7 May 2020 Update

Dear AAPi Community,

It has been a busy few weeks for AAPi. To touch on a few of our current initiatives:

  • We are continuing our advocacy work for improved Medicare Telehealth during the COVID-19 period and beyond.

  • We are progressing our legal challenge against the two tier system. We are hoping to provide you with an update from our legal team later this month. To reiterate, AAPi is working towards a one-tier model for all registered psychologists, not lower than the exisiting higher tier.

  • AAPi has and will continue to represent our members with government and industry consultations.

  • Providing support to our members and the community.

  • Building our media profile, including AAPi President Anne Marie Collins being featured in the 'Ask the Experts' section of The Daily Telegraph. This article can be viewed here. Amanda Curran, AAPi Vice President, was featured in an excellent article in The Guardian. This article focussing on addiction can be viewed here.

  • Working on partnerships that will benefit our members and help link the community to psychologists.

  • Applying for grants to further our work.

  • Added to the AAPi team to provide more support and assistance to members.

  • Investigating additional activities including equality for government psychologists, support for school psychologists and how best to support students, provisional and early career psychologists.

  • Improvements to our website, which will be released shortly.

  • Negotiating exclusive member benefits including discounted insurance through Insurance House.

  • Listened, heard and responded to members.

I also wanted to take the opportunity welcome our new members. We have more members joining in the last few months than possibly expected, with more joining each day. We value and appreciate your support and look forward to getting to know each and everyone of you. As our numbers grow, so too does our voice and the services we can offer. We are stronger together. Thank you for joining our vibrant and progressive community.

In this update you will find:

  • New resources for psychologists

  • Discounted PD opportunities

  • Member rates for insurance

  • An update on peer support meetings

  • Telehealth and PTSD research surveys

  • Interesting articles

As always, please contact me if your have any suggestions, thoughts or concerns. As a not for profit, AAPi exists for you, our members. You can email me via admin@aapi.org.au or phone 0488770044.

Take care,

Tegan Carrison

Executive Director AAPi

New AAPi resources:

Email Guidelines for Psychologists

With more of us working remotely, this timely resource provides guidelines for safe electronic transmission of information.

Ethical Decision Making Guide

A simple guide to provide options for navigating tricky ethical dilemmas.

Privacy Checklist for Telehealth Services

The Department of Health has released a checklist to help you comply with privacy guidelines when providing telehealth services. 

Update AAPi Virtual Peer Meetings

AAPi has launched our first virtual group of peer consultation/supervision meetings with great success. It was fantastic to see the talent within the group and the pure diversity of the approaches of the members. Never before have I been in such a space with psychologists where every member had a clear, passionately communicated, and authentic voice to their practice.

We indeed have some amazing members and each one contributes so much to the field. This is the beauty of AAPi. We have the knowledge that every psychologist brings something very unique and we wish to embrace them all. It really warmed my heart to see this in action.

This group is continuing on together and we are forming another two groups, including one with a working with children focus. A few members are also in the process of being set up with a one on one supervision format.

If you would like to be involved in Peer Meetings, either as a participant or convener please register your interest with me via email amanda@aapi.org.au.

Warmest Regards,

Amanda Curran

Vice President AAPi

Insurance House – Making insurance simple for AAPi Members 

Eligible psychologists have access to an insurance arrangement via their AAPi membership.

Via Insurance House members can purchase their combined Medical Malpractice and Public Liability insurance online with instant confirmation. Premiums start from $210* per year for a $2m Medical Malpractice/$10m Public Liability combined limit. 

Some of the benefits offered by the Insurance House policy include:

  • A choice of four different levels of cover to choose from, according to risk profile

  • Lower rates for members earning less than $40,000 per annum

  • Nil excess on all claims

  • Unlimited retroactive coverto cover members for claims based on previously provided services after switching their policy from another insurer 

  • Legal hotline providing members with access to a 30-minute telephone consultation at no cost

  • Member Portal for 24/7 access to view claim progress

  • Students are covered at no cost until they qualify

To find out more and to register, visit the Insurance House AAPi member webpage 

AAPi Members are backed by a dedicated Customer Support team contactable on 1300 659 626 or by email on customersupport@ihgroup.com.au

e-Friend Launch Virtual Peer Support

eFriend is an innovative new approach to virtual peer support in Australia developed by Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) to help people who may be experiencing loneliness, isolation, distress, difficulty coping with the impact of trauma, or if they are struggling with anxiety, depression or thoughts of self-harm.

eFriend builds on the existing network of support lines, web-based services and peer support groups in Australia by offering something unique through one-to-one sessions with an eFriend Peer using an individualised, virtual model.

This model differs from anonymous crisis support lines and borrows from telehealth (where you connect each time with the same person), ensuring that you don’t have to retell your story each time you call.

eFriend also combines the methodology of ‘befriending’ developed in the UK to combat loneliness with the expertise of a trained peer support worker.

eFriend complements other support lines and services delivered by other national mental health organisations, and builds on ICLA’s 30 years of expertise and experience in delivering in-community support for people living with mental illness and trauma.

eFriend is staffed by a trained team of peer support workers who have a lived experience of mental ill health, trauma or distress and who can provide immediate non-clinical, peer-based mental health support to people.

Further information on eFriend can be found on their website https://efriend.org.au/

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) New COVID-19 Support Service

Coronavirus support services provided by PANDA commenced on May 1. PANDA has strengthened the services provided through the Helpline and have commenced development of additional resources for new and expecting parents and toolkits for health professionals. More information can be found on their website https://www.panda.org.au/

COVID-19 Resources for First Australians

Gayaa Dhuwi has COVID-19 resources developed for First Australians. Checkout www.gayaadhuwi.org.au/coronavirus

Free COVID-19 support line for Senior Australians

Senior Australians, their families and carers can now call a dedicated free call support line aimed at supporting the mental health of those impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

The support line will operate Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8.30am to 6pm.

The number is 1800 171 866.

Further information can be found on National Seniors Australia Website.

Disaster Mental Health Course

Mental Health Academy (AAPi’s CPD partner) have recently launched the Disaster Mental Health Counselling Credential Course. 

It’s a comprehensive 31-hour program that will enhance your clinical skills, cultural capability and evidence-based knowledge to serve disaster-affected clients. With the recent bushfires and global COVID-19 crisis, this skillset has never been more relevant and important.

Leading you through the course is one of the world’s prominent experts in disaster mental health and trauma counselling. Dr. Cirecie A. West-Olatunji serves as Professor in the Counseling program at Xavier University of Louisiana (United States) and Director of the XULA Center for Traumatic Stress Research. Dr West-Olatunji has over 25 years of global experience with disaster mental health - having coordinated outreach projects in post-Katrina New Orleans, Southern Africa, and post-earthquake Haiti. 

To learn more and claim your AAPi subscriber discount (you’ll save $400.00), visit:


PEERS Certified Training Teleconference 21-23 May 2020

AAPi is offering a discounted rate to attend PEERS training. The AAPi discount for the training is $600 (usually $2000 for in person training).This opportunity includes 24 hours of training in the implementation of PEERS for Teenagers: Social Skills Training for Teenagers.

Attendees will receive certification as a Peers for Adolescents Certified Provider upon completion.You will need to note the code PAUS on the registration form after your surname to receive the AAPi discount.

PEERS for Adolescents is a social skills training program that studies have shown assists participants to significantly improve their social ability. Randomised controlled trials have shown improvements in social skills, social anxiety, depressive symptoms, and problem behaviours. An adaption of PEERS for young adults has also shown improved social knowledge, empathy, anxiety and loneliness.

There is also an opportunity once you have completed the training to be featured on the PEERS website PEERS Provider List for the public and organisations to find Certified Providers as well as utilise a Certified Providers Forum to enable sharing of resources, ideas, research and opportunities for collaboration.

For more information go to the PEERS Australia website www.peersaus.com, email info@peersaustralia.com.au or call 0447558222. 

Help us to initiate further research into the delivery of psychology services through Telehealth

Are you running psychology sessions over the phone or through teleconferencing apps such as Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Our findings will be published as an industry whitepaper under a creative commons licence, and will be used as a call for broader academic research into the area of psychology and telehealth in Australia. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TelehealthPsych

Funding Opportunity Health and Wellbeing Initiative NSW

Eligible to; Not-for-Profits, Unincorporated Groups, Individuals

Funding Amount: $500 to $10,000

Closes 19-May-2020 5pm AEST


The Health and Wellbeing Initiative supports the creation, development and presentation of creative practice and programming online, and other forms of broadcast, to support mental health and wellbeing outcomes.


It is open to individual artists, arts and cultural and medical/health organisations in NSW.

It responds to arts organisation and industry needs to engage with creative practice that supports health and wellbeing of artists, audiences and communities.

The Health and Wellbeing Initiative supports artists and organisations to develop/produce/curate/present a range of (non-exhaustive) activities listed below:

Creative projects/programs for promoting wellness and relieving anxiety and depression

Online networks/community interaction spaces for sharing creative practice

Online creative spaces for communities of specific shared experience

Podcast or videocast development and programming

Online workshops/dance classes/movement classes/tutorials for creative community participation

Provision for employing a digital expert to bring your creative community programming online.


Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible for a Health and Wellbeing Initiative grant you need to meet the following criteria:

You must be either: an arts and/or cultural organisation, 

a medical/health organisation with arts programming, an artist or artist group; and be based in NSW.

Project focus:

Your project must be a clearly defined arts and cultural activity with health and wellbeing outcomes.

Contact Details:

Phone: (02) 8289 6520

Email: arts.funding@create.nsw.gov.au

Interesting Reads:

Students on spectrum need 'gradual' return to full-time classroom. Source: The Age

Psychological Trauma Is the Next Crisis for Coronavirus Health Workers Source: Scientific American

The Reason Zoom Calls Drain Your Energy. Source: BBC News