March 2010

Newsletter No. 23

Winston S Rickards Memorial Oration IACAPAP Conference Website update Project groups HISTORY CORNER: 1955 MHYFVic committee

Winston S Rickards Memorial Oration
The inaugural Winston Rickards Memorial Oration was delivered by Professor Bruce Tonge on Wednesday, 24 March, 2010, at 7:15pm at the Junior Common Room, Queen’s College, University of Melbourne (Queen’s was home to Winston’s “salad days”). MHYFVic President, Dr Allan Mawdsley, chaired the event.
The title of the address was: Promoting recovery from youth mental illness.
The address concerned Prof Tonge’s research into child psychotherapy with particular focus upon the role of self-efficacy as a predictor of outcome. Self-efficacy was considered an analogue of confidence by Prof Tonge.
When Prof Tonge first presented to the Melbourne child psychiatry group in 1976 on a little girl Jane who had been terrorized by her father. Using his Draw a Dream technique, young Dr Tonge was able to help articulate for the child and for her mother that which her behaviour signified. Separation was followed by the child’s recovery. Dr Tonge asked Dr Rickards why he felt that the child had responded. Dr Rickards had replied concerning containment, insight and confidence and then referred young Dr Tonge to Harry Guntrip.
Then began an important line to Prof Tonge’s research career: how can insight be measured? How can confidence be measured? Low self-efficacy was related to depression and a decreased likelihood to recover.
Prof Tonge, with his collaborators, has developed a series of measures of Self-Efficacy. They have shown that, for both CBT and for Psychodynamic treatments, Self-Efficacy is related to recovery and that, low Self-Efficacy is related to more adverse treatment outcomes.
The address was well received by the large audience of about 150 people. There were many members of Dr Rickards family present as well as a distinguished array of lifelong colleagues and those who have had Dr Rickards among their mentors.
The gathered colleagues were keen for the event to occur annually to celebrate Dr Rickards foundational role in our field, but also to celebrate the achievements of the field, in perpetuity.
There was plenty of mingling over coffee after the address and the membership of MHYFVic was enlarged through recruitment of new and some lapsed members.

One other benefit of the WSRMO was the recruitment of new MHYF Vic members and renewal of membership among some whose membership had lapsed. New arrangements are in place to keep track of our membership, with renewal due mid-year, each year.
A new avenue for membership has been opened with organizations able to join for the same fee (ONLY $20). We would hope that organizations would circulate news of MHYF Vic’s activities among their membership. Please suggest membership to any organization to which you belong.

Winston Rickards assumed the leadership of the Department of Child Psychiatry at the Royal Children’s Hospital. This was the year of birth of this Newsletter’s author. Most practitioners of child and adolescent mental health were not alive when he started at RCH. There are probably some just entering the field who were born after he left this position in 1983. Suzie Dean’s obituary follows:

From 1948 to 2007, Dr Winston Rickards held appointments at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. The Royal Children’s Hospital is the teaching paediatric hospital of The University of Melbourne. A Child Development Research Clinic had been formed within the Hospital in 1923, and in 1928 this became the Psychiatric Clinic, which went on to provide services. In 1955, Dr Rickards was appointed the foundation Director of a newly formed Department of Psychiatry and he held this position until 1983. Under his leadership, this
Department grew to embrace the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, psychiatric social work, child psychotherapy, audiology, speech pathology, educational therapy, child psychiatric nursing, and developed close liaison with the Education Department and other relevant disciplines in the Hospital. In the early 1980s, the Department was re- titled the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science.
As Director of mental health services within The Royal Children’s Hospital, Dr Rickards was directly responsible for teaching and training in psychiatry, in association with The University of Melbourne and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry, and for direction and supervision of research work of the Department, relating to The Royal Children’s Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. He was also heavily involved during his career in teaching and training in the allied professions, particularly social work, speech pathology, audiology, child psychotherapy, psychology and nursing.
After leaving the position of Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science, Dr Rickards became an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at The Royal Children’s Hospital, and took up the position of Consultant Psychiatrist at the Melbourne Clinic from 1985 to 1991. At this stage of his career, he expanded his intensive involvement in community mental health organizations. Of greatest note here was his leadership as Vice President of the Mental Health Foundation of Victoria, and in the establishment of the AICAFMHA, of which he became Patron, and MHYF Vic, of which he was Founding President.
Throughout his career, Dr Rickards was dedicated to the formation and highly active ongoing support of many professional and community organizations, at local, state, national and international levels, both within psychiatry, in allied professions and in children’s services in wider society.

IACAPAP Conference
The 2010 International Association for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied professions will be held in Beijing, from 2 to 6 June, 2010.
Suzie Dean, has submitted two conference symposium abstracts on behalf of MHYF Vic with titles:
Towards advocacy action in striving to improve child and adolescent mental health: Pathways to aims and arguments (presented by MHYF Vic and Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts)
Expanding public and professional awareness: Professionals, consumers and families cooperating to improve mental health in the community (presented by MHYF Vic and Austin CAMHS). Individual members have submitted abstracts through the MHYF Vic Project Groups (see below).

Website update
Website grandmaster Ron Ingram invites you to have a look at and find out about us, who we are and what we stand for, our aims and objectives.

Project groups
Quality in early childhood education and care: Children’s development and rights:
Sarina Smale has submitted an abstract to the IACAPAP conference entitled: Early childhood advocacy for and with children
Consumer and parent/carer participation in child and adolescent services
Suzanne Robson has submitted an abstract to the IACAPAP conference entitled: Stigma experienced by young people with a mental illness
Jacinta Bleeser has submitted an abstract to the IACAPAP conference entitled: Children and families as central in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: How can this be made a reality?
Lynne Ruggiero and Paul Tribe have submitted an abstract to the IACAPAP conference entitled: From consumer to carer to mental health worker: Translating the experience into practice
The process of beginning contact with child and adolescent services:
An abstract for the upcoming 27th International Conference of Applied Psychology, 11 July, 2010, Melbourne, has been accepted for presentation by Jo Grimwade with title:
Beginning is the common factor: a new direction for psychotherapy research.
Access of community to child and adolescent mental health services (incorporating development of arguments for cost benefits of such services):
An abstract from the working group has been submitted for the upcoming IACAPAP conference, entitled: Focus on funding: How can economic arguments support human rights and humanitarian advocacy for child and adolescent mental health?
Chris Smale has submitted an abstract to IACAPAP entitled: Engaging with governments to improve policy and resources for mental health: Challenges and possible solutions

Other project groups:
Advocacy for early childhood services and their benefits
The need for young people to have a voice in planning adolescent mental health services.
The shape of mental health services in Victoria for indigenous families.
The impact of stigma associated with mental health services and how this can be challenged.

2010 Annual General Meeting.
Following on from the strong series of presentations made to our AGM in previous years, we have invited Deputy Chief psychiatrist, Dr Sandra Radovini, to speak on a topic of her choice on 25 August. Venue and other arrangements to be reported in our next Newsletter.

ARACY The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth at the September, 2009, conference articulated 10 principles for action with respect to the wellbeing of children and young people and highlighted six challenges facing Australia today. Four strategies were agreed upon to meet these challenges, namely, have wellbeing of children and young people a national priority, Set targets to achieve such wellbeing in the next 20 years, integrate early, middle and youth policies into a national development policy, and develop a collaborative research plan to meet these challenges.
MHYFVic supports these principles and strategies, implicitly. For more information go to:,
On 27 March, 2010, a new campaign was launched with GETUP to seek mental health reform. GETUP is a political activist organization seeking social change on a broad front. Professor McGorry has a website, which is largely a blog, that addresses various aspects of the need for mental health reform. There are many ways to join the campaign.

MHYF Vic Project Groups can visit workplaces and present in Professional Development fora. If you missed a conference, invite us to provide a direct update and to present the relevant paper.

• President, Allan Mawdsley
• Vice-President, Jenny Luntz
• Treasurer and Parent Consumer, Lillian Tribe
• Projects Coordinator (and Acting Secretary), Suzie Dean
• WebMaster, Ron Ingram
• Newsletter Editor, Jo Grimwade
• Youth Consumer, Paul Tribe
• Members without portfolio, Miriam Tisher and David Mushin
We welcome Miriam Tisher to the Committee and will announce, soon, that we have a new Secretary: last Chance!

Please let us know what is needed in the MHYF Vic Newsletter by emailing
You may like to know of events or want to see certain things reported. You may see how this medium can be improved. You might have a note for History Corner. Alternatively, provide us with feedback through the website.

2-6 June, IACAPAP conference Beijing
25 August, MHYF Vic AGM


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