Chief Professionalist Round Table

The last 12 months have seen unprecedented challenges for Australia and a driving question has been “Who can we trust?“.  Many professionals have stepped-up to that challenge and shown that science-based, deeply considered expert guidance helps us successfully navigate the threats to our lives and livelihoods.  Our Chief Professionalist Round-Table will start a nuanced conversation about halting the trust-erosion and redefining the authority and value of professional advice.

Prof Deen Sanders OAM

Following repeated requests to elevate professions by seeking to influence the policy and decision making environment in Australia, our Board in mid-2020 commenced planning the “Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism” initiative, which seeks to champion the importance of individuals and governments following the evidence-based advice of professionals in difficult times.  One path to achieving this in a technologically advanced, sophisticated and humane society is to always demonstrate trustworthiness by decision- and policy-making based on science, evidence and ethics.  Professionals who display the highest levels of professionalism supported by their professional associations will ultimately allow our society to honour that trust.

We have now further stepped-up to this challenge with the creation of innovative role of the Chief Professionalist. Our Chief Professionalist Round-Table on 13 May 2021 will enable our members and guests to discuss these challenges with our inaugural ACoP Chief Professionalist Prof Deen Sanders OAM and the experts in our newly-created Office of the Chief Professionalist:

  • Tanya Stephens BVSc MSc (IAWEL) MANZCVS FRCVS – Expert in ethics research, etc.
  • Philip N Argy BCom LLB FACS FRI – Barrister and Expert jn business cases for professionalism and ethics, etc.
  • Angelina Pillai BA (International Politics) Grad Cert (Harvard) FAIM – ACoP Head of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion

The Round-Table will be facilitated by our Head of Professionalism and Ethics Dr Ruth Ferraro PhD Fellow ARPI GAICD.

Our Round-Table breaks new ground through conversations that explore which aspirations and possibilities for halting the trust-erosion and redefining the authority and value of professional advice Deen and the Experts can assist with .” said ACoP President A/Prof Klaus Veil. “We are keen to hear from our Member Organisations the challenges and maybe even ‘pain-points’ that their profession and its professionals have experienced during and coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


For more information on the Chief Professionalist Round-Table, please contact the Office of the Chief Professionalist on 1300 664 587 or at OCP@Professions.org.au!

Plotting the Journey to Professionalism for English Teachers

ACoP was invited to present at the 2021 Annual Conference of the English Language Teachers organisation NEAS on the profession’s journey to trust and professionalism.

Trust in and regard for teachers as professionals is high but differs across countries and cultures. Teachers of non-English speaking background students are privileged to join doctors and scientists as the third-most-trusted profession. Titled “Teachers of Speakers of Languages other than English – a Journey to Trust and Professionalism“, the presentation will reflect on how the unique professional journeys of leaders, teachers, practitioners, professionals and students nurture, maintain and merit this privileged position with the speakers taking ACoP’s vantage point and remit of advancing Professions, Professionals and Professionalism.

From a perspective of transformation stimulated by intercultural exchange, ACoP’s Head of Professionalism Dr Ruth Ferraro will speak to her personal observations of her own journey towards trust and professionalism and the transformation that she pinpoints as her ‘brightest’ enlightenment through research on professionals and professionalism.

ACoP President A/Prof Klaus Veil will contribute his remarks from the viewpoint of an organisation celebrating its half-a-century anniversary by designating 2021 as the Year of the Professions. Professionals and Professionalism and tasked by its member associations to enhance community confidence in the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism and guide a transformation whose time has come towards science- and evidence-based policy-making.

Presentation details are at https://NEAS.org.au/conference-event/teachers-of-speakers-of-languages-other-than-english-a-journey-to-trust-and-professionalism/.


For access to the recording of the Presentation, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or at CEO@Professions.org.au.

ACoP appoints Chief Professionalist

Australia and its institutions have experienced unprecedented challenges in the last 12 months.  A question that many have asked has been “who can we trust?“. The strength of Australia’s professional community stepping up to that challenge and helping us navigate the threats to our lives and livelihoods has been inspiring.  In this our Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism we have therefore appointed a ‘Chief Professionalist’ to be the public face of our mission to advocate for the value of professional expertise.

The dedication of our community of professionals offering evidence-based expert solutions and counsel is something we want to celebrate and promote as a national strength. To magnify and personalise that voice we have appointed Prof Deen Sanders OAM as the inaugural ‘Chief Professionalist‘ to advocate our mission to government and the community. This innovation is inspired by the highly valued Chief Scientist, Chief Economist, the Chief Medical/Health Officers, the Chief Engineer, Chief Data Scientist, etc.  Deen will engage with national leaders as well as the broader community to advocate for the purpose and value of the professions, professionals and professionalism.

“I believe that being professional is more than being expert. What makes our community of professionals so outstanding is that, no matter what their field, they combine that expertise with their natural humanity and dedication to service.” said Deen in taking up this role.

Deen will work with our member organisations in events large and small that exemplify the value of the professions, their professionals and professionalism.  This work will start at our ‘Chief Professionalist Round-Table‘ where Deen and our members will explore recent experiences of professionals and their professions.

Welcome Deen!

ACoP delivers Invited Workshop on Ethics in Data Analytics

In its Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism, the Australian Council of Professions was invited to deliver a Professionalism and Ethics Workshop at the Health Informatics and Knowledge Management Conference (HIKM 2021) within the 2021 Australasian Computer Science Week (ASCW).

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing upsurges and urgencies in collecting and analysing health data, the issue of managing and using this data in a professional and ethical manner arises. It is necessary to both comply with current privacy legislation and to maintain the public’s confidence and willingness to provide information. The Workshop explored these questions and posited suitable strategies that support these collection requirements while maintaining ethical and professional standards.

Key discussion points were:

  • New health data collection requirements due to COVID-19
  • New types of data collected due to COVID-19
  • New uses of the collected data
  • Issues posed by these new requirements, types and uses of health data
  • Overview of applicable existing legislation and regulations
  • Overview of applicable ethical and professional best practices

Hosted by the University of Otago, New Zealand, the Workshop was well-attended and the topical discussions were lively and very interactive. The Workshop presenters ACoP President Klaus Veil and ACoP Head of the Professionalism Portfolio Dr Ruth Ferraro outlined a number of practical ethical problem situations and answered the many questions from the audience.

Workshop details are at www.ACSW.org.au/events/2021-hikm-practical-ethical-and-professional-considerations-in-health-data-analytics-tutorial.

For access to the recording of the Workshop, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or at CEO@Professions.org.au.

ACoP welcomes Return to Fact-Based Policy-Making

The Australian Council of Professions welcomes the US administration’s return to making policies based on science and evidence-based facts. The commitments made by US President Joe Biden in his inauguration speech raise substantial hope that the United States will now be able to more effectively counter and mitigate the serious health and environmental challenges it has faced in recent times.

In his speech from the Capitol, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden committed to “the common objects that define Americans… Opportunity, Security, Liberty, Dignity, Respect, Honor and, yes, the Truth.” He further stated “And each of us has a duty and responsibility – especially as leaders – to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

Keen to start the new approach without delay, President Biden then signed 17 executive orders, including making mask-wearing compulsory in areas of federal jurisdiction, re-joining the Paris Climate Accord and bringing the US back into the World Health Organizsation (WHO) while appointing distinguished expert Dr Fauci as head of the US delegation. Biden also rolled back many of the recent actions that disregarded science, the environment and public health experts.

I am impressed that newly-inaugurated President Biden wasted no time in actioning a substantial number of decisions based on the advice of the team of scientists and professionals that he has assembled since his election in November 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change emergencies require urgent fact-based actions.” said ACoP President Klaus Veil. “This sounds like a clear wake-up-call for politicians and the public to again listen to and take the advice of experts. What a great inspiration for our Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism!

President Biden also clearly stated during the remote swearing-in of over 1000 of his staff: “If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot. On the spot! Everybody is entitled to be treated with decency.” He also issued orders ensuring that Americans are again protected from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or sexual orientation. ACoP Vice-President and professionalism advocate Julie Strous observed that this sets a refreshing tone for the culture of the Biden administration. “With the demonstrated commitment to science – and evidence-based policies, this again creates an environment where truth and facts determine strategies and their implementations, not political convenience, racism and misogyny” Dr Strous said.

For more information on the Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au!

2021 – Professions, Professionals and Professionalism

2020 saw unprecedented challenges for Australians and their institutions. Faced with an unknown virus pandemic, the public and governments trusted the Chief Medical/Health Officers as professionals providing science-based, ethical and responsible thought-leadership and advice to survive this threat to lives and livelihoods.

We are celebrating our 50-year anniversary by declaring 2021 as the “Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism“.  We will use our anniversary to engage with the broader community and public to advocate for the purpose and value of the professions, professionals and professionalism.
With our member organisations we will plan, coordinate and convene events large and small throughout 2021 that will exemplify the value of the professions, their professionals and professionalism.  We will also be working with exemplars of various professions to champion the importance of individuals and governments following the evidence-based advice of professionals in difficult times which includes leveraging the profile that the Chief Medical/Health Officers have gained over the last 10 months in the public eye as trusted advisers and leaders in the pandemic.

Activities have included:

For more information on the Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au!