President's Column September 2023
27 Sep 2023
Ahead of the general elections next month in Aotearoa New Zealand, the College is steadfast in our call for urgent and concrete action and reform. Dr Hiran Thabrew, Chair of the RANZCP Tu Te Akaaka Roa New Zealand National Committee is leading our advocacy efforts, urging all political parties to make mental health a priority. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we come together to ensure Aotearoa’s mental health system can meet the growing needs of our community.
It's been a big month across many areas of the College. We launched the RANZCP Member Wellbeing Action Plan — a comprehensive, five-year roadmap to support the wellbeing of all members. It consists of 26 carefully developed recommendations, each one strategically earmarked for immediate (within 12 months), near term (2–3 years) or long term (5+ years) action. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Membership Engagement Committee, and its Member Wellbeing Subcommittee led by Dr Prue McEvoy, for spearheading this work.
We also released the RANZCP Gender Equity Action Plan – a blueprint for change that identifies 36 specific actions to help us collectively improve gender equity in psychiatry. I thank the Gender Equity Working Group, led by Professor Megan Galbally, and all the members involved thus far. It’s only with the continued support of members that we can forge a more equitable future for psychiatry.
There’s a vast amount of work being undertaken across our College to meet the Australian Medical Council’s accreditation conditions. A comprehensive report outlining our progress has been submitted and is available on the Accreditation webpage.
As some of you may be aware, the College has received funding from the Australian Government to develop a Diploma of Psychiatry. Members are invited to browse through the Diploma offering and provide feedback to help us develop a high-quality educational product that is of benefit to the community. This consultation will close on 3 October.
Now for some member news – I extend my congratulations to Dr Kah Shen Loke who has been awarded the 2023 NSW Branch Meritorious Service Award. We also continue to spotlight trainees who are making a difference by advocating for their peers as part of the College governance structure. This month, we’re featuring Dr Jarrad Paul and Dr Elise Witter, the Western Australia and Queensland representatives on the RANZCP Bi-national Committee for Trainees.
If you would like to see the accomplishments of more members recognised and celebrated, consider nominating them (or yourself!) for a RANZCP award. The 2024 RANZCP awards program is currently open and will close on 31 October.
And lastly, it was an absolute delight to attend our New Zealand conference in Rotorua earlier this month. The event offered a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of Māori culture and reinforced our commitment to fostering inclusivity and cultural respect in psychiatry.
Dr Elizabeth Moore
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