President’s Piece December 2021

The last of the mental health reform webinars each gave a great insight into the conceptualisation of mental health services and how they may look in the future. I have also provided a link to a paper looking at the mental health sector and the considerations currently being made about the delivery of mental health services.

The communities of practice (CoP) groups have started. This includes one in aged care, research, education, and the fourth in disabilities and rehabilitation. The aged care CoP are developing an aged care scope of practice. The education CoP are looking at course accreditation documents and the delineation between skills and knowledge, based on qualifications for diploma, certificate fours, and degrees. If you are interested in joining one of the communities of practice please send an email to Kayla: and let her know.

The festive season is upon us and for most of us it is the busiest time of the year both at work and at home. Our friends across the ditch have been busy organising an international Christmas event that goes for all day via zoom. Details below:

We (our Retirement Village in Wellington) have organised International Connection via Zoom to connect residents around the world and wish Christmas to everyone on Wednesday 15 December 2021. We would like to invite your residents to join us in this International Zoom. Our Zoom link will be available for the whole day, so you can start joining in from 8 am NZT onwards. It would be great if residents and team can wear Christmas themed clothes and hold the country’s flag with them. We will greet everyone from Wellington, New Zealand.

Can you please pass this message to your amazing Diversional Therapists/ Activity Professionals/ Recreational Therapists (in short – the most amazing people) interested people can email me ( before Monday 13 December and I’ll share the Zoom link. We look forward to connecting this world together and spread the spirit of Christmas everywhere.

Next year DT awareness week is in February. This will align with USA and Canada TR month. We are also in the final stages of developing an international seminar that will be free in this time. Members from DRTA are also invited to be part of Dementia Reimagined which is a global movement to redefine our approach to dementia. Betsy (from ATRA) has been involved for about a year and the leaders presented at ATRA this year! Feel free to join in via the link below.

The Reimagining Dementia Coalition is going to do all we can to broaden and deepen our impact and influence locally, regionally, nationally and globally. From day one, we knew that the Coalition would only go as far as our members could take us, and that whatever we did, it would be shaped by you and the other 600 (and growing) people from around the world who have stepped up to say, “If we’re going to transform the culture of dementia, it will be from the bottom up, it will be creative and it will have to take us in some new directions.”

All this to say, we really, really, really can’t do it without you, so if you can spend an hour with us during the week of December 7 (click here for dates, time and registration), it will make a difference. In 2022, we want to leverage all that we’ve build over the last year to create the kinds of campaigns, partnerships, collaborations and activities that will take us another step closer to creatively and relationally shifting the conversation about dementia at every level from tragedy to empowerment, growth, joy and impact. So I hope we’ll see you soon – and we look forward to working with you in 2022 and beyond.

So if you are passionate about dementia and the impact you can have, please join and let us know what is going on with the group. It is a real opportunity to support and collaborate initiatives with an international presence in the dementia space. Kim Bromley, our Vice President is working with Dementia Training Australia to contribute to an important national project to develop a National Dementia Education and Training Standards Framework. With a key focus on the need for improved and ongoing dementia training for the aged and healthcare workforce (Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – Recommendation 80, and Government response accepting this recommendation) this timely project being led by Dementia Training Australia, on behalf of the Australian Government, will play an important role in sector workforce development into the future.

So on that note I would like to sign off for 2021 saying thank you to the wonderful board members and staff at DRTA for the ongoing support and pushing to make a difference in our profession. To the wonderful members who work tirelessly to ensure that clients have every opportunity to engage in life fully. Have a safe and enjoyable festive season and all the very best for 2022.

Until next year,

Charlise Bennett
DRTA President

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