About Us

Austin Northern Surgical Association  


ANSA is the trainee-led association of the Austin-Northern Surgical training hub.


ANSA, formerly known as the Austin Surgical Trainees Education Commitee (ASTEC), was established in 2016, which has since grown to incorporate our Northern trainees in its expanding community.

The committee was created initially as a means to fulfil three main roles:


  • Provide a platform to foster non-technical competences espoused by the RACS, such as communication, collaboration and teamwork, management of leadership, professionalism and ethics, health advocacy, and scholarship and teaching.
  • Generate a consciousness of charity and instill the ethos of giving back to the community from which trainees benefited.
  • Develop a counter-balance to surgical supervisors by creating a community of trainees that would advocate for trainees and hold the future supervisors and institutions accountable

ANSA has since grown into a vibrant community with now over 50 active members from JDOCS to SET trainees. In addition to its primary roles aforementioned, the agenda for 2021 includes:

  • Welcome Session
  • Education Program: comprehensive program which includes tutorials, simulations, Fellow Exam Preparation Workshop
  • SET application workshop and interview practice
  • Access to private assisting opportunities
  • Gratias Cena dinner

We welcome all to the ANSA community.

For more information or if you had any questions, please contact us.

Meet the Team


Matthew Ng

Matthew Ng is a post-exams SET5 surgical registrar currently working at Bendigo Health. He has interests in colorectal surgery and oncoplastic breast surgery, and is looking to explore these interests through fellowships in the future.


He is passionate in improving and expanding the scope and activities of ANSA and is actively working to improve the success and welfare of the trainees of the Austin Northern Training Hub.


Outside of medicine, he enjoys playing badminton and has previously played viola with Corpus Medicorum, the doctor’s orchestra of Melbourne.

Co-Deputy Chair

Georgina Riddough

Dr. Georgina Riddough is a surgical registrar who recently completed a PhD in tumour recurrence in the regenerating liver post hepatectomy.


George is passionate about clinical research, surgical  education and in the future hopes to see ANSA expand its role in trainee wellbeing.


George  recently spoke to The Time Out podcast about all things surgery including flexible working  arrangements for all surgical trainees.

Co-Deputy Chair

Steve Kunz

Dr. Steve Kunz is a senior general surgical trainee with an interest in upper GI/thoracic surgery, trauma, critical care and surgical education. He is a clinical lecturer with the University of Melbourne, RACS EMST instructor, and has taught in Timor Leste.


He has undertaken successful research projects in optimising critical surgical outcomes, trauma education in medical students, and the epidemiology of pancreatitis. He is also passionate about improving the wellbeing of trainees as they progress, and is a staunch advocate of flexible training.


Outside of work he enjoys cooking, rock-climbing, and spending time with his cats (and spouse).


Zarif Yahya

Dr. Zarif Yahya is the current Deputy Chair of ANSA and a SET 5 general registrar. He is one of the colorectal registrars at the Austin, doing flexible training in 2021. He is an advocate for trainee well-being and worklife balance in surgical training.

Outside of surgery he enjoys running, playing soccer and spending time with his wife and 4 year old daughter.


Nelson Chen

Dr. Nelson Chen the current Secretary of ANSA and a SET 4 general surgical registrar. He will be rotating through Northern Hospital and Echuca Regional Health throughout 2022.

Outside of medicine he enjoys playing badminton, exploring places to eat and has an interest in photography.

Sponsorship Officers

Candyce Cheng

Dr Candyce Cheng is a GSET 1 general surgical registrar. She will be rotating through Alice Springs Hospital and Burnie throughout 2022. 
As a newly minted general surgical trainee with two young daughters, she is a strong advocate for women in surgery and support for active family planning whilst in training. 
There are many things she enjoys outside medicine, but currently all activities are replaced by spending quality time with the young family. 

Patrick Tang

Dr Patrick Tang is a NSET surgical trainee, c0-leading our sponsorship team this year. 

Gratias Cena Convenors

Sonia Gill

Roshini Nadarajah

Sara Mohammed Jinnaah

Dr Sonia Gill is a pre-SET surgical registrar with a keen interest in colorectal surgery & surgical service provision in regional/rural communities. 

She is passionate about global health, stemming from a trauma elective in South Africa; trainee well-being & medical education of junior doctors and medical students. As the co-chair of VERITAS 2022, Sonia is also a strong advocate for collaborative trainee-led research. 

In her free time, Sonia enjoys cooking, running, F45 training & pole fitness.

Dr Roshini Nadaraja is a NSET surgical registrar with special interest in rural and colorectal surgery. She spent one year rotating through Northwest Regional Hospital as a NSET trainee in 2020/2021. She advocates for work life balance and prioritises mental well-being in surgical training.Outside work, she enjoys being active with activities such as cycling, hiking, running and swimming and has recently ventured into the journey of becoming a triathlete!

Dr. Sara Jinnaah is SET3 General Surgical Registrar. Currently working with the Vascular Unit at the Austin Hospital. She is interested in Trauma surgery, Teaching and Trainee wellbeing. 

Outside of work, Sara enjoys the constant entertainment of parenting a 5 year old, travelling and tea (the beverage)!


Education Officers – Northern Hospital 

  • Matt Marino – 1st half
  • Nastassia Shulman – 1st half
  • Tess Howard – 2nd half
  • David Chung – 2nd half 


Education Officers – Austin Health

  • Daniel Cox – 1st half
  • Amar Lakhani – 1st half 
  • Basilie Teoh – 2nd half 
  • Maneesha de Silva


Fellowship Exam Coordinator

  • TBD


RACSTA Representative

  • Nick Lyons

Alumni Coordinator 

  • TBD


Social Media Coordinator

  • Frank Luo
  • Hamish Morgan


Website / IT Officer

  • Abid Khan


Laminas Editors

  • Simon Bennett
  • Tatiana Hitchen


Membership Officers

  • Victoria Jenkins
  • Wael Jamel

Welfare Officer 

  • Dora Huang
  • Maneka Britto


GSA Representative

  • Jason Wong


Private Surgical Assistant Coordinator 

  • Carlos Cabalag
  • Hein Maung


NSET Selective Interview Practice

  • Candyce Cheng
  • Sonia Gill