From the President
Tēna koe – greetings.
As the President of ANZATSA, it is a privilege to serve a fantastic Association that is comprised of so many committed practitioners, researchers, and advisors across jurisdictions, sectors, disciplines, and professions. ANZATSA have a long history of serving practitioners who work with some of the most challenging issues in the human services. We know that the work is demanding and often confronting, which is why it is important to support those who have dedicated their professional (and even personal) lives to alleviating and preventing the suffering of others. Furthermore, a lot has happened in recent years! For instance, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has set the tone for how sexual abuse is considered, discussed and addressed across every corner of Australian society. This changing landscape will have implications for what research questions are relevant, what interventions are needed, and what practices are acceptable across both of our countries. Reflecting on conversations with many ANZATSA members and other stakeholder groups over the years, the role of the Association is to honour the voices of those affected by sexually harmful behaviour, to support practitioners and other professionals who work in the sexual harm space, and – ultimately – to contribute to safer communities.
Ngā mihi nui ki a koe,
Armon (Rongowhakāta; Te Aitanga-A-Māhaki) is a clinical psychologist who has served as a psychologist and senior research advisor for the Department of Corrections before being appointed senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Waikato where he is currently Acting Director of clinical psychology training. He has a research and publication history in the area of sexual offending and cultural/indigenous issues in a number of national and international scholarly publications and practice handbooks. Armon is also a member of the clinical advisory panel for SAFE, an advisor for sexual violence initiatives (ACC), and is a member of the academic advisory panel for the Dept of Corrections (New Zealand). He has served on professional practices committees for the New Zealand Psychologists Board, been invited to advise Police and the Law Commission, and was involved as a consultant in the design and delivery of sex offence rehabilitation programmes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in Queensland. He currently divides his time between teaching, research, practice, supervision, and community outreach.
The idea to form ANZATSA germinated at a conference in Perth in 1996. Our first president was Mr Michael Edwards and among many initiatives, Michael and his committee drew up a careful constitution for our association. Mr Dale Tolliday was our second president.
During Dale's leadership, ANZATSA held its first and second international conferences. The first conference was held in Hobart with Sister Phillipa Chapman as the host. Initial plans to host the conference in another location had fallen through. That Hobart stepped forward late in the day and were able to run the conference helped consolidate our emerging sense as a professional association. As well, the conference made a profit of $7000 which increased our cash reserves by 350% and allowed the executive and membership to begin to dream of a range of other professional development activities.
The second conference was held two years later in Sydney and the executive worked tirelessly to organise the gathering. Dale in particular deserves particular acknowledgement for the success of the conference that attracted about 200 delegates and was able to invite an international keynote speaker.
Our third conference was our most successful conference to date. We had an effective and creative conference committee. The trend to invite overseas keynote speakers was developed and the committee was able to hire a conference organiser. Hosted in Auckland, this conference blended both adult and young offender issues and was outstanding for its blend of input from a variety of perspectives (eg political, judicial, cultural and even spiritual). Mr Bill Marshall, past ATSA president, affirmed the opinion of many participants that the quality, variety and interest level at the conference were the equal of ATSA or other similar conferences.
Over our time, ANZATSA has also worked hard to promote discussion within our membership. Our newsletter has had excellent editorial leadership (particularly Narci Sutton and currently Chris Lennings) but has been limited in its effectiveness by the lack of articles contributed from members.
Australian and New Zealand practitioners and researchers have always made a significant contribution to the field. Names such as John Money, Bill Marshall, and Tony Ward have made crucial contributions to theory development. Bill Marhsall's close and supportive working with programs in both Australia and New Zealand had seen our local groups well trained and many of these programs can certainly lay claim to best practice based on any international standard.
ANZATSA now has a solid membership of over 150 members. Our third president, Kathryn Barriball has helped the association develop a business plan to continue to grow our association. The possibility of a professional journal, planning for our fourth conference in 2006, regular professional development activities, and position papers are some of these activities. In addition, the future focus of ANZATSA is to provide members with a means of collegial support, training and education, as well as a public platform for education, information and assistance for the community. The association is vibrant and now achieving much of our dreams. So much generous and tireless work from our foundation presidents and their executives paved the way for these exciting developments to be possible.
On 18 October, 2008 the Code of Ethics was reviewed by the Executive Committee of ANZATSA. It was agreed that the Code needed to be udated in view of developments in research and the evolution of practice in the field. It was decided that the Code would be re-written as a priority for the Association. Until the revised edition is published, it was decided that the ATSA Code of Ethics would be adopted by ANZATSA.
The new code will address professional standards for those who work with children, adolescents, and adults who have been sexually abused as well as for those who work with children, adolescents, and adults who have sexually abused. This is in keeping with the recent expansion of ANZATSA to offer membership to both professional groups.
Click to download the CODE OF ETHICS currently adopted by ANZATSA.