Hope for a new year to come

 

Happy New Year! May 2021 be an easier ride than 2020 was.

As I write these words it is mid-December  and  we are in anticipation of a positive and festive summer before us, knowing you will read this in February. I write with trepidation, quite uncertain but  very  hopeful  about how the long-awaited new year will begin.

There are many things to look forward to this year, and I am very grateful that you have chosen to continue your journey with us.

The year has started with new Board leadership under the chairpersonship of Jenny Aiken and presidency of Scott Willis.

Two new directors, Peter Tziavrangos and Holly Brasher, began their tenures on 1 January.

Both have given significant effort, insight and time to the profession already and I am excited to witness their contributions in these new roles.

Many national groups will be led by new chairs, and we wish them all every success in executing their duties.

There are many exciting challenges and opportunities that lie before us.

We will continue to develop our Career Pathways towards the goal of a portable, scalable, credentialled suite of education programs—recognised globally for their quality and flexibility.

For a number of years we have worked to position physiotherapy positively in the minds of consumers.

Our work has focused on informing the public about the breadth and quality of physiotherapy, and I’m pleased to say that in 2020 our consumer reach via social media alone was 3.5 million.

The next phase of consumer outreach is to mobilise consumers as agents of change—helping us with  advocacy,  and  spreading the physiotherapy message alongside the profession, to drive positive change in the health system.

I am also very hopeful that by the time October comes around, the barriers to having a big, successful conference will be minimal.

While international participation may still be a touch-and- go proposition, I expect that physiotherapists from all over Australia will be able to get together to learn, discuss and celebrate physiotherapy.

We are tireless in our commitment to advocating on behalf of the profession.

We have a strong strategy focused on policy development and advocacy towards greater access to physiotherapy for consumers, more appropriate funding, solutions to workforce issues, and the protection and advancement of our scope of practice.

I thank the many engaged national group committee and branch council members who work with us to drive positive change and outcomes.

Internally, we remain wholly committed to the efficient, value-focused running of the organisation.

To that end, early this year we will review our rolling strategic plan to ensure it is fit for purpose and reflects our goals and values.

Our strong financial management has enabled us to ride out the COVID-19 crisis with relatively little impact and to keep membership fees unchanged despite the sizable increase in member insurance premiums this year.

Whatever the year may bring, we will relentlessly keep pursuing value for members and advancement for  the profession. I am excited about what lies ahead.

 

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