obvious to see that God is at work, and that there are many here in healthcare in South Australia committed to serving Him, and intentional about how they do this through their profession. And yet there is such a sense that there are so many other Christian doctors, dentists and students out there with whom we haven’t yet connected!

Pray for us

We covet your prayers as we continue to seek wisdom for the future, to know what to put our efforts into, with our vision to see more Christian health professionals here in SA experiencing the joy of fellowship, and being encouraged in their journey of integrating faith and practice.

Dr Philippa Harris

Philippa is the current CMDFA SA State Chair, wife, mother of 3, and GP. She lives and works in Gawler. Her connection with CMDFA started with her parents’ enthusiastic involvement! Her personal appreciation of the unique gift that CMDFA brings to Christian fellowship came through attending IMPACT conferences as a student.

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