OTA Board Meeting Reflections (22 August 2020)

The Board of Occupational Therapy Australia met on Saturday 22 August and spent the day covering a diverse range of issues.

We were pleased to endorse the Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan for release for member feedback. Each member will receive a link where they will have the opportunity to provide both survey responses and open text feedback. The development of the Reflect RAP has had the influence and input of a variety of working groups, conversations and consultations and we would like to thank and recognise the involvement of everyone who has contributed their insights, their cultural knowledge, their personal and professional reflections, their time, energy and commitment to this important work. Of course, Reflect is the beginning of our journey of understanding and we look forward to members joining us in the work of reconciliation.

As we continue to grow the organisation, the Board is committed to best practice and as part of this continued quality improvement, spent time working on the leadership, performance and governance of OTA as we commenced shaping our future OTA Strategic Plan. Now more than ever is a time where board’s must be focussed on the business performance, in looking ahead and being in a position to move quickly in an uncertain environment. With effective and responsive leadership we are able to respond to the challenges that 2020 has set to date. 

A focus of OTA has always been on ensuring our members have up to date, world class education and professional development opportunities. As we have not been able to host the traditional format of face to face CPD we were pleased to see members so quickly adapt to the online learning environment. Some of the many benefits have been more equitable access to rural and regional members, a smaller carbon footprint for the association and beginning to develop international speakers of note to bring to the new Learning & Development Strategy that will commence later in the year.

Board work is busy but so rewarding. Being granted the stewardship of our peak professional body by your peers is a real honour for all of us who serve on the Board. The Board would also like to recognise and thank our OTA staff. The majority of our team are based in Melbourne and have been working tirelessly since late February from their homes. COVID-19 created an enormous upswing in member enquiries and needs, and the staff have responded magnificently (and tirelessly). Many of them have been living under Stage 4 Restrictions and are serving our members with exceptional OTA advice and services whilst juggling families and children all within their four walls for 23 hours a day.

We appreciate that this year is not what any of us, wherever you live, whatever area you practice in, could have imagined. We would like to thank you for your continued membership and support. It is times like this when occupational therapists need OTA and OTA needs you.

Carol McKinstry
OTA President

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