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CAA Annual Report : 2013 Annual Report
1 President s Report There is no doubt that the last 12 months has been a particularly challenging and interesting time for the chiropractic profession in Australia. The Friends of Science in Medicine and their supporters in the media have continued to bring pressure on public and political opinion as to the efficacy of chiropractic. The decision by Macquarie University to cease teaching chiropractic has meant we have had to focus on securing the future of chiropractic education in Australia, specifically Sydney, and a new location for the Macquarie chiropractic program. So much time has been consumed responding to crises, making it difficult to promote our programs and positive messages. Over the last 12 months Andrew McNamara has restructured the operations of the national office. Staffing has been rationalised and senior policy officers have been appointed to expand the capabilities of CAA National to respond to members’ needs. This has reduced the need for external consultants. The restructure has been revenue neutral and has enabled us to respond to crises in a timely and effective manner. The staff at Penrith is to be thanked for the professional manner in which they have seamlessly adapted to this new management style and structure. The board also made the decision to not move headquarters until the end of our lease in mid-2014. This has given us greater financial freedom to respond to current trends in the profession. The screening of the Catalyst program on ABC was a disturbing event. It was extremely frustrating to once again be on the back end of biased reporting. It was alarming that the Friends of Science in Medicine (FOSIM) have such easy access to the media who are only too willing to promote their distorted viewpoint. It was also disappointing that as a profession we are so open to broad scale criticism because we have failed to understand what it means to be a mainstream health care profession. Unfortunately we are vulnerable to criticism. Disunity, failure to make substantial investment in the pursuit of research, the extravagant claims and unethical advertising of a small minority of chiropractors with little regard for their colleagues, all create opportunities for criticism. The decision by Macquarie University to close the chiropractic program caught the profession by surprise. We probably will never know the exact reasons for this decision. The CAA National board reacted promptly to protect the interests of the students and the chiropractic unit. We were active in negotiating with the university hierarchy to ensure they would teach the program through to 2017, ensuring that all current students would graduate from Macquarie. They expressed their desire for the chiropractic unit to be offloaded to another university. The CAA made the strategic decision to delay moving the head office from Penrith to central Sydney and to use funds allocated for the move to establish a chair of research at a university willing to purchase the chiropractic unit from Macquarie. Negotiations are continuing with interested parties. There has been a lack of interest by other universities in purchasing the Macquarie program, although some have expressed an interest in commencing their own programs. This has certainly been the case with CQU who will commence teaching chiropractic in Sydney in 2014. The Macquarie University decision made it essential that the CAA move to consolidate the teaching of chiropractic in Australian. Part of that consolidation process was to encourage CQU to teach chiropractic at its campus in Brisbane. We are investing $250,000 to help make that possible. Dr Lawrence Tassell
2014 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report