Each year our membership renewals provide a great opportunity to reflect on the value of ACA membership. This year we interviewed a member from each of our four regions on how the Association has supported them through the different stages of their career.
As your needs as a member will change over time, we seek to support you from helping you find your first job through to assisting you in selling your practice.
First year chiropractor Dr Fraser McClymont practices in Toowoomba while living one hour north on his family’s farm. Growing up in rural Queensland has shaped Fraser’s family values and outlook on life.
It was some rugby injuries during school when Fraser first visited a chiropractor, sparking an interest in the human body that eventually led him to study chiropractic at CQUniversity.
Facing some doubts on his career path during his second year of studies, his involvement with the World Congress of Chiropractic Students cemented that chiropractors were his tribe.
While the transition from student to practitioner can be daunting, Fraser credits the Transition to Practice workshop as an essential part of a smooth transition for him. He valued the expertise of the panelists, the opportunity to engage with recent graduates and being able to access resources afterwards.
“I remember graduating and thinking ‘where am I going to work?’ and having the classifieds was amazing,” recalls Fraser in reflecting on finding work once he graduated.
Fraser has been proactive at utilising all the services available as an ACA member. He particularly values the webinars and research journals, which help keep him up-to-date as a chiropractor.
“I feel like the Association is literally just a phone call away and the person on the other end always has the right tools to help you out,” says Fraser.
With his whole career ahead of him, Fraser looks to the future with confidence knowing that the ACA will be advocating for him. Fraser, who sits on the Northern Regional Committee, encourages other recent graduates to get involved, whether on a committee, helping out at an event or even simply providing feedback.
“Your insights and perspectives are what is going to be driving the industry of tomorrow so if you are young and want to be involved it’s all about putting your hand up.”
To make membership easier in the first few years of practice ACA have a tiered fee structure. With the addition of a fourth tier, chiropractors in their first four years of membership will receive 80%, 60%, 40% and then 20% off the standard membership fee.
Starting your own practice is no small task. Dr Olivia Gleeson has not only managed to run a successful practice in Perth for almost 20 years but has also taken on leadership roles and responsibilities, along with being a wife and mother of triplet boys.
Born and raised in Victoria, Olivia decided in high school that she wanted to be a chiropractor. It was while studying chiropractic at RMIT University where she first encountered the ACA and found a willingness to support students and help them prepare for life as a practitioner.
After graduating in 1998, Olivia moved to Western Australia. Originally planning to stay for just a couple of years, Olivia fell in love with the lifestyle, met her husband and has now called Perth home for two decades.
Olivia co-founded Nervana Chiropractic after four years of working as an associate, taking the plunge into running a business. While prepared clinically, she soon realised all the additional business skills that needed to be learnt and developed.
“It was a pretty big leap into the business side of things that as a university student you only get a little taste of but there are a lot of extra skills you need to learn,” Olivia reflected.
Grateful for the resources the ACA has provided to her over the years, Olivia speaks fondly of the public engagement resources she utilities such as the ‘Chiro Can Help’ banners outside her practice.
In addition to running her own practice, Olivia’s passion for paediatrics has seen her become the Chair of the College of Chiropractic Paediatrics, ACA’s paediatric interest group. She has presented at chiropractic conferences, maternity hospitals, community health nurse conferences, playgroups and schools.
Olivia greatly values her ACA membership as it provides her with ready-to-use resources that she doesn’t have to spend money or time developing. She is also appreciative of the valuable collaboration with colleagues at events and seminars held by ACA.
“Being a member of the ACA is certainly about the support I can get but it’s also about the ACA supporting the whole profession,” Olivia says in reflection.
Whether through the HR Service, risk management resources or our public engagement campaign materials, the ACA is here to support you and your practice. The Association also takes care of the political advocacy and strategy for the profession, allowing you to focus on providing quality care for your patients.
With an inquisitive mind and desire to see the chiropractic profession grow its credibility in the healthcare space, it was quite natural for Dr Carlo Rinaudo to take on a PhD in Vestibular (balance) Therapy at the University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia.
As a medical student, Carlo found relief for his headaches after finally taking up his friend’s suggestion of visiting his chiropractor. This experience changed the trajectory of his career. After graduating from Sydney University with Honours in Medical Science he then completed a Masters of Chiropractic at Macquarie University.
Commencing practice in 2000, Carlo explored various chiropractic techniques in his desire to better understand the connection between conditions and certain treatments. This led to his keen interest in neuroscience, including his involvement in the establishment of ACA’s Neuroscience Interest Group.
Through collaborating within the neuroscience sphere, Carlo’s desire to prove what chiropractors can do in practice and see chiropractic get a foothold in an area dominated by medical practitioners and physiotherapists led him to the idea of undertaking a PhD.
“I felt somewhat of a responsibility upon myself to shine a light on chiropractic and how chiropractors can be involved in neuroscience and research,” Carlo explains.
Carlo is a proud recipient of a PhD scholarship from ACA. Not only does this alleviate some of the financial pressure of studying but Carlo is thrilled with the support the Association is giving to researchers like him.
“The ACA is providing a good nest egg for which researchers can develop within the chiropractic sphere.”
In addition to his research work, Carlo is still the owner and director of a multidisciplinary clinic focusing on vestibular neuro-rehabilitation, as well as being a husband and father of two. He credits the support of his wife and children as critical to balancing both practice and research.
As an ACA member for over 20 years, he is greatly appreciative of services such as the HR Service which make running a practice easier and also the online learning such as webinars which allows him to fulfil his continuing professional development in a way that works in with a busy life.
ACA is committed to building the evidence base, providing approximately $1.84 million to research over the last ten years. Equating to around $184,000 per year, this funding has included the ACORN Project, PhD/MRes scholarships, our indigenous scholarship and more.
After 30 years in practice, Dr Michelle Kotzman is winding down her career as her and husband Paul, a fellow chiropractor, both head into retirement. Based in Melbourne, Michelle is embracing this new season of life and the opportunity to still be connected to the profession even in retirement.
Initially studying psychology, it was through dating her now-husband Paul that Michelle changed courses as she found that chiropractic was much more interesting than what she was studying.
While experiencing the ACA as a student, it was when her and Paul started their own practice that the Association’s value was evident. She took comfort in knowing that staff such as Norm Brockley were available for any assistance needed.
Michelle describes herself as blessed to be in a position to sell their practice now that their youngest child has finished high school. Michelle is still involved with the profession by sitting on the Code of Ethics Committee and Guild Insurance Advisory Committee.
No stranger to putting her hand up to serve the profession, Michelle has been involved in various aspects of Association. She served on the CAA Victorian Board and chaired the Professional Standards Committee for ten years before joining the CAA National Board, serving from 2013 to 2017.
“Being on the Board opens your eyes to how much the ACA is consistently doing, there is never a dull moment whether it’s in advocacy, governance or CPD,” Michelle points out.
Michelle cannot encourage members enough to become involved with the Association through joining an interest group or serving on a committee. She highlights the wealth of knowledge and experience gained but also speaks fondly of the involvement with other colleagues that cannot be replaced.
“Once a chiropractor, always a chiropractor – it stays in your heart forever. The ACA will always be a part of my life.”
To keep members engaged with the ACA when they retire, we significantly reduced membership fees for our non-practicing category to just 10% of the standard fee.
Renew Your Membership
Now more than ever we need a strong membership base as we continue to advocate for the profession. We ask you to reach out to your colleagues, encouraging them to support the Association that supports them.
To renew your membership, visit chiro.org.au/renew or email firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will assist you. If you renew by 30 June 2019 you may be able to claim your membership fee as a tax deduction in this financial year.
Your membership is not only a powerful investment into your career but into the future of the profession. We thank you for your continued support.