Australian Association of Psychologists inc
14th July 2019
In this issue:-
1. New Administrator Appointed
2. Strategic Planning Program
3. Legal Action/ Fighting Fund
4. AAPi Board Vacancies
5. Retiring AAPi Director
6. Position for Provisional Psychologist
7. New AAPi Logo
The Board is very pleased to advise that Tegan Carrison has been appointed to take over as Executive Director of the Australian Association of Psychologists inc.
Tegan comes to the post with extensive experience in business administration in such diverse areas as hospitality, communications, product distribution and health care.
We look forward to the contribution that Tegan will make to the Association, and she will soon become known to you through her compilation and editing of our regular e-newsletters.
Tegan will be replacing our long standing Executive Director Michael Pointer who has held the position since the establishment of the Australian Association of Psychologists inc in 2010
The AAPi President, Paul Stevenson said "We are delighted that Tegan will be joining the AAPi Team, and we look forward to the contribution she will make to the next Chapter of the Associations progress"
Strategic Planning Program.
Following the extraordinary increase in membership the Association has enjoyed over the last six months the Board is keen to address the way forward and ensure that AAPi is providing the information and services that the membership requires.
Accordingly the President has convened a Strategic Planning Session for the weekend of 10th and 11th August in Southern Queensland.
All past and present Board members have been invited to attend this important planning session.
Because the small facilities that we will be using for this activity are restricted we will be unable to invite a large number of members to attend; however if there are any members who would like to make a contribution to this important activity, that will plan our way forward in this period of rapid expansion, please let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do what we can to accommodate you.
The outcomes from this important event will be detailed in a subsequent e-newsletter.
LEGAL ACTION/ FIGHTING FUND
We are very pleased to report that following the generous donations from many individuals throughout the country we are now in a position to move forward in pursuing a legal remedy to the problems impinging on the administration and practice of the profession of Psychology.
To commence this process we have now appointed the Sydney firm of solicitors HWL Ebsworth to represent the Association to progress this matter.
There is considerable work to be done in this area, and unfortunately, as we have experienced, the legal wheels do not turn rapidly. Never the less the process has begun and initial advice we have received is to conduct a review of everything we have done to date and to vigorously pursue our proposals to the Mental Health Reference Group Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.
We intend to be as open as possible with information for members and contributors to the Fighting Fund about the developments around this action, and will report regularly in all future e-newsletters.
The Legal Action Fighting Fund remains open for contributions from Registered Psychologists and all other interested parties.
The objective of the Fund is to raise sufficient money to enable a successful legal case to be mounted against the discriminatory two tier Medicare rebate and various instrumentalities that discriminate against the majority of Australia’s registered psychologists.
Contributions can be made to the Australian Association of Psychologists inc (AAPi) Fighting Fund by:-
· EFT to BSB 182 512 Account No. 961170248
· BPay to BPay Code: 667022; BPay Reference: 961170248
· Cheque to PO Box 107, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3051.
· Credit Card phone 0418 391 820
For further information telephone 0418 391 820 or email to email@example.com
AAPi Board Vacancies
The Annual General meeting is due to be held in October/ November; however owing to the recent retirement of our long standing Vice President Mr Vic Mellors there are now vacancies on the Board that we are keen to rectify prior to the Annual Meeting.
Therefore we are seeking expressions of interest from members who would be prepared to be appointed to fill the casual vacancies up until the AGM.
Due to the retirement of longstanding members and increased organisational and operational requirements AAPi is looking to appoint new members to the Board of Directors. All members in good standing and who support the values and principles of the association are encouraged to apply.
Applicants are asked to include a current resume and a short cover letter addressing why they have applied for the position and what they would bring to the Board in terms of skills and experience. Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Board Application”.
Applicants with skills and experience in any of the following areas will be highly regarded: accounting, IT, finance, NFP governance and/or legal and administrative services.
Applications close 26/7/19, 5pm AEST.
Retiring AAPi Director
We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to retiring Vice President Vic Mellors.
Vic has served the Association with great distinction as a diligent, highly intelligent and committed member of the Board.
He has always held the interests of the organisation and its members as his highest priority and worked diligently to this end. His involvement in preparing many submissions to Inquiries, Royal Commissions and the Media has been exceptional, and will be missed by his remaining colleagues on the AAPi Board.
Well done Vic, and thank you.
A message from the President
Paul J. Stevenson OAM
At last, the AAPi is confident to announce the commencement of legal proceedings pertinent to ten years of discrimination and disenfranchisement of General Licensed Psychologists, at the hands of the Psychologist’s Board and the APS.
Our members have generously donated to our legal fighting fund, and the amount generated is now sufficient for the long-awaited “Class Action”.
I met with the Chair of the Psychologist’s Board (Ms Rachel Phillips) and Executive Officer of AHPRA (Mr Chris Robinson) on Tuesday 12th June, and asked (one more time) for the abolition of Endorsement and the Two-Tiered discriminatory Medicare Rebate System, and both declined to take any action, denying they had the authority to do so.
While I accepted that Medicare was responsible for the Two-Tiered Rebate, I alleged the Board had allowed the perception that General Registered Psychologists were inferior to Endorsed, and a message from the Board to Medicare denouncing that myth would (at any time during the last ten years) have leveled the playing field. I also alleged the Board had aligned itself too closely with the APS in perpetuating that same myth.
Further, I alleged the Board had failed in its duty of care to all Psychologists in allowing the APS Clinical College to denigrate General Licensed Psychologists to statutory agencies (such as CentreLink, DVA, WorkCover, and Insurance Companies), culminating in the exclusion of these Psychologists from referrals for assessments and reports.
I was able to explain to these representatives that the concept of Endorsement was invalid and non-standardised, and cited AAPi research which found that 42% of surveyed Endorsed Psychologists (on the Board’s database) did not have the qualifications required of Endorsement. I further alleged that an alliance between the Board and the APS allowed the APS Clinical College members to be “grandfathered” to Endorsement status without any requirement to upgrade their qualifications (indeed, many Endorsed APS members hold no more than a three-year BA). Ms Phillips defended action to allow the APS Clinical College members automatic Endorsement status, claiming that this was an historical action, which cannot be reversed or remediated in favour of non-menbers of that agency, due to the many legal statutes which have post-dated it.
I was able to inform Ms Phillips that the APS have artificially inflated their membership numbers to hide the emigration of their members to the AAPi over the past twelve months. I explained that, while the APS (in their annual report this July) will no doubt claim to have retained 24,000 members, they will do so by not de-registering members who have left. I cited that several of their members who have resigned in favour of AAPi membership have reported they can still log in to the APS members-only portal using their former usernames and passwords. Thus, I implored Ms Phillips to accept she will have to start acknowledging the AAPi as a genuine “Peak Body”, and work with us at some stage.
Finally, I informed Ms Phillips that I would be available for further consultation with her pertinent to the matters stated, up until our strategic planning meeting (in August), prior to initiating the proposed legal action. She continued to claim the matters were not within her authority.
I would personally like to thank all of you who have contributed to the legal fighting fund. This has been a tremendous milestone for us, but one which marks the “start line” not the “finish line”. The fund remains open for donations, as one can never have enough funds to cover these matters.
As always, the AAPi will ensure that any unspent funds will be returned to donors.
Annual Subscriptions for the 2019/ 2020 Year
Annual Subscription rates for the 2019/ 2020 year remain unchanged; however with some name changes and amendments as follows:-
Psychologists with full registration Working Full- time $250
Working Part-time (three days or less per week) $100
Retired psychologists $50
Affiliate Member - Community members $100
Associate Member - Student and Provisional psychologists - Free
Join the Australian Association of Psychologists inc.
To join AAPi go to http://www.aapoz.com Click on "My AAPi" and from the drop down menu select "Register with AAPi" and complete the online registration form.
You will then receive an automated email with an invoice for your annual subscription.
Subscriptions paid now will include membership up to 30th June 2020.
By joining AAPi you will be a member of an officially recognised peak body of the profession that is:-
a) consulted by both Federal and State Governments
b) in which every financial member has a vote on all Board positions
c) representing ALL its members and not just a subgroup of members
d) actively contributing submissions and comments to government, organisations, and agencies to advocate for equality, diversity and democracy for the profession