From the CEO's desk

I couldn't go past making mention of last night's episode of Q+A that featured some prominent politicians and advocates discussing the promise and the challenge of the NDIS.  In particular I was concerned about remarks regarding pricing differentials for allied health services, and the strong audience reaction in support of those remarks (watch from about the 49th minute).  While I was somewhat reassured by Bill Shorten's moderating comments, the issue remains a fraught one for our sector.

Juxtapose this with comments made by journalist Jenna Price on the ABC's The Drum earlier that same evening, describing her experience of recurrent falls and the benefits of accessing allied health services - and suggesting wouldn't it be great if Medicare covered this? 

Allied health services are delivered across a myriad of national and jurisdictional schemes and regulatory frameworks, and our members frequently and eloquently describe the challenges that arise from this complexity, including the cost of registration with various schemes, prohibitive for many, and the variation in pricing of services depending on the relevant funding stream, in effect giving rise to systemic inequities.  Nowhere is this more pressing than for rural and remote Australia where these inequities are expressed as poorer health outcomes and shorter lifespans when compared to our metropolitan counterparts. 

As service providers we are at the coalface of systemic inequities, having to deal with the challenges and limitations of a system in which we have a vital role in optimising people's quality of life, but a system that wasn't built with us in mind. Variable pricing structures are confusing for consumers, and the media's conflation of this issue with stories of NDIS rorting is, at best, unhelpful.

That allied health professionals are in the position of having to explain pricing variation and access limitations is problematic.  We have opportunities through the NDIS Review, the Stronger Rural Health Strategy review, the MBS Review, and others, to address these inequities so that all Australians have access to care when and where they need it, regardless of where they live.

Travel Safe,


PS - scroll down to Making News This Week to access Allan's editorial on this week's release of the National PHN Allied Health in Primary Care Engagement Framework... 


SARRAH Board Communique 24 November 2022

SARRAH members can access the Board's communique  by following the link provided. Note you will need to log into the SARRAH members portal to access the communique.

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This week saw release of the National PHN Allied Health in Primary Care Engagement Framework (The Framework). It deserves a read.

We understand the PHNs instigated this work of their own volition. It is a credit to the PHNs, and they have sought to progress this work.

PHNs have to date been overwhelmingly focused on supporting medical General Practice.  This is largely due to the legacy support systems (remember Divisions of General Practice?) that pre-dated and transitioned (in some form) to the PHNs.  It carried on a long-standing focus on Commonwealth support for medical practitioners, with scant regard for primary health care provision outside of that sector.  Despite the fact that connecting service providers and developing the health workforce have always been stated priorities for PHNs, they have not been funded, nor apparently expected, to work with the entire primary health care system, just those elements the Commonwealth had traditionally funded.  

To be clear, SARRRAH believes the Framework is an extremely important step in the evolution of PHNs from the current focus on medical workforce and general practice, to more inclusive engagement with and, hopefully, support for, the full primary health care sector, notably allied health workforce and service capacity. This is essential if Australia is to develop a modern, sustainable person-centred, multi-disciplinary system of primary care that optimises health and well-being.

SARRAH welcomes the initiative and effort of the PHNs who led the work, notable the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN,  led by Richard Nankervis. Taking the lead in bringing about change across a dispersed and complex network is a major task and significant achievement. While there is work to do, the Framework includes many aspects that aim to address many of the system challenges and concerns of the allied health sector, including those especially faced by allied health professionals delivering and trying to sustain services in rural and remote communities. Overall, it deserves strong support.

That said, while initial discussions with allied health stakeholders has informed the Framework, it is also evident that the PHNs need to develop a stronger appreciation of the profile, primary pressures, (lack of) system supports, funding gaps and contextual factors that have hampered the effective incorporation of allied health services into Australia’s primary healthcare system to date – especially in rural and remote Australia. Proposed ongoing engagement with the allied health sector is needed and should do much to rectify the situation. To instigate more inclusive and effective networks across the primary health (and related service) sector, the Framework needs to promote positive action (as it does) while also acknowledging the major inhibitors to practice and distribution specific to the allied health sector. This will be important to enhance the credibility of, and broad engagement with, the Framework.

One concern is the construction of the Framework in reference to the 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan which, while a very positive development on the whole (if acted on), has failed to comprehend or address the reality of allied health primary health care practice; instead portraying it as an extension and adjunct to medical general practice.  Of course, multidisciplinary care needs to be integrated and better coordinated than it is. It needs to be supported by funding mechanisms that support better, team-based quality care and outcomes. GPs must play a central role in care, but reforms need to be informed by the reality of funding complexities and service gaps, and acknowledge allied health professionals' right to autonomous practice. The reality is that (roughly) around 30% of allied health professionals work in the public health system and around 70% work in private and non-government settings. Many work across service sectors.  Allied health professionals are autonomous practitioners, many of whom have very effective, respectful relationships with their GP colleagues and would welcome policy and funding arrangements that would facilitate better communications so that people who need care can access the best possible care appropriate to their situation. 

It would be helpful if the Framework led to a challenging of the assumptions underpinning the 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan.

The Framework proposes joint leadership with the allied health sector at the national and regional/PHN levels. It notes the PHNs Network should harness their joint capacity while also making a clear case for explicit additional funding from Government to enable engagement. That’s reasonable, however it also highlights a major gap in the Framework, which is an even bigger gap in the system overall: the Allied health sector receives comparatively little and in some no cases no financial support to engage with PHNs, Government or anyone else.

The PHNs propose to work extensively at the national level with the Australian Allied Health Leadership Alliance – AAHLA – of which SARRAH is a member, together with Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) and the Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences (ACDHS). (The National Allied Health Advisors Committee (NAHAC), which includes all state and territory chief allied health officer equivalents is an observer.)   Put simply, AAHLA receives no external financial support to operate. All activity is contributed by member organisations.  For SARRAH, the challenge of participating in AAHLA, as it is for all of our representative, advisory or other activities, is that we receive absolutely zero government (or other external) funding to support our ongoing operations. That needs to be rectified

The Framework has the potential to contribute in a major way if it also helps to influence decisions that enable access to care, such as allied health and related program funding, MBS funding, clinical training capacity and support etc. That requires a broader overarching commitment by governments.

Investment in any of these areas of support / initiatives should, ideally, be part of a coherent, broader and articulated strategy. At present, Commonwealth investment in allied health services is far more constrained than for medical services in particular, and where it occurs is often on a much smaller scale and/or piecemeal.

For this reason, we believe it is critical that the development of PHN Engagement Framework be enabled by critical and complementary initiatives, particularly the urgent establishment of a well-resourced and comprehensive National Allied Health Workforce Plan and the continued (preferably accelerated) work on the Allied Health Workforce data gap analysis, including substantially reinforced components that identify the factors that promote and inhibit distribution into rural and remote locations.

In all, this is an important and substantial contribution from the PHNs. They, and the rest of us, deserve a genuine, open-minded commitment from governments, to demonstrate they are prepared to deliver more of the health systems and services communities need and be less constrained by funding mechanisms and entrenched approaches that are proving less effective in enabling access and outcomes than they may have in the past.

Allan Groth

The Victorian State Election – this Saturday 26 November
Ahead of the election the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) made a public plea to the contestants that A healthier state would prioritise and invest in prevention, not hospital bedsThe campaign has seen a substantial focus on health, on rural and regional health, on some health workforce issues and some good community-based care initiatives and expansions, but we have yet to see the emphasis systemic shift from hospitals to priorities than netter align with our shifting health demands and community needs.  If it was, Victoria would be the first.  The chorus of voices, like PHAAs, SARRAHs and others are growing louder. 

Enabling greater health care access through pharmacies
SARRAH has been reporting on the adoption by a growing number of State and Territory governments to expand the range of care Pharmacists are or will be enabled to provide within their scopes of practice, which previously required a visit to the GP.  Last week we noted South Australia would be taking steps in that direction, following the path set by the Queensland Government (despite heavy pressure against the initiative by the AMA (especially) the RACGP and some other groups. The NSW Government intends to follow suit. And this week, the NT Government has taken steps to enable these developments and on Wednesday, in the last week of the State election campaign, the current Victorian (ALP) Government announced a commitment that if elected, pharmacists in Victoria will be able to provide oral contraception and travel vaccines to patients and will also trial pharmacist prescribing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomed the announcement and noted that “under this proposal, Victoria will also become the first jurisdiction in Australia to fund pharmacists to deliver these services with no out of pocket costs to patients”. And on 24 November, the Tasmanian (Coalition) Premier and Health Minister announced similar interest in exploring “Extending the role of pharmacists to improve access to GPs and ease pressure on our hospitals”.
  • State and territory Governments across the political spectrum are working with pharmacists to enable a shift in service access with scope of practice.  There is no doubt that against the backdrop of Covid, changing health care demands, severe limitations in access to services, too few medical practitioners choosing (especially rural) general practice and pressures on the Budget, the momentum to address system access limitations involving care provision within appropriate scopes of practice is building.  It should.
  • It may be coincidence that this week the Pharmacy Guild of Australia awarded its Distinguished Service Medallion to Lieutenant General John Frewen in recognition of his achievements as Coordinator General of the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce, that resulted in the rescue of the vaccine rollout and the many Australian lives he and his team undoubtedly saved. The award was presented ….by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, at a ceremony during the Guild’s annual dinner at Parliament House in Canberra. Minister Butler was reported as saying Lieutenant General Frewen played an important role in lifting Australia’s vaccination rates, particularly by bringing community pharmacies into the rollout.

Covid – Speech by Minister Andrew Leigh
On Wednesday this week, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh delivered a speech "Health Inequalities in the Covid Pandemic: Evidence from Australia" which discusses Provisional Mortality Statistics, COVID Mortality, Inequality in COVID Mortality in Australia, and Inequality in COVID Mortality - How Australia Compares. Certainly, compared to many other countries Australia did extremely well in limiting the loss of life due to Covid. But as Minister Leigh states One of the harshest impacts of economic inequality is the differences in health outcomes across socio‑economic groups. In terms of life expectancy, we know that those in the highest income quintile live six years longer than those in the lowest income quintile.”  …. Yet in general, too little is known about the distribution of health burdens across the population. …  More typically, studies of socio‑economic differences in mortality …focus on the average income in the geographic area where the deceased last resided. This can be informative – though as our research shows, area‑level metrics are no longer statistically significant after controlling for individual‑level metrics (Clarke and Leigh 2011).  In the case of COVID deaths, the available data presently only allows us to look at regional average incomes. It is useful to explore these patterns, but also worth bearing in mind that the true socio‑economic gaps – if we could measure individual incomes – are likely larger still.”  There are lots of messages in the speech, but more than off them are all too familiar – factors= low income, rural and remote, Indigenous and more. It’s good to have a Minister in the Treasury portfolio who is interested in these issues.  

Allied health getting more traction? 
Adding to the release of the PHN Engagement with allied health in primary care paper Cath discusses in “From the CEOs desk” comments this week, we also welcome release of a Position Paper from Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) - Recognising the Value of Rural Allied Health.  We look forward to building our relationship with RWAV and other state and territory Rural Workforce Agencies in building both recognition of allied health and practical actions to prioritise efforts to address current workforce and service gaps.

State of the Climate 2022 report
On Wednesday 23 Nov, the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the State of the Climate 2022 reportIt found changes to weather and climate extremes are happening at an increased pace across Australia, with increases in extreme heat events, intense heavy rainfall, longer fire seasons and sea level rise. Concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are at the highest levels seen on Earth in at least two million years. Continuing acidification of the oceans around Australia, which have also warmed by more than one degree since 1900. They project increases in air temperatures, more heat extremes and fewer cold extremes in coming decades, noting Australia's climate has warmed on average by 1.47 degrees since 1910, and an overall decline in rainfall between April and October across southern Australia in recent decades, while in northern Australia, rainfall has increased since the 1970s.
The CSIRO also notes threats caused by climate change, including extreme rainfall, droughts, heatwaves and bushfires, are already having widespread impacts on Australia’s agricultural industry, affecting food production and supply chains. They are working to help farmers navigate growing climate risks to ensure long-term viability of rural enterprises and communities.  
The Human Services Skills Organisation
HSSO has made materials and resources from their Confronting the Challenge: the future care and support workforce event available – including their research report – The Big Care Shift.  It shows the seismic shift across the Australian workforce toward the Health and Social Assistance sector and explains why policy needs to catch-up with those fundamental shifts. This is good work from HSSO and their collaborators, including demographer, analysts etc Bernard Salt.  The report uses the latest Census data and provides a detailed examination of job trends between censuses. This data shows which care and other jobs are rising and falling between censuses and across different parts of Australia.
The report includes national and state trends, analysis about the workers in demand then and now, nuances in the demand for care, a city-by-city Health Care and Social Assistance support analysis and more. Visit our website to access the report.
Further information will be released over the coming weeks.  Confronting the Challenge events continue online. If you know someone who missed the in-person sessions (or would like to attend again), visit the HSSO website to register.  You can find out more about HSSO here.
National Skills Minister meeting
communique from the Ministers’ meeting of 18 November included the following: “Skills Ministers also agreed important updates to the Training and Education and Community Services Training Packages, which strengthens the skills and training of the VET workforce and addresses key findings from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.” 
National Safety and Quality Mental Health (NSQMH) Standards for Community Managed Organisations
has released new National Safety and Quality Mental Health (NSQMH) Standards for Community Managed Organisations - developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) - provide a framework for delivering safer mental health care. With 21 per cent of adults (16-85 years) and 40 per cent of young people (16-24 years) experiencing a common mental health disorder in 2020-21, access to safe and effective care in local communities is essential. More than 200 community managed organisations (CMOs) – mostly not-for-profit, non-government organisations - provide mental health services across Australia, often sharing care with public health services, primary care providers and private health services. 
Australian Government developing an Early Years Strategy to shape its vision for the future of Australia’s children and their families. The Strategy aims to recognise how critical the early years are for children’s development and continued success over their lifetime; and to help create a more integrated, holistic approach to the early years and better support the education, wellbeing and development of Australia’s children. The Government will host a National Early Years Summit in February 2023 and they indicate there will be many opportunities to have a say on the Strategy.  Obviously, SARRAH believes our members should have opportunity to contribute to this important work and will keep you informed as information becomes available.  If you have any questions that you want to officials directly, about the Early Years Strategy, you can contact 
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released Patient Experiences (2021-22) which “Contains data on access and barriers to, and experiences of, healthcare services including GPs, specialists, dental professionals, hospitals and EDs.”  It notes that more people are waiting longer to see GPs for urgent medical care.  Among the Key statistics the ABS identified are:
  • 39.1 per cent of people who saw a GP for urgent medical care waited for 24 hours or more
  • Those living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were more likely to wait for 24hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care
  • People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (49.5 per cent) were more likely to wait for 24 hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care than those living in major cities (35.5 per cent).
As is often the case with official data from the ABS (and AIHW) there is little acknowledgment of the 200,000 allied health professionals in Australia, the services they provide or where the gaps are. However, in relation to use of mental health professionals, they reported:
  • 12.7% saw a GP for their own mental health (similar to 12.1% in 2020-21)
  • 7.6% saw a psychologist (similar to 7.4% in 2020-21)
  • 2.7% saw a psychiatrist (an increase from 2.2% in 2020-21)
  • 2.1% saw another mental health professional such as a mental health nurse, social worker, counsellor or occupational therapist (similar to 2.1% in 2020-21).  

Aged Care update
There’s a lot happening in Aged Care. The Commonwealth provides resources and updates on developments in their regular newsletter – see the latest edition (no. 28) here.
In an important development, with potential to help draw attention to some of the mounting challenges related to provision of allied health care services for aged care recipients over recent years, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling on the Government to stop Enrolled Nurses being sacked from the aged care sector as providers react to developments such as having 24*7 Registered Nurses on site and increased wages for PCAs together care minute benchmarks.  People concentrate of what they get funded for and the KPIs set for them. If they aren’t explicit, especially in a system like Aged Care, then those elements are very often neglected. It has clearly happened in the provision of allied health services and now those factors seem to be impacting the employment of ENs. Improving aged care services means addressing all of the Royal Commission Recommendations and possibly more, not picking parts of it and hoping.  See the ANMFs media release here.  

From Tasmania
Taking action to strengthen primary health care in rural and remote areas – continuing the push for better integrate, person-centred health and social service systems across the Federation, on 2
2 November, Tasmanian Premier and Health Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, advised  “While the Federal Government is responsible for Primary Care, including GPs through Medicare, the Tasmanian Government has increasingly been stepping in to fill the gaps.  Our Government is committed to exploring ways in which we can work with the Australian Government, GPs, stakeholders and the community to deliver something truly innovative to arrest the decline in GPs in rural and regional areas.”

SARRAH advocates strongly for the interests of rural and remote allied health and for these to be a fundamental consideration in national health and related service strategy design, oversight and development of integrated policy, program and service design. The value of allied health in addressing service gaps, demographic and population health trends needs to be better understood by decision-makers and funders. To this end, SARRAH puts considerable effort into providing submissions to government and other inquiries and consultation processes. Those submissions are always better, and potentially more influential, when they are informed by the expertise and knowledge of our members.  We encourage you contribute.  A short email or a quick phone conversation on a subject of direct concern to you can be extremely valuable in these processes. If you’d like to contribute, please contact
The list of submissions we contributed to during 2021-22 can be found on page 20 of the SARRAH 2021-22 Annual Report.

Review of the NDIS

We have provided advice previously that the Commonwealth is conducting this a major review. The Review will be conducted over 12 months, from October 2022.  Further information has now been provided about the Review, including a call for input. You are invited to “Have your say” online by 5 pm Saturday 31 December 2022A supporting paper is available at Our Approach. There is also a summary version and an Easy Read version (PDF 1 MB).  The Review team also indicate you can “contact us” if you need more time.

Dept of Health re Discussion Paper for National Health and Climate Strategy
Members will know SARRAH is a member of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA).  We have received advice from CAHA that in following up on an Election commitment the Government has had the Chief Medical Officer established an Advisory Group to advise on national climate and health initiatives, which include a National Health and Climate Strategy. A CAHA representative attended the first meeting of the CMO Advisory Group this week. A draft document was provided, but not for wide circulation at this point.  (We understand a substantial public consultation process will occur in the new year – and will inform members when this occurs.).    
SARRAH has been asked to provide initial feedback by 2 December 2022. With apologies for not being able to share the draft document at this stage, we would nonetheless appreciate any advice on climate related health issues you believe must be included in developing such a Strategy, especially as it pertains to rural and remote communities.

The ACSQHC is updating the National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care.   End-of-life care is a critical element of the healthcare system. The Consensus Statement sets out suggested practices when providing end-of-life care in all relevant healthcare settings.  You can view the revised version here. Importantly, the updated Consensus Statement broadens the scope beyond hospitals, to now include Primary and Community Health Care and residential aged care settings. Another change is the added requirement to provide bereavement support to carers and families. The Commission would like your feedback on the draft Statement through a short online survey which is open until 14 January 2023.  

The National Dementia Action Plan is a joint initiative of the Australian Government and state and territory governments. It is a 10 year plan to put people living with dementia, their families, and carers at the centre of all action on dementia.
The consultation paper is available in several formats - summary of the consultation paper (15 pages); consultation paper on a page; and consultation paper (70 pages). You can provide feedback by completing an online survey (approx 15 mins) or by emailing  The consultation closes on 23 January 2023.
This information is also on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s consultation hub.

Review of ANZSCO
The Australian Bureau of Statistics
 has commenced a comprehensive review of ANZSCO to reflect the contemporary Australian labour market and better meet stakeholders’ needs. SARRAH has flagged this previously. Further information on how to participate in the upcoming consultations is now available. Resources for the ANZSCO are available at Updating ANZSCO.  Contact if you would like to subscribe to receive communication on the ANZSCO update.  

  • ABS has now also released the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) 2022, Australian Update, on the ABS website.  This release was limited to a targeted update of construction-related trades occupations and selected emerging occupations.

Closing this week

Review of the Aged Care Quality Standards- Public consultation closes 25 November 2022.

A new program for in-home aged care – Discussion paper: Due by 25 November 2022
The paper seeks views on key aspects of the new program by 25 November. You can have your say through the online submission process or by calling 1800 318 209. Following closure of the submission process, the Department will hold a reforming in-home aged care update webinar on Wednesday 7 December from 2:00 – 4:00pm AEDT, if you would like to attend, please register here.

Closing Soon
Employment White Paper Submissions: Public submissions covering any aspects of the Terms of Reference can be lodged up until midnight 30 November 2022. More information is available here.

Department of Social Services - Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 - Public consultation is open until 11:59 pm AEST, 30 November 2022.
The Strategy provides Australia’s national disability policy framework. It drives action at all levels of government to make Australia an inclusive society that ensures people with disability can fulfil their potential as equal members of the community. To support implementation of the Strategy, governments are seeking feedback on two new guides that aim to help make policies, programs and services more accessible and inclusive for people with disability. 
The Guide to the Guiding Principles will make it easier for governments, businesses and the community to apply the Strategy’s Guiding Principles in their policies, programs and services.

The Guide to Involving People with Disability in Evaluation will make it easier to involve people with disability in evaluating policies, programs and services.

A consultation paper is available and there’s a questionnaire. These are available in Easy Read, Braille, Auslan and a range of languages other than English. There are also alternative ways to make a submission which can be found on

Inquiry into Community Safety, Support Services and Job Opportunities in the Northern Territory - No closing date for submissions is provided, however the report is due by 1 December 2022.
An inquiry into community safety, support services and job opportunities in the Northern Territory by the Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.  If you have any questions about the inquiry or the process of making submissions, please contact the secretariat at

Capability review of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission - Public submissions are open until 2 December 2022.
The Commonwealth Government has appointed Mr David Tune AO PSM to conduct the independent review.  The review final report expected to be delivered the first half of 2023. Here are the Terms of reference.    Go to the DSS Consultation Hub to access the public submission process or for more information about the capability review.

Northern Australia's workforce development - Submissions are due by 9 December.
The Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia will inquire into and report on Northern Australia's workforce development -
considering the impediments to building the economic and social infrastructure and workforce needed to support economic development. 

South Australia - Burns Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) for both adult and paediatric servicesThe consultation period is open until Friday 9 December 2022.
released for consultation and feedback.  The SA Chief Medical Officer has invited SARRAH to contribute by providing feedback on the Burns CPC, which is available on the Clinical Prioritisation Criteria website. Input can be provided to SARRAH (to, preferably by the end of November) or directly via

Closing the Gap Review:  Review paper 2: Proposed approach and invitation to engage with the review - Submissions on the review paper are due by 12 December 2022.
The Commission would like your input. Review paper 2 outlines how you can contact us to share your views on our planned approach to assessing progress of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and how it is being implemented.  To make a submission or brief comment visit You can also email us the Commission at

The Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - Submissions closing 16 December 2022
Inquiry into the Capability and Culture of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Cancer Australia is inviting your feedback on the public consultation for the Australian Cancer Plan (ACP), which sets a 10-year plan to improve outcomes. To improve outcomes, Cancer Australia is calling for coordinated system-wide engagement and inviting comment on a on the strategy, priority areas, objectives and actions in cancer control.  To view the draft Australian Cancer Plan and provide feedback, visit  Public consultation will close on 16 December 2022.

Cancer Australia is also hosting interactive webinars on the Plan between November 24-30, 2022.You can register for a free webinar at

Major review of the Disability Services Act - Consultation on the Disability Services Act is open until 20 December 2022.
The Act governs how the Government provides services for people with disability to improve their independence and participate in community and economic life. The new Act will also provide a basis for continued supports and services outside the NDIS for people living with disability. The new Act will support priorities in Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31, the national disability policy framework. (See the separate submission process on the Strategy, below). More details are available at DSS Engage.

National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy - Feedback/input due by 1 February 2023
The National Mental Health Commission is developing a National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy to address mental health-related stigma and discrimination.   The (Draft) Strategy aims to present a long-term vision, and proposes a range of actions by governments, industry and the community, across sectors and settings, to reduce self-stigma, public stigma and structural stigma and discrimination experienced by people with personal lived experience and their families and support people. The Draft Strategy is available for input and feedback, with input due by 1 February 2023. The Commissioner invites you to provide your feedback via an online survey on proposed actions and/or by uploading a submission. If you have questions, please reach out via email to

The Joint Standing Committee (JSC) on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)Submissions close on 30 June 2023 
Inquiry into and report on general issues around the implementation, performance, governance, administration and expenditure of the NDIS  

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.

Natural Disaster Recovery Support
On Rural Health Pro, you can find an overview of key recovery grants and assistance available to support the rural health workforce and relieve some of the costs of rebuilding practices. 
To access 24/7 mental health and wellbeing support, please call:  

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14 
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636 
  • NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511. 

External Grant Opportunities
AUS: Ian Potter Medical Research
AUS: Indigenous Australians Health Programme Tackling Indigenous Smoking Regional Tobacco Control Grants (2023-24 to 2025-26)
AUS: Mental Health Program - Community Based Eating Disorder Supports
AUS: BHI TQEH Research Scholarships
NSW & VIC: Natural Disaster Recovery Support
NT: Variety Community Grants
WA: Connecting to Country Grants


RACGP HAS just launched the new Infection prevention and control guidelines for general practices and other office-based and community-based practices (the IPC Guidelines) on our website.
The IPC Guidelines provide you with updated guidance on planning and implementing high standards of infection prevention and control in your workplace by addressing:

  • the basics of infection prevention and control (including principles, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, aseptic technique, levels of precaution)
  • managing risks to staff (including staff screening immunisation and infection management, sharps, exposure to blood and other body substances)
  • managing the practice environment (including cleaning, laundry and waste management)
  • managing equipment (including reprocessing reusable medical devices)
  • managing outbreaks (including disease surveillance and outbreak response)
  • practice setup (including practice design, fit-out, equipment and consumables).

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  1. Speech Pathologist - NT Health, Alice Springs
  2. Podiatrist AHP1/2 - Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, Wallaroo/Clare
  3. Physiotherapist- Level -3 Tomarree Community Hospital Nelson Bay
  4. Social and Emotional Wellbeing Officer, Pintupi Homelands Health Service, Kintore
  5. Registered Psychologist - Outlook Psychology - Nhulunbuy
  6. Allied Health Assistant (AHA2/AHA3)- Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, Port Pirie, SA Health
  7. Early Career Podiatrist: Rural Generalist Program - Tamworth/Newcastle
  8. Psychologist - Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
  9. Paediatric Speech Pathologist - Rural Generalist Training Program
  10. Occupational Therapist, NT Health - Alice Springs
  11. Community Physiotherapist - Rural Generalist Training Position
  12. Allied Health Clinical Lead, Various Disciplines - James Cook University
  13. Senior Occupational Therapist - Dubbo Cerebral Palsy Alliance 
  14. Senior Speech Pathologist - Dubbo Cerebral Palsy Alliance 
  15. Registered Nurse (Continence Advisor)
  16. Podiatrist - Experienced and Graduate Opportunities
  17. Mental Health Professionals
  18. Community Nurse (RN/EN)
  19. SARRAH Temporary/Casual Employment Register
  20. Community Occupational Therapist - Rural Generalist Training Position
  21. Graduate Opportunities - Allied Health - NWRH
  22. Mount Gambier Physiotherapy Candidate Pool (AHP1/2)
  23. Allied Health Rural Generalist Position - Elephant in the Room Training & Consultancy
  24. Pharmacist - Emerald, QLD
  25. Physiotherapist - Eyre and Far North Local Health Network, Port Lincoln
  26. Occupational Therapist - Desert Therapy, Alice Springs
  27. Speech Pathologist - Well Balanced Care
  28. Occupational Therapist - Emerge Allied Health (St Helens)
  29. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health 
  30. Senior Speech Pathologist - Community Allied Health and Aged Care
  31. Psychologist - Well Balanced Care, Cairns
  32. Exercise Physiologist - Active Performance
  33. Speech Therapist - Active Performance
  34. Social Worker - Active Performance
  35. Occupational Therapist - Active Performance
  36. Physiotherapist - Active Performance
  37. Physiotherapist - Corryong Health
  38. Occupational Therapist - Dundaloo Health Services
  39. Psychologist or Accredited Clinical Social Worker - Dundaloo Health Services
  40. Clinical Educator (Allied Health) - Southern Queensland Rural Health - Charleville
  41. Speech Pathologist Rural Generalist - Mt Isa QLD
  42. Physiotherapist - Nhulunbuy NT - Arneham Physiotherapy Services
  43. Speech Pathologist - Health Workforce QLD
  44. Clinical Psychologist - Health Workforce QLD
  45. Physiotherapist - Health Workforce QLD
  46. Occupational Therapist - Health Workforce QLD
  47. Physiotherapist - Optimum Recruitment

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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