The spark of connection and engagement

Abstract image of coloured bands of light intersecting in a black void with a glowing centre ball.

The spark of connection and engagement

Abstract image of coloured bands of light intersecting in a black void with a glowing centre ball.

The year is nearly over, which gives us a great opportunity to reflect on our collective achievements, connections and engagement during 2022.

After taking that look in the rear-vision mirror and learning from where we have been, it is time for us all to look forward and focus our attention on the direction we want the profession to go in and what we need to do to get there.

The APA’s goal has always been that all Australians will have equal access to quality physiotherapy.

It was so good to see so many familiar and not-so-familiar faces at FOCUS 2022 in Melbourne.

The energy within the conference centre was electric and I will treasure it for many years to come.

It makes me so proud that the profession has continued to provide safe, quality and effective interventions in these very strange times.

The release of Future of physiotherapy in Australia—a 10-year vision policy white paper was the result of many hours of strategic planning, not only by the policy and communications teams but by engaged members over many years.

This paper, combined with the Value of Physiotherapy in Australia report and the APA’s pre-Budget submission and election statement Physiotherapy: A Path to Better Care, signals to consumers and health influencers that the APA and the physiotherapy profession are focused on the future and are willing and able to offer solutions.

Feedback from all levels of government, members and other peak bodies has been positive.

In the past year, we have seen a new government sworn in and attempting to deliver on its election promises.

It has been extremely challenging to arrange meetings with most ministers due to staffing difficulties.

However, at the time of writing I have recently secured a meeting with Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler to discuss the Future of physiotherapy in Australia white paper.

We have also effectively connected with other peak bodies, influencers and department secretaries.

This has put us in contact with groups that we have not engaged with in the past and allowed us to look at opportunities for collaboration and positive influence.

Our media influence in 2022 has been significant—backed by research, engagement and collaboration—and we have been fielding media requests from multiple sources.

Thank you to all our engaged members and staff who have given their time and energy to take our messages to consumers, funders and the wider world.

I want to extend my congratulations and appreciation to Jenny Aiken, who is retiring from the role of Chair of the Board of Directors.

Jenny has steered the Board and the APA into the position they enjoy today and her influence will be felt for many years.

For me, Jenny has been a mentor, colleague, influencer, inspirer and friend and I wish her luck in her next chapter.

I thank Anja Nikolic, the Executive Leadership Team, the Board and my Vice Presidents Mark Round and Rik Dawson for their continued support, counsel, work ethic and commitment to our strategic direction.

I thank the National Advisory Council, led by Cath Willis, for its work on our strategic path and ongoing support of me as National President.

I would also like to thank the APA staff, who are a significant part of the success of 2022.

Finally, I want to thank the 31,351 members who make the APA what it is today.

Without these numbers, the engagement and the tireless amount of volunteer work you all do, I could not represent physiotherapy at the level that I do.

I wish everyone a festive period and time to rest, reflect and celebrate what we have achieved during 2022.

I look forward to seeing you all again in 2023.

Take care, stay safe.


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