President’s Piece November 2022

Firstly, I would like to reiterate my thanks to the outgoing board members for their passion and dedication to our profession, and to Charlise for leading us to where we are today. This marks my first newsletter as President of the Australian Recreational Therapy Association, which I am extremely humbled and proud to undertake.

As I write this, I reflect on my membership over the past 22 years. I commenced as a student member in 2000 when I began my undergraduate degree – during this time, although I didn’t fully understand the depth of what a professional association meant, during the 3 years at university being taught by industry professionals, along with following the journey of the then Diversional Therapy Association NSW I could see that our members are strong, passionate, and dedicated to raising our profession higher.

I was also privileged to be a part of the move to a national association many years ago and have been so proud of those who continued the movement forward. Knowing that all of this isn’t without challenges, it is those challenges that continue to light the fire of moving us forward – further linking and aligning ourselves to an international network and increasing recognition and acknowledgment within all the various industries where Recreation Therapists play valuable roles.

Last week, during our board meeting, portfolio’s were developed, conferences, summits and many more opportunities being led which are all about building our foundation for the ongoing rise of ARTA. This is where I reach out to you, our members, who maybe never thought of being involved in various projects within the association, to think outside the box, and reach out. Our Board members are volunteers, and I know that we have so much
talent, experience, and knowledge within our membership, who would add value to many of the projects that ARTA are working on over the next 3 years, so please, reach out to our friendly office team (Diana and Jodi), have a chat about your passions and see where we can use these skills to assist our team.

You will also see that ARTA has advertised expressions of interest for Executive Officer and National Education Coordinator roles – read and consider if these might be of interest to you.

I am so excited again to work alongside our board for the next 3 years, to continue to move our profession forward, to experience some amazing national and international knowledge exchanges and to see where this journey takes us.

Again, thank you to Charlise and the outgoing board, the present board and I look forward to representing you all.

Renée Smith
ARTA President

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