President Piece – 13 March 2017

Well, here we find ourselves in March and there is a lot to report on this month, so many great initiatives in the works. It is shaping up to be a very exciting year ahead.

After lots of discussion, the board has decided to take the next step in moving the association forward. We are changing the name, and will now be known as Diversional and Recreation Therapy Australia. Or DRTA. We want all our members and colleagues who work in the leisure and recreation field, identifying with either Diversional Therapy or Therapeutic Recreation to feel included and welcomed in the association. Over the coming weeks you will see changes made to our logo to reflect the change and updated resources will be available on the website for our members.

Planning for the 2017 Conference is well under way. The theme for this year’s conference, and also DT week is “Innovation and Expectation”. The call for papers is now open, and you will find more information in the newsletter. I would like to encourage all our members and students to submit an abstract for a presentation or e-poster. It would be great to see as many people as possible sharing their knowledge and experience.

I was lucky enough to attend the first ‘Workshop on the Waves’ cruise in early February. While sailing down to Kangaroo Island, 20 of us had the unique experience of learning about mental health and discovering our love of cruising at the same time. It was a different experience to have a classroom that was swaying back and forwards, but we managed to study hard through the day and ‘play hard’ at night. All of us were from different work backgrounds and from all over the country, and came together as a group very quickly. Our instructor – Trevor from Skills Training Australia, was amazingly knowledgeable and generously shared that knowledge and experience with us. Learning about mental health and well-being pushed many of us to examine our practice, and has lead us to be able to provide improved services to our clients.

I feel very privileged to have shared this experience with so many wonderful people. We supported each other in the workshop and relaxed together at night. I would tell you more about that but what happens on the cruise, stays on the cruise. During our time at sea, we networked and shared in a unique experience. But most importantly we became friends. It was wonderful to witness and be a part of that bond created while sailing at sea.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Margie and Diana in the office for all their hard work they put into organising the cruise and making sure it was a success. Never a time did I call the office with a question about the cruise that Diana wasn’t able to answer or find the answer for me. They were both able to join us on the cruise and did the workshop. I hope they both had a fantastic (and relaxing) time.

Our next ‘Workshop on the Waves’ cruise will be setting sail February 2019. I hope to see many more new faces join us. Remember to get in quick, as places will be limited.

Kylie Rice

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