Should we be Royal?

Publication Name

Australasian Psychiatry


Objective: Our college name The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and Crest (Coat of Arms) are echoes of our colonial past, which create a barrier to an inclusive 21st-century Australasian psychiatry. Two hundred and fifty years after European settlement, this article reviews the colonial legacy, the evolution of the college and the process by which the prefix ‘Royal’ came to be attached. This is now an anachronism that symbolically undermines our mission to create a fully inclusive psychiatry for all Australians and New Zealanders, from indigenous people across the spectrum of cultures drawn from recent migrations within our complex multicultural society. Conclusion: As psychiatrists, it is time to modernise and reinvent the college name and Crest. We will be a healthier and more inclusive community of practice without the ‘Royal’ prefix, and with a new symbol for our college that embodies our values and vision.

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