With the APA’s goal to become a global leader in the promotion of the physiotherapy profession, I’d like to share some of our international activities over the last year.
In late October, the APA presented at the Asian Federation of Sports Medicine (AFSM) Congress in Beijing about the role of the Association in that region and our responsibility to share key learnings about sports physiotherapy. It was a tremendous platform to raise the profile of sports physiotherapy as part of the multidisciplinary team, as well as an opportunity to visit several universities, hospitals, rehabilitation centres and the Institute of Sport. The trip was supported via a grant we received form AusTrade
Earlier in the year, the APA executive also attended the Singapore physiotherapy association’s 50th anniversary celebration, and we’re looking forward to going back to Singapore in May next year for the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) conference, which is held every four years. Having this conference in our region is a great opportunity for Australian physiotherapists to attend, and I encourage every member to consider travelling over for this event.
Late last month, we led a course for sports physiotherapists in Hong Kong. Conducted in partnership with Sports Medicine Australia (SMA), the endeavour epitomised our aim to build the capacity and capability of physiotherapy in the Asia Western Pacific region.
Another highlight of global significance that occurred in 2014 was the APA becoming one of the first physiotherapy organisations to provide open access to editorial and the peer-reviewed research content in the Journal of Physiotherapy, effectively enabling those in Australia and globally to access the information.
In Australia, our profession has long enjoyed an excellent international clinical reputation. We have been widely praised for our professional development opportunities and contribution to research and practice in the field.
We are proud to be an integral and leading part of the Asia Western Pacific region—one of the fastest growing regions of the WCPT. The growth in both the population of the countries involved, as well as the number of physiotherapists across this region, presents many great opportunities for Australian physiotherapists, companies, institutions and the APA.
By continuing to actively engage in clinical communities in our areas of expertise internationally, including collaboration in multidisciplinary research, as well as working with the WCPT and the Asia Western Pacific region, we are maintaining and enhancing the reputation of physiotherapy in Australia. I’d like to encourage all leaders in our profession to consider the opportunities that will come from greater engagement in our region. We often culturally think of Europe and North America when we think of global physiotherapy, but our experiences more locally have revealed an enormous appetite for increasing relationships at a practice, university or department level. Many countries in the region are keen for students and practicing physiotherapists alike to engage in exchanges and other such activities. These serve to cement our role as leaders in our profession in the region. If any of you are interested in being involved in these types of activities, feel free to get in touch with me or Cris.
All of us benefit from the Association’s international engagement either directly or indirectly. Whether it’s learning from and sharing knowledge and resources, and building relationships and alliances, this benefits our members’ education and business development, builds the industry, and contributes to us being able to better serve the health needs of our patients.
We’re proud to continue to play our role in helping to maintain and build the international reputation of Australian physiotherapy and its connection with the profession internationally. We need to work hard to ensure we maintain this into the future.
MARCUS DRIPPS, APAM
APA National President
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