APS members have one last chance to create a society that truly serves the interests of all psychologists.
We have the strength of numbers. Together we represent 70% of the membership.
If we do not act; if we fail to exercise our right to vote on the spill and the governance review, our votes in future will be meaningless.
The APS will be cemented permanently as a mere mouthpiece for clinical psychologists and those who support them.
The current board is either unable or unwilling to address the crisis brought about by the unfairness of the two-tier system.
The clinical leaders have shown contempt for the non-clinical members of the board who have been trying to represent your interests. They have swept aside the wishes of the members who elected them; swept aside all opposition to their narrow agenda; swept aside any pretense that they are interested in anything but total control not just of the APS, but also of the practice of psychology in Australia.
This is not just about Medicare rebates. It is about standing up for the rights and responsibilities of psychologists to use their professional judgment, rather than meekly conform to the medical model. It is about protecting our clients from the dumbing down of psychological practice.
Our other endorsed members must also stand on their principles. They must avoid the trap set for them by the Clinical College leadership – to favour some colleges against others – to divide the colleges strength and set one college against another. They must resist the temptation to better themselves at the expense of the other colleagues. The promised pay-off is highly doubtful and the price is too high.
All endorsed psychologists – including clinical psychologists of principle, many of whom already support us – must stand together with the generalists to elect a new board uncontaminated by the self-interest of the clinical leadership.
Together we represent 70% of the membership.
A truly representative board will be able to speak on behalf of the entire profession, rather than a single interest group.
It will stand against Australian psychologists becoming an international joke among their counterparts overseas who have refused to embrace the exclusivity of the DSM and the medical model. They would be aghast at the impoverishment of the practice of psychology in this country.
It will find a fairer solution to the current two-tier system that recognises all members’ competencies, clinical experience and judgement. A text book is an incomplete map of the territory of the consulting room.
It will address the carefully orchestrated infiltration by clinical psychologists of the entire power structure of the society, including the other colleges.
It will end the intimidation of members and restore unity. It will restore the tragic loss of trust in our leaders. It will end the secrecy and the lies.
It will expose the truth: that despite all the claims by the Executive Director, the APS did not advocate for all its members to be given Medicare rebates.
Freedom of Information documents on the APS submissions to the Department of Health and Ageing reveal that our society sold most of us down the river.
The APS only ever advocated for a single Medicare rebate exclusively for psychologists eligible for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.
It was the government, not our organisation, who insisted on a rebate for non-clinical psychologists.
With this history of betrayal of members’ interests, how can we trust them again with the next Medicare review looming in November?
The APS leadership has had more than 10 years to restore fairness. It has done nothing. The clinical college newsletters reveal that they have no intention of letting it change the two-tier system. Instead of action, we are offered empty promises.
At the State Chairs meeting earlier this year, more promises were made to put new structures in place. We are still waiting. Further promises were made at the extravagant Super forum last year. We are still waiting.
The time for waiting is over. It is up to members now to act.
Please sign the attached documents and return to us as soon as possible.