President’s Piece August 2023

What a busy time of the year July has been and in a few more weeks we will be at the end of August. There are currently alarm bells ringing on a few different issues that I would like to be frank with you, our members about.

Firstly: membership renewals.
I know this becomes a yearly discussion piece, but this year there are bigger implications, should we not reach our renewals of membership. ARTA’s board and executive officer has been working very hard in ensuring that all the I’s are dotted, and T’s are crossed with regards to an application for membership with the Allied Health Association Australia to be recognised as a national allied health profession.

We have fulfilled all the check points to move forward in this application (which is to better our profession) except one major part – it is having all our members financial, especially our degree members. Can I please ask, that you log into your membership portal ( as soon as you read this and renew your membership. We cannot further this pursuit without you.

Secondly: professional development, and more importantly, conference 2023.
ARTA is hosting both a pre-conference workshop and two-day face to face conference from the 7th-9th September 2023, in Sydney. We listened to our members seeking to come back together for face-to-face professional development following the struggles during COVID. However, at the time this newsletter is emailed, our numbers are not where we anticipated for the workshop or conference. While we have taken on the feedback about wanting face to face professional development the board will also need to consider the organisation of future events moving into 2024. Conference is one of the major ways we enable those who are providing recreation therapy to grow and develop, the sharing of industry colleagues on programs and their outcomes as well our global leaders sharing what is happening around the world, which we want to continue.

We have group discounts for organizations for five or more staff, so please talk with your manager, educators and discuss their obligation (and benefit to residents/ clients/ staff) of profession specific professional development. If this is of interest, please contact the office and speak with Diana or Jodie.

On the 7th August at 12PM and 10th of August at 7 PM, please remember that we also have our Town Hall meetings- this is open to members and non-members to share all the projects we have been working towards for our members, along with answering some of the questions from our recent member survey- please contact the office to register to attend.

This month, I am also heading to Aotearoa (New Zealand)- I am taking some time off personally and doing a solo road trip from Auckland to Wellington and linking in with the NZDRT conference on the 18th- 20th August to share, through a presentation, the recent changes and work that the ARTA board and members have been undertaking. I am visiting a few residential aged care facilities while I am there and will provide you with some of the learnings I obtained while there.

A short but poignant presidents’ piece from me, the ARTA board and executive are constantly trying to achieve the best for our profession and our members, but I can’t say enough that members are an extension of this and all of us can assist in the recognition and uplift.

We are always seeking feedback so please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime via the office.

Thank you for all you do, stay safe and well.

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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