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Special Interest Groups

  Background  6. Annual Meeting
 1. Current SIGs  7. Role at ASM
 2. Membership  8. Reporting
 3. Role  9. Establishment of a new SIG
 4. Structure  10. List of SIG Convenors
 5. Communication   Summary


The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have a valuable role for the Society. They are the by-product of considerable thought, consultation and discussion by TSANZ members who wish to further the development of new knowledge and practice in that particular area of expertise.

1. The current TSANZ Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

As our Society has grown in recent times, the number and types of SIGs have likewise expanded. It is important that each SIG is approved by the Board and is created according to the Constitution.

When a member renews his or her membership or when a new person joins, the process requests that the Special Interest Groups the person is interested in are appropriately marked. This information is then stored in the data base. The Secretary on the Board is the key liaison for SIGs and assists with SIG issues and enquiries.

All SIG convenors are sent a list of the members of their SIG and email addresses and updated lists will be sent as required.

The following SIG's are currently established:

  1. Asthma and Allergy
  2. Cell Biology and Immunology
  3. COPD
  4. Cystic Fibrosis
  5. Evidence-Based Medicine and Practice
  6. Interventional Pulmonology
  7. Lung Cancer
  8. Occupational and Environmental Health, Population Health
  9. OLIV
  10. Pulmonary Physiology and sleep
  11. Respiratory Infectious Diseases
  12. Tobacco and related substances
  13. Paediatric
  14. Physiotherapy
  15. Primary Care
  16. Respiratory Nurses
  17. Rural and Regional

2. Membership of SIGs

All financial members of the TSANZ are entitled to be a member of a SIG. TSANZ members can be a voting member of two SIGs and a member of another two SIGs. On joining the TSANZ and at each membership renewal the individual will be asked to nominate, confirm or change the membership of the SIGs by nominating four SIGs ranked one to four.

3. The role of an SIG

  1. The general aim of SIG's relating to common disease/ public health/ research is to:
    1. Foster research collaboration and exchange of information among health care professionals and scientists within a common defined area of interest; and
    2. perform the following other key roles:
    3. Contribute to the development and staging of scientific sessions at the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)
    4. Provide advice and support to the Board, Branch Executives, Standing Sub-committees and any other sub-committees formed by TSANZ
    5. Advocate on behalf of the members of each SIG member for new ideas, activities and directions that may require Board support
    6. Provide advice to the Respiratory and Sleep Training Committee on appropriate issues as determined by the Committee
    7. Support the National Executive on matters relating to press releases and other media matters
    8. Keep the broader membership of the TSANZ aware of their activities through regular communication to the membership (see details in section on communication below).
  2. The general aim of other SIG's is to:
    1. Empower the professional SIGs within our Society to enhance their identity and those areas specific to their professional area. This involves, but is not limited to:
      1. promoting education; and
      2. fostering research collaboration and exchange of information among all health care professionals and scientist's involved in this professional area; and
    2. perform the following other key roles:
      1. all of the roles listed in By-Law (a) (ii) of TSANZ Constitution
      2. Provide specific professional representation of members on appropriate Board sub-committees
      3. Provide advice to appropriate sub-committees with respect to position papers, consensus statements and key issues
      4. Advocate to the Board on all matters which are specific to the professional role of the SIG members that require support by the Board to external agencies.

4. Terms of reference and structure of the SIGs

Structure of the SIGs

  • SIGs will have one or two convenors with the choice of one or two being left to the members of the SIG. There will also be a corresponding number of Deputy Convenors. Convenors and Deputy Convenors will be elected at the ASM. The details of all Convenors and Deputy Convenors will be forwarded to the Secretary for noting by the TSANZ Board.
  • The SIGs are not fund holders so there is no need for any Treasury functions. However if SIGs wish to pursue projects, activities and/or communication activities they are encouraged to put forward the proposal and projected budget to the Secretary and this will then be discussed with the Treasurer and the Board as needed. Legitimate costs incurred in meeting the functions of a SIG will be refunded by the TSANZ Treasurer.
  • In practice, it is preferable for only office holders to be convenors and for SIGs to form informal groups or working parties to address specific issues as they arise.

Election of Convenors

  • The position of convenor can be held for two years. A deputy convenor should also be elected each two years, with a view to succession into the convenor role at the end of the two year period. Thus, a person would fill a role of deputy convenor for two years, followed by convenor for the next two years. If an election is necessary, this will be by first-past-the-post election to fill the vacancies and would be held at the ASM.

5. Communication Strategies for the SIGs

Communication strategies for SIGs is vital. These will include strategies for communication between:

  • the SIGs and the Board
  • the SIGs and the membership of TSANZ
  • members of the SIG

SIGs and the Board

The Board has endorsed the role of the Secretary as the liaison person between the SIGs and the Board. Any matters relating to SIGs can be brought to the Board through the Secretary. If a SIG is asked by other individuals or groups to speak on behalf of the TSANZ on any issue, this will need to be forwarded to the Board (via the Secretary). These issues will be considered out of session by Board members as required to ensure timely responses. Any decisions arising from matters brought to the Board by the Secretary on behalf of the SIGs will be communicated to the convenor of the respective SIG no later than 2 weeks after the Board meeting. If critical then a telephone or email Board meeting could be held. If a SIG is planning to run an educational activity under the auspices/banner of the TSANZ it will need to jointly communicated with the Secretary and the Chair of the Central Programming Committee to ensure it meets the standards that have been established.

SIGs and the membership of TSANZ

 The TSANZ Newsletter and E News are available for sharing SIG achievements and updates.

Communication within SIGs

The Board of the TSANZ is keen to promote the role of the SIGs between ASMs, and therefore the Board and office will support regular communication with members via the TSANZ website, emails, a SIG Enews sheet, and, where appropriate, the TSANZ newsletter. Communication with members 3-4 times a year is encouraged, and the TSANZ will support regular teleconferences between SIG members as required to ensure this.


6. SIG Annual Meeting

The SIGs should meet annually in association with the ASM of the Society. The Chair of the CPS, in consultation with the ASM Local Organising Committee, will allocate a suitable time for the SIGs on the agenda. SIG meetings are open to all members of the TSANZ, whether a nominated SIG member or not. All financial TSANZ members who are members of the respective SIG and have nominated it as their number one or number two SIG are entitled to vote at the SIG meeting. Election of Convenor(s) and Deputy Convenor(s) will take place at this meeting. All members are entitled to stand for election as Convenor or Deputy Convenor. The exact format of the meeting is to be determined by the SIG. Issues that should be addressed include: activity over the past year, current tasks and projects, collaborations, networking and future priorities and activities. Minutes of the SIG and the result of elections should be taken and made available to all members of the SIG and to the Board via the Secretary.

7. The role of SIGs at the ASM

The SIGs play an important role in aiding the organization of the ASM.

  1. Identification of areas of interest and priority for plenary and other major sessions
    1. Proposals for guest speakers or content of part of the ASM will be considered and acted upon by the Central Program Sub-committee
    2. Factors considered will include the available time, appropriateness to the overall program and balance in meeting the needs of various SIGs
    3. The final decisions regarding program content will be the responsibility of the Central Program Sub-committee
  2. Organisation of one or more SIG sessions. These may be based on invited speakers, original research or a combination of the two.
  3. Review of abstracts submitted that pertain to each SIG
  4. Nomination of a SIG member to facilitate poster discussion as needed.

8. Official Reporting

Each SIG will produce a brief report summarising its activity that will be presented to the Board at its Annual General Meeting. At least one of the Convenors of each SIG should attend the collective SIG convenors meeting at the ASM. Mid year the Secretary will also call for a brief report on activities to be presented to the Board to ensure good communication between the SIGs and the Board.

9. Process of Establishment of a new SIG

A proposal for the establishment of a new SIG should be put, in the first instance, to the Secretary who will place this before the Board.

The criteria that need to be satisfied are:

  • That the SIG be focused on an area of important activity for the TSANZ and consistent with the Society’s Constitution
  • That the interest shown in the new SIG be sufficient to establish prima facie viability
  • That there not be major overlap with an existing SIG
  • That there are at least ten members of the TSANZ willing to join the SIG at the time of submission and thereafter by virtue of registration following annual subscriptions.
  • A Convenor or Convenors for the new SIG will initially be appointed by the Board subject to election by the SIG membership at the next TSANZ ASM.
  • To remain viable a SIG must have at least 10 voting members after its first year and comply with the above guidelines.

10. List of Current SIG Convenors

List: click here


Asthma and Allergy SIG

Convenors:  Andre Schultz and Peter Noble

Deputy Convenors:  Vanessa Murphy and Jodie Simpson


Cell Biology/Immunology SIG

Convenor: Sandra Hodge 

Deputy Convenor: Anthony Kicic


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) SIG

Convenors: Steven Bozinovski and Peter Wark ​

Deputy Convenors: Christopher Worsnop and Sukhwinder Sohal ​


Cystic Fibrosis SIG

Convenor: Hugh Greville (Adult)

Convenor: Sarath Ranganathan (Paediatric)


Evidence-Based Medicine and Practice SIG

Convenor: Kristin Carson

Deputy Convenor: Ghulam Sarwar


Interventional Pulmonary / Bronchology SIG

Convenor: Peter Hopkins

Deputy Convenor: Jonathan Williamson​


Lung Cancer SIG

Convenor: Daniel Steinfort

Convenor: Alistair Miller


Occupational & Environmental Lung Disease / Population Health SIG

Convenor: Ryan Hoy

Deputy Convenor: Graeme Zosky



Convenor - Helen Whitford

Deputy Convenor - Tamera Corte


Paediatric SIG

Convenor: Andrew Tai

Deputy Convenors: Adelaide Withers and Nitin Kapur

Physiotherapy SIG

Convenor: Christian Osadnik

Deputy Convenor: Vinicius Cavalheri​


Primary Care SIG

ConvenorJuliet Foster

Deputy Convenor: Smita Shah


Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep SIG

Convenor: Claude Farah

Deputy Convenor: Alan Young


Respiratory Infectious Diseases SIG

Convenor: Andrew Burke 

Deputy Convenor: Geraint Rogers


Respiratory Nurses SIG

Australian Convenor: Anastasia Hutchinson

New Zealand Convenor: Deborah Box


Rural & Regional SIG:


Tobacco and Related Substances SIG

Convenor: Brian Smith

Deputy Convenor:  Johnson George




The key principles the TSANZ Board is pursuing for SIGs are:

  1. Inclusion within the governance structure of the TSANZ
  2. Support for important SIG roles and responsibilities from the TSANZ Board, including financial support when appropriate
  3. Clear communication pathways between the SIGs and the Board through the Secretary.
  4. Clear communication strategies between SIG members, facilitated by the TSANZ office where necessary, and between SIGs and the broader TSANZ membership.
  5. Empowering of SIGs to fulfil their roles and responsibilities, while at the same time maintaining governance of this process, to ensure equity, transparency, and the best interest of the members of the TSANZ.


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