Message from the CEO

This week I've been participating in the Regional Australia Institute's summit "Rebalancing the Nation", which brought together all levels of government to discuss the RAI's ambitious target of growing the population of Regional Australia to 11 million people (up from 9.5 million currently as defined by RAI) by 2032.

We're off to a good start, with regional migration at a 5-year high, regional job vacancy rates high and unemployment rates low, a government that has placed a priority on growing jobs and skills, and a pandemic that has completely disrupted the way we think about and perform work. 

But with rapid growth come a whole different set of challenges such as improving the liveability of rural and remote communities, building more schools and health services, connectivity issues, or transitioning away from a fossil-fuel based economy.  Looming large in this puzzle of many moving parts is how we house all these millenials that are looking for a tree-change, let alone balance out the needs of local residents looking for alternative options when they eventually plan to retire and downsize while staying local. 

So it was very heartening to hear some of the innovative thinking that is going on in various parts of the country, from social enterprises looking at ways to fast-track housing developments specifically for lower socioeconomic groups, to forward-thinking rural councils approving the development of medium- and high-rise apartment blocks of one- and two-bedroom dwellings.  Not what you normally think of when conjuring images of idyllic rural homes, but absolutely critical in order to adapt to the needs of a changing demographic.

There is also a big risk here, especially when you consider that new hospital builds are often based on population data that is already several years old at the planning stage.  If growth continues on its current trajectory the population may well outstrip the capacity of the new hospital even before the first piece of turf is turned, let alone the ribbon cut.  Clearly all this needs some urgent thinking by all levels of government if we are to meet these challenges, including investing in a first-class primary healthcare system to reduce presssure on already overburdened hospitals.

For too long, rural and remote Australia has languished under the guise of some dusty caricature, falling behind their metropolitan counterparts in terms of level of investment - unless you live in a marginal seat, perhaps.  It was refreshing to hear the ideas spilling out from this summit, and feel the energy in the room.  If you'd like to know more, check out the RAI's Regionalisation Ambition 2032, and for a bit of a synopsis you can listen to this week's podcast.

Travel safe.

Cath unpacks the Regionalisation summit held in Canberra during the week, including outtakes that hold promise for resolving some of the key challenges faced in recruiting health professionals to rural and remote communities.

Do you have any themes/topics that you would like to hear us discuss? People you’d like us to interview.  Please drop us an email to our mailbox at

Listen to our previous podcasts here

Aged Care: 
the Department of Health and Ageing has released a Guide for Allied Health reporting for Residential Aged Care providers – to assist residential aged care providers to accurately report Allied Health costs in the Quarterly Financial Report.
Meanwhile, the Mandarin, a news /media organisation focused on public sector news with a significant readership among senior public officials in Canberra, ran an article on concerns about the impact the imminent AN-ACC funding model and associated developments will have (or not) on access to physio and other allied health care Physio in aged care: Can good policy make things worse?

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)
National President Dr Fei Sim welcomed and congratulated Dr Nicole Higgins on her election as President of the RACGP, noted she looks “forward to working with Dr Higgins on the many challenges facing the health sector to achieve better health outcomes for Australians. In particular, I look forward to discussing pharmacists' scope of practice, and how general practitioners and pharmacists as primary healthcare providers can work collaboratively to strengthen our primary healthcare workforce capacity and capability. The Australian health system is under enormous pressure, with workforce problems creating a GP access crisis in many areas."  There seems to be a renewed appetite for exploring the benefits to the health system of enabling professionals to work to their full scope of practice.  Any significant system or workforce reform should include scopes of practice: which to succeed, will require broad-based commitment.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on general practice in Australia
NPSMedicineWise released a report on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on general practice in Australia, drawing on around 2.5 million patients' de-identified data from 2020-21.   
Two days later (14 September) NPS MedicineWise issued a media release advising that after 24 years the Board had “made the difficult decision to cease the company's operations at the end of 2022”, following the decision by the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler, to proceed with the redesign of the Quality Use of Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Pathology (QUTDP) Program, as announced in the March 2022 (previous Government’s) Federal Budget. The Minister's decision follows a "rapid review" of the Budget measure by Deloitte Access Economics. Croakey’s coverage of the issue, includes a Government statement.  Croakey editor, Jennifer Doggett, drew out concerns about the decision, citing the costly ramifications that flowed from the Abbott Government decision to abolish Health Workforce Australia (HWA) in 2014. We can only hope that the positive impacts NPS MedicineWise made are better protected through the transition than were health workforce developments following the decision to abolish HWA.

Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
SARRAH is pleased that the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been re‑established for the 47th Parliament. We’ve noted previously that the JSC has developed a solid understanding of the NDIS and how it operates and could be improved. They have contributed informed oversight and recommendations, which will be welcome as we work together to ensure the NDIS is better able to deliver equitably for eligible Australians wherever they live and with the supports they most need, want and benefit from.
The JSC, “as part of the committee's role to inquire into the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS” is:
conducting a new inquiry into the Capability and Culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) - with particular reference to

  1. the capability and culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), with reference to operational processes and procedures, and nature of staff employment; 
  2. the impacts of NDIA capability and culture on the experiences of people with disability and NDIS participants trying to access information, support and services from the Agency; and
  3. any other relevant matters.

There are two submissions closing dates , 12 October 2022 and 16 December 2022. Submissions received on or before 12 October will be considered for public hearings to be held this year. Submissions received after the 12 October 2022 closing date will be considered for hearing in 2023. committee’s websiteMore information about this inquiry is available on the

The JSC is also required to inquire into and report on general issues around the implementation, performance, governance, administration and expenditure of the NDIS as soon as practicable after 30 June 2023. Generally submissions for this inquiry are open for the life of the Parliament; however, the committee invites submissions by 30 June 2023 for considerations in its first annual report.

You can access more information about the NDIS General Issues Inquiry on the committee’s website.

Readers with an interest in grants applications and administration processes may be interested in the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit inquiry into Commonwealth grants administration, which aims to strengthen the integrity and administration of grants. The terms of reference identify funding programs for specific attention but there is also scope for general comment on process.  Submissions are due by Thursday, 20 October 2022.

Tasmania - 2023-24 State Budget Community Consultation
The Community Consultation process for the 2023-24 State Budget provides organisations with the opportunity to make suggestions for future priority setting.
The Tasmanian Government is requesting submissions focus on the following areas of key importance:
  • supporting Tasmanians with the rising the cost of living;
  • improvements that could be made to existing Government services or processes, including grant application and/or management; and
  • opportunities to improve services that are directed towards vulnerable people.

Submissions are due by 14 October 2022.

Consultations Reminders 

The Department of Health and Aged Care
The Department of Health and Aged Care is developing a new approach to regulating aged care that aims to be people-centred and based on best practice principles, “to ensure safe and quality aged care is delivered to older Australians”. The Department is seeking contributions that will help deliver the reforms identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and have released Consultation Paper No.1 – A new model for regulating aged care, which provides a high-level overview of the new model. You’re invited to provide your views and feedback through: providing a written submission via the Consultation Hub, closing 10 October 2022; or
completing the questionnaire via the Consultation Hub, closing 10 October 2022.
Further consultation papers will be released in the coming months. Further information is available on the webpage. Queries can also be directed via email to

Throughout the pandemic SARRAH, with other allied health peak bodies, advocated for greater recognition, utilisation of and support for the allied health workforce in helping to reduce the risk, provide treatment, facilitate recovery and manage system flows.  There is considerable scope for allied health professionals to included more in any future pandemic response and recovery activity.  The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport is holding an Inquiry into Long COVID and Repeated COVID InfectionsThe Terms of Reference include the patient experience … particularly diagnosis and treatment; the experience of healthcare services providers; research; health, social, educational and economic impacts on individuals and the broader community, including for groups that face a greater risk of serious illness; impact on the overall health system; and best practice responses. Submissions close on 18 November 2022.  For further information please contact the secretariat at
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is inquiring into the extent and nature of poverty in Australia, with a report due by 31 October 2023. The Terms of Reference include – to quote:    (c) the impact of poverty on individuals in relation to: (i) employment outcomes,     (ii) housing security, (iii) health outcomes, and (iv) education outcomes.  Further detail about the scope of the inquiry is provided in the terms of reference.  Submissions are  sought by 3 February 2023.
The Department has also engaged Ernst & Young (EY) to undertake a study of private health insurance (PHI) default benefit arrangements. PHI default benefits include ‘minimum’ and ‘second-tier default’ benefits, paid by health insurers to eligible hospitals for the treatment of privately-insured inpatients in specific circumstances where there is not an agreed contract in place between the health insurer and the hospital. An aim of PHI default benefits is that they support improvements in accessibility and efficiency of privately insured hospital services for healthcare consumers .More information is available here.  Please submit responses to by cob, Friday 23 September 2022

National Disability Services (NDS) Survey
National Disability Services (NDS) survey:  SARRAH members who provide NDIS services – have your say:  SARRAH and NDS share concerns about access to allied health services in rural and remote Australia. NDS is conducting their annual State of the Disability Sector Survey and inviting SARRAH members (who are a CEO,member of a senior management team, or the business owner) to “Help tell the story of the disability sector at this crucial time. Your input will shape government policy, inform media coverage, and contribute to positive reform of the disability sector.”  Tell us about the State of the Disability Sector now - Take the SurveyThe Survey closes on Friday 23 September 2022.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics 
The ABS is reviewing the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), with the 2022 update is due for release on 22 November 2022. ABS has invited submissions on ANZSCO Proposed Changes, closing 28 September 2022. Please email with any questions or for further information.
The Department of Health and Aged Care
The Department is developing an aged care data strategy in response to recommendations 67 and 108 of the Aged Care royal Commission.  They are inviting input. More information is available here - we create a better aged care data system. Input can be provided to before 30 September 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Mike. 

Towards an Aged Care Pricing Framework Consultation Paper - The Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority has invited feedback on the proposed approach to aged care pricing. This is an important development in substantiating not only what allied health services should reasonably be provided through aged care services but add focus to the gaps and variations in practice. Submissions to the Consultation Paper close at 5pm AEDT on Friday 14 October 2022.  You can complete the online submission form or email your response in Word, PDF or RTE format to
Productivity Commission
Productivity Inquiry - Interim reports “Productivity growth is about harnessing our ingenuity to do more with the resources we already have — working smarter, not harder — and investing in the latest technology and the best ideas. The Productivity Inquiry focuses on the enablers of productivity growth in a modern, market-based, service-oriented world. The first interim report provides the broad productivity context for the exploration of productivity-enhancing reforms detailed in a series of forthcoming interim reports. You are invited to examine these interim reports.”  A skilled, professional workforce that specialises in building and maintaining people’s health, wellbeing and capacity – such as allied health professionals - might have a role here. Final submissions are due by Friday 7 October 2022. 
National Medicines Policy (NMP)
NMP process re-started after put on hold in March 2022.  The consultation survey on the new draft NMP is open until 27 September 2022 and will be accompanied by a public forum and targeted consultations with key stakeholder groups. A final report is expected to go to Minister Butler before the end of the year. SARRAH provided a submission to the process in March 2022 and will consider providing a supplementary submission.  Any input or comment from SARRAH members is most welcome. 

SARRAH Recent Submissions 2022

  1. Consultation on the Fifth Review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008 Panel – the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)
  2. Our Healthcare Future: Advancing Tasmanian’s Health. SARRAH Submission
  3. Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2023-24

SARRAH Recent Media Releases 2022
  1. SARRAH CEO, Cath Maloney re-appointed for a further 3 years
  2. Ignoring Allied Health Workforce Shortages Won't Make Them Go Away
SARRAH Leadership Program Round 2 commences on 10 October 2022
Gain the skills and knowledge to lead and manage your organisation and enhance your career opportunities with leading, mentoring, and coaching.

This course is ideal not only for allied health professionals but any individuals aiming to become a successful leader and agent for change in the rural and remote health landscape of Australia.
SARRAH offers flexible and affordable study options including online learning and discounted rates for SARRAH members.  Read more 

Join our workshop and learn the art and science of storytelling for impact.
Find your voice, tell your story, make a difference!

What will you learn from this workshop?

  • An introduction to the art and science of story telling for impact and influence
  • Explore the practical application of your story for advocacy conversation
  • The best ways of influencing decision makers
  • The best way of crafting your story you can use in your presentations
  • How you can change the leadership with storytelling examples.

The workshop will be facilitated by Tanya Lehman, Leadership, Resilience and Change Consultant.

Tanya has over 24 years’ experience leading large-scale organisational change, developing leaders, and shaping complex systems. A dietitian by background, Tanya spent decade establishing Allied Health Professional workforce development, clinical governance and leadership systems across South Australia.
Following three years as Regional Director, Riverland Malee Coorong, responsible for 12 hospitals, 10 aged Care facilities, 2 medical practices, disability and community-based services, Tanya was seconded to lead clinical governance and change leadership streams of a major restructure of public health services across rural South Australia, establishing governing boards.
Read more about Tanya here 



Contact Melodie Bat at for a discount code.


External Grants 

Complete Advertising Listing Form and submit it to .

  1. Senior Specialist Mental Health Worker
  2. Rural and Regional Generalist Podiatrist - Port Augusta
  3. Community Occupational Therapist - Rural Generalist Training Position
  4. Graduate Opportunities - Allied Health - NWRH
  5. Mount Gambier Physiotherapy Candidate Pool (AHP1/2)
  6. Allied Health Rural Generalist Position - Elephant in the Room Training & Consultancy
  7. Pharmacist - Emerald, QLD
  8. Physiotherapist - Eyre and Far North Local Health Network, Port Lincoln
  9. Occupational Therapist - Desert Therapy, Alice Springs
  10. Speech Pathologist - Well Balanced Care
  11. Occupational Therapist - Emerge Allied Health (St Helens)
  12. Allied Health Assistant Part time/ Casual - Corryong Health
  13. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health 
  14. Psychologist - Well Balanced Care, Cairns
  15. Occupational Therapist - Well Balanced Care 
  16. Senior Speech Pathologist - Community Allied Health and Aged Care
  17. Psychologist - Well Balanced Care, Cairns
  18. Exercise Physiologist - Active Performance
  19. Speech Therapist - Active Performance
  20. Social Worker - Active Performance
  21. Occupational Therapist - Active Performance
  22. Physiotherapist - Active Performance
  23. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health
  24. Occupational Therapist - Dundaloo Health Services
  25. Psychologist or Accredited Clinical Social Worker - Dundaloo Health Services
  26. Clinical Educator (Allied Health) - Southern Queensland Rural Health - Charleville
  27. Speech Pathologist Rural Generalist - Mt Isa QLD
  28. Physiotherapist - Nhulunbuy NT - Arneham Physiotherapy Services
  29. Speech Pathologist - Health Workforce QLD
  30. Clinical Psychologist - Health Workforce QLD
  31. Physiotherapist - Health Workforce QLD
  32. Occupational Therapist - Health Workforce QLD
  33. Physiotherapist - Optimum Recruitment

Population Health Congress 2022
21-23 September 2022 Adelaide Convention Centre

39th National CRANAplus Conference
Hilton Hotel, Adelaide, from 4 – 6th October 2022.
Indigenous Wellbeing Conference 
24-25 October 2022, Adelaide Oval, SA

Hospital in the home conference
16-18 November 2022 - Tweet Heads NSW

Indigenous Allied Health Australia Conference 
28-30 November 2022 - Canberra

Copyright © 2022 Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH). All rights reserved.

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health
Level 2, 53 Blackall Street, Barton, ACT, 2600

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