Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my statement.
I have spoken to many psychologists through the years since Medicare was introduced, and many have reported to me that they feel alienated and unsupported by the APS. A professional organisation such as the APS needs to serve the whole membership in a fair and equitable way, supporting all Australian Psychologists in our many and varied roles. The APS needs to strongly oppose discrimination within psychology and should be a voice for all psychologists. Importantly, the APS, as the peak body, needs to have the political courage to stand for all its members.
I stand for unity. I believe we can only achieve unity in the profession and in the APS by advocating for equal respect for all psychologists and a recognition of the importance of diversity of skills and knowledge within the profession. It is also critical that the community has equitable access to all psychologists and psychological services. Unity can only be achieved by a Single Tier Medicare and NDIS system.
I strongly value the breadth and diversity of our profession. I will work to strengthen the diversity in psychology training and treatment rather than diminish these, and to safeguard public confidence in the sector. My goal is to see more university courses across a diverse range of psychology, not less. This is imperative for the future of the profession and to be able to offer the best services possible to those who seek psychological services.
In addition, I stand for robust financial management of the APS. I will advocate to prevent valuable membership dollars from being wasted on unnecessary administration and/or internal membership groups. This will ensure that member’s funds are spent on better support for psychologists through competitively priced training, insurance and member services.
If elected, I shall work to achieve transparent and open governance in the APS. This has not been the situation to date. Members deserve to know what their Board is doing and how decisions are being made. They need to trust that decisions are being made in their best interests and not for political purposes. To this end, I will ensure the Board conducts its business transparently and ethically, and more importantly, holds in mind that it exists to represent all members.
I will work to elevate the public image of the APS and to increase its influence in the areas public discourse, current affairs and public debate. This is critical to ensure that the voice of psychologists are heard and that informed decisions are made in the mental health arena. Importantly, the APS needs agility in responding to day-to-day events and to stay relevant in the continually changing landscape of mental health, education and politics.
In summary, if elected, I will work hard for the entire profession to create:
1) A fair and equitable system
2) Transparent and open governance
3) Greater diversity in psychology, which values each college’s competence.
4) Direct lines of communication for members to the board
5) Direct consultation with the whole membership on important matters
6) Between AGM online member voting on key policy and advocacy
7) Robust financial management of the APS.
Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks to those of you who have already voted for me. Thank you also to those who have sent such positive messages of support. To those yet to vote, thank you for taking the time to make a considered decision for the future of our profession.
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