Objective: To describe changes that have occurred in the field of indigenous mental health over the last 50 years. Conclusions: The last half-century has seen major advances in psychiatry and in the roles and capacities of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Over the same period, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia has been transformed by social and political forces that have brought both benefits and disappointments to Indigenous Australians. Indigenous mental health has evolved from a marginal interest in an 'exotic' area to a recognised field with its own issues, competencies and training needs. In this paper, two College Fellows consider these decades of change, presenting their reflections through voices that reflect different vantages despite a common destination. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2013.