News

 

A message from the National President

On Monday 14 November the National President of Speech Pathology Australia, Tim Kittel, emailed members to inform them that Gail Mulcair was resigning as the Association’s Chief Executive Officer. Read the National President’s statement.

 

Call for Director nominations

In accordance with the Association’s Constitution, nominations are sought to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Board of Directors. Read more…

 

Commitment to adopting neurodiversity affirming practice

Speech Pathology Australia recognises a neurodiversity affirming approach to all aspects of speech pathology practice and the importance of working with the neurodivergent community to achieve this goal.

This commitment is in line with the expected release of the National Guideline for supporting the learning, participation, and wellbeing of autistic children and their families in Australia in early 2023.

View the draft guideline.

The Association is proud to have a number of members who identify as Autistic or ADHDer speech pathologists, which will be an invaluable asset to this work, as well as being valued members of the Association.

Similarly, the Professional Education team at the Association have hit the ground running. The Manager of Professional Education has confirmed that Neurodiversity Affirming Practice is an education priority for the Association in 2023, and that the Association looks forward to the co-design process with Autistic speech pathologists and the wider community.

The Association has already released a podcast, new practice documents stating this new commitment (for members), and has planned some self-paced learning modules to commence work in early 2023, as well as further activities to be announced.

Further detail available in the December edition of Speak Out.

For further enquiries, telephone the Association’s Senior Advisor Disability on 1300 368 835.

 

New Early Career Community

The Association has launched an online community for final year students and early career speech pathologists. This is a forum to connect with current and future early career professionals and to engage in peer support for issues relevant to this stage of the career

The Early Career Speech Pathology Community is a forum that focuses on topics related to practice during the early career stage as well as transitioning into the profession. Participants can also pose questions for Association staff, seek support, and engage in discussions with peers about professional issues.

The community is open to members in their first 3 years of practice and speech pathology students in the final year of their qualifying course. Members in this demographic are automatically added and rotated out of the community – there is no need to apply or request to be added. However, a member may wish to update their email preferences to control whether and how frequently they receive notifications from this community.

To access the page, visit the Member Hub > Communities > My Communities > Early Career Speech Pathologists Community.

A member who is a first 3 years of practice or a final year student and has not been added to this community, please email the Association’s Professional Support Advisor.

 

Launching two new member communities on the Member Hub

On Monday 14 November, the Association is launching the Aged Care and NDIS/Disability member communities on the Member Hub. In these communities, members can seek the support of National Office staff and have conversations and discussions with their peers about these topics.

In response to member feedback, all members will be automatically added to these two communities, but a member will need to manually turn on their email notifications in the Member Hub to receive daily or weekly email updates via the Member Hub email digest.

The Association now have over 5000 members participating in the Member Hub. These new communities stimulate discussions relevant to a member’s work and workplace.

 

Expressions of Interest: two Project Officer roles to lead the development of two Association practice documents

Speech Pathology Australia is seeking expressions of interest from Association members for two Project Officer positions to lead the development of two practice documents: working with individuals with disability and their families/support networks, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Both positions will be supported by a working party with experience in disability and/or complex communication needs.

In 2021, the Association undertook a scoping review to inform the development of resources, supports and practice guideline/s for speech pathologists working with people with complex communication needs, their families and support networks. This action was taken in response to feedback and requests from Association members for support in this area of practice, and in recognition of the rapidly developing and changing work of speech pathologists in Australia who work with people with disability. This included recognition of everchanging technology and service delivery models, enhanced awareness and understanding of the importance of working in neurodiversity-affirming ways, policy change due to the shift towards authentic co-design with individuals with disability, and restructure of funding models such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care.

Working with individuals with disability and their families/support networks* - NEW Position Statement

The Project Officer will lead the development of a new Position Statement that will articulate the position of SPA in relation to speech pathology practice with individuals with disability and their families/support networks in Australia. It will be written in non-technical language so that it is accessible to consumers, external stakeholders, funding bodies, policy makers and other professional associations.

View Project Brief This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)* - REVISED Practice Guideline

AAC is an area of speech pathology practice involving provision of communication strategies, techniques, and interventions for people with a range of communication needs to supplement or offer an alternative to speech. The first SPA AAC Practice Guideline was developed in 2012 and updated in 2020 to reflect the dynamic, rapidly changing area of AAC practice, as well as to reflect the introduction of the NDIS. This current revision is being undertaken in recognition of contemporary issues impacting speech pathology practice in this context, such as multimodal communication, the requirements of government bodies (e.g., NDIS) regarding AAC and communication, and feedback from the broader community.

The Project Officer will lead the revision of the AAC Practice Guideline, which will provide current best evidence and best practice recommendations and statements to guide speech pathologists in this area of practice.

View the Project Brief This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

*Given the synergy between the two documents, interested members may choose to submit an EOI to lead development of both documents concurrently.

For further details regarding these positions, email the Association's Senior Advisor - Disability.

Submit Expression of Interests by COB Friday 24 February 2023 to the Association's Professional Services Officer.

Speech Pathology Australia is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community and workplace - a place where we can all be ourselves, and each have the equal opportunity to succeed and be recognised for our unique contribution. We value the experiences, skills and perspectives of all individuals and actively encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds. We make recruitment decisions based on applicants’ skills, experience and knowledge, ensuring all applicants are treated fairly. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are encouraged to apply.

 

Call for Expressions of Interest – Working Party members

Expressions of Interest are sought from Association members to join a working party to develop two new Association practice documents to support and guide speech pathology practice with individuals who have experienced trauma and their families. Trauma could refer to:

  • complex or developmental trauma
  • trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities as a result of colonisation and its ongoing impact
  • trauma experienced by specific populations such as refugees, veterans or those exposed to natural disasters
  • trauma experienced by individuals with a disability, neurodivergence, communication and swallowing needs, or mental health needs
  • trauma associated with grief and loss
  • the trauma and stress associated with adverse childhood experiences.

Considering the large number of individuals who experience stress and trauma in response to events and contexts such as those described above, and that these events occur across a broad range of settings, the Association documents will be applicable to all speech pathologists. We are therefore seeking the contribution of Association members from a variety of backgrounds and practice settings.

The two documents to be developed are:

NEW Practice Guideline

A new Practice Guideline will provide current best evidence and best practice principles and statements to guide speech pathology practice in this area of work, including recommendations intended to optimise the delivery of speech pathology services to individuals who have experienced trauma and their families.

NEW Position Statement

A new Position Statement will summarise the key evidence and position of SPA in relation to speech pathology practice with individuals who have experienced trauma. It will be written in non-technical language so that it is accessible to consumers, external stakeholders, funding bodies, policy makers and other professional associations.

Working Party Roles and Responsibilities

Members of the working party will work collaboratively with the appointed Project Officer and other working party members. The role will include attending scheduled online meetings and contributing to the content, writing, editing and completion of the documents within set timeframes.

Please note that working party positions are volunteer roles.

View the Terms of Reference for the working party This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

For further information regarding this role, email the Association’s Senior Advisor - Mental Health and Trauma.

When submitting an EOI for a working party position, please send your CV along with a brief 500-word statement outlining your experience/expertise relevant to the position and demonstrated commitment to culturally safe and responsive practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, to the Association's Professional Services Officer.

EOIs close COB Friday 13 January 2023.

Speech Pathology Australia is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community and workplace - a place where we can all be ourselves, and each have the equal opportunity to succeed and be recognised for our unique contribution. We value the experiences, skills and perspectives of all individuals and actively encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds. We make recruitment decisions based on applicants’ skills, experience and knowledge, ensuring all applicants are treated fairly. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are encouraged to apply.

 

32nd World Congress of the IALP – Auckland, NZ – August 2023

The next IALP World Congress is on 20-24 August 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. The theme for the conference is: Together Towards Tomorrow.

Members of Speech Pathology Australia are encouraged to either return to this page to find the latest information about the congress or visit the IALP World Congress website.

Registration is now open.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • Registration Open: 9 December 2022
  • Call for Abstracts Close: 16 December 2022
  • Notification of Accepted Authors: 20 March 2023