President’s Piece December 2022

December has quickly sprung upon us and this time of year I know is a busy time with Christmas functions (mainly for those we support).
It leaves us with little energy by the time the day comes about where you get to (hopefully) spend time with those you love.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about what it means to come together. I know that many of our members within the aged care industry are feeling as though they don’t count. I want you to know that you do.

Times are changing for all of us, and ARTA continues to advocate and be a voice for our members as best we can. We want to hear from you about expectations, needs and what we can do for you, our members (and by our members, I mean all of us together, as ARTA). A membership survey has come your way, and firstly thank you to those who have been able to complete this, thus far. We want you, as members, to be open and honest, but I also ask for constructive ways we can encourage and enable our members to join and stay. Without our members, our voice isn’t as strong as it can be.

ARTA will also be meeting with our allied health colleagues (Australian Physiotherapy Association and Australian Occupational Therapy Association) to build a path forward for collective shared voices to the changes in aged care, to enable clarity of professional responsibilities and roles. But more importantly, how we can work together, rather than working in silos and raising the voice of all those within the allied health realm who support older people and build a greater understanding of what interdisciplinary approaches are in residential aged care.

Some plans and progress update over the last month include ARTA interviewing for both the National Education Coordinator and an Executive Officer role. Both are extremely important to providing ongoing support inward and outward facing for ARTA. We are also looking forward to the development of an exciting Professional Development Calendar for 2023, along with the strengthening of partnership within Australia and on a global front. More news on these roles will be in the January 2023 newsletter.

ARTA have also placed the deposit down for the 2023 National Conference which will be on the 8th and 9th of September face-to-face in Sydney, Parramatta. We are so excited to be able to come together again after so long. We will have more to share about this in the new year, but here is a save the date.

I am keeping this one short and sweet, but again always wanting you our members to reach out with questions or ideas- we are listening.

On behalf of Australian Recreational Therapy Association board, Diana and Jodie and all the other people who have contributed to move to ARTA, we wish you, our membership and very Merry Christmas and a safe passage into 2023, where we are excited to continue to move us forward.

Until 2023,

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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