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United focus for 2014
Phill Calvert 

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to say what an amazing privilege it is to be elected a National Vice President of the APA. This is a period of significant positive change. Initiatives such as the introduction of the APA Member Insurance Program, strengthening of advocacy priorities and increasing member engagement with professional development opportunities mean that serving as a senior office bearer is an exciting, challenging and rewarding undertaking.

During February, the Board of Directors, executive staff, branch presidents and chairs of national groups gathered in Melbourne to participate in the national leadership team meeting. There was significant discussion regarding the future landscape of the profession in all sectors, and the subsequent direction that was needed to strengthen the role of physiotherapy in Australian health care. It is clear that regardless of the setting a physiotherapist works in, the things that bind us together as professionals are closely aligned.

Never before have the changes that are occurring in one area of physiotherapy so closely affected those that are occurring in another. Evolving national funding models will impact on physiotherapists at every level, and the APA’s response and strategic intent will recognise this. It appears that more than ever before, physiotherapists are choosing career options that allow them to work across public and private settings. Furthermore, with the pioneering development of the APA Member Insurance Programs, the profession's emphasis on quality, safety and risk management will be increasingly important. It will ensure that continued quality improvement for patients is achieved, and also that the profession can take an active role in reducing its insurance premiums. Simply put, with our new insurance arrangements, the fewer claims we generate, the more favourable our premiums will become over time. It's a compelling argument for committed focus in this area.

Strategic directions aside, attending the national leadership team meeting reminded me of the amazing contribution our office bearers make to the success of the APA. This commitment to the profession by all of our committee members, working party members, branch councillors and advisors is significant. These roles are often challenging, and involve a commitment in an age where everyone is time-poor. On behalf of the APA, I would like to thank everyone involved in these roles for their passion, dedication and belief in the future of the APA and the profession. Again, it is clear that the issues that align us are common, and our collective focus towards harnessing the knowledge and passion of our office bearers will allow us to continue positively advocate for the profession. I am looking forward, with great energy and enthusiasm, to a united and successful 2014.

PHIL CALVERT, APAM
APA National Vice President

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