Hi, I am Philip Morris and I am standing for election as President-Elect of the RANZCP.  I would appreciate your support and your first preference vote in this election.  

The voting period starts on Wednesday 22 February and finishes on Friday 24 March.  

I am standing for this position because I believe with new leadership the College can be much more successful advocating for our profession, for our psychiatric colleagues, and for our patients, while improving its role as a membership-focussed organisation.  Over the past few years our College has become increasingly corporatized and bureaucratic and distant from the aspirations and concerns of its members, including fellows, trainees and affiliates.  While good governance is an essential characteristic of a professional association, it needs to work in partnership with the collegial qualities and values of our College – where all members are cherished, celebrated and respected as equals.  I want our College to value diversity and encourage inclusiveness while striving to do its best to champion the profession, train the next generation of psychiatrists, and represent our members and our patients’ interests.  

To advance our College there are a number of important steps to take.

  1. Our College should listen to the voices of all its members – trainees, fellows, affiliates, early career psychiatrists, psychotherapists, women, indigenous members, overseas trained psychiatrists, and those working in the public sector, private practice, academic and rural and remote settings.
  2. Our College should act on the concerns of its members in the interests of our patients.
  3. Our College should re-emphasise the central role of the psycho-social-cultural foundation of psychiatry while incorporating advances in the technical/scientific basics of our work.
  4. We need to recognise that the trainees are our future and give them a significant voice in decision-making.  At least two and possible more trainees should be elected to Director positions on the College Board.
  5. We need to acknowledge that the training program has major weaknesses and needs to be upgraded to give registrars a wider range of clinical experiences and safer workplace settings, including office-based private practice, as well as a fairer, more supportive and transparent examination system with the return of a final patient-based clinical examination assessment.
  6. Its time to recognise that psychodynamic psychotherapy principles have an important place in all doctor-patient relationships, and this therapy has a significant role in the treatment of many psychiatric conditions.
  7. Our College needs to appreciate the important role that private practice makes to the profession and to provide a place for private practice input on the College Board of Directors.
  8. Our College should ask the Australian Medical Council (and its New Zealand counterpart) for a modification to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements that are more relevant to the needs and work settings of private practitioners.
  9. It’s time for our College to become more transparent and open with its members and get rid of confidentiality and secrecy clauses in committee and board non-disclosure contracts.

I believe many College members support these changes to improve our College. As President-Elect I would work to support these reforms.

I have the qualifications and experience to succeed in this role. I am a senior College fellow and worked as chair of the Bi-national CPD program through a significant phase of reform. I have worked in a variety of settings including academic psychiatry, salaried staff specialist, medical superintendent, mental health service director, and I founded and directed a national centre for war-related PTSD and rolled-out an national program of psychiatric rehabilitation for veterans, as well as holding professorial positions in three Australian universities. These experiences alongside my leadership involvement in national and international medical colleges and associations provide me with a unique understanding of the challenges faced by our colleagues and our profession.

At this election, it is time for change. I would welcome your support. Please vote for me with your first preference and make sure you place a preference against each candidate. Please contact me for further information or view my Supporting Statement at: https://www.ranzcp.org/files/about_us/governance/elections/philip-morris-supporting-statement.aspx

Thanks so much.

Philip Morris AM