Welcome to the IAHA Newsletter for May 2014. The federal budget announcements made earlier this month highlight the need for IAHA to stay abreast of current and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and allied health workforce priorities.
IAHA welcomes an increased investment of a further $13.4 million over the next 3 years in the nursing and allied health workforce as another 500 scholarships, administered effectively, have the potential to significantly increase the support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health students and graduates. However we do have concerns that the proposed introduction of a co-payment to visit a GP risks a negative effect upon access to allied health services in the primary health care context, given that access is largely dependent on GP referral.
I have attended briefings with Minister Nash’s office and the Department of Health regarding Indigenous health related budget announcements. Follow-up meetings with Minister Nash and key stakeholders will continue to take place.
IAHA welcomes confirmation that the government remains committed to building a sustainable health workforce that is well distributed and equipped to meet the diverse needs of all Australians. IAHA has secure funding for the 2014/15 financial year through health workforce and will continue to negotiate for ongoing funding for 2015/16 and beyond.
The IAHA Board of Directors and Student Representative Committee (SRC) recently met face to face in Canberra to undertake strategic discussions. We are very excited to have the SRC on board and looking forward to gaining their insight and contributions, specifically around student issues and support.
The Board meeting focused on leadership and governance of IAHA, specifically the impacts of the federal budget, strategic priorities, policy and risks to IAHA. They also undertook training with the SRC on critical thinking and the future of our organisation.
And lastly, thank you to the IAHA Members that provided valuable feedback on our Strategic Plan, it will now go to the IAHA Board for final endorsement.
IAHA Chief Executive Officer
Breaking News – NATSIHP Implementation Plan to be developed this year.
Acknowledging Reconciliation Week, Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash today announced that an implementation plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan would be developed by the end of the year. Click here to read the media release about this announcement on the Minister’s web site.
2014 IAHA National Forum Workshop Topics Announced
Forum Registrations Open 1 July, 2014!
The topics for the 2014 IAHA National Forum Workshops are:
- Strengths-based Approach to Racism
- Cultural Responsiveness in Action
- Critical Thinking for Success in Allied Health
- Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Federal Budget 2014/15 information
The federal government announced its much anticipated Budget for 2014-15 on 13 May 2014, after the release earlier in May of the national Commission of Audit reports. IAHA responded to budget announcements with a Media Release to all members and stakeholders on 14 May 2014. Click here to view IAHA Media Release ‘Allied Health Flies Under Budget Radar’.
The Budget proposed significant rationalisation of all Indigenous programmes, including health. A summary of key Federal Budget 2014/15 announcements with potential for impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been collated by Reconciliation Australia and can be accessed here.
For information provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health to IAHA and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health stakeholders click on these links:
- Indigenous Health Budget
- Indigenous Health 2014-15 Budget – Questions and Answers
- Qs and As for services GP co payment measure
General Budget 2014-15 links:
- Australian Government Budget 2014-15
- View Health overview: Australian Government Budget 2014-15
- View Australian Government 2014-15, Health Portfolio Budget statements: Australian Government Budget 2014-15
COAG Reform Council Report
The COAG Reform Council’s report, which focuses on whether COAG’s six Closing the Gap targets have improved over five years, was released on 22 May 2014. The report can be downloaded from here and a succinct summary of key findings can be here.
Data for this report is sourced from a variety of surveys and administrative data. The COAG Reform Council does not publish new data themselves, rather it collects data from a variety of sources and collates it in a format that enables an assessment of progress against the six Closing the Gap targets.
The COAG Reform Council found gains in primary education, Year 12 attainment and post school qualifications—but employment is not improving. In the health findings, they found that faster progress is needed to close the life expectancy gap by 2031. A clear positive is that COAG is on target to halve the gap in child deaths by 2018.
Journeys into Allied Health – Matthew West (Podiatrist)
Matthew West is a Wiradjuri man, currently living and working on the central coast of NSW. Matthew’s family comes from Wellington NSW and originally he and his younger brother and sister went to school at Fairfield, Sydney NSW.
On the Road With Judy Bell
On Tuesday 20th May, I attended the Townsville FOGS (Former Origin Greats) Careers Expo held at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, with the help of Lynne Zeldenryk from the Australian Council of PVC’s & Deans of Health Sciences.
There were many exhibitors, from a range of different industries – health, education, QLD Police, Universities, just to name a few. The expo had over 20 schools show up, 200 plus school children and many community members were in attendance for this fantastic event.
I spoke with over 150 students who visited our IAHA stall, who were very intrigued about who we are? And what is allied health? Many of the students were wanting to work within allied health professions and were fascinated to find out the wide range of allied health professions available, and the support we can provide to students and graduates.
Having the QLD Origin Rugby League Footballers in attendance is a great incentive for students to be involved, and to get as much information from all the exhibitors as possible. Also, getting the students to have a dance off, with Jarahl Yow Yeh as your DJ was pretty cool too. The kids had so much fun!
Next FOGS Expo will be held at Mount Isa Civic Centre, 11 June, Larry Brandy our Membership Engagement Officer will be in attendance. So if you’re in Mt Isa and have some free time, pop down and have a yarn with Larry and some of the students.
IAHA Executive Assistant
In Melbourne tomorrow? Come to careers expo and see Uncle Larry.
Larry Brandy, IAHA Membership Officer and our Student Representative Committee (SRC) member Brenda McDermott will be in Melbourne on Saturday 31 May from 11am to 2pm to attend the the Korin Gamadji Institute’s 3rd Dreamtime Careers Expo at the Richmond Football Club. This will lead into the ‘Dreamtime at the G’ Indigenous round AFL match between Richmond and Essendon.
If you are around the area on Saturday pop in and say hello to Larry and Brenda.
Last year they had over 1,000 visitors attend the Indigenous career expo and are expecting a similar number again this year. They are expecting job seekers of all ages and a number of school groups on an aspiration-building excursion. Aboriginal community and stakeholders also attend and acclaimed artist Kutcha Edwards will be the Expo MC.
The academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE) and Sport and Recreation Victoria, will partner to run traditional games such as Marngrook, Buroinjin, Pulyugge and Jumpinpin.
Starting at 11.30am and finishing at 1.30pm Kultcha will invite a guest Role Model to the stage to speak about their professional journey.
So if you’re in Melbourne tomorrow, feel free to visit the Maurice Rioli Room, ME Bank Centre, Punt Road Oval in Richmond and check it out!
New IAHA Student Voice Meets
The newly formed Student Representative Committee (SRC) met for the first time in Canberra on 21 May 2014. The role of the SRC is to advise the IAHA Board of directors on issues and strategies affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health students. Our SRC reps Sophie L’Estrange (chair), Brenda McDermott, Nathan Canuto and Di Bakon all come from different states/territories and different allied health disciplines… They all share one thing though, a passion for improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through allied health. Click here if you would like to read their bios.
Scholarships Available Now!
CRANAplus is offering a number of Undergraduate scholarships. The Roberta Sykes Scholarship is also available now with value of up to $30,000 for the period of one year! For those studying or wanting to study Pharmacy check out this great scholarship opportunity from 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement. Applications for the second round of the IAHA Student Bursary Scheme is open from 1 June, 2014.
Reconciliation Week, from the 27th May – 3rd June is a good time to reflect on your own commitment to action, and to start walking-the-talk in line with this years theme. If you’re wondering what YOU can do, have you signed up for Recognise, supporting constitutional recognition?