About this training programme.

This initiative is run by Qtopia and the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa, and funded by Te Whatu Ora.
Qtopia is an advocacy, social change, and social support service for the whole LGBTQIA+ rainbow community, based in Ōtautahi Christchurch, and working throughout Te Waipounamu the South Island.

Our vision is for all rainbow people to thrive in a society that supports, celebrates, and treasures them, and for Aotearoa to be a leader in health and wellbeing outcomes for our LGBTQIA+ whānau.
The Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA) is an interdisciplinary professional organisation working to promote the health, wellbeing and rights of transgender people. Our members work professionally for transgender health in clinical, academic, community, legal, and other settings.

Our vision is that all transgender people have full access to appropriate healthcare, and that all healthcare providers have access to information and resources which enable them to provide appropriate healthcare.

We work towards this vision through research, education, and networking and collaboration among professionals. This includes promoting Māori and Pasifika models of healthcare, partnerships with transgender communities, and emphasising informed consent and human rights. Our association also advocates for institutional, policy, and legislative reform to advance transgender health.
PATHA's logo


We're developing comprehensive e-learning opportunities for everyone, no matter your experience level.

In-person workshops

We'll be visiting a region close to you, no matter where in Aotearoa you live, so that everyone can access in-person training.

In-practice visits

We know how hard it is to take time away from your clinic, so we can come to you and offer support to your whole team.

Meet our team

We value the lived experience of our trans and non-binary community members, and of the clinicians and primary health workers providing this care and supporting their colleagues.
Jennifer Shields
Project Lead & Community Educator
Jennifer has been involved in community and transgender health advocacy for the last decade, is Healthcare Lead at Qtopia and President of PATHA, and was an author on the Primary Care Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Guidelines. Jen is thrilled to be working with the primary care workforce, because she's seen what a difference primary care can make in people's lives. She's a keen educator, an avid photographer and writer, has three cats, and lives in Ōtautahi Christchurch with her partner.
Dr Rona Carroll
Clinical Educator
Rona is a GP who works in a primary care based gender affirming healthcare team, and frequently provides education and training on GP/NP led gender affirming hormone therapy initiation. Rona led the writing of the Primary Care Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Guidelines. She is also a senior lecturer at Otago University Wellington and is on the executive committee of PATHA. Rona lives in Wellington with her family, and loves to read and travel.
Dr Beth McElrea
Clinical Educator
Beth is a GP with a special interest in Gender Affirming Care and has been working in this area since 2015. She created the Gender Care Service at Tamatea Medical Centre in 2022 which is a fully funded gender affirming service, available to everyone, and was an author on the Primary Care Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Guidelines. She also job shares with her husband as a GP at Tamatea Medical Centre. Beth is a member of the executive committee of PATHA and is also a member of the advisory panel at the Ministry of Health for projects supporting gender affirming care across Aotearoa. Beth lives in Napier with her husband, three boys and Dottie the Dalmatian.
Dr Rebecca Nicholls
Clinical Educator
Dr Rebecca Nicholls has been working as a GP since 2000, and is Clinical Lead for Transgender health in Waitaha, working collaboratively with trans and non-binary communities and all areas of the health system to create positive change and uphold self-determination in transgender health. She is an author on the Primary Care Gender Affirming Hormone Guidelines, and the co-project manager and lead author on the update of the 2018 Aotearoa Gender Affirming Guidelines. Rebecca passionately believes that general practice is a speciality uniquely skilled at caring for this population as it covers all aspects of a person, their whānau and their community’s care.
Scout Barbour-Evans
Community Educator
Scout (Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Ngāti Porou) owns and operates Te Kahukura Puāwai, a micro-business focused on using lived experience narratives to make positive change in our health sector. They're that "transgender activist" the Herald warned you about, and they're well known for running for Ōtepoti's mayoralty and having a baby while trans. They enjoy gaming, gardening and great sushi.

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