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New CEO at Occupational Therapy Australia

An accomplished company director with significant experience in the not-for-profit sector will help lead Australia’s occupational therapists through a period of rapid change it was announced today.

Ms Samantha Hunter will commence work as the Chief Executive Officer of Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) on 13 September, OTA President Dr Angela Berndt said.

“As a senior leader, Samantha has overseen significant strategic growth across a diverse range of entities including membership based professional services and not-for-profits,” Dr Berndt said.

“She brings to OTA a broad skill set including strategy and business development, marketing and stakeholder relations, and community education. Her obvious energy and enthusiasm impressed all of us who were involved in the recruitment process.

“These skills and qualities will be particularly valuable during what is a period of unprecedented change for Australian occupational therapists. The implementation of the My Aged Care platform and the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme are posing new administrative challenges for our members and many are, for the first time in their professional lives, having to operate as small businesspeople.

“Samantha’s experience in both small business and the not-for-profit sector make her a perfect fit for OTA at this critical juncture,” Dr Berndt said.

Ms Hunter’s previous roles include Director of Tomboy Media, a boutique marketing and public relations agency, CEO of Crime Stoppers Victoria, Chair of Crime Stoppers Victoria, and Director of the Country Fire Authority. She currently serves as a Director of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and a Director of the Werribee Football Club.

OTA is the professional association and peak representative body for occupational therapists in Australia. As of June 2018, there were more than 20,000 registered occupational therapists working across the government, non-government, private and community sectors in Australia.

Occupational therapists are allied health professionals whose role is to enable their clients to participate in meaningful and productive activities. They provide services such as physical and mental health therapy, vocational rehabilitation, chronic disease management, assessments for assistive technology and home modifications, and key disability supports and services.

Taken from Occupational Therapy Australia Media Release 3 September 2018

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