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RANZCP welcomes terms of reference and appointment of commissioners

25 February 2019

The Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP Victorian Branch) welcomes the terms of reference and the commissioners appointed to lead Victoria's first Royal Commission into Mental Health.

RANZCP Victorian Branch Chair, Professor Richard Newton, said ‘The terms of reference shows a strong commitment from the state government for a better mental health system to meet the needs of people with mental illness, their families and carers, and the workforce that supports them’.

The RANZCP Victorian Branch has advocated strongly in representations made direct to government and through their submission for a forward-looking royal commission.

‘Our submission urged for a royal commission to provide recommendations for a whole-of-life mental health system, strategies to attract and retain a skilled mental health workforce, and greater transparency and accountability’, said Professor Newton.

‘We also asked the Victorian Government to direct the royal commission to consider the mental health system's response to people with comorbid mental health issues such as addiction and intellectual disability'.

Professor Newton said it was pleasing that the Victorian Government had addressed many of these points.

The RANZCP Victorian Branch is also extremely encouraged by the commissioners announced who cover an excellent range of knowledge and experience.

‘We congratulate chairperson Penny Armytage and commissioners Associate Professor Alex Cockram, Professor Bernadette McSherry and Professor Allan Fels AO’, said Professor Newton.

‘We look forward to providing input into the commissioners' consultation process when it commences.

‘In the meantime, we will continue advocating for more resources to meet established service gaps while we await the final report of the commission on 31 October 2020’.

For any queries about the content of the RANZCP Victorian Branch’s online submission, please contact Policy and Advocacy Advisor Adele Beasley on 03 9601 4978 or at
ENQUIRIES: Andy Newton at or +61 437 315 911

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or