President’s Piece August 2022

The board have been very busy. We have been meeting fortnightly over the last couple of months to fine tune the new constitution, develop a new strategic plan, and to realign how we manage this in a cohesive and meaningful way. We are now in the process of finalising the new constitution and this will be sent out to members in early August. We will then hold a general meeting over Zoom to vote on the new constitution being adopted into the association.

For some time now there have been a number of discussions about the title we use both as practitioners and for the association. When meeting with Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) they said from a health professions perspective, as outsiders, they believed that having two titles (being Diversional Therapy and Recreation Therapy) actually takes away from the profession and our professional voice. This feedback was provided to our membership through town hall meetings. The board have thought long and hard about the AHPA perspective, and also the impact this perspective has in moving the profession forward.

Australian Recreation Therapy Association is a name the board has come up with to both describe who we are as a professional body, and to align with our international counterparts in America and Canada, drawing on the research and evidence-based practice. Our historical foundations have forged Diversional therapy into Recreation Therapy, and we have also acknowledged this in the preamble of the new constitution. The new constitution includes some changes around the structure of the board. We will be removing the obligation of state representation and moving towards each board member having a particular area of specialty. We have not defined what these areas are but envision they will be focused on the core functions of the association.

The board is also revisiting the strategic plan and hope to have this ready for the conference. We have placed an ad on Seek, and in this newsletter, for the National Education Coordinator role. The Communities of Practice are also gaining traction with different projects which is awesome. If you want to be part of the Communities of Practice, please contact Kayla on executive.officer@diversionaltherapy.org.au.

Our conference is fast approaching, so if you have not had time yet please register as soon as possible. This year the conference is being held virtually on Friday and Saturday September 23 and 24. It is really exciting to have Emeritus Professor Jerome Singleton as our keynote speaker on Friday.

Until September,

Charlise Bennett
DRTA President

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