ACA Attends International Association of Counselling Annual Conference

The Australian Counselling Association was invited to the International Association for Counselling (IAC) meeting during the recent ASSOCounselling Conference in Naples, Italy, themed “Counselling Around the World”. The conference was attended by 800 delegates globally.

During this event, ACA CEO Jodie McKenzie proudly presented an update on our profession and had the privilege of attending the IAC General Counsel meeting and a roundtable event with Presidents and CEOs from counselling associations worldwide.

The conference provided a platform to engage in one-on-one discussions with our colleagues from the USA, UK, Ireland, and Canada – aside from the regular quarterly online discussions. We look forward to welcoming Christine, President of the American Counselling Association soon to Australia, who will be joining us for an event in October. 

Jodie also met with a number of new key contacts from Malawi, Spain, Italy, and Malta. These interactions were incredibly enriching, as many countries are currently establishing or implementing their own national standards in our profession. The in-depth discussions covered a wide range of topics and offered insights into the global landscape of counselling. 

With national standards occurring at various stages around the world, from development through to implementation, and the different regulatory models used, provided valuable insights. It was an opportunity to benefit from lessons learned.

“I was excited to learn the strategic pillars of focus from other associations and what is important to them – it was reaffirming that our pillars are closely aligned to theirs,” said McKenzie.

Key themes throughout the presentations from the other countries were around their continued efforts to fight for recognition for the profession as well as shaping what their professional identity looks like. The roundtable discussions focused on items that affect counselling associations on a global basis, including an engaging discussion on artificial intelligence and how we can incorporate this into our profession. “Through our groupwork we defined a draft scope of work of what we need to do to work collaboratively on understanding this changing landscape, as it affects every single one of us.”

Climate change was another important focus of discussion at the roundtables, particularly in smaller nations, which sparked conversation on how we can better provide support.

The conference provided an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with members of the World Health Organisation, further expanding the scope of our collaborative efforts. The insights gained and connections made at this conference will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of our profession. The WHO team has expressed their enthusiasm to work with us on a project later this year.

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