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Marcus Dripps

Tradies National Health Month is in its second year, with the profile of physiotherapy in the management of the health of Tradies around the country firmly in the spotlight. This initiative of the APA has drawn great attention and support by commercial and industry partners, without whom it would not have the profile that it has already gained.

For many years APA members have been asking us to do more in increasing community and consumer awareness about physiotherapy services, and the skills of physiotherapists. This is an appropriate focus of our organisation. When we think about the things that the APA does which are unique, promoting the profession through advocacy and marketing channels would be near the top of the list. Along with providing quality professional development opportunities, our efforts to increase the “voice” of physiotherapists to policy makers and the community is a core function.

Over the last year or so, there has been an overt effort at the APA to shift our focus towards this more community facing approach, and there is also a role for all physiotherapists in this work. Every clinical interaction provides an opportunity to showcase to our patients what physiotherapy can do to improve their lives. This can occur at an individual level as well as at a population level.

While the Tradies National Health Month initiative is focussed on only aspects of the scope of physiotherapy, we are also keen to engage in other similar approaches that highlight the breadth of the profession. If you have any ideas as to how this could occur, I encourage you to contact the marketing team at the APA office.

The staff at the APA have done a great job in getting this initiative off the ground, bringing together the support of commercial partners such as Steel Blue Boots, and other community organisations such as Beyond Blue who are partnering in the initiative this year. The approach used in this campaign both spreads helpful community messages regarding health, prevention and management of injuries as well as profiling the physiotherapy profession in a way that is accessible to the general public. I’d like to publically thank the staff team for this work, I believe this is an important component of the future work of the Association.

So I encourage you all to have a look at the material about Tradies National Health Month, and think about how you can be engaged at a local level with this initiative.

MARCUS DRIPPS, APAM
APA National President

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