4 December 1997

The University of Queensland is forging closer links with the private sector through the establishment of the Kratzmann Chair in Psychiatry at Toowong Private Hospital.

Professor Peter Yellowlees, head of the University's Psychiatry Department, said the new position had attracted funding of $750,000 over the next five years.

The benefactor is the Kratzmann family of Brisbane. Businessman Wayne Kratzmann chairs the family company which owns the 54-bed acute psychiatric hospital at Toowong.

Professor Yellowlees said the post would be advertised in the New Year and he hoped an appointment would be made by May or June. He said the professorship would be divided equally between academic work and private practice.

'The annual funding of $150,000 also supports a full-time research assistant and covers various administration costs while Toowong Hospital is providing secretarial services and rooms,' he said.

He believed the chair would benefit the hospital and the University whose staff looked forward to working more closely with the private sector and gaining access to new places of learning for students.

Hospital chief executive officer Christine Gee said one reason for the new post was to help position Toowong Private Hospital as a centre of excellence in the treatment and understanding of mental illness.

'Having an academic on site will allow ongoing evaluation of the hospital's treatment and care of the mentally ill besides giving staff ready access to continuing education,' she said.

Ms Gee said she hoped that research and other work carried out through the new position would increase community awareness of psychiatric disorders and help remove the stigma often attached to mental illness.

For more information, contact Professor Peter Yellowlees (telephone 07 3365 5152)