It is with great pleasure that I welcome our long-term members and new members, and the wider SIOPA community to another exciting and dynamic year.

Just like the rest of the world, the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 presented SIOPA, with a unique challenge. We needed to re-think how we could provide the most value to our members during a time where in-person events were unfeasible. The board convened an urgent meeting to devise a strategy to enable SIOPA to continue to provide value to our members and assist our members to meet the unique challenges of COVID-19 for organisations and their own professional practice. SIOPA promptly and successfully pivoted direction and activities to meet the challenges COVID-19 presented by providing free professional practice webinars to our members on topics tailored to their current needs, and resources on topics relevant to COVID-19. We will continue with this strategy in 2021, and provide professional events through live streaming and webinars.

I am very pleased to announce that SIOPA’s membership grew by 47% in 2020. This is a very important achievement for all of us. Numbers matter if we want our voice to be heard on issues that impact our profession in Australia and globally. We are stronger together. A prime example is the changes made by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to the registrar program and standards for supervision.  On behalf of our members, SIOPA voiced our concerns about the over-regulation and burdensome requirements. AHPRA listened and relaxed the requirements.

In 2020 SIOPA was honoured to be invited to join the Alliance of Organizational Psychology as a Network Partner, for the “Big Tent” initiative. As a Network Partner in the Big Tent initiative, SIOPA joined an esteemed group of associations that share similar values regarding the science and practice of Organisational Psychology such as SIOP, SIOPSA, the International Association of Applied Psychology, and the Institute of Organisational Psychology New Zealand. Together, Network Partners will share information about their major priorities/activities with the goal of facilitating our collective efforts around work and organisational psychology, including facilitating understanding, communication, and eventually joint activities.

In an industry-first, SIOPA launched our inaugural Mentoring Program in 2020. SIOPA’s Mentoring Program is a nation-wide initiative for early career professionals which aims to support participants with career guidance and direction by sharing mentor and mentee experiences, developing career goals and forging exceptional mentoring relationships. The program followed a structured, sustainable mentoring process that included a comprehensive matching framework, training and support conducted by Organisational Psychologists. The mentoring program results have been very successful. Mentees reported securing employment, determining and acting upon career goals, entering the 4+2 internship program with AHPRA and securing supervision.

Applications for the 2021 SIOPA Mentoring Program are now open! Apply Now.

In 2021, SIOPA introduced a new membership level – corporate membership. There are many benefits of corporate membership, some of which include: up to three individual memberships, which are transferable to other employees in the event those employees leave the organisation; discount on membership fees for each additional linked membership; and member prices for any employee to attend SIOPA events.

Wishing all our members a safe and healthy 2021.

Justine McGillivray

SIOPA President