Gathering for renewed purpose

animated hands joined together against a wavy blue background

Gathering for renewed purpose

animated hands joined together against a wavy blue background

We have just had our very first face-to-face National Advisory Council (NAC) meeting for 2023 in Melbourne.

In NAC meetings, the APA national groups, entities, networks, councils, panels and the Board of Directors all come together to assess and talk about whatever factors are affecting the profession and to prioritise our responses and our proactive strategies.

Reflecting on this successful event, I came away with the same positive feelings and thoughts that meeting in person always gives rise to.

Firstly, I have always believed that a face-to-face meeting of our APA leaders fills the room with energy, stimulates discussion, encourages us to achieve significant outcomes and improves the interactions between all groups, staff and the Board of Directors.

The recent meeting reminded me how much harder this has been throughout the past three years of COVID-19 restrictions.

Secondly, I am so impressed by the skill set, passion and drive of our engaged members and leaders.

We all give up our personal time with our families and loved ones and take time away from employment for the betterment of the profession.

I appreciate all of our office bearers, who work so hard to drive our strategic plan, to advocate for physiotherapy and to pursue our vision for a contemporary health system of which future communities will be proud.

Thirdly, the ideas that come out of the robust discussions we have will encourage our elected federal and state leaders to take action towards genuine reform of the healthcare system.

They will also help to futureproof our profession by developing the career pathways, by ensuring that we can work to our full scope of practice, by gaining a better understanding of workforce demand and supply so that appropriate remuneration will help our members to stay in the profession longer and by keeping our focus on the patients who rely on us.

I thank the APA staff; our NAC chair, Cath Willis; and everyone else who makes NAC meetings possible. 

As National President of the APA, it’s very important to me that our profession is sustainable, that it’s focused on the future and that the next generation looks back at what we are doing now with appreciation.

Finally, I feel that every NAC meeting we attend advances our own professional development in leadership and governance.

Being an engaged member on NAC helps us to become better leaders, not only for the APA but within our own communities, workplaces and departments.

I am very proud to see the significant growth of every member of NAC in all aspects of the profession, including leadership.

I want to take this opportunity to extend my concern for all healthcare providers after the disturbing news from my community in Burnie, Tasmania, where an emergency consultant was allegedly stabbed while attending to a patient in the emergency department.

I have seen firsthand a community that has rallied together to support each other and to ensure that workplaces are kept as safe as possible. When you go to work—in any workplace, including health facilities—you expect to come home safe every day.

However, our society has changed and we need to be diligent and look after one another. Apart from anything else, we want to make sure we are around in the long term to keep helping our communities and our patients.

Take care, stay safe.

Scott Willis


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