As this will be my last chair report, I would like to reflect on the wonderful experiences in my time as committee member on the Sydney Branch, and subsequently as Chair in the last four years. As an active participant within the APS, I have developed skills, knowledge and networks that has enhanced my own professional practice as a psychologist. I recommend this level of involvement to all members. My latest challenge, to nominate as a director for the APS Board, was an experience and an honour in itself. Although unsuccessful, I made so many valuable connections. Through the election process, I was able to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the difficult work of APS directors and the APS staff at National Office. I congratulate the new President, Mr Anthony Cichello, and the newly elected directors. I am confident that they will continue to support and develop the APS to benefit all members and the general community.
I wish to express my gratitude to the most “awesome” current Sydney Branch Committee. Each committee member has been loyal and committed to the APS, and to the Sydney Branch members who have trusted them to be their spokesperson and professional support. The work of a committee member is challenging. Dedicating one night a month for meetings and organising professional events throughout their time in the committee, demonstrates their amazing dedication to their colleagues and to the profession. Each committee member has brought to the table their particular expertise. I move on with great satisfaction as I am confident that the Sydney Branch Committee will continue the great work.
The future of psychology is in exciting times, with community and government recognising the value of research into and the treatment of mental health. As APS members, we need to support the Society and celebrate the diversity of skills required in treating mental health.
During these months, the Sydney Branch has provided some excellent resources to its members- too many to list. However, I wish to highlight the wonderful work of the Sydney Branch student representatives. The student representatives presented a workshop on preparing for the registration exams. From that workshop, a Facebook forum page was developed to extend support to the wider provisional psychologist population. In addition, postgraduate students were invited to an information night where endorsed psychologists from various Colleges presented information about each of their respective endorsement areas.
Due to the large number of student representatives and younger members on the committee, the Sydney Branch Facebook page is ‘alive and kicking’ with many of the events publicised and photographed for all to share.
The most exciting and renowned event, the “Sydney Branch Research Forum” at NSW Parliament House is in its third year and is fully booked. The Forum brings research, community, clinicians and politicians together in celebrating psychology. At the Forum, we present the Community Well-being Awards, the University Lecturer Awards and many of the latest research from our universities. This event has been by far one the most successful initiatives of the Sydney Branch during my time as Chair. I acknowledge the work of Dr James Warn, its coordinator for his work.
I am excited for the future of the Sydney Branch.
Dr Rosaria Cantali, MAPS
Chair, Sydney Branch
In closing again thank you for being a great committee and good luck with 2017.
Dr Rose Cantali
Sydney Branch continues to produce exciting events for its members. In particular The Research Forum in National Psychology Week this November at NSW Parliament House promotes the diversity of psychological research and approaches to practice. The event which is in its third year provides practitioners, community members and State politicians information on the best psychological practice informed by the latest research in areas that are current to the needs of the community.
Diversity within psychologists is a notion that the APS needs to celebrate and promote within the APS community and to the public in general. The Research Forum through its presenters acknowledges the diverse approaches required in treating various mental health issues. The public awareness that psychologists are the ‘go to' on all matters related to mental health can only be reinforced by our own respect of colleagues from diverse disciplines.
The NSW State Chairs’ Committee has been a great platform in sharing ideas across NSW Branches. Within those groups there are many members who are knowledgeable of members’ needs and committed to supporting colleagues. I would encourage all Members to vote in the upcoming APS Board elections and to review all candidate information carefully to ensure you vote for the candidates you believe best represents the interests of the Society as a whole.
Voting is not compulsory so members need to make their vote count. In a time where mental health awareness is strong and other allied health professions are lobbying for government recognition in service provisions, the APS needs to have Board Members who are knowledgeable across a variety of psychological disciplines. More information on election.
Dr Rose Cantali, MAPS, MCCP, MCEDP
Sydney Branch Chair
Sydney Branch has a very large membership and the Branch committee represents a diverse group that includes general psychologists, college members, associate members, provisional psychologists, students, academics and non-registered psychologists. As Chair of the Sydney Branch I am committed to celebrating the diversity within this group and ensuring that all members are represented by way of the events and information provided to them. I am also committed to ensuring that the Sydney Branch Committee itself is a true representation of its members.
The Sydney Branch Committee continues to provide exceptional support to its members by way of professional workshops, breakfast presentations, information events, social events and forums. Each committee member is responsible for managing an event that has been identified by members at the Sydney Branch planning day. A significant challenge to the Sydney Branch is organising accessible events so that all members can attend from across the wide region of greater Sydney.
The Sydney Branch Committee has discussed accessibility concerns and seeks to encourage Branch members from various geographical areas to stand for election on the committee. Election to the Sydney Branch Committee will occur at the Sydney Branch AGM December 6, 2016. At this stage the following areas that are grouped into local government distributions could be better represented on the Sydney Branch Committee: The Hills area, Inner West, Hornsby Shire, Parramatta, Penrith, Cumberland, Georges River and Botany. Having Sydney Branch committee members from the diverse geographical areas of greater Sydney will ensure that all Sydney Branch members are provided the representation they deserve.
Sydney Branch welcomes all nominations but particularly invites members from the above areas to consider standing for the Sydney Branch Committee. Membership of the committee requires a commitment to work as a team and attend monthly meetings either in person or by phone-in. I would be happy to hear from interested members and provide more information about what a committee position entails.
Dr Rose Cantali, MAPS
Sydney Branch Chair
In this my last year as Chair, I reflect upon the variety and value of activities implemented by Sydney Branch over the past four years. The success of this Branch has been achieved through the unity of Committee members and Branch members who through their contribution and expert knowledge, worked together to truly represents the needs of all Sydney Branch members. I express my congratulations and thanks to the dedicated Committee and all who have contributed efforts to the success of this Branch.
Sydney Branch is a large and diverse group and the Branch Committee strives to cater for the needs of all Branch members. This goal has been achieved in the past three years by organising a yearly planning meeting, now held at the end of the year to evaluate the past year’s activities and put forward ideas for the following year. All members are invited to meet with Committee members in an open forum, to discuss the path of the Committee for the year ahead, share resources-names of interesting speakers and topics for events. The planning meeting provides the Committee valuable insight into the expertise of members who might present at an event; it also provide members a valuable opportunity for networking.
To ensure the growth of the Branch and to better support psychology students, provisional psychologists and early career psychologists, it was decided to focus on the needs of this particular group. This has been achieved by: delivery and funding of postgraduate student conferences; our focus on emerging research; recognition of the work of lecturers; workshops which assist provisional psychologists to fulfil Psychology Board criteria and events specifically targeted to developing early career skills.
Another fundamental aim of Sydney Branch as a psychologist body has been to engage community, education and NSW State politicians in developing a better understanding and value the work of psychologists and those working in the area of psychology. The concept of the “Psychology Research Forum” held in National Psychology Week emerged from this notion. The event last November was hosted by NSW Local Member for Drummoyne Mr John Sidoti MP who has been a strong supporter of the APS Sydney Branch since my time as Chair. The Forum which aims to link research to practice invited academics and clinicians to present their work at NSW Parliament House. The APS President opened the event and prominent NSW state ministers and politicians attended, addressed and presented awards. In addition to psychological presentations, well-being community grants were presented to successful recipients and ‘APS Lecturer of the Year’ awards presented to successful lecturers from the universities within the Sydney Branch. The event was a resounding success with a large audience of APS members, community organisations, politicians and the wider community.
Discussions held at the recent APS Super Forum in Melbourne confirmed that the work of Sydney Branch indeed represents its members. Sydney Branch educates members about the APS and its governance, advocates for all of its members, invites active participation in events and most importantly, enhances cohesion within its membership by acknowledging and rewarding diversity.
Dr Rose Cantali MAPS
Sydney Branch Chair