Psychiatrists welcome new President at annual Congress

20 May 2021

The new President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has assumed the role during the Annual General Meeting at the RANZCP 2021 Congress, in Hobart.

After serving two years as President-Elect, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra thanked immediate past-President, Associate Professor Allan for his service to the RANZCP.

‘I have been fortunate to have worked closely with Associate Professor John Allan and wish to thank him and the Board for their outstanding leadership during this period’, said Associate Professor Lakra.

‘John has been a great mentor to me over the years and this has smoothed a path of transition for me into this role.

‘I also congratulate Dr Elizabeth Moore on her election to the position of President-Elect and look forward to working closely with her across the breadth of College affairs.’

Associate Professor Lakra said his main priorities are progression to fellowship for trainees and SIMGs and raising the profile of psychiatry and advancing its voice in the mental and physical health sectors.

‘I will continue strengthening our engagement with governments on addressing the workforce issues faced by both Australia and New Zealand, including focusing on exploring potential rural training pathways.

‘During my presidency, I am also committed to furthering the role of psychiatry in many aspects of mental health, including the role of academic research.

‘As the first RANZCP President to have trained overseas, I aim to encourage and promote cultural diversity, equity and inclusion in access to mental health services, as well as training and the workplace.

‘We’ve faced a challenging 18 months with the bushfires and global COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s not over yet.

‘I promise to listen to our members, as well as carers, consumers and the general public as we work together towards improving our mental health systems to allow everyone access to the best care, where they need it and when they need it.

‘With the recent Federal Budget announcing $2.3 billion for mental health, I look forward to working closely with them and state governments in advising on and implementing the funding announcements.’

For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email

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 and other groups on mental health care. 

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