Today marks one year since the new AUSactive name was launched to market and I’m very proud of all the achievements we have accomplished during that time. Most importantly, the launch was a line in the sand following the heights of COVID that signalled a new beginning and refreshed outlook for our association, our members and the Australian health, fitness and wellbeing sector as a whole.
As we celebrate our first year and look towards the festive season, it’s a great time to reflect on what we have achieved and congratulate all our individual and businesses members, staff and industry partners who have embraced our new direction and supports us so far.
When reflecting on what to include, it’s quite amazing how much we have packed into a 12-month period…and we’ve only just scratched the surface in what we are striving to achieve as your peak industry association.
At a strategic level, we unveiled our three-year plan to help guide priorities across seven pillars:
- Preventative Health
- Standards and Quality
Here is a look at what we have achieved so far:
We have been engaging with political stakeholders at all levels of government to advocate for exercise, physical activity and fitness to be considered integral components of Australia's preventative health thinking and policies.
At a consumer level, our members are acknowledged and recognised by the following private health funds; BUPA, Medibank, NIB, RT health & Westfund we have streamlined the rebate process for our member’s clients with pre-existing health conditions by negotiating their AUSactive member numbers as their certified provider numbers.
Three new membership modalities – Yoga, Pilates and Aqua
A new membership category for industry suppliers and built a special members discounts platform
33 types of digital credentials with 22,000 credential owners.
Our digital REACTIVATED magazine which has had over 15k views for each of the first four editions
Our free webinar series had a huge engagement with 25 free webinars and over 12,672 attendees throughout the year. Some of the themes were Financial Fridays and the Lockdown business webinar series.
The launch of our new AUSactive Awards program saw numbers of nominees and attendees to our awards events. Our program grew from 13 categories to 28 categories. We had 586 entries, and over 1,000 people attend state and national events.
We held our inaugural sold out Senior Management Summit, as part of our Awards program
New website was launched with added member sections and benefits
AUSactive Jobs Board went live, featuring an assortment of job positions all over Australia and an opportunity for job seekers to be found
Virtual mental health workshops
Key presentations at major industry events and franchise conferences
Standards and Quality
We launched Scope of Practice for Pilates and Yoga disciplines and associated minimum education requirements, a free accreditation program for all AUSactive Exercise Professionals and a free Certification Program for business members, to raise the quality and standard of the industry.
We've completed industry consultation on Aqua Exercise Instructor Guidelines, which will be ready for launch in upcoming weeks. Additionally, a review into the Pre & Post Natal Exercise Guidelines has commenced, an industry consultation period will open soon, stay tuned.
We have continued to grow our university mapping program, bringing the total number of participating universities to fifteen. This process allows undergraduate students who have completed an approved prescribed unit sequence to register with AUSactive as a Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer while continuing their tertiary studies
iLearn new free educational modules added (IronEdge)
Business certification launched, with Reach Movement Health becoming the first certified business.
We engaged Deakin University for a National Research project on the Inactivity Levels of Australians.
Conducted 2022 Fitness Industry Trends in the industry
We now formally recognise the authoring of published peer-reviewed research for CECs
Federal Government funding for the delivery of the nationwide All A.B.I.L.I.T.I.E.S. (Australia Brings Inclusivity to Life, Through Innovation, Transformation In an Exercising Society) program, aiming to drive organisational change in health and fitness businesses to enhance the lives of the broader community and effective group exercise participation for people with disabilities.
Successfully recognised as the Peak Body for the fitness sector in WA. The WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) will work closely to support AUSactive to advocate, lead and develop its membership and improve the health and wellbeing of West Australians.
Successful roll-out of the ‘Skip the Permit’ pilot program with the City of Casey Council, to remove the permit process and fees for AUSactive registered outdoor fitness trainers who use selected Council parks
Recognition of the exercise and fitness sector as an ‘Essential Service’ in Queensland
Federal, State and Local government engagement including:
- Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Ged Kearney in relation to a national public preventative health campaign encouraging physical activity, implementing the WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity, reducing the impact of physical inactivity on the government’s health budget, increasing interaction between the exercise sector and the Department of Health and increasing government investment in preventative health measures.
- The Office of Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stephen Jones, in relation to reducing the impact of physical inactivity on the government’s health budget and addressing skills and labour shortage in the fitness industry.
- The Office of Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor in relation to addressing skills and labour shortage in the fitness industry.
- Dr Mike Freelander MP, in relation to a national public preventative health campaign encouraging physical activity, implementing the WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and reducing the impact of physical inactivity on the government’s health budget.
- Maria Vamvakinou MP, in relation to a national public preventative health campaign encouraging physical activity, reducing the impact of physical inactivity on the government’s health budget and addressing skills and labour shortage in the fitness industry.
- Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister Brad Hazzard (NSW state) in relation to COVID regulations.
- The Office of NSW Minister for Sport and Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Alister Henskens SC in relation to physical activity vouchers, Fitness Code of Practice legislation, addressing skills shortages in the fitness industry and recognition as a Peak Body in NSW.
- Alex Greenwich MP (NSW) in relation to physical activity vouchers, Fitness Code of Practice legislation and addressing skills shortages in the fitness industry.
- The Office of Minister Tara Cheyne (ACT) in relation to fitness activity vouchers and legislation changes to 24 hour trade.
- Fair Trading & Compliance, Access Canberra (ACT) in relation to updates to the Fitness Code of Practice legislation and committee engagement under the Code.
- The Offices of the Hon Martin Pakula, Hon Jaala Pulford and Hon Ros Spence (VIC) in relation to COVID regulations, fitness activity vouchers and landlord protections.
- Communities, Sport and Recreation (TAS) in relation to post COVID job opportunities.
- The Office of the Hon Andrea Michaels (SA) in relation to updates to the Fitness Code of Practice legislation and addressing skills shortages in the fitness Industry.
- The Department of Recreation, Sport and Racing (SA) in relation to fitness activity vouchers and increasing physical activity levels.
- Consumer Protection (WA) in relation to updates to the Fitness Code of Practice legislation.
A Skip the Permit program was rolled-out in certain LGAs In Victoria, whereby personal trainer permits for running sessions in outdoor areas are fast-tracked with no fees or licencing cost. A previously expensive process that could take weeks for approval was streamlined to 20min licenses.
We made a budget submission to the Federal government for:
- Funding to establish an Expert Advisory Group to develop a national physical activity strategy that will deliver the Government’s commitment to the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity to get 15% more Australians more active by 2030
- Funding for the “Movement for Movement” program to target younger and older Australians to highlight the importance of physical activity in advancing physical and mental health outcomes, preventing chronic disease and encouraging community participation / social connectivity
- Funding for fee-free vocational education and training at TAFE that would attract enrolments and ultimately employment in the exercise and fitness industry; and
- Funding to accelerate the AUSactive accreditation program, the only one that exists in the industry, to create career opportunities for newly qualified exercise professionals
I was honoured to be elected as the inaugural Chair of the World Active Forum (WAF), which was launched to connect fitness industry associations worldwide and provide the fitness and physical activity sector with a unified voice at the global level.
We have signed new agreements in addition to our existing agreements, to partner with Evolt 360, Myzone, Iron Edge, Myrtha Pools, Hesta, Asics, ActiveXchange, AUS Fitness Industry Trade Show and Summit, Bupa, Medibank, Guild, Les Mills, One Music, COM Marketing, CleanLife, RT Health, Technogym, 10 Thousand Feet, Westfund and FILEX.
We launched a government-funded All A.B.I.L.I.T.I.E.S. program working with 18 business members across the country and over 200 participants with unique training needs.
As we continue to plan for 2023 and beyond, I am excited by the strong foundations we have now laid for the AUSactive brand.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the activities and initiatives achieved in our first year provide a tremendous springboard for the future of our industry.
Merry Christmas from AUSactive!
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
We hope you have time to rest, relax and rejuvenate during the holiday season and re-charge your batteries for an exciting 2023!
Barrie Elvish and the entire AUSactive Team