Psychiatric Assessment in Remote Aboriginal Communities of Central Australia

Dr. Mark Sheldon

Born in Wollongong, his family moved to Darwin where Mark attended Larrakeyah Primary School from 1970 to 1974. His memory of the people and the environment of the Northern Territory remained with him always.

Returning to Sydney, he attended Blakehurst Primary School, where he was dux and school captain in 1976. Progressing to Blakehurst High School, he was elected school captain and won the swimming championship in his final year 1982.

He entered the Faculty of Medicine at Sydney University the following year. Membership of the Sydney University Bush Walkers, enabled him to explore the wild places and scenic landscapes of Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea

After graduating in Medicine in 1988, Mark spent 2 years as a Resident Medical Officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He was then appointed Registrar in Psychiatry. Having passed the College examination in 1996, his next step to the fellowship was the submission of a dissertation.

From October 1996 to the end of 1997, as Senior Registrar in Psychiatry in Alice Springs, he determined that his dissertation would explore “Psychiatric Assessment in Remote Aboriginal Communities”. Mark was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in October 1997.

Following Mark’s death, memorial services were held at The Rozelle Hospital Sydney and The John Flynn Church, Alice Springs. At Alice Springs Hospital on 28 May 1999, after a service of dedication to the “Mark Sheldon Remote Mental Health Service”, his portrait and a plaque were fixed in a place of honor within the psychiatry building.

At the Annual Congress of the R.A.N.Z.C.P. In April 2000, the retiring president, Dr Janice Wilson, announced an annual award, “The Mark Sheldon Prize for Service in Indigenous Mental Health”, to be presented, for the first time, at the next congress 2001.

Dr. Bruce H. G. Sheldon
July 2000