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Raising our Voice
Marcus Dripps

It is an enormous honour to have been elected National President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association for 2013–14. I look forward to building on the work of my predecessors, and helping the APA continue its important work in increasing Member Value, Knowledge and Voice.

As we listen to members around the country, one message consistently tops the wish-list of issues that physiotherapists want the APA to address. That is, to increase the understanding of what physiotherapy can offer among the general public. Achieving this will require a multi-faceted approach, and it is a challenging, long-term task.

In order to elevate the profile of our profession in the public arena among consumers and decision makers, we need to use every available opportunity to promote the practice of physiotherapy. Often this is as simple as having discussions with our patients about the breadth of the physiotherapy profession, and having ongoing conversations about how physiotherapists can help across the lifespan to maximise function. This type of grassroots approach is critical to any larger plan to promote our profession.

We will continue to build our media presence through mainstream and social media outlets. I look forward to working with CEO Cris Massis and the team to develop additional strategies in the area of promotion. Some of these activities are likely to take the form of a public campaign, where a focus on health promotion activities to the general public will be evident.

Our professional reputation is strengthened by delivering great care. The provision of excellent physiotherapy practice will be central to APA learning activities, and we will work to encourage evidence-based practice in all areas of care, and to encourage clinical innovation that benefits our patients.

Another important area of focus for the APA in the coming years will be to progress our work in developing physiotherapy leaders to strengthen both our internal leadership, and our influence in advocacy and the broader community. Our leadership meeting in February will provide an opportunity to continue our efforts in this area, as we bring together Branch Presidents, National Group Chairs and other APA leaders for this work. We need to continue to sharpen our focus on delivering services that are valued by our members—contributing to their professional success and speaking for our patients at every opportunity.

If we can harness the passion and commitment of physiotherapists in caring for patients, and share their stories in a variety of ways, we can further strengthen our professional reputation. This, when combined with developing our future leaders, will position the profession well for the future.

I look forward to seeing you all at APA events throughout the year.

MARCUS DRIPPS, APAM
APA National President

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