CEO's Message 

Many will have noticed the media attention paid this week to shortages in the allied health workforce, particularly impacting access to services in the disability sector.  National Disability Services, the peak body for disability service providers, conducted a Workforce Census during April 2022 for the 6 month period from 1 July 2021 – 31 December 2021. The Census found that providers are continuing to have difficulties recruiting and retaining allied health workers in the disability sector and that is reportedly driving up lengthy wait times for therapy services.

None of this is new to our members who have been telling us for many years about their critical workforce shortages, pre-dating the pandemic but certainly exacerbated by COVID-19 associated with reduced workforce mobility and acute maldistribution issues.  What is important about this report and the media attention it is receiving is it's timing ahead of next week's summit hosted by the Hon. Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services, to discuss workforce priorities ahead of the National Jobs and Skills Summit scheduled for September.

It is to be hoped that the Minister will take away some well-crafted messages about the policy priority to be placed on the health and social services sector as the largest contributor to jobs growth and demand over the next 5-10 years, well ahead of the hi-viz vest and hard-hat brigade that usually dominate policies and programming initiatives, into the national summit.  Certainly SARRAH will be there to ensure that rural and remote allied health workforce and service issues, and the need for well-targeted strategies to address significant and ongoing shortfalls, are captured in Minister Shorten's brief. 

Stay well!

This week Cath and Al comment on recent media attention given to the allied health workforce shortages in the disability sector.

Allied health workforce shortages in the media: 
In her CEO's message this week Cath mentioned media reporting of the NDS Report showing serious shortages in allied health workforce. Here is one example.  Also, the ABC profiled some of the difficulties access to services, including access to the professionals needed to support a claim for NDIS, in Far Western NSW.

 Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran’s Suicide
On Thursday 11 August the Interim Report of the Royal Commission was tabled in Parliament. A further report will be provided in 2023 and a Final Report in June 2024.
The 2021 Census found more than half a million Australians (581,139) reporting as serving (84,865) or having served (496,276) in the Australian Defence Force. Many of these people and their families live in rural and remote Australia and require better access to mental health and other services. The Recommendations of the Interim Report deal with overarching systemic issues. Continuing work, including developments prompted by the Commission but running in parallel, is likely to include measures to improve allied and other service access. 

Consumer Health Forum, Meet the Minister recording: 
On Friday 5 August, Minister for Health and Ageing, The Hon Mark Butler MP, participated in a Q&A style webinar hosted by the CHF.  You can view the webinar  on the  CHF webpage or on CHF’s You tube Channel

The Northern Territory Disability Strategy 2022-2023 
The Northern Territory (NT) Disability Strategy 2022-2032 and the three-year action plan 2022-2025 have been released.  There are five key areas the NT Government will focus on to improve inclusion, accessibility, and equality for people with disability in the Northern Territory: • rights and choices • inclusive communities • accessible communities • financial security and employment • health and wellbeing.  For members working in or interested in providing services into the NT, the Strategy should help shape and improve the service systems and access people need. (From page 8)
“However, only one fifth of people with disability in the Territory are eligible for the NDIS. The NDIS does not cover the broader range of government services that people with disability are eligible to access along with other Territorians – including education, health, housing, transport, justice, family support and employment services. We know that there is more to do to ensure people with disability across the Territory have full access to all these services, particularly to increase access to services in remote locations and to improve the cultural safety of services for Aboriginal people with disability.”
Aged Care Webinar
The Department of health and Ageing is holding a webinar on Reforming in-home aged care and regulation – Update - Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm AEST.  You can register here.
Grant Funding Opportunity: 
Members may be interested to know that the third and final funding round for Primary Care Rural Innovative Multidisciplinary Models (PRIMM) is now available via GrantConnect The PRIMM grants are to support rural and remote communities look at issues in their region and develop feasible solutions in consultation with community and health professionals.  More information is available on  the National Rural Health Commissioner’s webpage.

Senate Inquiry into the provisions of the Aged Care Amendment
(Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022:

On 28 July 2022, the Senate referred the Bill to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 31 August 2022. You can find details of the Inquiry here – noting submissions close today.
  • This is a chance to express your views about whether aged care recipients have enough protections and assurance of access to necessary allied health care.
  • While the new and previous Government position is an expectations access, the stark reduction in allied health care (down from 8 minutes a day on average when the Royal Commission assessed it, to now under 2 minutes), the growing workforce shortage and lack of actual requirements (notwithstanding expectations and reporting) makes such expectations optimistic in the extreme.
  • You don’t need to provide a long submission to get have your concerns heard.

The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment
The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment is holding an Inquiry into Jobs and Skills Australia Bill 2022 [Provisions] and the Jobs and Skills Australia (National Skills Commissioner Repeal) Bill 2022 [Provisions] – submissions are due by 19 August.
  • In line with SARRAHs advocacy that the Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit (Canberra, 1-2 September) must include a focus on the allied health professional and assistant workforces, we are keen to ensure the organisation replacing the current National Skills Commission is set up to understand and promote action on the Health and Social Assistance sector, the biggest driver of jobs growth over the past 20 years and into the future. Community need, demand and opportunity exist, appropriate priority, policies, development pathways and commitment are needed.

The RACGP Draft Standards for general practice residential aged care
The RACGP is consulting on the draft Standards for general practice residential aged care. The RACGP have conducted a pilot of the Standards for GPRAC at several residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The consultation period for the draft Standards for general practice residential aged care  will close on 19 August 2022.
The Department of Health and Aged Care
The Department of Health and Aged Care is consultation on behalf of the Fifth Review of the Dental Benefits Act 2008 Panel on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). Submissions close on Thursday, 25 August 2022.The CDBS is a national program funded and managed by the Department of Health and Aged Care and Services Australia. Further information can be found on the Department’s website at:  You can make your submission online using this link, or by emailing

The Department of Health and Ageing is seeking feedback on the planned introduction of on-site pharmacists in residential aged care homes. The measure is a response to the Aged Care Royal Commission and aims to ensure medications are regularly reviewed, appropriate and appropriate continuity of medication management. The Aged care on-site pharmacists consultation paper outlines the proposed measure and how it will be implemented. More information is available here and submissions close on 9 September.
The Department of Health and Ageing has contracted Ernst & Young (EY) to undertake a study of private health insurance (PHI) default benefit arrangements (the PHI default benefits). PHI default benefits include ‘minimum’ and ‘second-tier default’ benefits, both of which are defined in the Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2011. They are 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 your response via email to by cob, Friday 23 September 2022

The Department of Health and Ageing 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 and Consultation information guide. Input can be provided to before 30 September 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Mike.
Draft National Guidelines for supporting autistic children and their families
Autism - consultation:  The Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has developed Draft National Guidelines for supporting autistic children and their families.  Community consultation closes on Monday 29 August 2022. The draft Guidelines and link to provide feedback are available here

The Consumer Health Forum
The Consumer Health Forum is refreshing their strategic plan and are seeking members’ feedback. SARRAH is a CHF member and will contribute to the process.  Other CHF Members have the opportunity to input.
  • If you would like to provide input to SARRAH’s response, please email
  • This video summarises the process used to develop the plan, and the link to the brief survey can be found here: The survey closes at midnight 7th September.

SARRAH Submissions 2022
  1. Our Healthcare Future: Advancing Tasmanian’s Health. SARRAH Submission
  2. Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2023-24
  3. National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030:Consultation Draft:SARRAH response
  4. SARRAH Opening Statement:  Senate CAC Hearing 17 March 2022
  5. Australian Cancer Plan 2023 - 2033 : Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) response
  6. SARRAH response: Draft National Medicines Policy
  7. Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) - 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission
  8. SA Health Outpatient Workstream – The Clinical Prioritisation Criteria – Consultation– SARRAH Feedback  

We are excited to announce that SARRAH's first virtual national conference program is now available
Come to our Conference to hear expert speakers, join conservations, renew relationships with colleagues and peers – and make new connections.

This year’s theme – People, Purpose Passion: Pathways to Success, we will explore rural career pathways, and contemporary practice, and consider the health system reforms needed to improve access to allied health services for vulnerable Australians.  

Dont miss this opportunity! Join us contributing sustainable and resilient rural and remote communities!

Register Now!

Conference Registration includes:

  • Access to all online sessions
  • Access to all recorded sessions for 3 months post conference
  • Online networking opportunities via the Meeting Hub
  • Access to full Online Exhibitor Listing

Register online to receive a tax invoice. Payments can be made securely with a credit card when registering online or by EFT within 7 days of registering. 
For more information contact: 

Sponsorship Opportunities 

Sponsorship Package Cost (incl. GST)
Platinum Partner (SOLD) $30,000
Gold Partner (SOLD) $12,000
Silver Partner $6,000
Bronze Partner $4,000
Resource Gallery Sponsor $5,000
Keynote Speaker Sponsor $5,000
Meeting Hub Sponsor $4,000
Website Sponsor (SOLD) $3,000
Online Exhibitor $1,000
Not for Profit Exhibitor $600
Advertising Opportunities from $200


You can subscribe for conference updates HERE so you are the first in the know of any news or developments. We look forward to sharing more conference developments and program details with you in the coming weeks.
For more information about the conference please click here SARRAH National Conference 2022 

This year the theme is " People, Purpose, Passion".  We would love to see photos of you at work across the many nations that make up this continent, sharing important stories about what you do and the communities you serve. 
This is an opportunity to showcase your photographs through SARRAH’s communication channels and have your photographic work acknowledged.
Entry Terms and condition:

  • By entering this competition, you are granting permission for SARRAH to use your work in our social media and other communication channels.  We use photographic material to promote the work of SARRAH in social media, publications such as our Annual Reports and project evaluations, and in submissions to government consultations processes.  If your photographs are used in this way, you will be acknowledged as the photographer.
  • Please also ensure that you have obtained consent from the people depicted in your photograph.  If we do not have completed consent forms, your entry will be void.  Please click on the link below to download the photograph permission form. Photograph permission form.
  • Entrants can submit an unlimited number of photographs in landscape or portrait format.  Each photo must be accompanied by a caption identifying the date and location.
  • All photographs must be in high quality digital images in PNG or JPEG Format.
  • The names of the competition winners will be published in SARRAH communication channels.
 Assessment and Prizes
SARRAH will appoint independent assessors to determine the winners.
  • Winners will receive the following prizes:
    • 1st Prize: $350 cash prize and free annual membership with SARRAH
    • 2nd Prize: $200 cash prize and free SARRAH annual membership
    • 3rd Prize: $100 cash prize and free SARRAH annual membership

You all are welcome to join SARRAH and share your photographs with the SARRAH community by Friday 9 September 2022 at

This fully self-paced course is developed by SARRAH 

Why do this course?
Giving presentations can be a daunting task. Improving your presentation content, and your delivery will help you to give more dynamic presentations and have a greater impact on your audience.
About the course
This short course will take you between 1-2 hours to complete. It's fully self-paced and contains lots of tips on how to improve your presentations.
By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and skills to:
  • Identify your key takeaway
  • Prepare your presentation
  • Deliver your presentation
Enrol now
More information about the Course 
To obtain a member discount code, please contact Melodie at
Not a SARRAH member? Join now and take advantage of enroling this course free of charge.

SARRAH Leadership Program Round 2 commences on 10 October 2022

SARRAH is very proud to open enrolments for the next SARRAH Leadership Program. This program has been designed specifically for AHPs in rural and remote settings.
 This program will assist to develop your leadership toolkit to help you to become a successful leader and  an agent for change in the rural and remote health landscape of Australia.
If you would like to take advantage of the SARRAH membership discount, then please visit for more info on our membership options. 

The program has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Course delivery Dates 
From 10 October to 2 December 2022
Course Fee: 
The full cost of the course is $1000(+GST) and $750 (+GST) for SARRAH Members.
The course has been built around four key topics:
  • Leadership Vs Management
  • "Being" leadership
  • "Doing" leadership
  • "Maintaining" leadership 
At the end of the course, you will know how to:
  • Engage with others and understand networks of influence that support and enable leadership
  • Develop leadership skills and devise clear pathways forward
  • Develop the skills needed to advocate and contribute to broader conversations concerning health delivery and outcomes in rural and remote areas
Course delivery and requirements
This course will be facilitated via an online learning platform and includes.
  • Four interactive online sessions
  • Approximately 20 hours of online activities
  • Two networking events
Course Management
The course is being managed by Dr Melodie Bat,  Education Program Manager and she will be the best person to contact for more information. She can be contact at Please email Melodie for your membership discount code.

More info about the program can be found here:

  • Visit SARRAH’s online learning store, choose your course and follow the prompts.
  • If this is your first time at the store you will be prompted to first create a user account.
  • You will need to pay for your course. Payment types are either PayPal or by invoice. You can apply the coupon for your discount at checkout. If you’re paying by invoice, then your enrollment will be confirmed once payment has been received.
  • Once you have completed the purchasing process you are automatically enrolled.
  • Then you can simply click your way into the course and begin your learning journey.
Email if you would like to request a relevant discount or need more information about the courses.

Click here to enrol SARRAH Online courses

Share the inspirational or inspiring story of your time as a rural and remote allied health professional and win $500 in prize money 

Video Submission

Please submit a pre-recorded Video – up to 90 seconds in duration maximum. Your video should be accompanied by a brief caption to provide an overview of the story you are sharing. The video gallery will be shared via the conference website and within the resource gallery for the duration of the conference.

Member Story - Photo Submission

Please upload a photo, accompanied by a short paragraph (caption) telling the story of your photo. The photo gallery will be shared via the conference website and within the resource gallery for the duration of the conference.

A prize will be given for the best " Video" , ‘Member Story – Photo’, judged by the conference delegates.

Submissions close in October. 

Submit your story here : 2022 SARRAH - Member Story Portal (

Do you need help crafting your story or Video?

We orgnised a workshop to facilitate you!

This workshop will give you:

  • an opportunity to craft stories you can immediately use in presentations, advocacy conversations with politicians and policy makers, and whenever you are seeking to influence change.
  • an introduction to the art and science of storytelling for impact and, specifically, to explore the practical application of storytelling to advocacy, change leadership, and influencing decision makers.


Contact Melodie Bat at for a discount code.


Voice: the change we must all be part of
SARRAH is excited by this update from Reconciliation Australia on the progress of the work being done to realise the aspirations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart:

Launch of the first care standard on low back pain

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is invited to the virtual launch of the first national Low Back Pain Clinical Care Standard.
Low back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide. This burden is increasing despite a burgeoning number of treatment options. Back problems and back pain are the second most common reason Australians seek care from their general practitioner, and one of the top five presentations to emergency departments. Early appropriate management of people experiencing an acute episode is important to reduce the chance of developing chronic low back pain. 

Join the webcast to hear the experts discuss the challenges presented by this common condition, and how the standard will improve patient-centred care, while reducing investigations and treatments that may be ineffective or unnecessary.

When: Thursday 1 September, 12:00pm – 12:45pm AEST

The Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association (AHHA) in partnership with the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland (AHPOQ), Clinical Excellence Queensland, would like to invite you to attend our next Australian Centre for Value Based Health Care webinar, Allied health leadership in the transition to VBHC: The Queensland Health Allied Health Framework for VBHC’.  This webinar is your opportunity to hear how Queensland Health collaborated with AHHA to develop a unique VBHC Framework as part of the Queensland health systems’ shift towards VBHC.


Arthritis Australia announced the launch of a new website for people with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) at
Read the media release here announcing the launch.
Axial spondyloarthritis, which includes ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation of the joints in the spine and pelvis.
MyAS is designed to help people with axSpA become active participants in the management of their condition, along with the care provided by their rheumatologist and health care team.
Any assistance you can provide in promoting the site amongst your networks would be appreciated.

External Grant Opportunities 
AUS: Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) Transition Fund:
AUS: Support and connection for young children with disability or developmental concerns:
AUS: Support and connection for parents and carers of young children with disability or developmental concerns:
AUS: ePsychology Interest Group Student Research Prize:
AUS: Early Career Academic Research Grant for Women:
AUS: Reece Foundation Grant:
VIC: VicHealth Awards:
VIC: Diverse Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Grants:
NSW: Stronger Country Communities Fund:
ACT: Volunteering Awards:
NT: Youth Grants Program: Alcohol and Other Drugs:

Have you recently graduated and have been a student member of SARRAH for the last 12 months? 

If so, contact us at, you will receive a 50% discount on SARRAH full membership for the first 12 months. 

Please download the SARRAH Student Membership flyer and share it with your collogues and networks.


Complete Advertising Listing Form and submit it to .

  1. Advanced Clinical Lead Podiatrist - Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network
  2. Public Health Dietitian - Alice Springs
  3. Occupational Therapist - Riverland Malee Coorong Local Health Network
  4. Senior Public Health Dietitian
  5. First Nations Senior Research Fellow (Rural Health)
  6. Occupational Therapist, Out of Hospital Services- Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network, Community
  7. Occupational Therapist - Alice Springs 
  8. Physiotherapist (Rural Generalist Pathway) - Gayndah & Childers 
  9. Occupational Therapist - Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service - Bundaberg
  10. Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist: Longreach
  11. Dietitian, North and West Remote Health (NWRH) - Mt Isa 
  12. Podiatrist , North and West Remote Health (NWRH) Mt Isa or Longreach
  13. Speech Pathologist, North and West Remote Health (NWRH), Mt Isa or Longreach
  14. Rural Regional Generalist Podiatrist - Port Augusta
  15. Mount Gambier Physiotherapy Candidate Pool (AHP1/2)
  16. Allied Health Rural Generalist Position - Elephant in the Room Training & Consultancy
  17. Pharmacist - Emerald, QLD
  18. Physiotherapist - Eyre and Far North Local Health Network, Port Lincoln
  19. Occupational Therapist - Desert Therapy, Alice Springs
  20. Speech Pathologist - Well Balanced Care
  21. Occupational Therapist - Emerge Allied Health (St Helens)
  22. Allied Health Assistant Part time/ Casual - Corryong Health
  23. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health 
  24. Psychologist - Well Balanced Care, Cairns
  25. Occupational Therapist - Well Balanced Care 
  26. Senior Speech Pathologist - Community Allied Health and Aged Care
  27. Psychologist - Well Balanced Care, Cairns
  28. Exercise Physiologist - Active Performance
  29. Speech Therapist - Active Performance
  30. Social Worker - Active Performance
  31. Occupational Therapist - Active Performance
  32. Physiotherapist - Active Performance
  33. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health
  34. Occupational Therapist - Dundaloo Health Services
  35. Psychologist or Accredited Clinical Social Worker - Dundaloo Health Services
  36. Clinical Educator (Allied Health) - Southern Queensland Rural Health - Charleville
  37. Speech Pathologist Rural Generalist - Mt Isa QLD
  38. Physiotherapist - Nhulunbuy NT - Arneham Physiotherapy Services
  39. Speech Pathologist - Health Workforce QLD
  40. Clinical Psychologist - Health Workforce QLD
  41. Physiotherapist - Health Workforce QLD
  42. Occupational Therapist - Health Workforce QLD
  43. Physiotherapist - Optimum Recruitment

Dietitians Australia 2022 Conference
14-16  August 2022 -  Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide
23rd International Mental Health Conference 
5-7 September 2022 - Gold Coast Convention Centre QLD 

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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