I am pleased to be able to provide you with an update from IAHA Board of Directors for the February 2014 edition of our eNewsletter. The IAHA Board had its first face to face meeting 12 – 14 February 2014 in Canberra. It was a productive 2 ½ days of solid work for both the board and the secretariat. A key component of our first day was dedicated to strategic planning and responding to member feedback, balancing priority areas for IAHA for 2014 with budgets and funding. Although we have secured funding until 2015, in the current political environment it is essential that as a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisation we consider the future direction and sustainability of the organisation.
As an Aboriginal social worker, born and raised in Katherine NT, I have been a committed full member of IAHA since its inception and I am privileged to currently hold the position of Deputy Chairperson within the IAHA Board of Directors. This is a role that I take pride in and that I am continually learning more about. What I have been most impressed about IAHA is the importance that we as an organisation place on good governance and its supportive structures. Our first face to face meeting for 2014 was no exception, where strategic governance and finance training took place as part of our board meeting. As an organisation on a national level, IAHA has grown immensely in both professionalism and governance and it is something that as members of IAHA we can be proud of.
As the IAHA chairperson mentioned in our last newsletter, recruitment to the position of CEO of IAHA is a priority area for IAHA and this is progressing well. IAHA has begun advertising the position online and in print media and anticipate conducting interviews in April 2014. We will continue to communicate with both our members and stakeholders about the progress of recruitment to this key IAHA leadership position. In the interim, IAHA continues to be ably led by our acting CEO, Donna Murray.
Social Worker and IAHA Deputy Chairperson
Valuing Diversity in Allied Health – IAHA Forum November 2014
IAHA is pleased to announce that we will be holding a two-day forum in Canberra in November 2014 with the theme “Valuing Diversity in Allied Health”. The IAHA National Conferences will now be held bi-annually, with the next conference to be held in 2015, so our focus in 2014 is on providing valuable professional development workshops, our second IAHA HealthFusion Team Challenge, Indigenous Allied Health Awards, and our AGM and members forum.
Following the success of last year’s HealthFusion Team Challenge, IAHA students will again have the opportunity to participate in this fantastic event. We will also be hosting professional development workshops to coincide with the forum theme. The second annual Indigenous Allied Health Awards will be held on the first night of the forum, with the AGM and members forum to be held the following day.
We will be keeping our members and stakeholders up to date with the planning for this wonderful event throughout the year via our monthly IAHA eNewsletter. We hope you can join us in Canberra in November.
IAHA has begun its recruitment drive to find an exceptional individual to fill the role of Chief Executive Officer to lead our dynamic organisation. The position will be advertised in both the Koori Mail and National Indigenous Times throughout March 2014 and can also be found on Seek and Career One.
To obtain a position description, applicants will need to contact Monefa Rusanov on (02) 6285 1010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and further enquiries can be forwarded to Faye McMillan, IAHA Chairperson on (02) 6933 4202.
Applications will close 5pm (AEDT) on 31st March 2014.
All IAHA members have been sent an email with an invitation to participate in a general meeting of Indigenous Allied Health Australia Ltd to be held on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 at 12.00 pm AEST, 11.30 am SA and NT time, 10.00 am WA time in Canberra, with interstate members attending by teleconference. The purpose of this general meeting is the election of Directors (Graduate) to fill two vacancies.
IAHA members can find all relevant documentation in the Members Area of the IAHA website at http://iaha.com.au/membersarea/ . If you are an IAHA member and would like to be resent the password to access this area please email email@example.com.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the General Meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact the IAHA secretariat on 02 6285 1010 or email Donna Murray, A/CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you made a pledge for Change Day?
Change Day is all about each of us Making a Pledge to do one thing (or many things) to improve the health and wellbeing of others. IAHA has pledged “to work with our members and partners to promote culturally responsive health professionals and health service and education providers.” If you’re interested to know more, you can visit http://changeday.com.au/ and join IAHA and many other individuals and organisations to demonstrate how one simple action or new idea can make a difference and improve care for clients, consumers and patients, their families and their carers.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speech pathology members have driven the development of an IAHA Submission to the Senate inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia. IAHA currently has 38 speech pathologist members (full and associate). A working group of 12 members collaborated to develop this submission, which was sent to the Senate Committee on 26 February 2014.
Through the drafting of this submission, IAHA members have provided valuable insight, evidence and specific case study examples that will assist the Senate to make changes to speech pathology service delivery that can improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples.
Summary of IAHA Recommendations
IAHA urges the Senate to make recommendations that will lead to:
- Acknowledgement of the fact that speech pathologists work across a range of settings and sectors, including health, community, education and justice and are in a position to address multiple determinants of health and work with other health professionals within a holistic context, to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities.
- Investment into research to identify the prevalence of speech, language and communication disorders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the lifespan.
- Research and development of culturally valid assessment tools and guidelines for culturally responsive assessment approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Provision of additional resources in schools to ensure appropriate development of Standard Australian English as a second dialect or language; similar to additional resourcing provided to migrant populations acquiring English as a second language.
- Development of culturally responsive speech pathology based resources to support the implementation of the Health Workforce Australia (HWA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curriculum framework currently under development for implementation into all university speech pathology programs.
- Facilitation of culturally responsive speech pathology education by advocating for changes to speech pathology professional accreditation standards as outlined within this submission for all allied health Accreditation Standards.
- Funding of research around the skill mix, health professions and service delivery models required to best meet the speech pathology needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across urban, rural, remote and very remote areas.
- Review and revision of incentive structures that drive health service delivery (such as Medicare), to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have equitable access (available, appropriate, acceptable and affordable) to speech pathology services.
- Development and resourcing of evidence based strategies aimed at recruitment, retention, education and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speech pathology students and graduates.
The IAHA Student Bursary scheme has been established to assist students with purchasing text book/s for your study. If you are an IAHA Student member click here to fill in the application form as comprehensively as possible – the more information you provide, the greater your chance of success. The IAHA Bursary is based on financial hardship and therefore we will require some important information from you. There will be 10 IAHA Bursaries available per semester and we will be taking applications for first semester from 6 January 2014 until they are allocated. The final date for first semester applications is 30 May 2014. 2nd Semester applications will open in June 2014.
Should you have any questions about this process, please contact Larry Brandy, IAHA Membership Engagement Officer.
Click here to download the IAHA Bursary Guidelines.
Click here to submit an application for the IAHA Student Bursary Scheme.
Leda Barnett is a Murri woman from Queensland who grew up mainly in Brisbane. Leda is a psychologist who entered her profession later in life. “At school I wasn’t academic at all,” said Leda. “I knew I could do well if I applied myself but for me school was about getting to know people and socialising.”
“When I left school I went to TAFE and completed an Associate Diploma in Business – Hospital and Catering. I worked part time in hospitality and kept doing this, even when I entered the public service and started my an administrative traineeship” said Leda. “I worked in the public service for several years, gradually working my way up to an AO4.” [Read more…]