Journey to a Society

Birth of a Society

In early 2012, three developmental-behavioural paediatric friends sat down to coffee, bemoaning their professional lot. They agreed their work was important and hard, the issues for the children were real, and clinical intervention really could be effective.

But the obstacles seemed huge. They, as their colleagues, were isolated, services were fragmented, and the needs of the children affected by developmental-behavioural disorders poorly recognised, or even worse, actively denied.

They posed questions. Where was their collegiate group? How could supervision, mentorship and clinical support be structured and provided for themselves and their colleagues? What would this support ideally look like? How could quality, targeted clinical education and professional development be efficiently accessed? How could ‘best practice’ realistically be defined? How could research in DBP contribute to meaningful change in paediatric practice? How could collective clinical wisdom be used to promote real change in policy and services? And many more…..

They decided to approach some of their colleagues, who they felt might be motivated and sufficiently optimistic to join together in an attempt to answer these questions. From this, an organising committee was created from across Australia and New Zealand, meetings held by teleconference late into the night (particularly for the New Zealanders), and a 2 day retreat was booked at the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Gold Coast Hinterland in May 2012. The meeting goal was to talk about issues of importance to the group, including the nature of the work, the challenges, differing models of practice and the professional needs of the group. From that discussion, to work together to find A Way Forward.

When finally it was time to seek registrations, the response from across the region was strong, and a group of 51 met together in Queensland. The first thing obvious was the hunger of the group to talk with their colleagues about issues of mutual concern. The energy was warm and enthusiastic, the debates vigorous. After all, there was unanimous agreement to form a society dedicated to this area of work.

There followed a busy period, including consideration of an appropriate name for the society, the writing of a constitution, the incorporation of a legal entity, setting up of bank accounts, creation of a temporary website etc.

When this was done, the NBPSA Inc. held its Foundation Meeting at the MCG in Melbourne, comprising both clinical and educational content. Prospective members met to discuss the early priorities for the society, begin the application processes for formal membership, and elect foundation office bearers. Again this meeting was surprisingly well attended, and agreement reached easily regarding the early priorities for the group.

The NBPSA is indebted to the following people, who were members of the original steering group. The executive acknowledges their significant efforts in getting the organisation started and supporting it through until its foundation meeting in October 2012.

  • Dr Daryl Efron
  • Dr Brad Jongeling
  • Dr Jane Lesslie
  • Dr Michael McDowell
  • Dr Colette Muir
  • Dr David Newman
  • Dr Mick O’Keeffe
  • Dr Nikki Panotidis
  • Dr Con Papadopoulos
  • Dr Chris Pearson
  • Dr Gehan Roberts
  • Dr Doug Shelton
  • Dr Jacqueline Small