Equal voices for a sustainable future

A hand holding multi-coloured pieces of paper cuts of people

Equal voices for a sustainable future

A hand holding multi-coloured pieces of paper cuts of people

The APA’s National Advisory Council (NAC) had a great start to the year with its first face-to-face meeting in Melbourne.

It is always so encouraging to hear what our national groups, advisory councils and branches are working on to advance physiotherapy.

It is also a pleasure to see the different groups connecting with each other and assessing how they can better work together and share advocacy and professional development.

Newly elected NAC chair Aaron Beck facilitated the meeting, ensuring that all groups had an equal voice as we talked through some strategic initiatives for the APA and the profession. 

I am also happy to announce that Megan Ross has been elected as the NAC deputy chair. 

Megan has done significant work with the profession and the APA over many years and I look forward to seeing her trajectory in this role.

At the NAC meeting we explored a number of issues pertinent to our great profession’s sustainable future in the healthcare space. 

A pitch made by the Business group, leading out of a discussion at the Brisbane conference last year, was for the APA to provide a framework for physiotherapy rates at different stages of the career pathway. 

Many other professions and industries recommend fees, sometimes presenting tiered fee models—how can we use this system to best advantage? 

Would it help reduce the attrition rate of physiotherapists that can be seen across the profession? 

How do we account for areas of physiotherapy that don’t currently have a career pathway or take into consideration the specific circumstances of our rural and remote members?

The general consensus was that we need further work in this area, with input from all the different groups, if we are to develop a framework that will work for practitioners while ensuring that consumers are able to access high-quality physiotherapy.

The Policy and Government Relations team did some brainstorming with all our attendees on what the next generation of physiotherapy may look like. 

It was immediately obvious how complex our profession is and that we all have different ideas about what kind of skills new graduates should bring with them into the workforce. 

There was a consensus, however, that this work—along with our scope of practice project, our differing skills project and our workforce census work—is important to the advocacy in which all our engaged members are involved. 

We can’t look at any of these endeavours in isolation; they are all interconnected.

Chair of the Board of Directors Mark Round, past CEO Anja Nikolic and I talked about the highlights of 2023 and some of the APA’s achievements. 

A consistent balance sheet, record membership, a stable board and a significant advocacy effort all contributed to a successful year. 

We considered what’s on the horizon for the profession and the APA in the coming months—including a new CEO and the release of the federal Budget, which may see the federal government’s popularity change. 

As the Board continues to pursue its ongoing initiatives, it will also look into refreshing its strategic action plans and Reconciliation Action Plans.

I want to personally thank the APA staff, executive leadership team, engaged members and members of the Board of Directors for putting in so much time to advance the profession, away from their employment, families, friends and loved ones. 

We are very lucky to be part of a profession and an association that genuinely care about the sustainability of our healthcare system and about ensuring access to quality physiotherapy for all Australians.

Take care.

Scott Willis APAM

APA National president


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