IAHA March 2014 Newsletter

IAHA Newsletter


Update from the Board – Rebecca Allnutt, Audiologist and IAHA Board Member

Welcome to another update for the IAHA Board of Directors for the March 2014 edition of our newsletter. March has been a busy month for the Secretariat of IAHA, and you all would have received a save-the-date notification (24th-27th November) for our two day IAHA forum, HealthFusion Team Challenge, IAHA Awards and AGM. The decision to hold a two day forum providing professional development workshops came from feedback provided to the Board at the last AGM. We are all very excited and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this inaugural event.

You will also have received notification about a general meeting to be held on Tuesday the 15th April 2014. This meeting is to elect two Directors to fill current vacancies. If you are thinking about electing as a Director but are not sure what is involved, I would encourage you to contact the Secretariat who will put you in contact with one of the current Board members. I have been a Director since 2010 and both inspired and excited on how the organisation has grown, and how it continues to expand and be recognised as the National peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals and students. We are continually being asked to be representatives on other councils and organisations, showing just how valuable our organisation is.

Rebecca Allnutt
Audiologist and IAHA Board Member

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Allied Health Commitment to Close the Gap


Closing the Gap on life expectancy, educational achievement and employment opportunities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians was at the heart of an historic agreement signed by 24 national allied health organisations at Parliament House on 20 March.

The Statement of Intent between Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) and its Member Organisations and Affiliates aims to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

“On this day, Close the Gap Day, we are proud to witness so many national allied health professional organisations commit to this vital issue,” said IAHA Chairperson Faye McMillan. “If there are other allied health organisations out there who would like to join us in the future and make their own commitment, we would actively welcome them.”

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the right to equitably access allied health services that are available, affordable, acceptable and appropriate, provided by professionals who are both culturally responsive and clinically competent.

“Australia has around 120,000 practising allied health professionals, we estimate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals to be less than 2% of that workforce.

“In addition to increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in the allied health workforce, we are committed to strengthening the cultural responsiveness of all allied health students and graduates.”

The agreement includes commitments to:

  • contributing to comprehensive, long-term plans of action, that are targeted to need, evidence-based and capable of addressing the existing inequities in health services, in order to achieve equality of health status and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030.
  • advocating for culturally responsive health care services and health infrastructure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which are capable of bridging the gaps in health standards by 2018.
  • supporting the full participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their representatives in all aspects of addressing their health needs.
  • building on the evidence base and supporting what works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, especially in allied health services, and relevant international experience.
  • encouraging improved access to, and outcomes from, allied health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in all settings.
  • respecting and promoting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including by advocating that health services are available, appropriate, accessible, affordable and good quality.

Signatories of this Statement of Intent are:
Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA), Australian Association of Social Workers, Australian Music Therapy Association, Australian & NZ College of Perfusionists, Australian Osteopathic Association, Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australasian Podiatry Council, Australian Psychological Society, Audiology Australia, Australian Sonographers Association, Australasian Society of Genetic Counsellors, Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, Dietitians Association of Australia, Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Orthoptics Australia, Occupational Therapy Australia, Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, Speech Pathology Australia, Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Australian Association of Practice Managers, Diversional Therapy Australia and Hearing Aid Audiometrist Society of Australia.

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IAHA Board Nominations Close TODAY!


All IAHA members were sent an email last month 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 admin@iaha.com.au.

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 ceo@iaha.com.au.

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Journeys into Allied Health – Trevor Ritchie (Occupational Therapist)

Trevor RitchieTrevor Ritchie is a Kaurna man from Adelaide, South Australia. Growing up he spent much of his time alternating between the Yorke Peninsula and the west coast of South Australia, both in Aboriginal missions. Trevor’s family settled down in Adelaide so he and his siblings could have consistency and concentrate on their education. Trevor was 28 when he finished his Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2013, and is the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the University of South Australia with this degree [Read more…]

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Policy Update

Policy Update

As the national peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health body, IAHA is asked to provide responses on a number of projects, initiatives and reviews. When responding, IAHA must keep in mind that all our input is framed around what is required in the collective allied health space and how this relates to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

However there are times that individual submissions from members, or groups of members, may provide profession specific views that are just as important, if not more so, than those of the collective. So please think about putting in your own submission as well. This month, there are three public consultations to consider, and would welcome feedback from our members on any or all of them, so please read on to find out more…

National Review of Mental Health Services and Programmes – Public Consultation, Ends 14 April 2014

The National Mental Health Commission is doing an independent review to ensure mental health programmes and services are supporting individuals experiencing mental ill health and their families and other support people to lead contributing lives and engage productively in the community. The full Terms of Reference for the review can be found at www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au. The Commission is particularly interested in hearing first hand advice on experiences in the mental health system. They want to find real examples and practical solutions to the existing challenges, particularly those faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those living in regional, rural and remote Australia. The Commission also will engage with Commonwealth and state and territory governments, private, and non-government sectors to get these insights.

Submissions can be made via an online survey at www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au. The Commission also will accept hard-copy submissions that address the Terms of Reference of no more than three pages in length.

IAHA strongly encourages you to make to make a submission, and to share this opportunity with others in your network. If you would like to contribute to the IAHA submission, please contact us before 7 April 2014.

HWA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curriculum framework project – Public Consultation, Ends 30 April 2014

Curtin University has been contracted by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to undertake the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curriculum framework, and IAHA is on the Project Advisory Group which recently met on 27 March 2014.

Following a series of national consultation workshops and key informant interviews, further feedback is sought from a range of stakeholders including students, education providers, health service providers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, governments and anyone else interested in having a say on the framework. It could take up to 30 minutes to respond to all the consultation questions. You can either provide your  feedback online or by downloading the feedback form. Further information about the project can be found here.

National Code of Conduct for healthcare workers – Public Consultation, Ends 30 April 2014

On behalf of AHMAC, the Victorian Department of Health is undertaking a public consultation on the terms of a proposed national Code of Conduct and policy parameters to underpin the nationally consistent implementation of the code. A consultation paper titled A National Code of Conduct for health care workers is now available on the AHMAC website here. Once enacted in each state and territory, the National Code will set minimum enforceable standards of practice for any person who provides a health services which is not regulated under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions using this form as a guide and you can email your submission to practitioner.regulation@health.vic.gov.au. Consultation forums will also be conducted in each state and territory in March/April 2014. Feedback from the forums and the written submissions will be incorporated into the final consultation report for consideration by health ministers.  Further information is available on the project website: www.ahmac.gov.au.

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IAHA Student Bursary Scheme

IAHA Purple

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.
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2014 IAHA National Forum to be Held at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra

2014 IAHA ForumWe are pleased to announce that the 2014 IAHA National Forum will be held from 24-27 November at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra. The theme for the event is ‘Valuing Diversity in Allied Health’, which will include our second HealthFusion Team Challenge, professional development workshops, and Gala dinner which will include the second National Indigenous Allied Health Awards. Further information will be made available shortly, including early-bird registrations and accommodation.