Why the APA is the Association of the Year

Abstract image of glowing lights and gold stars on wooden boards.

Why the APA is the Association of the Year

Abstract image of glowing lights and gold stars on wooden boards.

In early November, we learned that the APA had taken out the Association of the Year Award for 2022.

This award, administered by the Associations Forum, recognises excellence in the associations sector.

Among an impressive list of finalists, which included the Australian Psychological Society and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the APA was recognised for ‘delivering an outstanding range of quality and innovative member services and being an active voice for this important healthcare profession’.

I was proud to read those words and they resonated as a true and accurate reflection of what we set out to achieve every day of the year.

It prompted me to explore and consider what it is that makes an association worthy of such an accolade.

Having a strong vision for the future and the stamina to see it through

Governments work on four-year cycles and initiatives that will bear fruit beyond that time frame are often destined for the bin.

They simply aren’t worth pursuing given the uncertainty surrounding their expected date of maturity.

The APA is unencumbered by such considerations.

In fact, we see it as our duty to pursue the long-term goals that can seem out of reach and unattainable to many.

This is why we’re investing in publicly funded first contact physiotherapy—a vision for directly accessible and affordable physiotherapy for all Australians.

We know that this is a long-play proposition, but we have the stamina and commitment to see it through despite the many roadblocks we expect to encounter.

Many other strategies to strengthen our profession are captured in Future of physiotherapy in Australia—a 10-year vision policy white paper.

If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend you do so you can get a sense of what the APA’s goals are for our profession.

Leaving no stone unturned to support our members

I hear the conversations our staff have in the office.

I am privy to the deliberations of our many engaged members sitting on committees and councils and I see the fervour of our Board of Directors in pursuing value for members.

This was most evident during the worst of the COVID-19 period.

Where many other associations found the difficulties of navigating this challenge too much to bear, we buckled down and sought to be as useful as possible to members.

Beyond COVID, you will see evidence of this in the comprehensive yet affordable member insurance program we offer, our gold-standard professional development and career pathways and our continuous advocacy, which will not stop until we have exhausted every avenue to secure what is right for our profession and the communities we serve.

These things happen because we are wholeheartedly dedicated to our members’ professional wellbeing.

Being the profession’s clear and persistent voice

Of all the things we do at the APA, this is the hardest to replace or replicate.

Only a profession’s peak body has the authority, skills and access to decision-makers necessary to make its voice heard.

Our advocacy is relentless.

From seamless imaging and referral rights to better funding through compensable schemes and everything in between, if the argument makes sense for our profession, our patients and the health sector, we will make it.

Advocacy efforts aren’t always clearly visible.

They are nuanced, often take place behind closed doors and can take a long time to come into effect.

However, if you keep an eye on our social media channels, particularly the National President’s Twitter handle, as well as our flagship e-communications, you will understand the breadth of the APA’s advocacy.

While external accolades are welcome and appreciated, what really drives us is the success and wellbeing of our members.

Membership renewals for 2023 are now open.

We hope you will join forces with us as we tackle the challenges ahead.

We’re stronger and better together.


© Copyright 2023 by Australian Physiotherapy Association. All rights reserved.