A look back at the 60th annual RANZCP Congress

The 60th annual RANZCP Congress was held at the National Convention Centre Canberra from 19–23 May 2024. 

It attracted over 2,000 delegates who attended in person and virtually. The program covered a vast range of plenary and concurrent sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and other sessions including rapid fire presentations from early career researchers.  

Plenary speakers included:

  • Professor Zafiris Daskalakis who spoke about the use of Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation and Neurostimulation Therapies. 
  • Professor Amanda Goodall who presented on Expert Leadership.  
  • Professor Allan Young spoke about New Treatments for Depression. 
  • Associate Professor Samantha Loi spoke in relation to Diagnosis Treatment for Young Onset Dementias. 
  • Professor Alison Yung presented on Early Detection and Treatment of Psychosis.
  • Professor Roger Mulder spoke in relation to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders.

There were also special sessions from Ms Julie Tongs OAM, the CEO of Winnunga Nimmityjah, who spoke on Indigenous Health Care.  RANZCP Senior Research Award winner, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, spoke on her research into Women’s Mental Health in Middle and Later Life, including in relation to depression and psychosis. Associate Professor Vina Lakra, recipient of the Margaret Tobin Award for Administrative Psychiatry, also presented. 

There were a range of workshops which covered a number of interesting areas. These included, amongst other sessions:

  • Rapid Acting Depressive Treatment by Professor Allan Young
  • The Section of Private Practice Psychiatry workshop on making a move to Private Practice
  • Evidence-based approaches to the assessment and management of ADHD, including effective use of anti-depressants.

Concurrent sessions covered the gamut of clinical practice of psychiatry as well as advancements in research. These included clinical updates on the interpretation of brain neuroimaging, as well as for treatment of schizophrenia across various ages the lifespan, and panel sessions on innovative treatments in psychiatry, such as an update on the changing landscape of psychedelic assisted therapy.

There were sessions on Indigenous Mental Health, Doctors Health and Wellbeing, and responses to racism in health care settings. Innovative research was presented on technological advances in mental health, and an update on Autism Intellectual Disability in mainstream mental health care. Highlights also included a presidential symposia on psychiatric workforce and on climate and sustainability, and sessions on leadership in psychiatry. 

This year’s Congress also featured a range of social activities ranging from yoga, guided bush walks, a welcome reception, and other tours and activities. Further highlights includes the Gala Dinner, held at the National Arboretum to a 1960s theme, and of course, the College Ceremony, which was well attended.

Overall, the 2024 RANZCP Congress truly exemplified its theme: Excellence and Empathy, Knowledge and Kindness.

On behalf of the organising committee, as well as the scientific committee, I thank all members, researchers, presenters and attendees, that made the Congress such a success.

The support from College staff as well as Waldron Smith management made for a very efficient running of the Congress.

I also extend my gratitude to Congress Co-Convenor, Prof Paul Fitzgerald, the Organising Committee and the Scientific Program Committee.

Each Congress probably sets a higher bar of performance for subsequent Congress, and from the positive feedback to date, the challenge is afoot. I wish the 2025 Congress Convenors and Organising Committee the very best for next year’s Congress at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

A/Prof Jeffrey Looi 
Co-Convenor & Scientific Program Chair
RANZCP 2024 Congress 


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