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First Word

Our strategy is built on choosing physio first

On behalf of the APA Board of Directors, a warm welcome to 2018, and I look forward to a productive and transformative year ahead. In my final First Word of last year, the significant contributions of outgoing directors of the Board, Katie Vine, APAM, and Marcus Dripps, APAM, were acknowledged.


In 2018, I am thrilled to welcome Amanda Mulcahy, APAM, to her first term as a director of the APA. Amanda has had significant experience within the APA as a former WA Branch president, Conference Advisory Committee chair and NSW Branch councillor. Her professional experience in a wide range of areas in Australia’s public health sector will mean she brings a diverse set of experiences that will add great value to decision making.


The start of this year is also exciting because of the launch of our new strategic plan. Anchored on the concept of ‘Choose Physio’, the plan focuses on four strategic themes—our membership, the profession, the community and our organisational capability.


You will note an increased emphasis on our role in ensuring the profession is equipped to embrace technology for improved patient outcomes. We will ensure successful implementation of the objectives of the Reconciliation Action Plan, advocate for increased access and funding for physiotherapy services, and show leadership and influence at all forms of government. Critically, the plan also builds on our efforts to position physiotherapy successfully in the public sphere, to ensure the Australian public ‘Choose Physio’ first, and understand the breadth and depth of our profession.

For the APA to effectively serve members, guide the profession, and assist the community, it needs to be strong and viable. Therefore, our strategy for capability is to future-proof and build a sustainable organisation and to invest in our people and member engagement. We will create the leaders of the future among the profession and the community, leverage our financial position to enhance the future of the membership, and develop new revenue streams to achieve our strategy.


We have not set a time frame on the life of this plan. We will review it regularly with our members, staff and stakeholders, to ensure that it is a process that allows us to change in an agile way, particularly given the rapid changes in the external health environment.


Our success measures are ambitious, but they also align with our desire to change the positioning of the profession. Through our four key pillars, our strategy crystallises the mantra of Choose Physio. Look out for the new strategic plan when it becomes available.


As part of the APA’s commitment to supporting our members in contemporary professional, social and ethical issues, we have reviewed and updated our Code of Conduct. The new version was launched to all APA members on 6 December 2017 and is available online, along with a range of support materials and case studies to help you apply the new code.


A sincere thank you to the National Professional Standards Panel members involved in the development of the APA’s Code of Conduct—APA members Toni Andary (chair), Anita Radha Bir, Susan Coulson and Caroline Fryer. The Code of Conduct can be found at apacodeofconduct.


Thank you to all our members and staff as we prepare for an exciting, ambitious and determined year ahead. I look forward to working closely with you all.


Phil Calvert, APAM

APA National President


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