APA announces the resignation of our esteemed CEO

Australian Physiotherapy Association CEO - Anja

APA announces the resignation of our esteemed CEO

Australian Physiotherapy Association CEO - Anja

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) announces the resignation of our esteemed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anja Nikolic, as she embarks on a new chapter in her career. Effective 15 March 2024, Anja will step down from her role as CEO of the APA to assume the CEO role at the Australasian Institute of Digital Health.

During Anja’s tenure, the APA has experienced remarkable growth, hitting an all-time high of over 32,000 members and solidifying its position as a leader in the health industry in Australia. Under Anja’s guidance, the organisation has consistently expanded its presence in the health sector, enhanced its relationships with members and stakeholders and fostered a productive culture of innovation and collaboration.

Anja has led the APA in its pivotal role in prioritising physiotherapy within the health sector through some of the country’s most challenging years. She cemented the APA as a critical source of information for physiotherapists during the COVID-19 outbreak, providing members with timely translations of government protocols in each state and their real-world application. She successfully led the charge to enable WA physiotherapists to return to practising during a COVID-19 lockdown and her focus on keeping members abreast of the implications to their practice has been second-to-none, including during times of fire or flood across multiple states.

Anja has tirelessly advocated for the profession and organisation on state, national and international levels, ensuring our members are expertly represented by their peak body and positioning the APA as leaders in our field. She has led the ongoing expansion of the APA’s world-class education offering, including new opportunities for various national groups to gain Titling or Specialisation with the Australian College of Physiotherapists, branching into new countries with our world-class professional development courses and cultivating some of the most successful APA national conferences, hosting the peak number of delegates in 2023 in Meanjin, Queensland (Brisbane) with over 1900 attendees.

As an ally and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and women, within in our membership, staff and patient communities, Anja forged new paths for historically marginalised groups and propelled the organisation forward by establishing the LGBTQIA+ Advisory Panel and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Staff Advisory Group. She established and personally led the development of the APA’s fourth Reconciliation Action Plan (Innovate), and worked tirelessly to ensure equal load, safety training and truth telling were part of our DNA at the APA. Anja was a critical voice in the APA’s strong stance for the ‘Yes’ vote in the 2023 Voice to Parliament, reaffirming the APA’s commitment to reconciliation and improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Reflecting on her time at the APA, Anja expressed her gratitude, saying, “Leading the outstanding team at the APA has been a true honour and privilege. Collaborating with a dedicated board of experts and receiving unwavering support from our broader member community throughout my tenure has been immensely gratifying. Together, we've accomplished remarkable milestones and cultivated a culture characterised by innovation and excellence. I am proud of our achievements, and I hold complete faith in the capabilities of the talented individuals who will continue to drive the APA's strategic vision, and the physiotherapy profession, well into the future.”

As Anja transitions to her new role, she remains deeply committed to the ongoing success of the APA and will provide support during the transition period. The APA Board of Directors will initiate a comprehensive search for a new CEO, considering both internal and external candidates and ensuring a seamless transition of leadership.

APA Chair of the Board Mark Round expressed his appreciation for Anja’s significant contributions and her exceptional leadership during some challenging years.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Anja for her outstanding leadership and tireless dedication to physiotherapy in Australia over the past nine years. Under her guidance, the organisation has achieved remarkable growth and success. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours and know that she will bring the same level of passion and excellence to her new role,” he said.

As the APA moves forward, our commitment to physiotherapy remains unwavering. Our strong leadership team, coupled with the expertise and remarkable talents of our National Advisory Committee and staff, will continue to propel APA toward a bright and successful future.


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