ASMOF History


Dr Bevan Stone

Dr Bevan Stone joined ASMOF with his appointment as a Surgeon at Lidcombe Hospital in 1972. As a Fifth Schedule employee, Dr Stone was a public servant. He has a long history of involvement with Public Medical Officers' Association (PMOA), which became ASMOF (NSW) in 1991, and with other associations established to promote liaison between the various salaried medical officer groups across Australia.

Dr Stone was the PMOA Vice President from 1974 - 75. He was President from 1976 to 1977 and Secretary for 5 years from 1979 to 1984. For much of this time, the PMOA was without an office or staff. Dr Stone remained a member of Council from 1985 until his retirement in 1999.

Prior to the Association employing an Industrial Officer, Dr Stone and his predecessors received up to six phone calls a day from PMOA members seeking counsel on their workplace issues.  

'I tried to assist, and to give advice on what to do. I had the assistance of people like Ted Morgan, Keith Harris, Geoff Desgrand and others who had previously been involved. It was a quick learning curve,' Dr Stone said.

Members would request advice about their salary and long service leave entitlements, among other things. Perhaps surprisingly, these remain two of the most common questions asked of ASMOF staff today.

Dr Stone encouraged a buddy system among his colleagues which worked well. A doctor with a problem at work would call his or her group committee member. Then, if the issue remained unresolved, he or she would contact Dr Stone.

Dr Stone attended to all the Federation's incoming and outgoing correspondence. He would make representations on behalf of individual members to the monthly meetings of Council, where it would determine how matters should be progressed. When a matter went to court, Dr Stone instructed solicitors and counsel and often appeared with them before the court. In court, Dr Stone acted on behalf of individuals and in group matters such as award claims.  

'Award claims would start out as drawn out and fruitless negotiations with the relevant employer, followed by a trip to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for an Award Case Hearing. 

'Without fail, the court always doubled what we had originally asked'.

In 1979 the Association leased one of the first "serviced offices" in Sydney; a small three by two meter room above the Bowlers' Club in York Street. Soon afterwards, a temporary secretary was employed for one half day per week. She said she would "see how it goes". Elizabeth Gerrie, Office Manager, was still with the Association 21 years later.

In 1980 Council employed a casual, part time Industrial Officer. With the advent of an Association office, and the presence of an independent industrial representative, members' requirements soon increased. Mr Terry Muldoon, who had experience assisting medical officers within the PSA, was then employed as a full time Industrial Officer.  

'The Federal AMA had sought to proceed down the line of craft groups and wished to include, as one of these, a group of salaried doctors,' Dr Stone said.

Out of this developed the Australian Council of Salaried Medical Officers' Organisation (ACSMOO) which, to some extent, became the nucleus of the now federally registered union of doctors, ASMOF. With Terry, Dr Stone saw the need for a federal union of doctors.

The federal industrial landscape was changing and other unions were seeking to extend their constitutions to include the medical profession. In response, Dr Stone sat down and wrote the constitution for the proposed federal doctors only union.  

'I based it on the Australian Constitution which requires a majority of people in a majority of states to effect change,' he said.

Today, Federal ASMOF represents more than 5000 doctors across Australia. Interestingly, one of the groups who initially opposed registration of the federal union were the first to be afforded its protection when the Kennett government stripped Victoria of its industrial jurisdiction in the early 1990s. 

'The right of private practice for salaried medical officers was another big issue which was often criticised and investigated by Government including the NSW Government Public Accounts Committee and the Pennington Inquiry. Many meetings were held with senior officers of the Australian Taxation Office whilst attempting to get NSW Health to implement an agreed accounting Trust Deed,' said Dr Stone.

This remains an important part of the remuneration package for salaried doctors.

Dr Stone's contribution to the Federation and to the welfare of its members cannot be underestimated. His efforts are remarkable when viewed in light of his full time surgical practice at Lidcombe Hospital.

When asked for his fondest memories, Dr Stone is humble, 'I enjoyed meeting and helping people,' he said. 'It's all a part of medicine'.

Dr Stone retired from ASMOF Council in 1999 after 30 years of involvement.

 

1972 Member, PMOA
1974 - 1975 Vice President, PMOA
1975 Convener of Steering Committee, ACSMOO
1976 - 1977 President, PMOA
1976 - 1978 President, ACSMOO
1978 Councillor, PMOA
1979 Executive Member, ACSMOO
1979 - 1984 Honorary Secretary, PMOA
1980 Secretary/Treasurer, ACSMOO
1981 - 1984 Executive Member, ACSMOO
1984 Steering Committee, Federal ASMOF
1985 - 1988 Vice President, NSW Branch of Federal ASMOF
1985 - 1990 Councillor, PMOA
1991 - 1999 Councillor ASMOF (NSW)
1988 - 1999 Councillor, NSW Branch of Federal ASMOF

Contact Details
Australian Salaried Medical Officers' Federation
Ph:  02 9212 6900
Fax: 02 9212 6911