President's Column June 2023
28 Jun 2023
I’m pleased to write to you all through my first monthly column as President of our College.
It was lovely to meet with so many of you at Congress and I’d like to extend my thanks to the organising committee, delegates, presenters and College staff who contributed towards making our biggest Congress such a grand success. The keynotes and individual sessions offered great opportunities for professional development, and I saw plenty of networking (including the inspired choice for the Gala Dinner! You can read about some of the highlights here.
We will continue to deliver an exciting calendar of local and national events in the coming months. With Branch and Faculty conferences, webinars, Travelling Scholar programs and a multitude of local events, there’s something on offer for everyone. You can stay updated and make the most of these opportunities by visiting the RANZCP events calendar.
Earlier this month, I was proud to work with Professor Helen Milroy AM, Australia’s first Indigenous doctor and a highly respected child psychiatrist, and announce the College’s support for the ‘YES’ campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution. As President, I’m committed to working closely with First Nations communities to ensure their voices are heard, their rights are upheld, and health inequities diminished.
As individuals and as a College, we’re committed to fostering equality of opportunity and creating inclusive working and training environments. To reinforce our commitment, our Discrimination, Bullying, and Harassment Policy and Procedure has been updated and applies to all individuals engaged in College activities, including training and assessments. For help with any work-related or other issues, members can also access free and confidential counselling and psychological support via the RANZCP Member Support Program.
Earlier this week, the College’s Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Steering Group released new resources to help psychiatrists, other health professionals, and the broader community understand and prepare for the regulatory changes coming into effect in Australia from 1 July. This work is ongoing and additional resources planned for release in the coming weeks include principles for best practice and a training framework for psychiatrists. We are also hosting a member webinar next month – details to be announced soon.
Psych Matters, the RANZCP’s flagship podcast series, is growing in popularity and is very close to a huge milestone of 100,000 downloads! The podcast team continues to innovate and work closely with members and other experts creating fantastic new content. You can listen to all 80+ episodes for free, including the most recent one on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in clinical practice.
Thanks to the generosity of College Fellow Dr Bryanne Barnett AM, the RANZCP Foundation has launched the Barnett Early Parenting Research and Collaboration Grant to support research in early parenting. I encourage all eligible members to learn more and apply by 31 August.
I once again extend my congratulations to all those who were recognised in this year’s Australian and New Zealand King’s Birthday Honours Lists for their service to mental health and psychiatry. You can read more about the five Fellows and our College kaumātua who were honoured.
And finally, I wish Eid Mubarak to everyone who is celebrating Eid-ul-Adha. It is a time of celebration, gratitude, and reflection. May your Eid be filled with joy, laughter, and memorable moments.
Dr Elizabeth Moore
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