Dr Andrew Binns

GPSpeak has now reached a milestone in the life of any publication – this issue marks the 25th year of our quarterly editions… a ton of magazines in every sense of the word.

In line with changing technologies we have gone from 8-page black and white versions to 32-page colour and online versions today. Publication dates have been timed in accordance with the seasons of the year. Cover designs have ranged from clinical images through infographics to portraits and stunning photos such as Stephen Moore’s picture of the Moon for this issue, and Frank Hurley’s extraordinary shot of Shackleton’s ice-bound vessel in the previous issue.

As the magazine’s unofficial archivist I have saved copies of every issue and occasionally delve into them to look up some historical event within our GP culture. A lot of clinical articles are mixed in with medical politics, opinion pieces and general interest stories.

Over this time we have had five editors: Hilton Koppe, the late Katherine Breen Kuruczev, Aaron Bertram, Janet Grist and now Robin Osborne. They have been well supported by an active editorial committee and a wide range of contributors.

GP Speak is truly a team effort and an important part of that team are our valued advertisers, without whom we would not be able to meet expenses. Our extensive circulation, in both printed form and online, and our prime readership, present excellent value for their promotional outlay. We thank them for their support.

Over the years we have taken up various issues of relevance and even lobbied politicians, including Tony Abbott when he was Health Minister. Sitting under a tree at the Casino Hospital with Tony in his lycra ‘pollie peddle’ outfit, we successfully negotiated a deal to allow GP training registrars from urban areas to do some of their training in a rural area such as ours. This was in response to the desperate need to address our GP workforce crisis.

Indigenous health and its close relationship to culture has been a subject of particular interest. All local GPs have Aboriginal patients, and many of us work either part or full time in Aboriginal Medical Services. GP Speak will continue its commitment to covering this important subject.

This newsletter-turned-magazine has played a key part as the voice of GPs in the Northern Rivers. It has helped us work as a united group dedicated to serving our community. Many names mentioned in that first 1994 edition are still providing primary care leadership today. Up and coming GPs and allied health professionals will hopefully be inspired to pen articles and sustain the magazine’s reputation for fairness, incisive and informative articles, and relevance to the unique society that we call the Northern Rivers.