Professional associations for transgender health exist around the world, creating networks of people who are working to improve the health for transgender people.
In 2009, ANZPATH (Australia & New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health) was formed at a World Professional Association for Transgender Health conference, after input from a few New Zealand attendees to an Australian group that was intending to set up ANZPATH. Since then, while ANZPATH’s Australian membership has blossomed to around 200 members in 2018, New Zealand members only numbered ten.
While there are strong contacts between people working on trans health in Australia and Aotearoa, the legal, policy and cultural frameworks for that work differ between the two countries. Many people working in this field believed that a local professional organisation would be well placed to play a leading advisory role in improving access to gender affirming care and broader health outcomes for transgender people in Aotearoa.
In 2018, those involved in organising the Aotearoa Trans Health Symposium started to talk more concretely about the idea of creating a New Zealand-based organisation. We saw the Trans Health Symposium as a unique opportunity to progress this idea further. In 2018, ANZPATH became AusPATH, the Australian Professional Association for Transgender Health and a meeting was held at the Aotearoa Trans Health Symposium on 4th May 2019. Of the 80 people in attendance, there was unanimous support among those who voted to establish PATHA and an inaugural Executive Committee was formed. The photo featured above shows the 15 members who signed to incorporate the society.
There continues to be a strong relationship between PATHA and AusPATH. Our two organisations have overlap in our membership and we have worked together on joint statements. PATHA is thankful for AusPATH's support in the development of our organisation we hope that we will continue to work closely together on future initiatives.