The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia Ltd (NIODA) was established in 2010. The sole purpose of this initiative was to ensure continuity of systems psychodynamic education in Australia.
Formal education in systems psychodynamics in Australia was founded by John Newton in 1981 at Swinburne University, Melbourne. Over the next 20 years a suite of Organisation Dynamics courses, from Grad Diploma to Master to Professional Doc and PhD, were developed. Associate Professor John Newton and Professor Susan Long together established this discipline at Swinburne, building close links with the global community of systems psychodynamic educators and practitioners. These years saw many international visitors to the programs and strong representation on international bodies culminating in Susan Long’s presidency of the International Society for the Psychoanalytical Study of Organisations (ISPSO) and the hosting of the ISPSO Annual Symposium in Melbourne in 2011. A vibrant research culture was built with many small and large funded projects worked on, including CRC funded research. The journal Socio-Analysis was another initiative, created to showcase the work of Australian and overseas thinkers in the field.
In 2000, after a shift in emphasis at Swinburne to Entrepreneurial business education, the programs moved to RMIT with John Newton heading up the Master program and by 2002, Susan Long, the Professional Doctorate and PhD programs. Wendy Harding subsequently directed the Master program from 2008.
The Creative Organisational Systems Group (COS Group) at RMIT contained these programs along with the Innovation and Service Management (ISM) program headed by Dr Mike Faris. For a number of years the COS group operated with a healthy degree of autonomy within the university, bringing in a significant amount of research and consultancy work alongside the delivery of the academic programs. However, in 2010, after a shift to the School of Management, the programs were discontinued in favour of a more generic Master of Management course. The programs at the time were fully enrolled and their reputations high amongst students, alumni and their organisations.
Small, specialised programs are subject to many pressures in Universities: pushes to lower staff student ratios; increasing online learning; funding that has to account for very large university infrastructure costs; and changing management and structures that are not usually brought about by or meet small, specialised course needs.
The decision taken to establish NIODA in 2010 was about finding a way where systems psychodynamic education in Australia could be sustained and grow into the foreseeable future; that there be greater self determination in how, where and when programs are designed and delivered; and to enable financial resources to be reinvested into program development, research and discipline growth.
From 2011 NIODA delivered a range of workshops and seminars . In 2014 the very successful three year, professional development program ‘Leadership, Management and Organisation Dynamics’ was established. 2015 saw the initiation of NIODA Consulting, led by Dr Brigid Nossal, followed in 2016 by NIODA Research and Scholarship, led by Dr Susan Long. The Academic programs, Consulting and Research and Scholarship are designed to complement and build upon the other. Dr Wendy Harding heads the Academic programs and is CEO of the Institute.
NIODA is governed by a Board of Governance chaired by Mr Seth Thomasson with Board members including Dr Judith Kent, Mr Fred Wright, Ms Rosemary Pacquola, Mr Michael Carpenter and Ms Jayne Jennings.
On October 13, 2016 NIODA recieved approval of registration as a Higher Education Provider and accreditation of a Master of Management (Organisation Dynamics) cours. This is testament to the value of systems psychodynamic work and the beginning of another exciting journey.