Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia News

President Piece

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Hello Members,

I write to you this month after a whirlwind last few days. I am excited and buoyed by what I have seen and heard over this time. 

I attended the recent Port Broughton (South Australia) workshop. DTA has listened and responded to what you, our members, have asked for, in offering workshops in regional locations. Port Broughton is a small rural location; if you crave peacefulness, a relaxed lifestyle and fishing, you would fit in perfectly! 24 people travelled (some up to 4 hours) to be part of the Diversional Therapy workshop. In the midst of this peaceful rural location, ideas were presented, light bulb moments were had, stories of concern and frustration were shared, as the group of 24 found and explored common possibilities, ideas and feelings. 

We were challenged to think about how our roles might look in the future, both the short and longer terms, as the ageing population increases and lives longer, and the available population to offer support and care significantly decreases in number. We were exposed to the many facets of mental health and how the DT role might respond to

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Hello DTA members,

Welcome to the inaugural DTA Connections Collector’s Edition! Congratulations to Editor Emma and her supportive team on the production of this first ever edition. This is a great initiative and opportunity to showcase DTA and the DTA year.

Within this special edition, you will find your DTA renewal. I urge you to give this your full attention. Your renewal is important for many reasons. The opportunity to be part of the peak body which represents your chosen career path is invaluable. Being able to share and network with like-minded professionals, encouraging and promoting up-to-date trends and interests within the specialised diversional therapy discipline is paramount in ensuring you remain up to date in your field. 

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Hello Members,

It is not so long ago, Australia was sweltering through a long, hot summer, and yet as I write this, NSW has been devastated with extreme storm conditions. The thoughts of the Board are with everyone who is affected by this latest weather situation. 

Last night your Board met for their regular monthly meeting. There are several initiatives I would like to pass on to you from that meeting. 

Those of you who were at the Adelaide conference will recall the truly international flavour, with delegates from Japan and New Zealand. Some years ago, a delegation from Australia went to Japan; this was a very successful exchange with many friendships forged as well as the exchange of ideas and approaches to working roles. Coming from the successful exchange in Adelaide was the suggestion of

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Hello all,

This month we acknowledge the Anzac Centenary. This is a significant commemoration and a time to honour and reflect upon the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our nation’s uniform - past and present. For many DT’s this meaningful event forms part of their scheduled programming. An important legacy resulting from the Anzac Centenary national programme is the Spirit of Anzac Centenary experience - a National travelling exhibition which is free to attend. All the details are on the Anzac Centenary website http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au/, I encourage you to visit this site; it is of value to each of us personally and also has the capacity to support your Anzac planning.

The DTA Board, Executive Officer, and Office continue to work on the Wellness through Leisure campaign. This month sees the launch of the DTA trade directory. A brilliant resource, this directory will quickly build to a one-stop-shop for all your DT resource needs. Take the time to check it out and please let the office know if there are areas you would like to see filled, or if you have a resource which could be included. 

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Wellness through Leisure. This is a term you will hear about quite a bit over the next six months, as this will be the focus of DT Week, Conference theme, and forms the basis of a 12 month media campaign. This year, the Board and Office are aligning to present a united and consistent message. 

Wellness and leisure have long been associated, and there is considerable literature to support the connection between these two concepts. 

But what does it mean to you? What is your role in supporting wellness within your working environment? How do you ensure the programs you develop and fine-tune, have a focus on wellness? Wellness itself is such a broad concept; in considering quality

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The role of the Diversional Therapist is incredibly diverse, and duties and requests seem to escalate towards the end of the year. By now you are probably all back at work and wondering if you had a break at all! Coping with workplaces stressors, as well as the many other impacts on our lives, can be difficult.

The majority of DTA members are women; interestingly The Australian Psychology Society reported in National Psychology Week (November 2014) the results of their Stress and Wellbeing in Australia 2014 survey. The findings, for the first time, found that men have significantly higher levels of wellbeing than women. Perhaps our male members might enlighten us on how they have managed to turn the findings around!

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This year DTA has faced a year of change, development, embracing new ideas and also one of challenge. 
For some time the Board of DTA have been aware that changes across several platforms, were necessary to ensure currency within the environment in which DTA functions. How DTA communicates with its members is one of these areas.

This year, we have been very fortunate that Katrina Vouri, has taken on the role of Network Group Liaison person. Katrina is passionate about members, and the support of network groups. Her role means that network groups do not need to feel as if they are operating in isolation, but have a direct go-to person for support, encouragement and advice, and I would like, on behalf of the Board, to thank Katrina for her commitment and passion.

We have also seen outstanding positive changes in how the newsletter is designed and delivered and in the new and improved DTA website. These are significant achievements. (Read more about AGM here - also included Treasurer and Office Reports)

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AGM 2014

Hello Members,

I hope you enjoyed the bumper previous DTA Connections edition. The 2014 Conference was a fantastic time of friendship, networking, growth and development. Thank you to all the contributors and especially to the hard working office staff and newsletter volunteers for putting together the last edition under time constraints. 

Planning is already underway for the 2015 DTA Conference to be held on the Gold Coast. I would encourage all of you to also begin planning your own calendars so you have the opportunity to meet with your fellow Diversional Therapists. I know you will be uplifted, enlightened and excited!

As I write, I am spending a few days with my Mum in Southern NSW. She lives in a small coastal town, Sussex Inlet, 3 hours south of Sydney. It has been great to have a few days with her, and has reminded me of the need to stop, relax and to take the time to reassess what is important in our busy lives. 

I would like to pass this message on to all of you


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President's Piece

Hello Members,


I am writing this after the fantastic 2014 DTA Conference held in Adelaide. What an amazing three days! The pre-conference workshops and conference time has been a wonderful and enlightening journey.
I know that many of you developed new acquaintances or renewed old ones. This is part of the immense benefit of an annual conference. In the big scheme of health services, we are often isolated in our daily working routine; to be able to call on a support person, or even better a support network is vital.

The theme for this year’s conference was shaping diversional therapy: from theory to practice. When the call for papers went out, authors were invited to prepare papers that would inspire professional practice, to motivate, stimulate and encourage, to invite new vision or to renew commitment to the DT role, with a view to exploring the relationship between theory and practice. DTA were privileged to put together a diverse program designed to offer many opportunities to motivate, inspire and encourage. My challenge to all present was to take away at least one new practice, new way of thinking or one new concept which inspires, invigorates, or renews. 


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President's Piece - September 2014

Hello Members,
I write this report with a mix of emotions. 

Most of you will be aware of the recent passing of Dr. Peter Spitzer, also known to many as Dr. Fruit-Loop. Dr. Spitzer was the co-founder and medical director of The Humour Foundation and within that role had a close relationship with DTA. Last year, DTA entered into negotiations with The Humour Foundation in developing a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. Quite a few of you attended the workshop facilitated by Peter prior to the 2013 Conference in Sydney. At that time, the DTA Board was involved in strategic planning, and I recall with fondness, the pleas of Board members to be able to be released from that meeting and to be able to sit in on Peter’s workshop. 

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