President’s Piece March 2024

The celebration of Recreational Therapy Week had some great traction on social media, with several organisations outwardly recognising the vital role of Recreational/ Diversional Therapists within aged care, health, and rehabilitation. It was so heartening to see our profession being celebrated and shared across various platforms, increasing our visibility. Thank you to NSW Health, Southern Cross Care, and Royal Rehabilitation, along with many of our members for promoting our profession online.

We had some very successful town hall sessions attended by members and non-members, where all were provided with an update on the current goals and projects that ARTA are working towards for 2024. Thank you to those who attended, and please keep an eye out for further town halls across the year.

We are excited to announce that this year’s Australian Recreational Therapy Conference ‘Choice, Connection, Community’ will be virtual. It will run across Thursday 26th and Friday 27th September 2024. Although our 2023 conference was a great success, with fantastic keynotes and presenters, getting numbers across the line for face-to-face engagement, and the costs associated with physical conferences were considered when deciding how to deliver our professional development this year. As much as we want our members and the Diversional and Recreational community to come together, we needed to choose how we could best provide professional development, which also fell within the capacity of affordability for the association.

Professional development continues to be a difficult thing to navigate within all industries, hence our decision this year, to provide a virtual conference to enable greater reach across the nation, but with the possibility of further engagement with attendees and presenters from across the globe. A call for abstracts will be available online soon. We look forward to receiving submissions for our National Conference.

ARTA board members continue to engage in external advocacy roles on the National Aged Care Alliance, providing feedback on the draft standards and the quality-of-life indicators. We are aiming to explore increased connections with Western Sydney University, and we are happy to report that WSU has been provided with full accreditation with ARTA and is recognised as a quality provider of education.

We are always looking for members to engage and support our board members through communities of practice or in working groups for industry feedback. If you have any interests in the various portfolio’s or communities of practice, please reach out to the office to ask questions to register your interest.

In March, the office will soon begin work on membership renewals over the coming months, please ensure that you have updated your details on MemNet or contact the office if you can’t access our online portal.

We aim to have submitted our application for AHPA by the time you read this newsletter, which is very exciting in the move forward of our profession. We will keep you updated on this, and thank you to Charlise for all your work on this huge task. We are still looking for additional members to form part of the self-regulation committee, which is made up of degree, diploma and cert 4 membership. If you are interested or want to know more again, please reach out to the office.

Thank you all for your patience as we continue to navigate the ever changing environments where our members work. Thank you to all the board for their continued work, and the office for everything they all do.

Until April,

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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