25 August 2021

A Seat at the Table

How the ACA represents and advocates for chiropractors

The ACA maintains regular contact with government, regulators and agencies that influence your practice, to ensure that the chiropractic profession is represented and on behalf of patients, heard. Our advocacy targets issues that impact the neuro-musculoskeletal health and overall wellbeing of Australians and the professional lives of chiropractors.

As set out in the ACA Strategic Plan, the objectives of our advocacy work are:

  • Engage members in promoting the profession and its interests.
  • Promote an organisational and professional culture of engagement.
  • Consistent ACA messaging.
  • Support collegiality through networking and engagement opportunities for the profession.
  • Enhance and leverage relationships with partners.
  • Raise community awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care.
  • Actively promote the benefits of consulting a chiropractor.
  • Support government policies and programs which improve access to chiropractic care for enhanced spinal health and wellbeing.
  • Improve inter-professional collaboration to enable integration of chiropractic care as part of the patient management team.
  • Support research that builds the evidence base for chiropractic care.

We are here to ensure that your position in the healthcare sector is a key one. The ACA stands up on your behalf to ensure that the reputation of the chiropractic profession is eminent in the Australian community.

Strategy and Policy

Through ACA’s reputation strategy and policy initiatives, we have managed to demonstrate our ability to act professionally and minimise the risk of unwarranted changes to the registration and regulation of chiropractors.

We are committed to ensuring all members are following quality care standards relating to healthcare and chiropractic, as well as pursing further chiropractic research and supporting university chiropractic programs, all to enhance the quality of care for patients.

The ACA Policy Committee is responsible for the development, review and recommendation of the professional policy position of the ACA. This Committee meets regularly to confirm, amend and/or expand the policies to accurately reflect members’ views and attitudes.

To view the ACA’s public facing policies and statements, visit chiro.org.au/policies and to view the member facing professional policy positions, visit members.chiro.org.au/policies

CEO Dr Matthew Fisher with Dr Wayne Minter, Chiropractic Board of Australia Chair (2018)
Regional Manager Shelly-Anne Cornell and Drs Bill Hayward and Lyndon Woods meeting with the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Australians (2019)

Lobbying and Submissions

A key role of any professional association is to advocate or influence on behalf of its members. This includes political representation, influencing public policy, media campaigns and raising awareness about issues important to members.

The ACA has its finger on the pulse, maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and staying abreast of issues pertinent to the profession. Our advocacy work can often be rather intangible and difficult to highlight but this changes dramatically when the profession faces challenging times and suddenly the Association’s advocacy work is put in the spotlight.

A prime example is the ACA’s response to the Safer Care Victoria review. The ACA rallied chiropractors and their patients to participate, consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to compile a comprehensive submission, and met with Health Ministers, political advisors, public servants and other key decision makers to represent our views on the report.

Additionally, it is worth noting the advocacy wins the ACA had with the Fair Work Commission regarding the Health Professionals and Support Services (HPSS) Award, and the recent wins in Western Australia regarding WorkCover and radiology.

The ACA has a rich history of making representation to government, regulators and agencies on behalf of the chiropractic profession. To view the ACA’s submissions, visit members.chiro.org.au/submissions.

CEO Dr Matthew Fisher and the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health (2017)
Meeting with Tony Clark, Principal Policy Adviser to the Hon Roger Cook, WA Deputy Premier (2019)

Memberships and Networks

The ACA is a member of key organisations, groups and associations, both locally and internationally. This ensures that the best interests of the Association and the chiropractic profession are represented and provides the opportunity to contribute.

As the peak body representing chiropractors in Australia, the ACA is the chiropractic member of both the Ahpra Professions Reference Group and Allied Health Professions Australia, and is also the Australian member of the World Federation of Chiropractic.

The ACA works closely with a range of stakeholders including Australian chiropractic education programs, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, National Rural Health Alliance and many more.

In addition to many formal meetings, ACA representatives and staff regularly attend informal events that further ensure relationships are developed and maintained. All of these meetings and events provide an essential opportunity for the ACA to consult with key stakeholders in government, regulators, other health professions, insurers and educators.

Building and maintaining relationships with these stakeholders is essential in holding the trust and respect of the public, government and media. These relationships have also been integral in responding to the challenges that the profession faces.

Policy & Public Affairs Manager Bernard Rupasinghe attending the Allied Health Professions Australia meeting with the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health (2020)
President Dr Anthony Coxon and CEO Dr Matthew Fisher with the then WFC President Dr Laurie Tassell and Secretary-General Dr Richard Brown (2019)

The ACA and Members

Our work is to ultimately represent our members and their views to politicians, policymakers, the healthcare sector and the media. We continue to ensure that the wider Australian public appreciates the significance of chiropractic care and its ability to enhance health.

The Association also works towards strengthening the ACA brand to ensure that the Association is represented at all key forums and our view is actively sought.

You can be assured that the ACA works continuously to engage with our network of stakeholders to improve the reputation and standing of the profession in the community and increase the utilisation of chiropractors so that more Australians can embrace and access chiropractic care. As a member of the Association you should expect no less.