Our History

Our whakapapa

The Centre for Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health was established in 2002 as The Werry Centre, a research and teaching centre within the Department of Psychiatry (now the Department of Psychological Medicine) and Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Auckland.

The Centre was named after Emeritus Professor John Werry, a pioneer of child psychiatry and champion for improving the well-being and mental health of all infants, children and adolescents in Aotearoa New Zealand. Between 2002 and 2018, the Centre included a workforce development arm that primarily received funding from the Ministry of Health. In 2018, this arm was restructured as a separate national workforce centre and rebranded ‘Whāraurau’.

The Director of the Centre between 2002-2021 was Professor Sally Merry, child and adolescent psychiatrist and Cure Kids Chair. The original Kaumatua for the Centre between 2002-2021 was Matua David Wharemate.

The current Director and Deputy Director of the Centre are Dr Hiran Thabrew and Dr Vas Ajello. The current Kaumatua for the Centre is  Matua Sonny Niha.