IAHA January 2015 Newsletter

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Message From the CEO

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2015! We at IAHA are certainly looking forward to a busy and challenging year ahead as we continue to collaborate with our members and partners to achieve our vision and purpose. In order to support this, we’ve been working this month with the Department of Health to negotiate future funding arrangements so that IAHA can continue to deliver on its strategic direction and support its members beyond June 2015.

We continue to work collaboratively with our partners, particularly other Indigenous peak bodies through the National Health Leadership Forum, to influence the implementation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health plan.

Active IAHA participation on the Close the Gap (CTG) Steering committee continues and we look forward to attending Parliament House on 11 February 2015 when the CTG Committee will release their Progress and Priorities Shadow Report 2015. Many political leaders will be present at this event, including the Prime Minister who will address the government’s progress towards Closing the Gap.

Preparations are well underway for the IAHA Board of Directors and Student Representative Committee’s first meetings for 2015, to be held in February 2015 conjunction with the IAHA Indigenous Leadership workshop in Alice Springs. These events provide an excellent opportunity for over 60 IAHA members to build strong and supportive relationships and networks that can assist them as they move through their chosen careers and along their leadership journeys.

Donna Murray
Chief Executive Officer

2015 IAHA National Conference – Save the Date!

2015 Save the Date

We are pleased to announce that the 3rd IAHA National Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International from 29 November – 2 December, 2015. The theme for this year is ‘Allied Health – Stepping into Action’. We will be sending out a call for abstracts in April.

Policy Update!

Select Committee into Health to inquire into and report on health policy, administration and expenditure

On 25 June 2014 the Senate established a Select Committee into Health to inquire into and report on health policy, administration and expenditure. One of the committee’s terms of reference relates to Indigenous health and the committee has decided to focus on this policy area during the first half of 2015. Therefore the committee invited IAHA as the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health peak body, to make a submission to its inquiry focusing specifically on term of reference (e) improvements in the provision of health services, including Indigenous health and rural health. The IAHA submissions was lodged on Friday, 23 January 2015 and has been released (‘published’) by the committee here.

To view all submissions, click here.

Medicare Update  
A full summary of changes, and those changes that are now no longer proceeding can be found online here from MBS Online.

On 15 January the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport the Hon Sussan Ley MP announced that she will be undertaking wide ranging consultation on the ground with doctors and the community across the country in order to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reforms. Click here to read full media release. Minister Ley also announced that the changes to the time requirements for GP consultations, scheduled to commence from 19 January 2015, would not proceed.

From 1 January 2015 the explanatory notes at Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) online for Medicare item 715 were amended so only practice nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners may assist GPs in performing a health assessment, in accordance with accepted medical practice and under the supervision of the GP. This means that Aboriginal Health Workers are not able to assist in the preparation of Item 715. A fact sheet on Medicare Health Assessments can be found here. Aboriginal Health Workers are still able to assist with the preparation of GP Management Plans (Item 721), Coordination of Team Care Arrangements (Item 723), and review of a GP Management Plan (Item 732), plus associated allied health item numbers (81300 – 81360) and (10950 -10970) where appropriate.

Physiotherapy Accreditation Standards review – Consultation commences February 2015

The Accreditation Standards for entry-level physiotherapy are currently under review by The Australian Physiotherapy Council. Click here to see an outline of the project, and expected timeframes. Consultation seeking input to the Review commences February 2015. Registrations for the February 2015 focus groups or teleconference consultation are open now – Click here to register to participate. If interested, individuals can participate in the scheduled consultation meetings or submit responses online, by email or by post.

In addition to your individual contributions, IAHA will also coordinate a written submission on behalf of its members.

New Promotional Resources Available!

We have a large range of IAHA Promotional Resources available to members and stakeholders to assist in promoting careers in allied health. From A3 Student posters to DL brochures and A4 factsheets, we have everything you need to spread the word. If you have any events coming up and would like to utilise  these resources, please contact us.

Student Poster

Student BrochureMake a Dif

Other News

Healing our Stolen Generations Public Forum and Webinar

Commemorating the anniversary of the national Apology to the Stolen Generations the Healing Foundation is hosting a public forum about healing and the Stolen Generations. Wherever you are around Australia you are invited to attend and participate via the web. If you are in Canberra you are welcome to join in person.

The forum will include guest speakers who are members of the Stolen Generations. They will share their unique life story with a focus on how they have healed and continue to heal from trauma. The panel will highlight how their journeys include helping others to heal and how Australians can support this momentum either through personal, organisational or government level responses.

The forum will take place in Canberra but will be broadcast over the web as a live interactive seminar. There will be a Question and Answer session where you can address questions to the panel members.


Event hashtag: #TellingOurStories

Date: Thursday 12/02/2015

Time: 9:30am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) arrival at venue  10:00am webinar goes live

Venue: 50MC Theatre, 50 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra ACT

National Close the Gap Day 2015

Join more than 200,000 Australians of all ages and backgrounds who are supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality. Register for National Close the Gap Day, Thursday 19 March, 2015. Register now here.

Despite Australia being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Indigenous Australians have health outcomes on a par with many developing countries in Asia and Africa. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are dying at double the rate of other Australian children. This is not a statistic that we can let wash over us. And we don’t have to accept it.

Your support for National Close the Gap Day will mean you’re joining tens of thousands — hopefully more than 150,000 Australians — who will be showing governments that they must continue to work with Indigenous Australians on this issue. Significantly though, it will also have the immediate impact of showing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that they are not alone as they strive for health equality.

So join the campaign for equal access to healthcare for all Australians. Register your event today, or join a public event already being held in your community. It’s easy to do, and your support will have a big impact both locally and nationally; within government, as well as in Indigenous communities across Australia that are looking to partner with other locals to Close the Gap.

Tarrn-doon-nonin – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research ethics award

Doing ethical health research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings means doing research in ways that are culturally safe and ethically acceptable for all involved – research participants, communities, organisations and other interested community members, as well as the research team. It involves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities influencing what, why, how and when research is done, as well as how it is used.

The Lowitja Institute is proud to offer, for the first time, an award that recognises and upholds respectful ethical practice in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

More information and applications

For more information and to apply, visit the Tarrn-doon-nonin web page.

Closing date:
Applications close on 22 February 2015 at midnight AEDT. No late applications will be accepted.

More information:
Ms Taryn Marks, e:taryn.marks@lowitja.org.au, t: 03 8341 5515

Des Murray Scholarship Available now to attend the 2015 National Rural Health Conference

The Des Murray Scholarship was established by the Alliance to recognise Des Murray’s contribution to the rural and remote health community, and as a reminder of the man and his work. The Scholarship is awarded every second year to enable a young person from a more remote area to attend the National Rural Health Conference.  In 2015 the Scholarship will cover the cost of registration, airfare and accommodation for the 13th National Rural Health Conference in Darwin, 24-27 May 2015.


For a background on Des’ contributions to work on rural health issues, and full details of the scholarship (including eligibility criteria), click here. Submit a Nomination Form which can be returned to the NRHA by email, fax or via post, at:

National Rural Health Alliance
PO Box 280 Deakin West ACT 2600
02 6285 4660


Nominations will close on 23 February 2015


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework

Cancer Australia is currently developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework. As part of this process a number of public forums are being held across the country. The dates and locations of the face to face consultations are:

  • Melbourne -12 February
  • Darwin – 17 February
  • Broome – 19 February
  • Thursday Island – 24 February
  • Ipswich – 3 March
  • Mount Druitt – 6 March

Click here for more info.

Community consultation – 40 years of the RDA

As part of activities to mark 40 years of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, there will be a public consultation in each state and territory across the country. It will be an occasion for us to reflect on what the Act has achieved and to consider systemic progress under the Act in the future. The Race Discrimination Commissioner is interested in hearing from different communities about how we can most effectively advocate on issues of racial discrimination.

The details of the Sydney community consultation is as follows:

Date: Tuesday 3 February 2015
Time: 2 – 4pm
Location: Australian Human Rights Commission, Sydney

Please RSVP to Ms Stephanie Fowler, on (02) 9284 9835 or at stephanie.fowler@humanrights.gov.au.

Details of the Canberra consultation are as follows:

Date: Thursday 12 February 2015
Time: 3pm to 5pm
Venue: Pilgrim House 69 Northbourne Ave, Canberra City ACT

Please RSVP by Wednesday 3 February via Eventbrite at https://eventbrite.com.au/event/15510250577/. For enquiries please call Ms Samantha Schubert on (02) 9284 9829.