One nomination was received for the position of President-Elect of the Society - that of Professor Simon Crowe - so he was elected unopposed to the position effective from the AGM in Darwin on 2 October 2009. He will assume the office of President at the conclusion of the 2010 AGM for a term of two years. An election for three General Director positions on the APS Board of Directors was held by postal ballot and electronic voting, and the result was declared at the AGM. Emeritus Professor Gina Geffen and Dr Bob Rich were elected for a term of office of three years from the 2009 AGM, and Dr Elizabeth Celi was elected for a two-year term. The terms of office for the General Directors were determined according to the optional preferential voting method. Brief profiles of the President-Elect and the three new General Directors are presented below. The full composition of the new 16th APS Board of Directors can be found at www.psychology.org.au/about/board.
Simon Crowe is Professor of Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology in the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University. He has a PhD in the neurobiological basis of memory and has also completed professional training in clinical neuropsychology. He is a member of the APS Colleges of Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Neuropsychologists and Forensic Psychologists. Simon was a member of the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007 and was elected again in 2008, serving as Vice-President for periods during this time.
Simon was Head of the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University from 2001 to 2007 and Chair of the Heads of Departments and Schools of Psychology in Australia in 2005. He maintains a strong research program and has published two monographs, 93 refereed journal articles, and numerous book chapters and commentaries. He continues to conduct an extensive private practice in the area of medico-legal disputation and is an independent psychological examiner for the Victorian Workcover Authority and for the Transport Accident Commission in Victoria.
Simon brings an extensive and up-to-date knowledge of the Society and the issues that it faces both as a member of the Board and through his roles as academic administrator, researcher, educator and practising psychologist. He maintains a strong commitment to the science and intellectual rigour of the psychology discipline, and brings a strategic approach to decision-making. He is firmly committed to the notion that a membership society must have as its primary focus the provision of substantial and sustainable direct and indirect benefits to the membership.
Gina Geffen practises as a private clinical psychologist specialising in chronic pain management. She has worked for 45 years in academic research and teaching, and in clinical practice (public and private). Gina has been chief investigator on a large number of major grants, and is the author of 133 peer-reviewed articles, 15 book chapters and seven test manuals.
Gina has been active in APS Colleges and committees since 1984. She was the Chairperson of the College of Clinical Neuropsychologists (Qld) from 1992 to 1994 and initiated the combined clinical neuropsychology and clinical psychology postgraduate training program at the University of Queensland. In 2007, in recognition of her services to psychology and her advocacy for the brain injured, Gina was made a member of the Order of Australia. In 2008, she received the APS President's Award for Distinguished Services to Psychology.
Gina has been the Chair of the Psychologists Registration Board of Queensland since 2001 and a member of the Council of Psychology Registration Boards of Australasia, and has recently been appointed as a member of the new Psychology Board of Australia. She brings her Registration Board experience to her position as Director and is keen to assist the APS with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme reforms. Apart from these external reforms, Gina believes the APS also faces internal challenges in the interaction of its components, especially the specialist Colleges, and she wants to work towards addressing divisive factional policies.
Bob Rich has been in private practice as a counselling psychologist since 1991 and has been a member of the APS since that time. He has been the Secretary of the Victorian Section of the APS College of Counselling Psychologists since 2003, and of its National Executive since 2006. He also edits the Counselling College's newsletter. In addition, he is the Secretary of the APS Buddhism and Psychology Interest Group and on the Committee of the APS Psychology and the Environment Interest Group, also editing this Group's newsletter.
Bob held teaching positions at Monash University for five years and RMIT for three, then was a research scientist with the CSIRO for four years. For two years, he was a private consultant in energy conservation research, designing and running surveys, and training and supervising interviewers. He has worked as a family therapist for Anglicare, a counsellor at an Aboriginal Health Centre, and as a telephone counsellor. He is a writer with 14 published books in fields varying from building and woodcraft to surviving cancer. Three of the books he has written are psychology self-help books.
Bob nominated for the Board because he is disturbed by the perceived elitism that favours one speciality over others of equal standing. He wants to assist the Board to address this issue and be a catalyst for change toward a Society that visibly serves its members.
Elizabeth Celi has a doctorate from the University of Melbourne in which she researched the link between the serotonin transporter gene, neuroticism and harm avoidance. She works as a private practitioner in inner Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula, in addition to delivering mental health/wellbeing training and consulting services to government and corporate organisations as an organisational trainer and professional speaker. She has published a book on men's mental health concerns and undertakes considerable advocacy through the media in this area.
In 2007 Elizabeth became a member of the APS Private Practice Reference Group, contributing her business and marketing skills and highlighting the importance of self care as a consideration for psychologists and the profession's image. She is also the Chair of the APS Mornington Peninsula Branch and operates as an APS media spokesperson in the area of men's mental health.
As a Director, Elizabeth wants to assist the Board to strategically and proactively position the immense value of an APS psychologist in the eyes of psychologists themselves and the various stakeholders that benefit from psychologists' training and expertise. In particular, Elizabeth recognises the need for an education campaign highlighting the advantages of choosing a psychologist over non-psychologist professionals offering similar services. She also wants to ensure that the needs of psychologists working in various sectors are met through the APS structures and processes.
Associate Professor Erica Frydenberg FAPS, Professor Trang Thomas AM FAPS and Professor Trevor Waring AM FAPS reached the end of their terms as General Directors and retired from the Board at the 2009 AGM. We thank them for their valuable contributions to the Society through their service on the Board of Directors.