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2020 College award winners

The College is extremely proud of all of this year’s winners, from those who have dedicated their lives to psychiatry through innovation, mentorship and improved patient care; to those undertaking ground-breaking research to
transform mental health care; to those in training showing incredible potential and positivity for the future of psychiatry.

Honorary Fellowship of the RANZCP

The Honorary Fellowship of the RANZCP recognises exceptional and prominent contributions to psychiatry and mental health by a person who does not otherwise qualify for Fellowship.

Award winner: Ms Caro Swanson

The RANZCP is proud to award Caro Swanson, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui Principal Advisor Mental Health and Service User Lead, Honorary Fellowship of the RANZCP for her influential work in mental health systems and services. Ms Swanson has worked in mental health for more than 20 years in a variety of consumer and peer roles. 

Ms Swanson’s nomination for Honorary Fellowship was submitted by RANZCP Fellows Dr John Crawshaw and Dr Susanna Every-Palmer, who commended Ms Swanson for her effectiveness over the years, engaging clinicians in understanding the experiences of people accessing services and what clinicians can do to enhance this experience.

On being awarded the Honorary Fellowship Ms Swanson said she was absolutely flabbergasted but very honoured.

“To be awarded for doing something you believe in so strongly is incredibly validating. I appreciate, more than anything, the valuing of lived experience this implies and feel it heralds a strengthened resolve and enthusiasm for working together more effectively.”

The College Medal of Honour 

The College Medal of Honour is the RANZCP’s highest and most prestigious award. It is presented for distinguished and meritorious service to the College, to a RANZCP Fellow who has given a minimum of ten years’ active service in organisational and/or administrative areas of the RANZCP.

Award winner: Professor Bruce Singh

Professor Singh has contributed extensively to the profession over many years with great distinction as an outstanding health leader, innovator, reformer, administrator, mentor, academic and clinician.

Professor Singh has consulted for governments and was Chief Policy Adviser, helping to develop an academic strategy for public psychiatry and contributing to the National Mental Health Policy, while being active in the RANZCP as a member of General Council, Censor, and Chair of the Fellowships Board.

Professor Singh has been awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM), the Meritorious Service Award of the Victorian Branch of the RANZCP, and the Victorian Minister’s Award for outstanding achievement by an individual in mental healthcare.

Professor Singh has been a tireless teacher and mentor for trainees over four decades and is an inspiration to many psychiatrists and mental health professionals. He has given enormous service to the College in administrative and organisational areas of psychiatry, benefiting generations of Fellows.

The College Citation

Established in 1986, the College Citation honours special service to the RANZCP or psychiatry.

Award winner: Associate Professor Josephine Beatson

Associate Professor Beatson is a Clinical Associate Professor (honorary) in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and Senior Clinical Advisor at Spectrum Personality Disorder Service for Victoria.

Since Spectrum’s beginnings in 1999, Associate Professor Beatson’s work there has aimed to improve clinical understandings, access to treatment and treatment effectiveness for borderline personality disorder (BPD) in Victoria and Australia-wide.

Associate Professor Beatson has shown enormous dedication and commitment as a clinician, researcher, teacher and advocate for better treatment options, and has contributed substantially to changing negative community and professional attitudes towards patients with BPD.

Having made a significant impact on this area of psychiatry, both locally and nationally, Associate Professor Beatson is a deserving recipient of the College Citation.

Award winner: Associate Professor Ruth Vine

Associate Professor Vine has shown significant leadership in public mental health in Victoria for more than two decades.

In 2020, Associate Professor Vine was appointed by the Australian Government as its first-ever Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health.

Her contribution to the College has been invaluable, particularly in her role as a member of the Victorian Branch Committee, the Committee for Examinations, and as a reviewer for College journals.

Given her far-reaching and broad input to the psychiatric sector in Victoria, Associate Professor Vine is held in the highest regard by the College and is a most worthy and meritorious recipient of the RANZCP College Citation. 

The Ian Simpson Award

This award honours ANZCP foundation member Dr Ian Simpson, and acknowledges the most outstanding contribution to clinical psychiatry through service to patients and the community.

Award winner: Dr Douglas Bell

Dr Bell, or ‘Doug’ as he is known throughout Forensicare (the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health) and the state’s correctional system, has been at the heart of prisoner mental health care for 25 years.

He remains the most senior prison psychiatrist in Victoria and has the respect and admiration of both clinical and custodial staff at every level. This reflects his integrity, calm demeanour, compassion and considered approach to his profession.

In addition to supporting and leading Forensicare’s input into the expansion of prison-based mental health services, Dr Bell has been a steady influence during times of serious incident including prison suicides and patient-on-patient homicides at high-security hospitals.

Working in extremely challenging environments, Dr Bell’s unwavering determination to provide the best possible care for the most marginalised, demonised and mentally unwell people in our society is an inspiration.

The Maddison Medallion

The Maddison Medallion was established in 1968 to recognise and encourage excellence in the study of psychiatry. It is awarded annually to the candidate who has performed most meritoriously throughout the RANZCP Fellowship training and examination process.

Award winner: Dr Claire Keating

The College would like to congratulate Dr Keating for her hard work and dedication throughout the training program, resulting in this well-deserved award.

The Margaret Tobin Award

Named in honour of the late Dr Margaret Tobin, this award is made to the RANZCP Fellow who has made the most significant contribution to administrative psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand over the preceding five years.

Award winner: Professor Tarun Bastiampillai 

Professor Tarun Bastiampillai has been awarded the RANZCP Margaret Tobin Award for his far-reaching, influential, and constructive contributions to reforming administrative psychiatry.

In response to historically high emergency department wait times in South Australia’s psychiatric system, Professor Bastiampillai dedicated the last five years of his career to a steadily building campaign for systemic change. As Clinical Director at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) in 2014, Professor
Bastiampillai was able to resolve the issue of prolonged ED wait times for psychiatric patients. Based on this success, in 2015 he was appointed South Australian (SA) Health Executive Director of Mental Health Strategy and was asked to lead the state-wide strategic response to this major psychiatric crisis.

Professor Bastiampillai has a particular strength in understanding and implementing expert leadership models: essential to providing excellent patient care. His expertise in mental health leadership, evidence-based bed numbers, data linkage and analysis, clinical care, research, advocacy, and professional and community service make him a most worthy recipient of this award.

The Mark Sheldon Prize

The Mark Sheldon Prize was established by the family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr Mark Sheldon. The Prize recognises noteworthy contributions to Indigenous mental health in either Australia or New Zealand.

Award winner: Dr Donna-Mareé Meteria Clarke Coleman

Dr Donna-Mareé Meteria Clarke Coleman is a first-generation Māori doctor in her whānau (family) and her whakapapa (genealogy links) to the Maketū region in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, New Zealand. Her iwi (tribe) is Te Arawa and when staying in New Zealand she lives in her hau kainga (true homelands), strongly connected to her Marae Whakaue. She has always been strongly connected to her Māoritanga (Māori culture, traditions and way of life) and wairuatanga (spirituality).

She is highly respected by her peers in both New Zealand and Australia. She has worked tirelessly in this area for over two decades and continues to make significant progress in indigenous wellbeing health.

Dr Clarke is a current active member of the committee for examinations and she has been instrumental in the development of relevant cultural and indigenous content for the OSCE stations for clinical examinations and trainees. She is true leader and leads by example in the indigenous space both for the College and the many indigenous communities that she served.

Dr Clarke continues to provide significant contribution to both indigenous advocacies within the College and within the many communities that she has served. Her contribution to psychiatry in general, indigenous advancement and wellbeing makes her a meritorious recipient of this prestigious award. 

Award winner: Dr Bruce Gynther

Dr Bruce Gynther has made noteworthy contributions both in relation to service provision and to research for indigenous mental health in Australia.

Dr Gynther worked as a consultant psychiatrist for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service since 2001. He was the Clinical Director of the Cairns Base Hospital Psychiatric Inpatient Unit from 2001 to 2006 where he was held in high esteem and demonstrated a sensitivity and diligence to patient care despite the ongoing demands for psychiatric beds and the frequent 110% occupancy rates.

Dr Gynther set an example of how to apply a true biopsychosocial and culturally sensitive approach to indigenous patient care, as well as providing leadership skills and demonstrating how to work and communicate effectively with both staff and patients from a diverse range of backgrounds. He could recognise and foster the best within registrars, inspiring them and helping them to go on to make their own contributions to psychiatry, to contribute positively to indigenous mental health. Dr Gynther continues to provide supervision and peer support to remote area psychiatrists working with indigenous populations. In this way, his contribution will no doubt sustain itself well beyond his own career, and beyond the borders of Far North Queensland, and Australia.

The RANZCP Senior Research Award

Established in 1978 to recognise excellence in research in psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand, the RANZCP Senior Research Award is presented to the Fellow/s who has made the most significant contribution to psychiatric research in Australia and New Zealand over the preceding five years.

Award winner: Professor Phillipa Hay

In the past five years Professor Hay has been an international leader of psychiatric research in the field of eating disorders and has made a major contribution to the research conducted in Australia. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications since 2015, with the majority as senior author. She has given multiple plenary addresses at leading international and national meetings, including at the most prestigious conference in the field – the Eating Disorders Research Society. She is a highly cited author as demonstrated by her Scopus h-index of 49.

In addition to her personal research program, her leadership in the field of research is exemplified by her position as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Eating Disorders. She has made significant advancements with the journal and its Scopus CiteScore of 2.81 now places it third in the field.

Professor Hay’s work on research programs in the evidence base for treatments in eating disorders, the analytic epidemiology of eating disorders and the interface between these disorders and metabolic and weight disorders were the basis of her application for this award, which demonstrated the impact and import of the science and exemplified the multifaceted and capacity-building characteristics of her research program.


The RANZCP Early Career Psychiatrist Award

The RANZCP Early Career Psychiatrist Award was established in 1979 to encourage and promote research in psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand. It is presented to the Fellow (who is within five years of obtaining their primary specialist qualification) or registrar who has contributed the most significant paper published in the past two years.

Award winner: Dr Philip Mosley

Dr Mosley currently works as a member of the deep brain stimulation team at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation and as a clinical research fellow at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Dr Mosley has a strong interest in academic psychiatry and submitted his PhD in computational neuroscience and neuroimaging in 2019. He is the chief investigator in a study of the neuropsychiatric effects of DBS for Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Mosley’s PhD addressed an important clinical question often seen in the liaison sector, namely the impulsive behaviours of some patients with Parkinson’s disease, which often arise as part of the neurodegenerative process, but can also be triggered by pharmacological and neurostimulation therapy.

A remarkable 11 papers arose directly from this dissertation, of which Dr Mosley was first or equal first on ten. This body of work integrates neuropsychiatry, appraisal of caregiver burden, behavioural assays and advanced neuroimaging. Crucially, the work was guided by Dr Mosley’s own clinical insights.

The principal paper arising from Dr Mosley’s work, The structural connectivity of discrete networks underlies impulsivity and gambling in Parkinson’s disease by Mosley et al, was published in the prestigious journal, Brain.

The Scholarly Project Award

The Scholarly Project Award was established in 2017 and recognises the most meritorious Scholarly Project for the prior calendar year. 

Award winner: Dr Saul Felber

Dr Felber’s original and relevant Impaired functioning in young people with borderline personality disorder features: A systematic review earned him the Scholarly Project Award for 2020.

The Lived Experience Australia Award for Best Practice in Consumer and Carer Inclusion

The Lived Experience Australia Award for Best Practice in Consumer and Carer Inclusion is awarded to the psychiatry trainee who has submitted the best reflection following completion of all five Collaboration, Communication and Cooperation between Health Professionals online modules in Learnit.

Award winner: Dr Sally Sinclair

Up against a large field, trainee Dr Sally Sinclair impressed the selection panel with her thoughtful reflection on areas of improvement in her clinical practice that would support a more positive experience for mental health care consumers.

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2020 subspecialty award and grant winners page
Membership milestones for 25, 40 and 50 year Fellows