Important Notice: ACA are relocating our National Office (Thursday 26th of May to Friday 27th of May)

ACA is in the process of relocating our National Office from the Grange to Newmarket, QLD during the dates of the 26th of May to the 27th of May.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Due to our telephone lines needing to be relocated, phone services will be interrupted and unreliable during the move. We will be able to receive and respond to emails during this time.

While we are hoping that our move runs smoothly – You may be aware a move can have slight hiccups and we will try to resolve these and have everything up and running by the 1st of June 2016.

Please note our Postal Address remains the same.

If you need to contact us during this period please feel free to email.

For Membership Payments/Renewals
Majella Ruddy
Membership Officer

For Qualification Assessments
Catherine Dodemont
Administration Assistant

For Course/Study Information;
Tom Parker
Industry Liaison Officer

Other enquiries;
Jovana Prodanovic
Administrative Manager 


2016 Australian Counselling Association, National Conference

23rd – 25th of September 2016: Stamford Plaza Hotel, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

A Focus on Counselling in 2016:

Multicultural & Indigenous Mental Health and Well Being in Australia, Differences and Similarities

ACA will be hosting its Annual National Conference in Adelaide in 2016, with a focus on “Multicultural and Indigenous Mental Health and Well Being”. The conference will incorporate the launching of the new ACA professional college: College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counsellors.

The conference venue will be the Stamford Plaza Hotel situated in the heart of Adelaide’s downtown district with the Rundle Mall, the National War Museum, the National Wine Centre, Victoria Square, and numerous restaurants all nearby. All forms of public transport have stops near the door with a low cost public car park option also available.

The National conference will explore the differences and similarities of working in a multicultural and/or indigenous environment whether it be working with Aboriginals, Torres Straight Islanders, refugees, immigrants (new and old) or white Australians. This conference will give, indigenous peoples and other similar groups a voice and platform from where they can express in a constructive manner their unique differences and similarities.

This is a fantastic opportunity to network with some of Australia’s finest speakers and researches and to profile your area of expertise in a positive collegial atmosphere.

Conference speakers and subject areas will reflect the diversity and richness of the profession.

Call for Abstracts – Deadline for Papers/Abstracts: 30th March 2016    
Submit papers/abstracts to:

To submit a Research Paper for a 30 minute discussion or Abstract for a 90 minute workshop please supply the following information:

Paper/Abstract presentation Title:
Outline of presentation (no more than 800 words):
Experience/research working in the subject area (no more than 300 words)

Original papers and abstracts that meet the conference theme will be given preference however all subject areas will be considered.

Philip Armstrong FACA

Submission on Obesity to National Mental Health Commission

This submission to the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) follows the recent discussions between the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) Chief Executive Officer and Ms Rebecca Hardin, Senior Adviser to the Federal Minister for Health on the weight issue in Australia.

Download the submission pdf here.

2014 ACA AGM


Please note that the Australian Counselling Association Inc Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 11.35 am on Saturday the 27th of September 2014 at the Macquarie Park Conference Centre, Talavera Rd, North Ryde, NSW

Only registered members can attend.

Please email to RSVP

Latest News – May 2014

This month there is an issue I need to discuss that has been come up several times – the scraping and/or usage of ACA member contacts through the ACA member profile pages to send unsolicited commercial messages (email and/or phone) to members.

This act is in breach of the Spam Act as well as the ACA Code of Conduct 3.2 (d) i, (e) i and (f) i.

If an ACA member, or ARCAP Registered Counsellor, sends spam to another ACA or ARCAP Registered Counsellor they have committed an unethical act and are in breach of the ACA Code of Conduct 3.2 (d) i, (e) i and (f) i. Therefore members are liable to have a professional complaint laid against them for unprofessional practice should they breach this code.

This means ACA members who send emails to other members via their ACA Member Profile (or other similar means) of an up and coming workshop/conference/short course/video/DVD or any other product, are in breach of the Spam Act and the ACA Code of Conduct.

The ACA Member Profile page contains members contact details so that members of the community who are looking for a counsellor may contact them. Trolling through the members profile pages to create an email list is unethical and any member who undertakes to create an email list from the ACA member’s pages will be in breach of the ACA Code of Conduct.

Any member who receives any offers or spams via their member profile page should contact ACA so that we can take action against the spammer.

Anyone who wishes to inform ACA members of up and coming activities, meetings, conferences, workshops or relevant products can contact ACA to advertise their services through the appropriate platform, being the ACA Ezine.

Until next month,

Philip Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer.

Latest News – March 2014

I had a very interesting trip to Canberra this month. I went to Parliament wearing my ARCAP hat with Maria Brett to get a feeling of the lay of the land with this new government and to continue lobbying for greater recognition of counsellors. There is both good, and not so good, news. Two of the politicians we met with were Don Farrell and Jan McLucas, both from the Labor Party, who were both very supportive of the concept of counsellors being given access to Medicare and who were both going to write to the current Minister for Mental Health (Hon Peter Dutton) to support our cause. We greatly appreciate their support and although they may not be in government it will be good to have such support in writing. Both did state that we would need to meet with Mr Dutton to forward our cause.

Meetings of a greater consequence were had with Sarah Marks, who is the adviser to Senator Nash, whose portfolio includes mental health in regional and rural Australia. This was an interesting meeting as my take (this is only my view) was that, although Senator Nash may seem to hold an important office, in relation to mental health anyway, her portfolio does not come with much power as all questions in relation to mental health were met with; you need to speak to Mr Dutton, the Minister for Mental Health. The adviser continued with the current party line in as much as the budget, the budget and the budget. As long as there is a deficit no Minister is to entertain any concept that could imply further spending. Even though we were able to argue and demonstrate that Medicare will save money, with our modelling, we were speaking to a broken record.

Interestingly when we asked about the drought relief program it seemed from the answer we received that Senator Nash was not consulted in regards to the roll out, or requirements which is extraordinary considering her portfolio. It would also seem there is a distinct lack of knowledge of the Mental Health review commission and audit that is taking place.  We were advised that we would need to meet with Mr Dutton to move our cause forward and receive further information on the review.

We then met with Jordi Procel, the adviser for the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Hon Michael Ronaldson), to discuss the issue of counsellors being able to offer their services to Veterans through DVA. This meeting was very productive, in that the concept was well supported. Jordi explained that there is no resistance within the Department to use counsellors, the only obstacle is that DVA only use Medicare providers for outreach work for Veterans. Jordi did comment that the department would consider writing to Mr Dutton in this regard. At the end of the day all roads lead to Mr Dutton.

The positive that we took out of this trip is that at no stage we were given the impression that the concept was not valid, it was expenditure that was the issue. The days of needing to plead our validity as a profession, do seem to be over. There was not one word, or implication, that we needed to justify our professions creditability. Much of the last 6 years of pounding the blue carpet at Parliament House do seem to have paid off somewhat in this regard. It was refreshing to not have to justify who we were, and why we, as a profession, should be recognised.

It was also uplifting to be recognised. We will be following up on several leads we were also given during our time there.

Until next month,

Philip Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer.

Latest News – February 2014

2014 has started with a rush. We have finally received confirmation of a meeting with the Department of Mental Health, and will be meeting with a senior advisor in late February. This will be an important meeting and should give us an overall picture of where we are in the scheme of things.

Members should have received an email outlining ACA’s acceptance as an appropriate member association allowing its members to apply for a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Individual (HPI-I) for the allied health provider.

Although being able to register for a Healthcare Provider Identifier may not lead to direct financial benefits, it may lead to referrals, and recognition through Medicare of ACA as a peak body is a significant move forward. This is the first time we have received such recognition from the Department and certainly now puts us on the radar. I encourage members to go through the process of registering, even if it is to simply raise our profile as it also supports eHealth.

Another great piece of news is the 2015 Asia Pacific conference that is being sponsored by ACA and hosted by our Western Australian member association PCAWA in Perth, is now ready to take abstracts Again, I encourage members to register to present a workshop or paper. This conference will be well attended by not only Australian therapists but by many Asian and other overseas therapists.

I am sure you are all now aware of the $200 voucher that is being made available to couples for relationship counselling as of 1st of July. I have contacted the Ministers (Kevin Andrew) office to learn more about the details and roll out of the scheme, however, apparently this information is still being formulated. I have requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss the details of the policy and to ensure that any policy includes counsellors.

I will report on the outcome of my first political meeting for 2014 in next month’s Ezine. Although I will not be meeting with the Minister himself (apparently he does exist), I will be meeting with his senior adviser. I hope to come away with a better understanding of where we as a profession stand post-election as it seems the pre-election rhetoric has not come to fruition.

Until next month,

Philip Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer.