Professionalism and Ethics Forum 2018

A Members-Only Round-Table on Professionalism and Ethics was held by ACoP on 17 November 2018 in Melbourne. A keynote by Dr Wim VanDeKerckhove PhD, Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Employment and Work (CREW) at the University of Greenwich UK and a global leader in whistleblowing management standards was followed by presentations by A/Prof Eva Tsahuridu from RMIT and Barrister Philip Argy, Law Council of Australia.

A very comprehensive discussion ensued on how professionalism and its underlying culture of ethics (e.g. “Doing the Right Thing when Nobody is Looking”) defines our society and ensures its well‐being ‐ by professionals defending our citizens from the ill effects of “alternative facts”, “fake news”, “self‐appointed experts” and “profits before clients” conduct.

Our Professionalism and Ethics Commitee is planning to progress the outcomes of the Round-Table Forum at a larger event next year.

Vale Brenda Aynsley OAM

“On behalf of the Board of the Australian Council of Professions, I am saddened to advise of the passing last weekend of our former President, colleague and friend, Brenda Aynsley OAM FACS CP.
Brenda was respected by us all as a leader and mentor within the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Council of Professions and across the professions that our organisation represents.  She was fearless in her advocacy of the value of professionalism and the maintenance of the highest standards of professional and ethical practice.
Brenda served as our President in 2017-18 and as President of the Australian Computer Society in 2014-15.  She was chair and immediate past chair of the International Professional Practice Program (IP3).”

ACoP President Klaus Veil, 15 August 2018

Please see the tributes to Brenda Aynsley in the ‘InformationAge’ newsletter of our member, the Australian Computer Society ACS.

At the Tribute event for Brenda hosted by our Member Association the Australian Computer Society in Melbourne, we were honoured to announce the Brenda Aynsley Memorial Lecture on Professionalism.

Vale Brenda Aynsley OAM FACS CP

ACoP CEO takes up new Opportunity with Professional Association

On behalf of the Board, it is with regret that I advise that our CEO Liz Lang will be leaving Professions Australia (aka the Australian Council of Professions – ACoP) to pursue a new opportunity as the ACT Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Over the last 3 ½ plus years, working with you and your Board, Liz has delivered on many major achievements to advance the professions, professionalism and professionals including the rebranding of our organisation and new constitution, transforming us to online operations and a new website, Twitter, signing of the Joint Statement of Principles for Professional Accreditation, signing of the MOU with TEQSA, providing ‘breaking news’ and regular communications to you and ensuring that our relationships with key stakeholders on your behalf are constructive and responsive among many other initiatives. Many of you might be surprised to learn that Liz was employed part time and yet seemed to  be always available to us as Members and indeed as Board members.  Professions Australia has been spoilt by Liz and deserves our sincere thanks for the contribution she has made in her time with us.

I am sure that you will join us in wishing Liz all the best for the future and no doubt she will cross paths with many of you again, particularly if you are based in Canberra. Liz’s last day with Professions Australia is Thursday 31 May 2018.

Brenda Aynsley OAM

Constitution Special General Meeting

Today the Australian Council of Professions Ltd at a Special General Meeting approved a new Constitution.

Generously hosted by Speech Pathology Australia in Melbourne, the only item of business before the SGM was approving the following a special resolution:

That the current constitution of the company be replaced with the proposed new constitution, a copy of which was circulated to each member with the notice of this meeting.

Our existing Constitution was adopted by members of the Australian Council of Professions (“Professions Australia”) in 2005. At the time it was considered a suitable constitutional framework to reflect the needs and wishes of the members. Increasingly however it has become outdated and difficult to manage. The Board believes it has reached the point where it is reasonable to consider it unworkable and seeks to replace it with a constitution which will better enable us to carry out our mission and achieve your vision.

The special resolution was unanimously approved, putting our new Constitution into immediate effect.

International Women’s Day 2018

This year again we participated in the International Women’s Day celebration held National Surveyors House in Deakin, Canberra.

Organised by the Australia India Business Council ACT ‘Women in Business’ Chapter, the event celebrated the ‘Colour of Versatility’ and was lead by Anna Palathinkal from our Member Professional Association the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI). Special guest for the evening was The Honourable Speaker for the ACT Legislative Assembly, Ms Joy Burch. The event was attended by a number of successful women influencers from the ACT, inlcuding our CEO Ms Liz Lang who gave a short speech.

National Accreditation Best Practices Summit

In February 2018 we convened the inaugural National Professional Accreditation Best Practices Summit. The Summit was hailed by the participants as a very timely event with more than 140 participants, many intensive discussions between the higher‐education thought leaders in Australia and a communiqué ap‐ proved in the closing session.
The Summit was opened with a video address by Education Minister Birmingham

Minister Birmingham favourably mentioned the Summit in his speech to the ~1150 attendees at the University Australia Conference held a week later in Canberra, saying “Just last week, Professions Australia held a National Professional Accreditation Best Practice Summit, which was a great opportunity for participants to discuss the relationship between our higher education system, professional associations, industries and employers and students. This was an important and impressive initiative that demonstrates the commitment of the professional and university sectors to a collegiate approach regarding identification and adoption of good practice in professional accreditation.
Keynoters included Professor Mike Woods, Emeritus Professor Christine Ewan AM, the Hon Trish White, Anthony McClaran from TEQSA, Professor Kerri‐Lee Krause from Universities Australia as well as the Deputy Chairs of the Washington and Seoul Accords, Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Taylor AO and Pro‐ fessor Michael Johnson.

Transforming to an Online Organisation

Professions Australia (incorporated as the Australian Council of Professions Ltd – ACoP) has begun the process of transitioning to fully online operations.

Based on the 2017 Strategic Review which addressed the purpose, positioning and presentation of our organisation, we have also reviewed our modus of day-to-day operations. With the Board and CEO geographically spread across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and the ACT and many meetings already being held by video- and/or tele-conferencing, it was determined that it would be beneficial to complete our transition to on-line operations.

Our ‘Agile Office’ at the Canberra Hyatt

The main component of this transition is transferring the remainder of our current documents to our online filing system DropBox and migrating our bookkeeping system to cloud-based Xero. We expect to give our last (empty!) filing cabinets to charity later this year!

Working online also changes the operational culture of an organisation. We will become more agile as we work and meet whereever our member organisations are – using their premises, hotel business lounges and ‘hot-desks’, rather than being ‘locked away’ in a physical office. We believe this approach also benefits those in our leadership who have family duties, as they can work for us from home having full access to all our resources. We thank our member the Australian Computer Society for provisioning us with hot-desk facilities in their locations accross Australia!

We hope that our transition to a fully online operating organisation will allow us to be even more agile in meeting the needs of our membership.

Professions Australia welcomes Action

The appointment by CPA Australia of a panel to review claims relating to the use of CPA Australia members’ funds has been welcomed by the nation’s peak professional body, the Australian Councel of Professions.

ACoP President Brenda Aynsley OAM said this action to address claims and criticisms made by some CPA members was an appropriate response. “It’s important for CPA Australia and its members that the review addresses these matters and ensures that both members and the public continue to have confidence in the accounting profession and in all professionals working in any capacity in our community,” Ms Aynsley said. “Professions Australia as the peak body for professional associations works with our members to encourage the highest professional standards by all professionals and continued good governance on the part of organisations working to protect the public.

See Press Release.