Thank you for your continued participation in GANZ during these challenging times of the impacts of a global pandemic. Our vision this year was to continue to support the visibility integrity and vitality of Gestalt in Australia and New Zealand.
This year began with the arrival of new GANZ Council members:
- Kat Barker and Amanda Guilfoyle who are sharing the role of PACFA Liaison chair; this role was then broadened to include other professional bodies out members belong to.
- Larz Lauer who has taken on the role of Student Representative.
- Karolina Krysinska who is sharing the role of Research Chair.
Nathan Dick has continued as our reliable and fabulous treasurer; Eric Houghton brought heart and humour as the International and Aotearoa / New Zealand representative; Aicha Brogan continued to bring her hard work and creativity to the membership role and the newsletter and Facebook posts, Julia Werner brought warmth and directness as she continued as our secretary, Michelle Sier brought her wisdom and clarity to the role of Professional Development and I continued as co-chair for research and began the role of President. The Vice-President role was filled by the gracious stepping up of both Julia and Nathan for the year.
I am pleased to report that the group has continued to be a cohesive and energised council with a relatively flat power structure. The Council has grown in stability and has determined that staying relational is a priority. Financially, the organisation made a small profit, as can be seen in the Treasurer’s report, which I think is highly commendable given the year it was.
In alignment with our intentions 2021 saw 3 new GANZ initiatives:
- Privilege Awareness raising
- Grants for the Gestalt Training Institutes
- Peer supervision groups.
To support the first initiative the council members attended a privilege awareness seminar with Heather Ann Keyes the Mexican Gestalt Association president, raising awareness of racism and privilege blindness in psychotherapy, beginning with ourselves. We intend to continue this journey of awareness raising by offering events to the members along this line in 2022.
A grant of $2000 for each Gestalt training institute was offered to assist them in these times of Covid 19 pandemic. GTA have opted for support in the Reconciliation Action Plan being implemented while TRIA and GTB both intend the funds to directly support staff training in online presence and teaching.
Key activities that the Council continued from previous years were the Newsletter and Facebook communications, and the publication of one edition of the Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand. Our newsletter and facebook page continue to be well received and to support this we voted to employ an IT administrator. This has proven to be effective and of great help to keep the website functioning optimally. A small, electronic only version of the journal was published this year to continue the line of publications. We will return to a more full publication early in the new year.
Preliminary work has begun on our proposal to have a conference based in Brisbane in September 2022. We are asking for members who wish to be on the conference committee and have collected the information from the previous conference committees. We have decided that an online conference may be the best plan but will hold this into the new year.
The four GANZ peer groups completed their 12 months together with great appreciation for each other and for the process of gathering to practice the principles gestalt therapy without any agenda. It was not training or therapy but rather being present together and lots of wonderful bonding and deep connections were experienced. Waltraud Reiner began an international peer group recently and more peer groups will begin in 2022.
To serve the goal of having Gestalt recognised validated and appreciated in the wider fields of counselling psychotherapy and social intervention GANZ will continue to structure events that increase and support the current Gestalt Practice, Principles and philosophy in Australia and New Zealand and that help us to gather together and strengthen connection and communication.
As I step down from the role of President I feel a sense of deep satisfaction and heart felt appreciation for the peoples of the gestalt world who serve on this council, the members of GANZ, and those who participate in our gatherings. I feel certain that our collective vibrancy and authenticity continues to serve the wider community, psychotherapy and everyday life.