Dr. Jane McKendrick

Jane McKendrick, MBChB, FRANZCP

Te Kupenga Hauora Maori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland

Dr. Jane McKendrick is a psychiatrist and Associate Professor, Te Kupenga Hauora Maori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, where she has worked over the past eight years. During that time she has been an investigator on seven externally funded research projects examining various aspects of Maori health and wellbeing from Maori perspectives. She is second named investigator for the New Zealand ‘Roots of Resilience – Transformations of community and Identity’ Project, ‘He Kokonga Ngakau – mo wai Te Matauranga?’ This project examines Maori resilience, with particular reference to Maori systems of assessment and management of issues pertaining to mental health and wellbeing.

In the last quarter of the 20th century, Jane has worked in partnership with Australian Aboriginal people in clinical, research and teaching roles. In 1975, two years after the establishment of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), an Aboriginal community controlled health organisation, Jane, still a medical student, began working with the VAHS. There, she was taught by her Aboriginal elders, colleagues and friends. Formerly Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, Jane was Co-Director of the Resource Unit for Indigenous Mental Health Education and Research, with long standing colleague Marjorie Thorpe, an Aboriginal community leader in health. Together with Aboriginal and psychiatric colleagues, Jane helped establish the first Aboriginal Community based mental health service, the Victorian Aboriginal Mental Health Network (Jane was the inaugural Psychiatrist Director of the that Network), which has been in operation since 1986. She also conducted the first systematic studies of the mental health of an Aboriginal general practice population, and of an Aboriginal community. She was a consultant to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and the inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children from their families, and has served on National Government Advisory Groups. In 1997 the work of Jane and Marjorie Thorpe was recognised by the Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mental Health Theory and Practice by the Mental Health Services Conference of Australia and New Zealand. Jane was an invited member of the 2000 faculty for the Advanced Study Institute in Aboriginal Mental Health, Summer School, Department of Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University. Since that time she has been an international consultant in particular to the Canadian National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Resesarch. Jane has spoken at international conferences and scientific meetings, and together with her colleagues has published in peer review journals and contributed chapters to several books.

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