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Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

Business / Practice Details
Business / Provider Type
Non Profit Organisation, Support
Services Offered
Events, Consulting, CPD Courses
Business / Provider Profile
With over 28 000 members, the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is the peak body representing the interests of Australian physiotherapists and their patients. We are committed to professional excellence and career success for our members, which translates into better patient outcomes and improved health conditions for all Australians. Through our National Groups we offer advanced training and collegial support from physiotherapists working in similar areas.

We've been a profession for over 110 years
Today physiotherapy is a blend of a range of evidence-based, scientifically rigorous physical therapies that have developed progressively over the last century. Worldwide the war years were trying times, yet it was a coming of age for the profession.

World War I helped highlight the benefits of physiotherapy as a profession. At the beginning of the war, many doctors and members of the general public remained skeptical of the use of massage therapy in treatment. Although the Australasian Massage Association (AMA) helped raise its profile, massage therapy remained an underutilised practice.

Due to the numerous casualties from the war needing ongoing physical rehabilitation, this allowed massage practitioners to demonstrate the effectiveness of their methods. Treatment involved massage, hot air baths and electrotherapy. By the end of the war, treatment saw active therapy replace passive as the main therapeutic tool. By the end of 1918, both the physical therapies and the AMA were more widely known.

Treating the wounded provided practitioners invaluable experience under testing conditions and brought the profession to the notice of the medical profession. It forced many doctors to recognise the benefits of massage, remedial exercise and electrotherapy. It also provided a legacy of patients with chronic conditions ensuring there would be an ongoing need for physical therapists well into the following decades.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association
The late 1930s saw the AMA move to adopt the term ‘physiotherapy’—becoming the Australian Physiotherapy Association. By the time of World War II, standards of physiotherapy had been raised significantly due to the first war and polio epidemics.

The APA believes that all Australians deserve equal access to safe, high quality, evidence based care. We are the only organisation in Australia that advocates exclusively for the interests of physiotherapists and physiotherapy clients.We advocate for service efficiency, research-informed treatment modalities and practitioner scope of practice. Our advocacy covers direct lobbying with members of parliament and key stakeholders. We actively participate in education forums and develop strategic discussion papers, position statements and formal submissions, prepared in collaboration with our membership.
Why us
The APA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by key representative groups, including the National Advisory Council (NAC). There can be up to nine Board Directors, which includes provision for external non-physiotherapist directors.

The role of the NAC is to advise the board on important and emerging matters relating to the physiotherapy profession and the association. The NAC comprises APA members who are presidents of branches or chairs of National Groups. Other NAC members include representatives of the student group, the rural and remote membership base, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee and the Australian College of Physiotherapists.

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) of the APA comprises its CEO and general managers across the divisions of finance, policy and government relations, brand and development, education, member engagement and people and culture.

World Physio
Founded in 1951, the World Physio (formally know as World Confederation for Physical Therapy or WCPT) is the sole international voice for physical therapy, representing more than 350 000 physical therapists worldwide through its 112 member organisations. It operates as a non-profit organisation and is registered as a charity in the UK.

The APA is a member of the World Physio and has an extensive relationship with the World Physio through individual physiotherapists who sit on World Physio committees and other bodies.
Business Address
Level 1, 1175 Toorak Road,
Camberwell VIC 3124, Australia
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