President’s Piece February 2022

Happy new year!

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2022. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has had a massive impact across all service areas that we work in. While there are less deaths caused by this variant, being more contagious also means our clients are often at more risk, having a bigger impact on our vulnerable populations right across Australia. We have heard from members who have been called back from holidays early and who’s facilities have been in lock down. Other members reaching out and asking for resources and ideas to support and help deliver programs when group activities are not permitted, or residents that are isolated in their own rooms or their own homes. We have put together pages of links to support your programs with a special thanks to Kim for reaching out to others and compiling it.

This month we are also celebrating DRT Week. Historically Diversional & Recreation Week has been celebrated in May. In working together with our global alliances, we have aligned DRT Week to fall into Recreational Therapy Month celebrated in North America in February each month. DRT week will be from 14th to the 20th of February. We will have a range of free educational opportunities to promote the profession through our online training page on our website. These will be pre-recorded, and members will be notified when this is available.

Internationally we have also organised an International Knowledge Exchange (IKE). This is the opportunity to learn about similar professions and professional organisations we are currently working with. Check out the information for the IKE on the next page, there are different countries/ entities presenting each day in the last week of February with an international panel discussion on the last day. You can also send in questions to ask the panel also.

Our National Education Coordinator Stephania Bejma has resigned from the position. We would like to thank Steph for her hard work and dedication to this role over the past 10 years. We wish Stephania luck and all the best in her new endeavors of study and undertaking a new local role and look forward to staying connected.

With the free seminars during DRT week and the international knowledge exchange in February we will be offering our first workshop in March. As well as our usual workshops, we will also be trialing – the hour to empower- which are topics covered in one hour, with one a month. With staffing and time off being such an issue currently, this should give more flexibility around professional development, without needing to have the day off work.

Until March,

Charlise Bennett
DRTA President

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