In browsing through some old editions of the journal recently, I was interested to note that it is nearly 23 years since the first Frances Rutherford Lecture was presented by Mary-Anne Boyd. Primarily the award was created to encourage occupational therapists in their professional career. It was named after Frances Rutherford, as a tribute to the significant contribution she made towards advancing the profession of occupational therapy in New Zealand. Accordingly the recipient of the award is an occupational therapist, nominated by peers, for efforts to promote and advance the profession.
In her lecture: Quality assurance in occupational therapy (JNZAOT, 1984/5) Ms Boyd called on occupational therapists to embrace diversity in practice. I was struck by the similarities between Ms. Boyd's inaugural address and this current edition of the journal. Ms. Boyd stated that quality assurance means "striving for excellence" which is exactly what the authors are promoting.
Merrolee Penman is the most recent recipient of the Frances Rutherford Award and as promised we bring you the lecture delivered by Merrolee at the NZAOT Conference last year. Merrolee shares her insights on the need for diversity when it comes to knowledge development. Ways of learning are discussed and alternative methods proposed. Endorsing the theme of diversity is another late entry from the conference. Michael Iwama encourages us to advance the concept of cultural diversity in practice. He believes that broad dimensions of culture are absolutely fundamental to the future of occupational therapy here in New Zealand and beyond.
Jackie Herkt and Clare Hocking highlight the significance of supervision. They envisage a creative process designed to ensure clinicians are competent to practice. An important feature of this article is professional development and its relationship to the quality of service provision. Likewise Robert Bull offers his vision of professionalism and explains what it means in practice.
Changing focus to practice reality, Ann Christie shares an interesting case study. Most people enjoy a good story so this is a valuable way of distributing knowledge and I encourage more therapists to tell us about their clinical practice. Don't be intimidated because you haven't written a journal article before--you can learn, I did. In this way you will support the call to diversify and, in so doing, strengthen the profession.
In that first Frances Rutherford Lecture Ms. Boyd complained that occupational therapists are unsure of the need to plan for the future. Judging by the articles in this edition of the journal it would seem we have progressed. A great deal of thought is being given to the future of occupational therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
I would like to acknowledge the following colleagues who have taken the time, and made the effort, to review one or more manuscripts submitted to the New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy during 2007.Their feedback is valuable and I welcome their support. In particular, I am grateful to Clare Hocking who continues to share her knowledge and experience.
Beth Gordon, Carolyn Simmons Carlsson, Clare Miller, Dale Rook, Daniel Sutton, Gale Cull, Gretchen Simms, Heleen Blijlevens, Helen Byrne, Jean Dominy, Kirk Reed, Jo-Anne Gilsenan, Linda Wilson, Lyn Dancer, Mary Butler, Mathijs Lucassen, Merrolee Penman, Nancy Wright, Robert Bull, Rowena Scaletti, Sarah Haskell, Shoba Nayar, Tamzin Brott, Trisha Egan, and Valerie Wright-St. Clair.
Boyd, M. A. (1984-85). Quality assurance in occupational therapy. journal of the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapy, 35(2), 3-11.