Global Leadership

The Foundation is proud to play a leading role in supporting improved patient outcomes in plastic and reconstructive surgery both nationally and globally.

Our Education, Research and Innovation activities relate to our work in patient safety through ICOBRA and safer breast implants; our support for other clinical registers; our program for improved wound management in remote communities; our program to improve resilience in young people in relation to body image & self-esteem.

The Foundation is committed to effective use of our resources and a nimble approach to leverage opportunities within these programs in order to benefit patients and the broader community.

Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR)

In 2012, the Foundation initiated and funded the development of the ABDR. In 2014, Monash University was successful in the Commonwealth Government tender to operate the ABDR. It is set up to monitor the safety of implantable breast devices and identify any associated adverse outcomes, enabling:

  • Early identification of poor performing devices
  • Quality of clinical care – to reduce complication rates
  • Risk mitigation
  • Inform best practice guidelines
  • Research

Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery (AJOPS)

This is a joint initiative of the Foundation, ASPS and NZAPS. This on-line journal serves as a platform for the publication and dissemination of plastic and reconstructive surgery related research in the form of research papers, presentations, case studies, letters to the editor, editorials, occasional papers, video library procedures or photo series.

B K Rank Lecture

The Foundation’s annual BK Rank Lecture is held in honour of Sir Benjamin Keith Rank, a world leader in the field of plastic surgery and considered by many to be the father of plastic surgery in Australia. The Foundation invites a distinguished international expert to present the prestigious B K Rank Lecture at a scientific meeting of plastic and reconstructive surgeons.


  • 2013 April, Melbourne
    “Experiences with Face Transplantation” – Dr Julian Pribaz
  • 2014 May, Singapore
    “History of Craniofacial Surgery” – Prof Joseph McCarthy (Englewood, USA)
  • 2015 May, Brisbane
    “Why do we Perform Breast Reconstruction?” – Dr Albert Losken (Emory University, Atlanta, USA)
  • 2016 May, Brisbane
    “Making a Difference in Plastic Surgery – How to Survive and Prosper in Academic Surgery?” – Prof Joseph Gruss (Seattle, USA)
  • 2017 June, Gold Coast
    “Primary Cleft Surgery – Current Treatment Algorithm and Shifts of Paradigm” – Dr Mike Ruttermann (Groningen University Hospital, Netherlands)
  • 2018 May, Sydney
    “Fat grafting: Efficacious but safe? What is the evidence?” –  Dr Rod Rohrich (Dallas, USA)

  • 2019, June, Melbourne
    “Don’t Eat the Marshmallows” & other techniques for optimising patient management: Professor Emerita Nichola Rumsey OBE (UK)

International Collaboration on Breast Registry Activities (ICOBRA)

The Foundation is the birthplace of ICOBRA and in 2013 hosted the official signing of its Memorandum of Understanding between the Foundation and national Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Societies and research institutions, extending the ABDR into international partnerships.

The recall of PIP breast implants from the global market in April 2012 highlighted the urgent need for credible data on a national and global level to provide an early warning system for patients and doctors, and the opportunity for patients to take timely action if required.

The Australian Breast Device Registry and the ICOBRA aim to fill this gap by reliably capturing an agreed minimum dataset based on international best practice.

Patient care is at the heart of both schemes, and the registries have already contributed to improved health outcomes for patients in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

ICOBRA has developed a framework for the establishment of clinical quality registries and through the Australian Breast Device Registry experience it has disseminated the registry design information to the ICOBRA network and member countries.

Australia’s ABDR experience, shared through the ICOBRA network, ensures cost-effective start-up for similar registries across the world. The embedded collaboration of ICOBRA represents a significant financial benefit by not having to revisit much of the early and very costly aspects of registry establishment.

To date, through the vehicle of ICOBRA, the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery has designed and distributed free of charge a minimum dataset form and a comprehensive data dictionary and has also offered registry design expertise pro bono to all participating countries.

The transfer of knowledge between different sectors (manufacturers, academia, and healthcare) will cooperatively lead to innovations to the benefit of the patients.


Current Members of ICOBRA:

National specialty plastic surgery societies from: Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA;  as well as major national bodies, research institutions and regulators: UK’s National Health Service, USFDA, Saudi Arabia FDA; Monash University, Australia; American Plastic Surgery Foundation, ISHCERF, Breast Surgeons ANZ and the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery.


Guiding Principles:

At the heart of the ICOBRA agreement is the core ethic and commitment to improving patient outcomes. This is facilitated by encouraging a collaborative approach to sharing registry science and registry data and by supporting emerging and existing breast device registries to enhance their effectiveness.

ICOBRA aims to provide an enabling environment to bring together a critical mass of stakeholders who are, in one or another way, involved with breast devices, including plastic surgeons, related health professionals, patient representatives, and administrative staff, and regulators, researchers of different fields, manufacturers, healthcare providers and government.


International Confederation of Plastic Surgery Societies (ICOPLAST)

The International Confederation of Plastic Surgery Societies is a confederation of national plastic surgery societies representing almost 20,000 plastic surgeons across 58 countries.

The Confederation aims to improve patient outcomes worldwide and educate, communicate, advocate and advance the specialty of plastic surgery globally. The not-for-profit organisation also works to encourage collaboration of national plastic surgery societies worldwide, to ensure that quality and safety are the essential components of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery training and patient care.

ICOPLAST is currently overseen by former Australasian Foundation for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Chairman Professor Rodney Cooter AM. Professor Cooter provided the thought leadership and strategy for the initial establishment of Foundation and, since 2013, Professor Cooter has chaired nine ICOBRA summits and serves as the current President of ICOPLAST.

For more information visit

International Registrar Program

In collaboration with Interplast Australia and New Zealand, we offer an annual grant to support a plastic and reconstructive surgery trainee to travel as an observer to an Interplast medical aid mission.

The program highlights the importance of international outreach through the provision of medical aid and encourages voluntary service and future engagement with disadvantaged communities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The inaugural grant recipient was Dr Sarah Tolerton, from Sydney. Dr Tolerton joined an Interplast mission to Laos in February 2017 supporting patients in need of cleft repair and trauma reconstruction, as well as those suffering acute burns and scars.

“Plastic surgery restores hope by improving self-esteem and rebuilds life by restoring appearance and function. I feel privileged to be equipped with the skills to provide such a service to my own community and couldn’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to travel with the Interplast team to Laos to observe and learn how they offer such hope and life to people in our neighbouring regions.”
Dr Tolerton

Dr Carly Fox, Queensland, received the 2018 grant. We asked her what were the mostrewarding aspects of being involved in an Interplast program? 

“First and foremost was being involved with the Interplast team. The combined experience of the individuals I travelled with is absolutely incredible – over 100 years of time contributed between them. I couldn’t think of a better team to have been linked in with and can only aspire to be a part of something like that later on.
Dr Fox


If you are interested in getting involved or finding out about any of our work in Global Leadership, please contact us.