APA strengthens leadership in 2015

16 January 2015

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has kicked started 2015 with a new strategy and changes to its leadership to strengthen physiotherapy in Australia.

The APA has appointed two new esteemed female leaders to its Board of Directors and re-elected its current National President, Marcus Dripps for 2015-16. It will also soon release its Strategic Plan for 2015-17 on 21 February, sharing the organisation’s new vision, belief and purpose.

“The need for physiotherapy in Australia has never been stronger,” APA CEO Cris Massis said. “Australia’s ageing population, the growth in chronic illnesses and increasing pressure on our health system means the profession must adapt and innovate to meet these health, social and economic needs.

“As the leading body representing the interests of physiotherapists and their patients, our new strategic direction and leadership changes will steer the sector sustainably into the future to benefit physiotherapists and the community.”

Mr Dripps, who has held the position as National President since 2013 and been a member of the APA Board of Directors since 2007, is one of Australia’s most respected physiotherapists and an active and prominent member of Australia’s health care community, Mr Massis said.

“Marcus’ re-election is a testament to the terrific job he’s achieved over the past two years as National President,” Mr Massis said. “During his leadership, the organisation’s grown from 13,506 to 16,700 members, provided enhanced knowledge and professional opportunities, and advocated on vital health issues on behalf of the sector. His advisory roles on various other health, community and industry bodies like Transport Accident Commission, Worksafe Victoria and Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare also benefit our organisation’s leading position in healthcare.”

Mr Dripps said his focus will be firming up the voice of the profession. “We’ll strengthen our engagement with passionate individuals and organisations around the country on the breadth of conditions that physiotherapists treat,” Mr Dripps said.

“I also look forward to driving key policy changes like prescribing rights for physiotherapists and a physiotherapist’s ability to refer patients direct to specialists with a Medicare rebate to achieve considerable health and economic benefits.”

Also joining Mr Dripps on the APA’s Board of Directors for 2015 is the newly appointed Jenny Aiken – an APA Physiotherapist and Health Networks Australia General Manager, as well as Elaine Farrelly, former Movember Chairman. Shane Patman, FACP, National Vice President, Phil Calvert also National Vice President, Katie Vine, APAM, Louise McCann and Darren Rivett, APAM have also been reappointed to the Board.

Ms Farrelly said she is keen to bring an alternative perspective to board discussions. “I have a deep interest in community issues and was attracted to the APA because the organisation and its members contribute in an important way to better community health. As an outsider to the physiotherapy profession, I look forward to examining issues and challenges facing the physiotherapy sector and contribute a well-considered viewpoint,” Ms Farrelly said.

Ms Aiken said she is passionate about contributing to the governance of health and physiotherapy. “I’m eager to see the APA continue to be forward-thinking and have a strong role in physiotherapy globally, as well as within the health sector.”

Mr Massis said having half the Board comprised of esteemed female leaders was fundamental to the organisation’s values in supporting gender equality.

“Elaine, Jenny, Katie and Louise are respected leaders in their professions and joined the Board on their own merits, but it is also fundamental to our organisation we support women in leadership roles – particularly as the physiotherapy industry has such a strong representative of women in our sector.”

Visit our Board of Directors page for more information.

For further information, or to speak with an expert physiotherapist, please contact:

Katie Croft - Australian Physiotherapy Association
P: (+61) 3 9092 0891 M (+61) 0413 780 545
E katie.croft@physiotherapy.asn.au