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The Board of Directors of the Australian Physiotherapy Council recently met for our first face-to-face board meeting in 15 months, and we remembered again the value of being in the same room together as we govern, strategise and lead our organisation.

We sat around our board table, along with our CEO, and acknowledged that strong leadership is critical to the Council's effectiveness and as we serve our stakeholders.

Since February 2020, we’ve held many virtual Board meetings, especially as we considered important challenges and decisions that the Council faced, such as closing our Melbourne based office and suspending face to face clinical assessments and transforming our written assessment to a remotely invigilated mode that allowed our candidates to access and continue progressing their assessment pathway.

However, this recent Board meeting was another important milestone in our evolution as a strong and competent accreditation and assessment authority. It was my first Board meeting as newly elected Chair, and I am honoured to have been chosen by my fellow Directors to serve as Chair, with such a strong and committed Board alongside me.

During our meeting, we began to review our current strategy and consider how the upheavals and disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a very different operating environment. This will be an ongoing discussion with our Board and Executive team in the months to come. We are also considering a potential new model for remote clinical assessment, to minimise the risk of future disruption and negative impact on our international candidates who are working through the steps to join the esteemed Australian physiotherapy profession. We continue to recognise the challenges for Australian universities and will work with them to understand the key issues.

As Chair, I am committed to strong leadership at the Council and working closely with our CEO, Anton Barnett-Harris to stay in touch with how our people and our organisation are responding to the uncertainties the world continues to face.

Finally, at this last Board meeting, the Council farewelled outgoing independent Director Roger Chao after serving on our Board and the ARC over the last 3 years. Roger brought a strong contribution and helped us consider important questions about our function and work as an accreditation and assessment authority. We thank Roger for his investment of time and passion, and wish him and his family all the best for the future.

The Council is positioned well, and I am confident in our leadership, our people, and our focus as we serve the best interests of a wonderful profession that is Australian physiotherapy.

From Melissa Locke, Chair of the Board of Directors

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