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Julie-Ann Undrill Manager, Conferences and Events at Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Melbourne, Australia

Category: Event VIPs

Project, stakeholder, communications and business management specialist with over 14 years of professional experience.

Collaborative leader - Creative and strategic thinker - Commercially minded - Diligent and accountable

The beginning: Australasian Association of Psychiatrists

The College’s history began with the establishment of the Australasian Association of Psychiatrists (AAP), which was officially formed on 9 October 1946 at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ building in Melbourne.

From its inception, the AAP was designed to be a fully fledged medical specialist body with membership limited ‘to legally qualified Medical Practitioners engaged in the practice of Psychiatry’. The Association comprised branches in the Australian states and New Zealand, which were considered integral to its function and purpose. Sixty-seven practising psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand were included as Foundation Members.

The development of psychiatric training in Australia and New Zealand was central to the Association in its early years, and in the 1950s the AAP moved to establish a formal qualification, the Diploma of Psychological Medicine (DPM) administered by the Association. At the time, only a handful of universities offered formal psychiatric qualifications, and it was necessary for most doctors wishing to train in psychiatry to relocate interstate or overseas.

The establishment of the AAP’s Diploma of Psychological Medicine was linked to the decision, taken in the early 1960s, to transform the Association into a College and thus position the organisation as a legally constituted body under which the new qualification could be registered.
The College was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix on 9 May 1977, and moved its current location in Latrobe Street Melbourne in 1994.

A leader in the mental health sector, the College works to prepare medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, support and enhance clinical practice, advocate for people affected by mental illness and advise governments on mental health care.

In 2013 the College celebrated 50 years of training and representing psychiatrists. A range of online resources were produced as part of the celebrations, which reflected on the history of the College and the future direction of psychiatry.


Latrobe street, 3000, melbourne

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