Colleagues, the truth is a week certainly is a long time in politics! For any of you who do not know me please allow me to introduce myself - I am Simon Crowe and I am the Acting President of the Society. My role as Acting President has arisen as I was elected to the Board at our most recent ballot. At the first meeting of the new Board of Directors I was elected Vice-President, and, due to the indisposition of the new President Bob Montgomery, I have become Acting President. Please do not fret that the Board is in dangerous hands, as despite the fact that I am have only just been elected, I have recently served a two-year term with the Board and served as Vice-President up to the end my term, so I feel well versed in all of the ongoing issues.
Now that all the machinations and political posturing is out of the way, I am sure that I express on behalf of all of the membership our heartfelt concern for Bob Montgomery at this time and I know that all of us are hoping for his speedy recovery. Bob is on leave of absence until February and hopefully at that stage he will be able to step into the role as President of the Society.
As Acting President, it is my utmost pleasure to be able to express thanks on behalf of the Society to those members of the Board who have departed following the expiry of their terms at this year's Annual General Meeting. It is hard to express what a tremendous contribution Amanda Gordon has made in her four years as President. Major developments and initiatives occurred under Amanda's leadership and it is unquestionable that the Society and the discipline and the practice of psychology are fundamentally altered as a consequence of her efforts. She was pivotal in steering through the revision of the governance structure of the Society, and in her term of office we achieved funding through Medicare and enhanced funding for the teaching of psychology. Amanda undertook work on social justice issues including the Bendi Lango art exhibitions and arising from these the training scholarships for aboriginal psychologists, and her indefatigable efforts in the media with regard to the profile, recognition, professionalism and importance of psychology must be applauded. As you would guess I am a great fan, and the enthusiasm and energy that Amanda has bought to the Board is something I know I will try to emulate.
Our other departing General Directors include Dr Iain Montgomery, who has worked tirelessly in his efforts to develop and maintain standards of training and accreditation of the discipline, as well as contributing significantly to the debate on national registration and accreditation. He will be sadly missed. Also leaving the board is Quentin Black who in his short time with the Board has made an important case for State-based issues particularly with regard to his home State of South Australia. Also leaving the Board but not going very far is Professor Trevor Waring. Trevor was seconded to the Board at the end of 2007 to supplement the Society's expertise with regard to issues of registration and accreditation in the context of the Federal Government's national registration initiative. Trevor was elected as Chair of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, a joint entity between the Society and the Council of Psychologists Registration Boards. Trevor has made an excellent contribution in this role. As a result, at the first meeting of the new Board it was decided to ask Trevor to continue with his secondment to the Board of Directors. This decision was made due to Trevor's powerful contribution in this area and in order to maintain continuity and consistency during these delicate negotiations leading up to the implementation of the national registration framework. He has very graciously acceded to our request. The support for Trevor by the Board was unanimous and I am sure that all of the members of the Society will appreciate how lucky we are to have Trevor's input.
Also at the most recent election, Robyn Vines was elected to the Board. Robyn will be well known to many members and brings to the Society her tireless enthusiasm for the practice of psychology, as well as her strong commitment to the focus on rural and regional issues. I look forward to Robyn's ongoing contribution to the Board. As a final note with regard to the Board, I would particularly like to thank all of the current members of the Board for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Society and to congratulate them on yet another successful year. Bravo!!
A plug for the next APS Conference in Darwin, September 2009
Plan to come along to next year's APS Conference to be held in Darwin. Allow me to guide your imagery by saying: sunset over the Arafura sea, fish feeding, the Parap and Mindle markets, red dust hanging in the air of Kakadu, as well as first rate continuing education on a host of fascinating issues. I hope many members will bring along their families to enjoy this magical and exotic location (as well as a great scientific Conference of course). The Conference we had in Hobart this year was truly memorable - thanks go to the Scientific Chair, Professor Jeff Summers, and the Conference Organising Committee for their sterling efforts.