President’s Piece July 2023

More than halfway through the year, who can believe it? This brings the association to a new position that we have not been at before. With our membership renewals being due at the end of the financial year, you should have by now uploaded your professional development for the last twelve months and completed your renewal.

The new membership levels will allow us as an association to apply for full membership with the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA). To be recognised as a national allied health profession, AHPA required 70% of our membership who hold voting rights to have a bachelor’s degree. This was one of the requirements we had discussed with our members prior to changing the constitution and the associations name.

So again, I urge you to complete your renewal if you have not already done so. This is another opportunity that ARTA is working hard on for its members. Post membership renewal we will then be able to make an application to AHPA. Once we do this, we can then also look at professional recognition with different funding mechanisms such as Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Thank you to those who have renewed prior to June 30, you will be receiving your 50% discount code for ARTA’s Teachable professional development courses and can use this up until the end of July – an amazing benefit for being a member. For those wanting to know more about Teachable, please utilise the following link You will also find our most recent Spin Poi course uploaded here also which you can access now.

It is an exciting time to be part of our profession.

We have a working party currently developing a detailed response to the Aged Care Minister about the current aged care funding instrument and the impact it is having on our profession. Thank you to those of you who are giving up your time to assist in the development of this. Last month we also provided a written submission of feedback to government around the new model for regulating aged care, and again thank you to those involved in this detailed document. Our board and other members also continue to attend regular external meetings ensuring that our profession is heard and has a voice – thank you to those assisting with this.

ARTA is also in the process of developing a Community of Practice regarding the ever-emerging discussions around Social Prescribing, where we hope to reach out to various working groups and key stakeholders to lift the profile of Recreational Therapy within this developing space.

The association also had a trade table at the recent Dementia + Recreation National Conference in Melbourne. It was interesting to note that some people working in the industry were unaware of the association. Once again, we would really encourage your feedback on different ways, as a profession and as an association, we could become more recognised.

The 2023 Australian Recreational Therapy Conference continues to take shape, abstracts have been received, we are talking with trade tables and have extended the early-bird for conference tickets by 2 weeks, and the pre-conference workshop is ready to go, so consider 7-9th September for your diaries, Parramatta, Sydney, NSW and come see your board and other colleagues face to face for learning and development.

Thank you all again for your continued backing of our professional association, yes ARTA represents its membership, but we need numbers to continue to grow and have weight, so please talk with your colleagues who currently don’t have a membership with ARTA, and ask them to join and be a part of the next generation of this amazing association.

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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