WA News
Perth child psychiatrist ‘caught filming boy’ in Canadian toilets
By Emma Young
May 30 2016

Psychiatrist Aaron Voon was confronted by angry shoppers after the incident in Canada

Psychiatrist Aaron Voon was confronted by angry shoppers after the incident in Canada

An exclusive Perth child psychiatrist has been arrested after allegedly using a mobile phone to film a young boy in a shopping centre toilet in Canada.

Aaron Voon, of the Successful Development and Therapy Centre at Cockburn Central, was arrested by Canadian police on child pornography charges following the incident in Edmonton, Alberta on May 22.

A confrontation between the boy’s father and Dr Voon was captured on video then posted online. The video shows the father and people at a movie theatre pushing the doctor to give up his phone.

He now faces charges of possessing child pornography, making child pornography and voyeurism, local reports say.

On Sunday, administrators at Dr Voon’s paediatric clinic emailed parents and industry peers a message from Dr Voon.

“Dear colleagues, patients and family,” it read.

“A most terrible thing has happened with me in the past week whilst overseas which I will need to manage urgently … I will have to cease practice immediately indefinitely.

“For patients and family I am so sorry for leaving you so suddenly. I can honestly state that these issues have been TOTALLY separate from work and I have always provided you and your children with the best possible, safe and appropriate care …

“For colleagues, I seek your urgent support in taking over care … my deepest apologies again and grateful appreciation for the past opportunity to work together.

“I hope that I will have the chance to work solidly on my personal issues and start afresh some time in the future.”

Dr Voon attached contact details of other Perth specialists to the letters for families, who he cautioned would need to obtain a fresh referral.

Calls to his practice were answered by a recording saying that due to unforeseen circumstances, the clinic would be closed indefinitely.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the government was providing consular assistance to an Australian man who had been detained in Canada.

“For privacy reasons we will not be making further comment,” she said.

WAtoday understands that Dr Voon specialises in treating prepubescent children with social, emotional and behavioural concerns and conditions including depression, anxiety, ADHD and autism.

Dr Voon is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

His brochure says he graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Western Australia, was awarded the Boots Prize and CB Kidd Memorial Prize in Psychiatry, and has completed advanced training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Initial appointments range from $750-$990 for 90 minutes and from $395-$445 for subsequent appointments.

There is a three-month waitlist for his services.

A parent whose child was on that waitlist and whose appointment was imminent said it had been a lengthy and difficult process to get an appointment, and they had had to answer a long screening survey and provide a photograph of their child.

But Dr Voon was so highly regarded by other parents who they knew, they did not question it and were simply relieved to be told their child was in the “right category” to be a patient.

They said the communication from his clinic had been a huge shock.

“I was just sickened,” the parent said.

“We are so sad, because we were really hopeful about having found a way to help our child.”

An industry peer said Dr Voon was a special colleague and the news was shocking.

A Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA spokeswoman said the law prevented her from commenting on individual cases, but in general terms the organisations took the role of protecting the public very seriously.

“Doctors have an obligation to inform the Board if they have been charged with an offence that could lead to 12 months or more imprisonment, regardless of whether they have been charged in Australia or overseas,” she said.

There is no suggestion that Dr Voon has been involved in illegal activity in Western Australia.