Depression is the leading cause of non-fatal disease burden in Australia. Recently, increasing public recognition, together with the development of more integrated medical and psychological healthcare services has resulted in significant improvements. New pathophysiological models incorporate structural brain changes with established changes in neurotransmitter function. Further, recognition of predisposing factors and the salience of differential ages of onset have led to more pragmatic diagnostic systems. There is an ongoing need to promote early recognition, better information to inform treatment choices and more comprehensive treatment programmes that incorporate behavioural and lifestyle factors in addition to the wide range of pharmacological therapies that are now available.