It has been a busy time for the Committee.
Warwick McClelland’s Thursday evening presentation Acceptance and commitment therapy: A Practical and experiential approach was well received and given to a capacity crowd. The event garnered attendees’ two CPD points with members reporting to the peer network their enjoyment of the opportunity and also the very nice catering.
An open forum was conducted immediately after the event and feedback from the membership was sought on current issues facing the profession. Many members expressed concern about the uncertainty around the perceived role of the APS, the ongoing role-out of the PHN and its potential impact on allied health funding into the future and the over-capacity issue beginning to impact Coffs Harbour. Feedback will be invited from the membership with a possible member’s survey to be considered in the near future. Further opportunities will be sought to consult the membership.
The next event in September is anticipated to be a presentation by Professor Smith of SCU, on the role that virtual reality could play in the delivery of psychologically focused treatment strategies for specific client groups.
Plans are now finalising to invite APS Branch members of 20 or more years standing to the APS 50th Anniversary celebratory dinner event at Branch expense; to be held in early September. The event will also be open to APS members and to non-members at reasonable prices.
Craig Baker, MAPS
Mid-North Coast Branch Chair
Congratulations to Michael Hawes for taking up the challenge of being Deputy Chair in addition to his responsibilities as Treasurer. Michael brings his previous experience as Treasurer and service to the Committee to ensure continuity. Many thanks to Yvette Greenhalge for accepting the very challenging role of Secretary.
Congratulations to student member Emily Sharpe, who recently won the APS Student Prize at Southern Cross University for coming first in her Honours year in psychology. Committee member Warwick McClelland represented the Chair at the prize presentation. Emily is eligible to receive free APS membership for a year and will hopefully present her research findings at the Congress.
The Branch is continuing to explore engagement opportunities with university students. Dr James Donnelly, psychology lecturer at SCU, has also recently joined the Committee and will be advising us on fostering student engagement, providing a link to SCU and advising on academic matters.
In July, Warwick McClelland will be offering a presentation on ACT. This will kick off the first peer networking event in Coffs Harbour for the Northern hub. Further peer networking events are being planned in the Southern hub of the Mid-North Coast. It is hoped that with strong attendance, peer networking events will feature regularly in the event calendar.
In August, the Committee is hoping to host long serving APS Members of 20 years or more standing to a dinner event in celebration of the APS 50th year. Members are encouraged to contact the Chair directly so that numbers can be finalised soon and the venue secured.
The Chair recently attended the APS NSW State Committee meeting and further information will be forthcoming to members. Some concerns have been raised with the implications of the possible PHN focus on providing funding to NGO’s and ISO accredited organisations such as ‘super clinics’ over small private practitioners, who are not well presented at the national level at this point. However, the situation remains a work in progress and members will be advised as further information becomes available.
The Committee greatly encourages local members to become actively involved in the Branch and to contribute ideas and join events. We look forward to working together.
Craig Baker MAPS,
Mid North Coast Branch Chair
Mid-North Coast Branch Report
Unfortunately, 2015 reflected a period of inactivity for the Branch. Recently however, a new committee has been elected with the primary goal of reinvigorating the Branch and exploring new directions to bring members closer together. This year kicked-off with a successful AGM combined with a CPD event Exploring cognitive behavioural therapy, its key components and the important role of Socratic questioning.
A new direction will see a strong focus on student engagement with the Branch supporting the development of a psychology student organization at Southern Cross University that will directly involve student representatives with the committee. Presentations and workshops oriented towards students will also be developed to foster student contact with the APS and the profession. National psychology week and university “O-weeks” will also provide focal points throughout the year to develop student engagement through events and various opportunities to interact with local APS psychologists.
Community involvement and engagement will also become a major focus of the committee with the very evident need to raise community awareness of the importance of psychology in relation to health and well-being, and the benefits of accessing an APS psychologist. Further assessment of publically accessible community based presentations and displays at local libraries, schools, community venues and universities will be undertaken by the committee.
To coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the APS, a formal reception and dinner event for long serving members is currently being planned to take place later in the year.
A review of Branch governance will also be undertaken by the committee to explore and develop new and existing hubs as key contact points for local members across the region. It is hoped that a devolution of responsibility for peer network events to localized hubs will generate greater and more flexible networking opportunities and contact between local members.
Branch members will also be tapped to provide information about news and events from APS Colleges and Special Interest Groups to the broader membership. The key strategy is to enhance communication within and across the APS. Contact with adjacent Branches will also seek to explore whether their CPD and informational events offer opportunities for engagement with our membership.
The committee is also planning to develop contacts and resources towards assisting APS members with regional disaster responses. Preparation is important, especially given the growing evidence and gathering pace of potential climactic events in relation to ongoing climate change.
The committee has set itself some very ambitious goals that will take considerable time and effort to work towards. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of those members who attended the AGM and especially those who have raised their hands to volunteer for the committee in support of these endeavors.
Craig Baker MAPS, Chair