A roller coaster journey and I've enjoyed the ride

by Vivien Twyford,

I wrote this story last week, but then managed to lose it before sending, so I'm trying again. 

I have a 20 year history with IAP2. Not as long as some, but a lot longer than many. My first connection was the Toronto conference in 1997 that I attended as part of a very small Australasian group. I think there were 3 of us there and my strongest memory is my delight in finding myself for 3 days in the company of 300 or more like minded people, where I didn't have to explain what I did! I learned a lot over those days and made many friends. My colleague, Jill Hannaford, and I decided after our return to Australia, that we would invite some other practitioners together to assess the level of interest in establishing the first IAP2 Chapter outside North America. Nine of us met in a Board room in Sydney and the Australasian Chapter was born. We were amazed when 80 people turned up at our first event. I accepted the role of inaugural President, which I held for the next 3 years, during which we ran two well attended Australasian conferences and many local events in Sydney. We grew our membership and learned more about what people working in this field wanted and needed from a professional association.

A number of us from the Australasian Chapter attended international conferences in North America. Jill went to Arizona in 1998 and several of us went to Banff in 1999, which was an amazing experience. I remember so many high points from that conference, professional learning, personal relationship building and having fun in the Canadian Rockies. We Australians started seeking representation on the International Board around that time. Jill Hannaford was the first Board Member, and I joined the Board in 2001. 

I attended the Vancouver conference in 2001 where I took my first IAP2 training: Foundations with Wendy Lowe and Planning with Lewis Michaelson. I agreed to be part of a small team of 5 who would develop the 2-day P2 Techniques Course, that with Communications for P2, would form the IAP2 Certificate Course. In 2002 we presented the Techniques course successfully in Salt Lake City, and I took the Communications Course, so was among the first IAP2 members to complete the new Certificate. This enabled me to seek IAP2 trainer status and take the IAP2 Certificate to Australasia. I did my practicum with some volunteer students and sent the video to the Training Chair, LaVerne Kyriss. I then presented the whole Certificate to a group of people at NSW Health as my first official professional IAP2 training in Australasia, and in 2003 took IAP2 training to groups in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Auckland New Zealand. 

I joined a group of trainers in Denver in 2003 where we reviewed and overhauled the Certificate Course to make in into one coherent whole, rather than 4 separate courses. I continued to train the certificate until 2012 and took it to Singapore and the UK as well as Australia and New Zealand, and IAP2 conferences.  I became a Master Trainer and helped a number of people to become IAP2 trainers in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia through an Academy and practicums.

After serving on the International Board from 2002 and 2003, I was asked to take on the role of President in 2004 which I did, with a number of new faces taking on useful roles that year. It meant lots of travelling for me as Board meetings were held in Honolulu, Madison and Portland?  I built ongoing relationships with colleagues through these Board meetings as well as co-training and presenting at conferences in Ottawa in 2003, Madison in 2004, Sydney and Portland in 2005, and Glasgow in 2008.

My last few years have been less active in the association, although I've stayed on the periphery.  I left the International Board at the end of 2005 and retired as a trainer in 2012. However the friendships, and all that I learned as an IAP2 member, trainer, master trainer and Board member, have been immensely valuable to my professional and personal life. I'm delighted to be attending both the conference and the Federation workshops in Denver in this my 21st year of membership of IAP2.

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