Part of Professionals Australia

History of Professionals Australia

For more than 60 years we have represented professionals like you.

We represent professionals from a wide variety of disciplines including engineering, science, IT, pharmacy, management, translators and interpreters, architecture, surveying and many more. We were originally registered as the Association of Professional Engineers, Australia (APEA) - in September 1946.

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 benchmarked salaries for professionals.

We have been building on the precedent established by the 1961 decision ever since. It has set up and maintained a series of awards for engineers, scientists and other professionals.

Following our successes smaller associations chose to amalgamate in the 1990s, many professionals said they wanted to be represented by an organisation that understood the needs of professional employees. We became the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA) following mergers between the following organisations (year of merger in brackets):

  • The Association of Professional Engineers, Australia (founded 1946, registered 1948) 
  • The Association of Professional Scientists, Australia (registered 1962, merged 1991)
  • The Local Government Engineers Association of New South Wales (1991)
  • Senior Managers (Telstra & Australia Post) Association (1994)
  • ABC Senior Executives Association (1994)
  • Association of Architects of Australia (1995)
  • Salaried Pharmacists Association (1997)
  • Association of Railway Professional Officers of Australia (1997)
  • Australian Collieries' Staff Association (2001)
  • Managers & Professionals Association (2004)
  • Professional Officers' Association (Victoria) (2006)
  • Ambulance Managers & Professionals (Victoria) (2010)

The history of the first 50 years of our organisation is recorded in Status and Reward. The History of Industrial Representation of Professional Engineers in Australia 1946-1996 by Brian E Lloyd and Helen Vines, published for the 50th anniversary in 1996.

In 2013 we decided to become Professionals Australia with divisions representing each profession including:

  • Professional Engineers Australia
  • Professional Scientists Australia
  • Professional Pharmacists Australia
  • Professional Managers Australia
  • IT Professionals Australia
  • Collieries' Staff and Officials Association
  • Professional Architects Australia
  • Professionals Australia, LGEA (Local Government Engineers)
  • Translators and Interpreters Australia

These divisions are managed by our members in each professional category and work to make sure we are solving the problems that affect your profession and provide the services you need to get ahead.