Regional Online Communities

ISSTD Welcomes the Formation of an Australia-New Zealand Regional Online Community

Back in 2020, the ISSTD launched Regional Online Communities (ROCs) as a new member benefit. These are – as the name implies – online communities hosted by ISSTD which allow for groups to network, support each other, and hold regional activities. While the idea was conceived prior to the pandemic, ROCs are certainly a concept well-suited to our times, with ISSTD developing ROCs in Canada and USA during 2020 and 2021. Now ISSTD is excited to announce a new Australia-New Zealand ROC.

The ROC has been formed just in time to launch at the regional conference in Melbourne and will be chaired by Kate McMaugh, a psychologist from Sydney, while Valerie Van Loggerenberg, a psychologist from Perth has kindly agreed to act as moderator. Susie Luchetti, another psychologist from Sydney, has agreed to act as Secretary. While this is an all-Australian team, at least for this point in time, we do have ROC members from New Zealand and are very sure they won’t let us dominate things! We, of course, welcome new members and volunteer leadership from both countries.

At this stage the ROC is very new, and we have not developed plans for activities. However, after the Melbourne Regional Conference is finished one of our first aims will be to start a discussion about the roles and activities of the ROC. We know from talking amongst ourselves that it can feel very isolating to work in trauma and dissociation in the Australia-New Zealand region. Practitioners are often isolated by vast geographic distances, and may also feel isolated from mainstream clinical services which may not be working with complex trauma or dissociative disorders in the same manner that ISSTD members are. We hope this ROC will go some way to alleviating professional isolation as we build networks and support each other.

While this might be, geographically, the largest ROC ever, we are a small, friendly group of down-under practitioners and researchers and we are looking for new members, however it is only possible to join the ROC if you are a current member of ISSTD. If you are from the Australia-New Zealand region, an ISSTD member, and want to join us, please contact:

For members from other regions who are looking to create community with other local ISSTD members, forming an ROC can be a rewarding and fun way to do so. ROCs are very flexible and can be small and localised, or cover a larger region, depending on the needs of your community. Sub-groups can also be created within a ROC. To form an ROC, a minimum of six ISSTD members are required. For more information on setting up an ROC and the application, please visit this page.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock