President Piece – 11 November 2016

Hello Members,

Did you go to the DTA conference! If you did, I am sure, like so many people I have spoken to, you also found it inspiring and informing. The keynote speakers, Michael Venuzuala , Dr Gary Cheung and Dr Kathy Peri were perfect for the DT environment.

I came away from the conference with two key thoughts. Firstly, how very proud I am to be part of such a welcoming and embracing organisation. Secondly, I firmly believe the DT role and DTA sit on the brink of change. At last year’s conference we heard about claiming the space, this year, we were given the road map to do that!

I hope you realise how exciting this is for you, a DTA member! Perhaps you have never thought about the value of being part of a peak body? Your membership means you hold a significant role as part of a peak body. So, you might ask, what is a peak body? What do they do and why should I be a voice within that?

Peak bodies are paramount in facilitating information flow to and from their members. This information might be related to changes in policy, government programs or the broader environment that will impact on that specific sector. This means relaying information between members on issues of importance to them, such as changes in training, educational opportunities, government policy, or changes in trends both nationally and internationally. It might also include informing the member base about research, opinion and practice experience.

Peak bodies also sift through the issues faced by their sector, flagging the most urgent issues and making recommendations to support change and development.

Peak bodies can also play an important role in providing community education and awareness, raising the profile of the members of that organisation or raising awareness of issues within the community.

Diversional Therapy Australia has a structured strategic plan which provides the framework for how the Board acts and responds across a range of issues and areas in responding to the requirements of the peak body role.

Each year, on the day immediately prior to the conference (the same day the workshops are offered) your Board meet face to face. This is the day we review the strategic plan, and determine the strategies the Board will adopt in moving through the next twelve months. This is an important day for the Board as it sets the tone for the next working period.

Your newsletter is the means by which we communicate most readily with you. You will often read about research opportunities, or practice experience, or educational opportunities. This is all part of the role of your peak body.

The annual conference is another means by which DTA meet the goals set within the strategic plan, informs and encourages its members and puts forward opportunities for growth and development within the specific Diversional Therapy field. At each conference,  you can participate and have the opportunity to learn about breaking news in your career, learn “best practices” or new ideas, hear about key achievers in your field and also meet and brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information.

Enhance your network; create professional relationships; build a sense of security and trust around your own scope of practice; share ideas; ask for advice; speak to a crowd or become a member of a sub-committee. Each of these is a way to build your own skills and abilities, whilst furthering your career and each of these is provided for you by your peak body.

So, take charge of your career! Broaden your knowledge! Meet and engage with the synergistic peak body which is Diversional Therapy Australia!


Louise Absalom

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