Karen Beattie, PAA President 2005–6

Karen Beattie

Karen Beattie

PAA President 2005-6


Karen Beattie served as the first PAA Secretary in 2002, she went on to serve briefly as President in 2005-6. Marda Willey was Vice President at the time and took on the role of Acting President when Karen moved full time into the workplace training sector. In the June 2006 newsletter, Marda writes: ‘I would like to thank Karen for her knowledge and level of commitment in representing us all, in various Industry related meetings and discussions.’

We asked Karen a few questions about her time on the committee and for her reflections on the highlights and challenges for the PAA at that time.


Can you give us some idea of the landscape of Pilates at the time?

The studios were mainly traditional and fully equipped.. Pilates group fitness matwork classes were growing in the traditional gym and fitness sector, making it more difficult to educate the wider industry about fully comprehensive Pilates studios.

Teacher training was taught in a very informal way, and not to the depth and rigour that we see now in the many government accredited courses.

There were numerous key players at the time, including Allan Menezies, Rael Isacowitz – BASI, Craig Phillips – Clinical Pilates and Penny Latey with the APMA. We saw Sally Anderson developing her own teacher training program – Pilates ITC. Also, Polestar was making an impact, together with Helen Tardent – Pilates Moves and Cynthia Lochard with Romana’s Pilates.


What were the highlights of your time as President?

My time was short lived as a President of the PAA as I decided to go back into the corporate education and university sectors. However, I loved having our committee meetings at the old Independent Theatre at North Sydney, which was organised by Gloria Scott.

My main highlight was being at the forefront of the consultation process with industry and major Pilates industry players, in averting Pilates training being put into the Fitness Training Package.  This was most crucial at the time, and with my expertise and contacts in the Vocational Education Sector, I believe greatly helped the Pilates Industry.  If Pilates had been put in the Fitness Training package, we would not see the accredited Pilates courses we have today.


What do you see as your committee’s greatest achievements and biggest challenges?

We were very small at that stage, with less members than the APMA. The challenge was to attract more members through our inclusive membership. We welcomed instructors from all schools of Pilates teacher training, thereby providing equal access to the PAA membership. Of important focus at the time was to educate the wider public, and organisations such as Fitness Australia (now Ausactive) that Pilates was a separate specialised industry.

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