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President Election Process
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President Election

WAIMH Presidents are elected four years before they take the office. The time after the election and before taking office, they are considered President-Elect and serve as a member of the WAIMH Executive Committee.

Latest election

The new President-Elect was appointed in WAIMH Prague Board meeting in 2016.

President-Elect

Campbell Paul

Campbell Paul, Assoc Prof, MBBS, FRANZCP, Cert Child Adol Child Psych

Campbell Paul's nomination letter

Consultant Infant Psychiatrist, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

I would very much like to submit my nomination for President-elect to the Board of Directors of WAIMH.

I have enjoyed very much my very long association with WAIMH, going back to intensification of excitement about infant mental health when I attended my first WAIMH Congress in Lugano. As a young psychiatrist I was able to spend time learning from pioneers in infant mental health in Paris, Cambridge, London, Colorado, Boston and other places. This introduced me to the powerful fellowship of people who became the essence of WAIMH. I have been a member of the Board for a number of years now and have been very involved in WAIMH Board activities since I was co-convener of the Melbourne Congress in 2004. Over the years, in my role as secretary-treasurer I have been constantly in awe of the efficiency and enthusiasm of the WAIMH Secretariat, first in East Lansing, and now in Tampere.

I work at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital as a consultant infant psychiatrist, particularly working with sick babies and their families who are cared for by a broad range of child health colleagues. At the University of Melbourne, with Associate Professors Brigid Jordan and Frances Salo, we are now into the 21st year of teaching our Masters course in infant mental health. I am also the director of NBO Australia training clinicians in the NBO locally and overseas. I’ve also been very enriched by my close involvement in the establishment and development of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, and links with the Australasian Marcé Society and perinatal psychiatry colleagues.

I believe that WAIMH has an extremely important role to play in securing real improvement in the mental health outcomes for infants and families throughout the world. As the peak world body we must continue our role in providing leadership in infant mental health, supporting policy development, research, training and improvement in direct clinical services for infants very young children and their families.

The Infant Mental Health Journal, carefully nourished by its profoundly committed past editors, and our current editor Prof Paul Spicer, the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the WAIMH Board remains a crucial part of our core activities. We need to ensure that we have a sound business model which continues to support the Journal in its academic reach and work of supporting research and dissemination of knowledge around infant mental health. Perspectives has developed into an important tool for communication about new developments in the field, as well as a way of joining our members together.

President Miri Keren has led the really important task of developing the WAIMH Position Paper on the Rights of Infants, which has the potential to positively influence policy and service delivery for infants in many countries. This is a task we must continue, especially as there are now more displaced and refugee families around the world since the end of the Second World War. The impact of various human conflicts upon infants and their families will certainly be a significant theme in our upcoming Congress in Prague.

The WAIMH Congress is a keystone activity of our organisation as it brings together people from all corners of the world so that we can share our experiences with clinical work with infants working towards more and more evidence informed effective interventions. The Congress provide practical support for communities and countries who are beginning to develop mental health services for babies and families.

The WAIMH Board has been developing ideas about the provision of accessible training opportunities, particularly for countries where such opportunities are difficult to access. An example is the online training in infant mental health recently developed by Prof Jane Barlow in the UK. There are further opportunities for facilitating opportunities for direct training from experienced WAIMH clinicians to our colleagues in many parts of the world. I think that providing this network of colleagues sharing their experience and training expertise is an extremely important and productive role for WAIMH as an organisation.

At our Hospital and University, we have been very privileged to be able to host infant mental health academic visitors and trainees from many countries, particularly from our close friends in the Asia-Pacific region: Japan, Hong Kong, China, and also from Europe and the Americas. Personally I continue to be excited by being able to hear of the work being done by creative clinicians working in the many diverse cultures which constitute our world. In Melbourne we were recently enriched by the generous visit of Emeritus Professor Bob Emde, providing a further example of the way that WAIMH as an organisation can foster fertile links and connections around the world.

I believe that the WAIMH organisation is also very well-placed to encourage cooperative international multicentre research opportunities which are so important in field of infant mental health. We will continue to develop effective communication throughout our membership, particularly drawing on the exciting initiatives with the social media developed from Tampere.

Recent years have seen the Board supporting the development of strong WAIMH Affiliate Council and the many international Affiliate organisations. Coming from a nation that is a lively federation, I see the benefits of having very strong locally based organisations who are able to draw on strong and continued support from a healthy International organisation such as WAIMH. This communication strategy will also address our goal to increase the number of members worldwide.

If appointed to the position of President-elect, I will work closely with the WAIMH Executive and Secretariat and current president, Miri Keren and our future president, Kai von Klitzing.

I thank you for considering my nomination.

Yours sincerely

Campbell Paul
MBBS FRANZCP, Cert Child and Adolescent Psych
Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne.