Dr Rees Tohiteururangi Tapsell was awarded the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Mark Sheldon Prize at the College’s Annual Congress in Perth last night.
The Mark Sheldon Award honours the memory of Dr Mark Sheldon, a psychiatrist who died in 1998, only six months after becoming a Fellow. The prize named in his honour recognises continuing and outstanding contributions to Indigenous mental health in either Australia or New Zealand.
Dr Tapsell has worked many years tirelessly within the College as a general councillor, previous chair of Te Kaunihera [The Te Kaunihera Committee provides advice and support on issues relating to Maori, and advocates for the health of Maori people], chair of the Governance Review Committee and served on the New Zealand Branch Committee for many years. He remains an active member within College affairs as an existing member of Te Kaunihera and mentorships to new Chairs.
He attended the University of Otago where he graduated in 1988. He spent several years working in family medicine before he began his postgraduate training in psychiatry, gaining his fellowship in 1998. With other Māori leaders (Sir Mason Durie), Dr Tapsell has been innovative in shaping and moulding Māori mental health development and services delivery for over a decade and half.
Dr Tapsell is currently Director of Clinical Services and Director of Area Mental Health Services at Waikato District Health Board. He is also executive clinical director for forensic psychiatric services across the Midland region since 2008.
The College congratulates Dr Tapsell and other award winners from last night.
The RANZCP Congress ends on Thursday.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
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Melbourne, VIC 3000
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