Society for Community Research & Action
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Social Justice Research Centre
In November 2010, the areas of practice known as community psychology and health psychology were endorsed by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (AHWMC). This was a major reversal of the Council’s earlier decision in April that year to limit the endorsed areas of practice to those represented by the other seven Colleges of the Australian Psychological Society. This paper describes the intense lobbying effort coordinated by the National Committee of the Australian Psychological Society College of Community Psychologists and their supporters, which was sustained over many months and led ultimately to a changed decision by the Australian Health Ministers. The story is important for community psychology as it demonstrates the power of collective, integrated and focussed political lobbying, in this case to promote and to inform others of the key contributions of community psychology to health policy, illness prevention and primary care. Without endorsement there would be little incentive for universities to offer postgraduate programs in Community Psychology, which would then choke the only pathway to future membership of the College, rendering it unviable. With no further training offered, and eventually no representative body within the APS, there would be direct implications for the sustainability of the whole discipline and practice of community psychology in Australia.