Phoenix Australia’s history dates back to 1995.
Prior to 1994, there was little systematic attention to PTSD in Australia. Following calls from the veteran community, private providers and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), the National Centre for War-Related PTSD was established in 1995.
Funded exclusively by DVA for five years and established in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, the mission was to improve the recognition and treatment of PTSD and related conditions within the veteran population.
In July 2000, funding for the original National Centre for War-Related PTSD expired and it was decided that the Centre’s budget be extended for a further five years, but with an expanded role to address the full range of mental health conditions (while retaining focus on the aetiological role of trauma) and ensure an increased focus on serving personnel. The name was changed to the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) and incorporated as an association in October 2000.
Not long after, the focus was expanded to include the wider community. We broadened our activities to encompass posttraumatic mental health problems within the general community following accidents, violent crime, terrorism and natural disasters. We attracted new stakeholders in the form of other organisations affected by the impacts of trauma, as well as clinicians, policy makers, other trauma professionals, and the general public, to whom we began providing Trauma Focused Training in public workshops across the country.
On our 20th anniversary in 2015, we decided to change our name to one that reflects our vision of recovery, and we became Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.
View this short video which showcases our history.