AGES: Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery Society
When Drs. Dan O’Connor and Ossie Petrucco, along with a group of enthusiastic laparoscopists Down Under established the Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery Society (AGES) in 1990, they could not have predicted that it would grow to become the premier gynaecological surgical society in Australia and New Zealand. AGES now has some 800 members, which is 1/3 of the total Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Since its inception, AGES has provided outstanding international conferences and educational events with annual scientific meetings, a pelvic floor symposium, and an annual focus meeting. The Society has refined and redefined itself over time with successive boards contributing to its direction and improvements, leading to the current board proposing and ratifying the AGES mission:
AGES aims to improve the health and quality of life of women. Its members come together to advance gynaecological surgery and associated fields by providing education, training, research opportunities, standardisation and innovation.
More than a decade ago, AGES commenced working on a complete two-year, standardized Fellowship training program in MIS and this was realized with our first intake of trainees in 2012. Since then, we have graduated 34 Fellows in MIS with 15 registered training sites across the region. A significant part of the Fellowship training program includes a compulsory research component. AGES is recognized as a major research sponsor, proudly supporting research in gynaecological surgery for more than 15 years, with more than 70 projects supported to date.
AGES members have access not only to our regular meetings, but to educational resources such as our women’s health series—video productions for our patients on common procedures—as well as instructional videos for surgeons. Our members can take advantage of SurgicalPerformance, an electronic self-audit program with a robust comparative database and the capacity to evaluate surgical outcomes in association with colleagues world-wide. With cadaveric workshops for advanced anatomy and procedural training, access to training workshops, loyalty discounts on membership, and exclusive access for members, our Society packs a big punch for gynaecological surgeons.
Recent innovations include our Interactive Hubs—hands-on educational sessions embedded into the main program of our annual scientific meeting, where members increase their practical skills and improve healthcare for our patients through small group tutorials with industry partners in our trade area. Digital Communications Sessions (DCS) bring the visuals of surgery, the information of research, and the innovation of presentation into one platform for a unique opportunity to provide information to members. Since 2016, AGES have had an exchange lecture program with the AAGL where the best presentation is selected from some 120 free communications to be presented at the AAGL Global Congress—a landmark venture that is enormously popular with our Fellows in MIS and young Fellows.
For many years AGES has held collaborative meetings with partner organizations from all over the world including a very successful meeting in 2009 in Brisbane with the AAGL. AGES’ board members have proudly represented our society and our region on the AAGL board, the JMIG editorial team, and AAGL committees. We look forward to continuing our long-held association into the future. As we head toward our 30th birthday, AGES is truly in the prime of its life. Mature, strong, focused, and fantastically educated, it is a Society with a proud history and clear future. If you plan to visit Down Under, look us up our website www.ages.com.au for a chance to meet and say hello in person!