From the Committee – 11 September 2020

Committee Meeting Update September 2020

Not another Zoom meeting!

The PAA committee met last Saturday, 5 Sept. Meeting via Zoom has been a great success for the committee. Travel time and expenses have been eliminated and a shorter meeting format adopted. Covid restrictions have prompted the changes, however they have proved to be very effective allowing committee members to more easily manage their personal, business and PAA commitments.

Victorian Advocacy review

The Victorian Premier’s Sept 6 announcement of the Reopening Roadmap was not very encouraging for Victorians or Pilates instructors and studios. We are in ongoing discussions with Sport and Recreation Victoria and continue to work towards having Pilates studios reopen as soon as possible in a Covid safe manner.  Below is an overview of the PAA Victorian advocacy efforts of recent months.

July– before Stage 4 announced- Letter to Vic Health Minister, Chief Health Officer seeking re categorisation of Pilates studios. Professional Pilates studios offering therapeutic (clinical) services should be separated from gyms and indoor fitness centres.

August– after Stage 4 announced – Letter to Vic Health Minister, Chief Health Officer, Minister Small Business, Minister Mental Health seeking urgent exemptions for accredited Pilates instructors, during the stage 4 restrictions:

  • Pilates studio owners or sole traders be allowed to live stream and record Pilates classes in their place of work, with the condition that there is only one person on premises at any one time, within curfew guidelines.
  • Pilates Instructors as employees of Pilates studios, be allow to live stream record Pilates classes in their place of work, with the condition that there is only one person on premises at any one time, within curfew guidelines.

August and ongoing– Communications and discussions over the past few weeks with the Manager for Sport, Recreation and Racing Covid-19 Response at the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions have been constructive and positive. We have forwarded all correspondence previously sent to Victorian Ministers, Chief Health Officer and Government Departments, plus our initial letters to Federal Health Minister and the response from Covid Sport and Health Committee regarding services provided by tertiary qualified instructors.

We are working closely with the department and the key points from these documents plus the PAA Return to Work Plan have been compiled to advocate for the implementation of 1:1 and 1:4 Pilates sessions as a health service as the first step in a phased return to work as restrictions are eased.  The Department have forwarded these PAA recommendations as the Pilates Peak Body to the Dept Health and Human Services for consideration.

PAA committee member Darren Vizer and several other Victorian instructors have contacted their local MPs to outline the case for re classification of Pilates studios separately to gyms and indoor sporting facilities and support the PAA proposed provision of Pilates services for the maintenance of health conditions. These members have reported a supportive response from their local MPs and some have requested additional background information on the personal impact on their constituents and their businesses.

Stay abreast of updates in the PAA Covid information hub and on Facebook in the PAA Member Forum.

Membership Focus Groups

In mid August, the PAA held several member focus groups, facilitated by membership specialist, Belinda Moore. Belinda lead discussions in each focus group (Student and new graduate, Mat and Reformer instructor, Diploma instructor, Studio owner) to dig beneath the surface to better understand their Pilates career journey and challenges.

A huge thank you to all participants who freely gave their time to share their journey and the challenges they are facing, both with Covid and more generally in their career and business. The insights gained will inform development of stronger member offerings relevant to the unique segments of our membership.


We have received a lot of good feedback on the webinars the PAA have hosted to support and assist members to navigate the challenges of the past few months. The PAA committee want to continue to provide avenues to share information and ideas to support members and their businesses.

What would you like to know more about, what might help grow your business, what would you like to share with the Pilates community?

We are looking for new ideas/topics and presenters. One suggestion received is a workshop or discussion on Pilates for the Aging population – ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS? Please put them forward:

The most recent PAA webinar topics were:

  • Legal issues and questions – with Sarah Bartholomuesz, Legal You
  • Insurance issues and questions- with John Cotterill, BMS

The next webinar will be Thursday 17 Sept @ 1.30pm with Richard Toutounji of Com Marketing. Keep an eye out for the invite in your inbox and on our socials.

Committee news

Farewell to Kristi Viitala

With Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria placing additional challenges on her family, Kirsti has stepped down from the Committee to spend her limited time focusing on her business as part of an ongoing business mentoring program.

Although only joining the committee less than a year ago, Kirsti has actively shared her passion and perspective in committee discussions and projects. Earlier this year, Kirsti joined the Communication sub committee to assist with the social media content design and scheduling. Her inspiration and technical skills will be missed, thanks for being part of our team, Kirsti.

Kirsti has also been an indispensable part of the onsite conference team for many years, even before joining the Committee, supervising the volunteer team and working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly.

We have all enjoyed Kirsti’s input and perspective and really appreciate her contributions to the Communications subcommittee projects. Please join us in thanking her for her time and dedication.

Podcast featuring Chris Lavelle, PAA Vice President

Vice President Chris Lavelle has been involved in Pilates since 1996. She is also a qualified DNS practitioner (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation). She says DNS allowed her to understand and harness the role of the nervous system in training strength stability and ease in all movement.

Today (Friday 11 Sept) she is being interviewed  by Dr. Charlotte de Courcey-Bayley for the podcast ‘Mindset for Health; Tales of Extraordinary People. A Podcast about the power of a human decision and the incredible ability of the Mind to guide you on your journey through life, equipped with the skills to tackle adversity’.

Tune in to hear all about her journey to a more stable and pain free body! The podcast will be available in the next few weeks online here:

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