President’s Piece May 2023

Dear Members,

How are we in May already? So much has been happening over these last few weeks. Firstly I want to acknowledge the ARTA Board is very aware of what is occurring in the aged care sector, with many of our members losing jobs or being asked to re-train, homes closing with residents being relocated and jobs also being lost. We hear and see what is happening every day, and many of the Board and team have also personally experienced this. Know that all the work the ARTA team does as representatives of you and your profession is about trying to raise awareness of the value of what we do, and we want you to know this will continue.

I am heartened to see that we are having a gradual increase in our membership, and I would like to welcome those members back to our association along with new members. You will always hear me talk about our members being the backbone of our profession and that we need you to support our board and executive team to be the continued voice in our various industries to assist in lifting recognition. We welcome your input and support through our communities of practice, newsletter support or even assisting at conference/ workshops to name a few.

Charlise, our Executive Officer, met with ANZSCO – who is responsible for the Standard Classification of Occupations – following this engagement, ANZSCO is more knowledgeable in the various levels of education of our members and we hope that this will assist in future classification and recognition of the profession beginning initially with the Aged and Disability Sector and they are seeking our engagement in the review of the Allied Health sector later in the year.

Charlise also represented ARTA at the Industry Skills Council, talking about the benefits of our profession and building ongoing recognition of Recreational Therapy. ARTA continues to have a place and a voice in the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), with Daniella Greenwood and Kayla Garside representing us. Catherine Meredith is also representing ARTA on the Tasmanian Health Senate.

An article on Recreational Therapy, written by Charlise was also published in the World Leisure Organisation around ‘Recent Developments and Challenges for Recreational Therapy in Australia’ which enables a global reach and recognition of what we are achieving here in Australia – we have linked the full article below.

This month we have two town hall meetings online on Monday the 8th of May at noon and Thursday the 11th of May at 7pm. I invite you to attend, hear about what we have been undertaking, continue to work towards, and to obtain your feedback. You will also notice over the next few months, feedback from the membership survey you completed is being incorporated, we listen, and would like to know more.

Finally, our call for papers is out for our face-to-face conference in September ‘Recreation: the missing piece.’ I urge our members to consider submitting an abstract as well as coming to the conference. It will be great to have you all at our conference – September 8th – 9th at Novotel Parramatta. Early Bird registration will be out very soon.

Until June,

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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