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Message from our CEO
On a road trip to Dubbo this week I surveyed the effect of the current drought throughout the Central West of NSW.  Dust devils, failed crops and paddocks devoid of grass and stock are becoming all-too-familiar features of the rural landscape.  By all reports, time spent in drought is projected to increase in the future across southern Australia (For example, Climate Council: Climate Change and Drought Factsheet June 2018).
This week the National Farmers Federation proposed measures to manage long-term drought for consideration by Government, including financial supports for farming businesses and packages for families looking to exit farming.  Policies that focus on farming businesses are important, as loss of agricultural productivity has flow-on effects to rural communities.  But evidence also suggests that groups that are not employed in agriculture are adversely affected by the economic fallout of drought, with a widespread loss of services in drought-affected areas, and some labour market groups experiencing poor employment outcomes in a drought-affected local economy. In their paper “The Social and Economic Impacts of Drought”, the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods reports that while drought directly affects people working in the agricultural sector, substantial spillover effects impact other groups as economic stress spreads across the local economy. This paper reported that one of the broader social effects of drought seems to be a loss of services in the local community. Policy makers need to take these impacts into account in designing an effective response to future droughts.
Advancing the self-sufficiency of rural and remote communities therefore requires a broad approach encompassing financial, social and health supports to bolster local economies. Most importantly, health needs to be understood as an indispensable element to build economic and social resilience.  Alongside financial supports for farming businesses, it is important to ensure that essential health services are not neglected or lost permanently during prolonged periods of drought. 
Health services and jobs underpin, enable and complement other industries, employment and sustainable living in rural Australia. Given the adverse impact of drought on the mental and physical health of farmers, rural communities would benefit if better access to allied health services were available.  However, there is an acute shortage of allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia, and measures to support better distribution and service access would meet economic and employment as well as health objectives.  SARRAH expands on these issues in our recent submission to the Senate Selection Committee Inquiry on the effectiveness of the Australian Government’s Northern Australia agenda here.
Considering the impact of prolonged and frequent drought on farmers and the rural communities who depend on them, urgent attention is required to build allied health service capacity and resilience alongside financial supports for the agricultural sector. Now more than ever, we need  strategies to support the viability of allied health markets such as those outlined in the review being conducted by the National Rural Health Commissioner into Rural Allied Health Quality, Access and Distribution; Options for Commonwealth Policy and Reform.

Notification of SARRAH Annual General Meeting
The next annual general meeting (AGM) of the members of Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) will be held on 29 November 2019.

Details of the meeting are as follows:
Date: 29 November 2019
Time: 12:00PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
Place: Held via Zoom (details are included in the agenda).

The SARRAH Board comprises 9 positions, with 5 positions available as follows;
3 Positions up for re-election are:
1 - Hon Treasurer
2 - 2 member positions
2 Positions open for nomination are:
1 - 2 member positions
NOTE: You must be a fully financial, individual member of SARRAH to nominate for a position.
Completed nomination forms must be lodged with SARRAH by close of business on Friday 1 November 2019.

Full details on appointments to the SARRAH Board are available in Section 11 of the SARRAH Constitution. A copy of the constitution is available here.
Contact us at the office for more information
SARRAH Webinars
Our next webinar is titled - Person - Centred Emergency Preparedness: What’s my role and responsibility? and will be presented by Dr Michelle Villeneuve.
Date: Wednesday 30 October 2019
Time:12:00 PM – 1:00 PM AEDST
If you would like more information on the webinar and Dr Michelle Villeneuve please click here.
Tickets are free for SARRAH members and for non-members the cost will be $30. If you are a member and would like to attend please contact us at to receive the access code for your free ticket.
Your event URL to book your ticket is here
Disasters triggered by natural hazards are unpredictable.
Being prepared helps people to respond better and recover faster. We all need to be ready and know what to do.
"A Rural Life" 
SARRAH Photo Competition
Thank you to those who have already submitted photos they are fantastic, but keep them coming in.

We live and work in a wonderfully diverse country so we would like to see photos depicting "A Rural Life" this maybe the view from your office, your community, something unique to where you live and work, or amazing people you know.

NOTE: SARRAH will be using the photos in publications, on our website and on social media. If you have taken photos with people in them you will need to ask them to complete a permission form which is available from us. Please also be aware of any possible privacy issues - more information is available here
and the Privacy Act 1988

You can enter multiple times, so please send your photos to
Health Workforce Queensland
The Health Workforce Queensland, Health Workforce Needs Assessment 2019 report for rural and remote Queensland is now available. This can be found on their website and the link is .
Health Workforce Queensland are presently undertaking their annual state-wide assessment of the remote and rural primary health care workforce to inform their 2020 needs assessment. This is open to all rural and remote health care providers, including allied health practitioners and managers. The survey closes on the 29 November, 2019 and the link to the survey is
AIHW: Rural & remote health
On average, Australians living in rural and remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury and poorer access to and use of health services, compared with people living in metropolitan areas. Poorer health outcomes in rural and remote areas may be due to multiple factors including lifestyle differences and a level of disadvantage related to education and employment opportunities, as well as access to health services. See:

Burden of tobacco use in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015
This report quantifies the health burden that tobacco use places on Australia. Tobacco use contributes to health burden more than any other risk factor and was responsible for 9.3% of the total burden of disease in Australia in 2015.

Other News

1 in 6 women can’t afford healthcare when needed, feel discrimination - The Jean Hailes National Women’s Health Survey 2019 is available is available here. More information on AHHA is available at 

Active patients better care report - Australians with chronic conditions and complex needs are less activated than their healthier counterparts which may be a contributing factor to their generally worse health outcomes a Consumers Health Forum study has found.

No room for complacency about Polio - World Polio Awareness Day, a reminder that polio is a devastating disease which could easily return if we are not vigilant. Every Australian needs to understand how important it is to prevent a re-emergence of this debilitating disease.

Predictive analytics to keep more aged care residents out of Emergency - New software to analyse the clinical data of aged care residents for signs of deteriorating health could reduce emergency hospitalisations and allow more time for end of life plans.

Women in rural areas increasingly battling mental health problems - Three-quarters of the more than 3,000 people who die by suicide in Australia each year are men. But figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that the number of regional and rural women who've taken their own lives has risen over the past decade, and some health experts suspect the drought is to blame.
Upcoming Events & Conferences

Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium - Adelaide, SA
28-30 October

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For information on other upcoming events please visit our website here
Current Job Vacancies

Speech and Language Pathologist - Work in schools as a member of a multi-disciplinary Learning Service Support Team to provide a speech and language pathologist service which supports students and families. Contribute to capacity building of school communities to improve access, participation and achievement of students.

Occupational Therapist -
Working in a multidisciplinary community care team, you will work in a restorative care approach to return clients to their usual activities of daily living. Independently managing a diverse caseload, you will provide assessment and intervention for home safety, home modifications, and equipment prescription.

Mental Health Clinician Candidate Pool - Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network, Murray Bridge & Berri. This is a great opportunity to enjoy being part of a friendly country health service, where you will experience broad exposure to a variety of clinical settings. You will contribute to the delivery of a comprehensive and integrated range of evidence-based, recovery-oriented services across the multidisciplinary Mental Health Service appropriate to the needs of consumers in the Riverland and Murray Mallee communities.

Allied Health Candidate Pool - Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network is accepting applications for Allied Health positions located in the Riverland Region. Applicants for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Social Worker roles, interested in ongoing, temporary or casual employment are welcome.

Physiotherapist 2 Positions - Mount Isa
Full time positions, Salary Range: Pending qualification and years of experience, 5 weeks annual leave (17.5% leave loading), superannuation, 2 return flights to value of $1800, $5,200 professional development allowance, retention incentive, salary packaging available.

Occupational Therapist 2 Positions - Mount Isa

The Occupational Therapist reports to the Allied Health Manager and is part of the Health Services team. The position is responsible for working in conjunction with a small multi-disciplinary Primary Health Care team in the delivery of culturally appropriate Occupational Therapy to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, including paediatrics, school-based programs, chronic disease self-management and rehabilitation.The role will entail outreach service delivery from clinic-based and community-based settings, both in Mount Isa and outreach to the communities of Mornington Island, Doomadgee, Burketown, Normanton and Karumba.
Copyright © 2018 Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH). All rights reserved.

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health
Unit 4, 17 Napier Close, Deakin, ACT, 2600

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