Professionals Australia

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Professionals Australia
APESMA logo.png
Full nameAssociation of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia
AffiliationAustralian Council of Trade Unions
Key peopleBill Jackson, National President
Andrew Russack, National Senior VP
Robyn Porter, National Secretary
Olaf Reinhold, National Treasurer
Maria Fuchs, National VP
Col Hackney, National VP
Wen Chen, National VP
Chris Walton, CEO
Office locationSouth Melbourne, Victoria (National Office)
With branches in all Australian states and territories

Professionals Australia,[1] formerly the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA), is an Australian employee association registered under state and federal industrial relations acts. Professionals Australia has approximately 25,000 members from the following professions: engineers, scientists, managers, architects, IT professionals, pharmacists, veterinarians, surveyors, translators and collieries staff in addition to student members. Professionals Australia is an example of a union that is organised along occupational lines. For this reason its coverage areas overlap substantially with industry unions which now represent the majority of union members in Australia. As it also covers managers, it is also in the unusual union position that, in negotiations on behalf of employee members, the employer representatives they are negotiating with may also union members.[citation needed][improper synthesis?]

This makes it a trade union for the purposes of worker-employer bargaining; Professionals Australia is affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Professionals Australia acts to service member needs, primarily in terms of salary and industrial advice. This places Professionals Australia within the services model of trade unionism. It also performs many of the functions of a professional association. Professionals Australia is not affiliated to either major party.

Professionals Australia began as The Association of Professional Engineers, Australia (APEA) which formed in 1946 and registered as an industrial association in 1948. APEA was the first organisation to ensure that professionals be recognised and rewarded for the high-value work they do. The Professional Engineers Case finalised in 1961 saw engineers across Australia received salary increases averaging more than 40 per cent. Even more importantly it set the precedent for work value and benchmark salaries for professionals. Professionals Australia has Government approval as an assessment entity for the only mandatory engineering registration scheme in Australia – the Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ).[2] Professionals Australia offer assessment in the areas of Civil, Electrical, Information, Technology and Telecommunications, Management, Mechanical and Structural Engineering.[3]

APEA grew by a process of mergers of white collar, professional and management employee associations over a long period of years:

  • 1991 : The Association of Professional Scientists, Australia
  • 1991 : The Local Government Engineers Association of New South Wales
  • 1994 : Senior Managers (Telstra & Australia Post) Association
  • 1994 : ABC Senior Executives Association
  • 1995 : Association of Architects of Australia
  • 1997 : Salaried Pharmacists Association
  • 1997 : Association of Railway Professional Officers of Australia
  • 2001 : Australian Collieries' Staff Association
  • 2004 : Managers & Professionals Association
  • 2006 : Professional Officers Association of Victoria (POAV) (formed as POA in 1917)

APEA became APESA (Association of Professional Engineers and Scientists, Australia) in 1991, and APESMA (Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia) in 1994. In 2013, in recognition of the many new professions represented by the union (including architects, pharmacists, translators and interpreters), APESMA changed its name to Professionals Australia.

APESMA's bi-monthly published journal to members is the Professional Network.


Professionals Australia has various divisions representing each of its professions.

These are:

  • Association of Professional Engineers Australia (APEA);
  • Professional Scientists Australia (PSA)
  • Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA)
  • Professionals Managers Australia (PMA)
  • Professional Architects Australia (PAA)
  • IT Professionals Australia (ITPA)
  • Collieries' Staff and Officials Association (CSOA)
  • Translators and Interpreters Australia
  • Local Government Engineers Australia (LGEA)
  • Professionals Contractors and Consultants Australia

Subsidiary Companies[edit]

Professionals Australia owns several subsidiary companies that help support the union's operations and which in 2006 were placed under a CEO distinct from that of the union. The National Assembly appoints the directors to the boards of the companies.

  • Member Advantage develops and manages Benefits Programs to assist clients in addressing reward, recognition and retention issues.


  1. ^ "Professionals Australia homepage".
  2. ^ http://RPEQ Assessment Archived 8 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^

External links[edit]