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Retired physiotherapists' group

APA Honoured Member Dorothy Jewell, a past national president of the APA, was very aware that like herself, there were many colleagues who, although retired from professional life, continued to share an interest in the profession. The Retired Physiotherapist’s Group Queensland was inaugurated in 2009, with Dorothy and fellow APA Honoured Member Margaret Peel instrumental in canvassing the idea of forming a group and in approaching the APA QLD Branch for support.

Early meetings of the group were particularly social, with people not having connected for varying periods since retirement. The venues chosen initially facilitated good coffee and discussion about the type of group and activity that suited most participants. A level of informality was enjoyed, and with most people enjoying busy retirement lives, it was decided that meeting three times a year was a commitment that the majority could make.

When it became obvious that the group would attract a more formal presentation from a selected speaker, a venue to facilitate this was selected and members of the group brought a plate for morning tea, over which networking could occur. Over time, the format has settled into one that works well for the group; we currently meet in a local library which offers to us as a community group, a purposespecific meeting room with all the AV and refreshment facilities we need. Morning tea is provided by a small committee group, and members make a donation to cover the cost of morning tea, a gift for the speaker and a contribution to a Christmas function, which has morphed into a luncheon. There are no fees as such.

We have enjoyed wonderful assistance and support from the APA, which continues to notify recent new retirees of the existence of the group, add their names to the mail-out list, and send out timely reminders before each of the three meetings in the year. While we have enjoyed a number of speakers presenting on retirement topics and special personal interests, the group expresses a preference for profession-related topics. The APA continues to offer help in sourcing specialist presenters; they actively engage the group who collectively have a wealth of professional experience and who are characterised by an ongoing passion for their profession. Sometimes I think we challenge the speakers as much as they challenge us.

In the last few years we have enjoyed presentations on for example, ‘Looking back: working life in India, Lebanon and Ireland’, ‘Physiotherapy in headache management’, ‘What has changed at the APA journal?’, ‘Balancing in an ageing population’, ‘The vestibular system in the 21st Century’, ‘A history of neonatology’, ‘Gravity fit’ and ‘What might physiotherapy look like in the future, and education implications’. We will finish the year with ‘A review of the latest approaches in physiotherapy for people with Parkinson’s disease.’

As the convenor, I am always amazed at the interest of the group across a breadth of topics, regardless of whether we are appreciating our history, challenged by our current circumstances or revelling in the future we see opening up for those who follow in our footsteps. Because the group was founded on the principles of interest in, and respect and passion for, the physiotherapy profession, we continue to invite all those who meet such criteria to join us, regardless of their history or lack thereof with the APA. What a joy to be a retired physiotherapist, still interested in and passionate about the profession.

Robin Cupit, APA Honoured Member,
Retired Physiotherapists' Group Queensland convenor


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