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2020 subspecialty award and grant winners

The College is extremely proud of all of this year’s subspecialty award and grant winners, spanning across Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry, Psychiatry of Old Age and Psychotherapy.

The Addiction Psychiatry Prize

This Prize is awarded to a psychiatric trainee, or a Fellow who has recently completed the Certificate of Advanced Training in Addiction Psychiatry, to encourage achievements and excellence in Addiction Psychiatry.

Award winner: Dr Olalekan Ogunleye

The College warmly congratulates Dr Ogunleye for his project 'Mental health outcomes in people who use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes): a systematic review of evidence', which was described by the selection panel as a well-conducted review that ‘ticks all the boxes’.

The Adler Nurcombe Trainee Prize

The Prize is awarded to an Advanced Trainee in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and/or Forensic Psychiatry for the most outstanding paper or poster presented at the Section of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry conference.

Award winner: Dr Richard Baker and Annie Parsons

Dr Baker and Dr Parsons took out the Prize with their informative co-presentation 'Barriers to mental health diversion from the New South Wales Children’s Court'.

The Connell Werry Prize

The Prize awarded to an Advanced Trainee in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the most outstanding paper or poster presented at the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conference.

Award winner: Dr Roisin Devlin

The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry are proud to award the Connell Werry Prize to Dr Devlin for her presentation on the evaluation of a novel service providing treatment to children in/out of home care in south west Sydney.

The Howard Cooper Travelling Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Fellowship is made to an overseas trainee psychiatrist or psychiatrist from the Asia–Pacific region who wishes to gain experience in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Australia or New Zealand.

Award winner: Dr Nguyễn Minh Quyết

The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is excited to provide psychiatrist Dr Nguyen of Vietnam with the Howard Cooper Travelling Fellowship, which will offer opportunities for high quality training with the connections he has established in Australia.

The Faculty of Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry Trainee Abstract Prize

The Faculty of Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry Trainee Abstract Prize is awarded to an advanced trainee in consultation–liaison psychiatry for the best oral, rapid fire or poster presentation made at the Faculty of Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry conference.

Award winner: Dr Pierre Wibawa

Dr Wibawa took out the Faculty of Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry Trainee Abstract Prize with his presentation 'Neuroimaging in clinical psychiatry: the dying art of radiology and change towards automation'.

The Medlicott Award

The Award is designed to encourage achievements and excellence in research in Forensic Psychiatry by Advanced Trainees in Forensic Psychiatry, or Fellows who have recently attained the Advanced Certificate in Forensic Psychiatry.

Award winner: Dr Sam Pang

The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry is very pleased to award Dr Pang’s original and impressive paper 'Criminalising Health Care? The Use of Offences in the Mental Health Act 2015 (ACT)' with the Medlicott Award for 2020.

The Pat, Toni and Peter Kinsman Research Scholarship

Supported by a bequest from the Kinsman family, this grant was established to encourage research into postnatal depression in women in Australia and New Zealand.

Scholarship winners: Associate Professor Yoram Barak, Professor Paul Glue, Dr Christopher Gale and Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott

‘Progesterone loading as a strategy for treating postpartum depression: A proof of concept study.'

This study aims to assess the feasibility of oral progesterone loading as a treatment for postpartum depression (PPD).

Recently, brexanolone (synthetic allopregnanolone) received USA approval for treatment of PPD. However, brexanolone, which is only available through a restricted program, has to be given intravenously and costs US$35,000. A safe, equitable and globally accessible inexpensive treatment for PPD is needed.

Perinatal hormones such as allopregnanolone (an endogenous progesterone metabolite) are currently the most promising avenues of search for treatment. Studies of progesterone’s effects in PPD are few and inconclusive. This study will help confirm predictions that orally dosed progesterone will increase concentrations of allopregnanolone in the central nervous system, which should relieve symptoms of PPD.

Associate Professor Yoram Barak is a psychogeriatrician and academic in Dunedin, New Zealand, who is dedicated to translating scientific endeavours into public health benefits. He will undertake this project alongside his colleagues Professor Paul Glue, Dr Chris Gale and Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott at the University of Otago, School of Medicine.

The Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Prize for Best Mental Health Service Improvement

The Prize is open to all mental health services for improvements focused upon the needs of people with mental illness who are older.

Award winner: Dr Hannah Lake

Dr Lake’s piece 'A framework for managing restrictive practices in a psychogeriatric facility: A continuum of interventions' was selected as the winner of the Faculty of Old Age Prize for Best Mental Health Service Improvement.

The Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age Psychiatric Trainee Prize for Scholarly Project

This Prize is awarded to a current or recent Advanced Trainee in Psychiatry of Old Age, for meritorious research in the field.

Award winner: Dr David Kumagaya

'Acute electroconvulsive therapy in the elderly with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: A case series' by Dr Kumagaya was described by the selection panel as 'an excellent and well-written paper with clear relevance to the discipline'.

The Trisno Family Research Grant in Old Age Psychiatry

Supported by an ongoing donation from Dr Roth Trisno and family, this grant works to address the need for more research in the prevention, diagnosis, management and continuing care strategies for mental health conditions in older people.

Grant winner: Dr Vivek Phutane

‘Testing the Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale (PFFS) at the Aged Persons Mental Health Service (APMHS) in rural Australia’

Frailty is the state of increased vulnerability to adverse outcomes among people of the same chronological age. It is a dynamic process, where improvement is possible. It is essential that frailty is identified and treated early to suggest appropriate preventative and rehabilitative actions to be taken to slow, prevent, or even reverse decline associated with frailty.

Developed in 2012, the Pictorial Fit-Frail Scale (PFFS) was designed to allow rapid assessment of frailty, taking only 3-4 minutes to administer. Previous frailty scales mainly take into account a clinician's viewpoint, however the PFFS scale allows us to involve a patient's and their carer's perspective along with that of clinician.

This project will test the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PFFS, and in doing so, will aim to improve the frailty assessment by using a test which is simpler, easier to administer, more sensitive to cultural differences, and more practical in approach for identifying frailty compared with previous frailty scales.

The validation of a patient- and caregiver-friendly scale may contribute to early detection and management of frailty, which will ultimately help reduce mortality and morbidity associated with frailty and improve the quality of life of older people.

The Faculty of Psychotherapy Essay Prize

This Prize recognises the best essay submitted by a psychiatry trainee or recent Fellow on a psychotherapy topic.

Award winner: Dr Michael Weightman

‘Relevant’, ‘well-written’ and ‘accessible’ described Dr Weightman’s essay 'The psychosocial impact of social cognitive deficits in major depressive disorder and role of psychotherapy as therapeutic intervention: A systematic review.'

The Psychotherapy Research Award

Award winners: Dr Dwain Burridge and Dr Eliot Frickey

‘Therapeutic alliance and psychoeducation for depression – testing the effectiveness of a brief intervention training program: A pilot study’

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most prevalent of all psychiatric disorders and as a medical condition, is one of the most disabling. The lifetime prevalence of MDD is approximately 17% of the populations and results in immense personal and secondary costs to society.1

Given the individual and societal consequences of undiagnosed or sub-optimally treated MDD, it makes intuitive sense to develop ways of relating with depressed individuals that heightens their chances of recovery, promotes treatment adherence, while improving their quality of life. Most evidence-based treatment approaches to MDD endorse combining psychopharmacologic and psychological therapies, however, a critical and often neglected component of any treatment effort is the person with the illness.2,3 Within this patient-centric paradigm, psychoeducation is endorsed as a means of empowering patients to increase self-understanding of their illness so as to effect their own change.

This study aims to obtain preliminary evidence of the feasibility and effectiveness of a brief training module designed to enhance the quality of the working alliance between patients with MDD and psychiatric registrars, and to better understand the perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to delivering psychoeducation and establishing a therapeutic alliance with depressed patients, from the perspective of psychiatric registrars.


  1. Wang, P S, Simon, G, & Kessler, R C. The economic burden of depression and the cost- effectiveness of treatment. International journal of methods in psychiatric research 2003, 12(1), 22–33.
  2. Malhi, G S, Bassett, D, Boyce, P, et al. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for mood disorders. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2015, 49(12), 1087–1206.
  3. Bohart, A C, & Tallman, K. Clients: The neglected common factor in psychotherapy. The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy 2010, 2, 83–111.

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2020 College award winners
Celebrating membership milestones for our newest 25, 40 and 50 year Fellows