Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia News

Entries for September 2015


Hello Members, 

What a lot has happened since I wrote to you last! I recently attended the New Zealand Society of Diversional Therapists Annual Conference. This was an amazing and uplifting experience, and I have reported further on this within the body of the newsletter. I would encourage all DTA members to expand their networking and expose themselves to alternative ideas by attending opportunities such as this. We were treated to many differing concepts, most of which would transfer to Australia, and were also able to meet up with colleagues from across the Tasman. It’s interesting to appreciate the issues and concerns we face in Australia are similar to what is experienced in New Zealand. DTA and DTNZ are working to making sure that the differences between the two organisations are minimised and that we can share as much information as possible in supporting the DT role across both nations. Mary Gracie, NZ DT President will be attended the Gold Coast conference, so please take the opportunity to chat with her and welcome her to Australia. Please take the time to read the full report within the body of the newsletter; there are some ideas and contacts which you might be able to follow up on! 

 Keep an eye on the website; there are some fantastic new networking tools about to start in the next few weeks. Forums will be the means by which you can communicate with DT’s working in similar settings, or with a similar client base, or where you can catch up with the latest news and information. This is just another example of how your Association has listened and responded to your needs.

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Hello everyone and we hope for those of you who can make it, that you are getting excited about the 2015 DTA Conference on the Gold Coast- can’t wait to feel that sun on my back and meeting up with everyone again whilst excitedly making some new friends too I hope. 

We have our sensational Conference workshop Activities, Activities, Activities to get the ball rolling on the Thursday- places are limited to ensure everyone gets to have that hands on experience so book now to reserve your place on the 15th of October- remember you don’t have to attend the Conference to attend the workshop

While the conference is the highlight of the DTA calendar there are plenty of opportunities to attend training and meet up with other DTA members at our

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New Zealand Conference Report 2015

Recently the New Zealand Society of Diversional Therapists invited two Diversional Therapy Australia members to attend their annual conference. Darren Robinson (DTA Tasmanian Representative) and I accepted the offer and made the trip to beautiful Auckland.

The conference began on the evening of Friday 8th August with a traditional Powhiri, the Maori welcome, performed by children. This was inspiring and emotional; the dedication to culture was obvious and heartening. The President of the NZ Society of DT’s, Mary Gracie then officially opened the Conference, welcoming all delegates, and making specific note of the International presence. Bids were received for the 2016 Conference, and Blenheim support (networking) group were successful. Following the official opening, the conference broke for dinner, and delegates were free to network over dinner.

I enjoyed a fantastic dinner with the Executive of the NZ Board as we discussed those trends and concerns which form part of the Board role.

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Standing Committee on Health’s
Inquiry into Chronic Disease Management in Primary Health Care


Allied Health Professions Australia is the peak body representing and advocating for the value and role of allied health professions. The 22 national organisations within AHPA have members working in public, private, not-for-profit, rural and regional services across Australia. In making this submission we wish to commend the profession specific submissions by a number of AHPA’s organisations. This AHPA submission needs to be read in conjunction with the profession specific responses – it is not a compilation or summary of those responses. Our organisations speak for the professions of: Audiologists, Chiropractors, Dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, Genetic Counsellors, Music Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Orthoptists, Orthotist/Prosthetists, Osteopaths, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Perfusionists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Sonographers and Speech Pathologists, as well as for Audiometrists, Diabetes Educators, Diversional Therapists and Practice Managers.

It is estimated that there are approximately 120,000 allied health practitioners, who utilise their specialised knowledge and skills to improve health outcomes, either working autonomously or

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Submitted by: Courtney Alchin

 Coming up with new and different craft and art activities can often be challenging for the DT. Social media can now be used as a form of searching and archiving all your ideas together for later use. Pinterest is just one form of social media that is popular with DT’s. For people that have never heard of it Pinterest is where you create different boards that are categorised into different themes. Some key words that will help you navigate around Pinterest include Pin which is what the photos/craft ideas are called and a board which is where your pins for that specific board are placed. For example, on my personal Pinterest I have a board for DT, Christmas, Easter, my Wedding, and triathlon motivation. It is picture sharing at its finest, with the ability for you to use other people’s pins and people may even pin your pins when they enjoy your ideas that you are sharing.

To be able to start your board, you must first make a Pinterest account which is free and can link up to Facebook so you can join with all your

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Members Article: NAIDOC WEEK 2015

Submitted by: Samantha Doddrell, Diversional Therapist, Concord Repatriation General Hospital

Many of our residents here at Yaralla House have fabulous memories of the Blue Mountains, so it was no surprise when during our monthly residents meeting that they suggested a day trip was long overdue. Luckily our agenda for the meeting included NAIDOC week and one of our residents who had previously lived in Leura (Blue Mountains) suggested that we attend the Waradah Aboriginal Centre in Katoomba. This was a fantastic idea and really “killing two birds with one stone”. 

All of the residents were very excited knowing that this trip would be organised. Not only do our residents love to visit historical, cultural and artistic places but also enjoy education. Yaralla House resides on the Dame Eadith Walker Estate, Concord and holds quite a large Aboriginal history. I have previously organised for the coordinator of our local historical society to come out and provide an in-service on the estate which was very interesting. 

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Members Article: Visit to De Hogeweyk dementia specific village in the Nederlands

Submitted by: Erica Stevenson, Diversional Therapy Assistant, Royal Hobart Hospital, Student at CSU (Bachelor of Health Science-Leisure and Lifestyle)

 I have recently returned from a holiday in the Nederlands where I was lucky enough to visit a dementia specific village called “de Hogeweyk”. There has been much media publicity on this village and it has often been referred to in my university studies to acknowledge their approach to care of people with advanced dementia. I emailed the facility requesting to visit and their response was a friendly: “Yes, come, have a coffee, use the facilities and stay as long as you wish”. I was most grateful and excited by this opportunity.

The village is in the township of Weesp which is close to Amsterdam. I met with the Activities Co-ordinator, Jorgos Arvanitis, who was very happy to explain how the village is organised. Although Jorgos was not familiar with the profession of ‘Diversional Therapy’ during my interactions it appeared his

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Please welcome our newest segment contributed Lauren who will supply you with an interesting link each month – Ed.

A little bit about Lauren.
Hello all! I am currently located in Melbourne, Armadale which the spell-check keeps trying to correct to marmalade for some reason. I'm studying long distance at CSU doing the recommended Bachelor of Heath Science focusing on leisure and health which is really interesting, even if I really don't like writing essays or doing exams. I have chosen Diversional Therapy as a career after volunteering for a few months while working in fast food and I kept thinking I wish this was my actual job, how glad I was to find out it was something I could actually do as a career, I was in the cert 4 course a month later and finished it by the end of the year.

Septembers link is:


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Full Certificate IV in Leisure and Health RPL opportunity for Grandfather clause members...

 DTA has recently approached Skills Training Australia, acting on behalf of their members, to design and produce a program that will allow all Grandfather clause members a simplistic and affordable way of obtaining their Certificate IV in Leisure and Health. Which we have done...
Recognition of Prior Learning is the process of taking all previous experience and professional development and mapping it against the requirements of a qualification to deem someone's competence. On DTA's request, we have designed an RPL program specifically for the cohort of members that fall under the Grandfather clause that we believe will be simple and affordable.

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Title: Diversional and Physical Nonpharmacological Interventions for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
Author: Fitzsimmons, Suzanne; Barba, Beth; Stump, Maria.
Journal: Journal of Gerontological Nursing 41.2 (Feb 2015): 8-17

This article is the last of a four-part series addressing the use of nonpharmacological interventions for
older adults with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). These types of interventions are used to prevent, lessen, or eliminate BPSD, thereby reducing patient reliance on psychoactive medications. These interventions are easy to use, cost-effective, and

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