IAHA August 2014 Newsletter

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Update from the Board: Di Bakon – Occupational Therapy Student

Di BakonWelcome to the August 2014 IAHA Newsletter.

My name is Di Bakon and I am an IAHA Board Director (student) and a member of the IAHA Student Representative Committee. I am originally from NSW, a Kamilaroi woman with origins to the Narrabri area and I am a mature aged student studying third year Occupational Therapy at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville. 

A face to face Board meeting and governance training were held in Canberra this month. It was very useful to spend time examining IAHA’s role in advocacy and how we can both make a difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through our work in allied health and best support our membership. We were able to unpack IAHA’s strengths and weaknesses as a national peak organisation and determine a positive way forward to achieve our strategic direction.

We all agreed that IAHA has experienced some amazing growth and changes over the last few years. IAHA has changed its structure, reshaped its strategic plan, policies and procedures; produced position papers, worked with members on submissions, increased membership and recently developed a Student Representative Committee (SRC).

A great example of all this growth and change was observed at last years conference where we were able to see some amazing future health leaders participate in the Health Fusion Team Challenge (HFTC). IAHA is holding the HFTC for students again this year and I’m looking forward to connecting with old friends and new as we support each other through our student journeys.

The IAHA 2014 National Forum will be a hive of activity with opportunities for members to participate in professional development, the HFTC and the National Indigenous Allied Health Awards. This is a great continuous professional development opportunity and I know I’m going to learn so much, both professionally and personally. Hope you’ll come and bring your colleagues too, there’s something for everyone! Finally, there are six categories in the National Indigenous Allied Health Awards, so don’t forget to nominate the person who you think deserves recognition for all the work they do… They have to be in it to win it!

See you at the Forum…

Di Bakon

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Nominate Now for an IAHA National Award

2014 IAHA Forum

Are you, or is someone that you know:

  • An allied health graduate doing amazing work and really making a difference?
  • Showing leadership and excellence in your/their chosen field?
  • Studying allied health degree?
  • A role model for the next generation?
  • Contributing to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities?

Whether you/they are a student or graduate, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous person, there is an IAHA national award to recognise your/their impact and achievements. Our generous sponsors have provided a cash prize of $1,000 for each award winners will be announced at a spectacular gala dinner in Canberra on Tuesday 25 November 2014.

Click here to see more info about all 6 award categories and to nominate now.

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Additional NAHSSS Allied Health Scholarships Now Available

SARRAH logoAre you planning to study an allied health course in 2015? Need funding for professional development?

Great news!! There will be 28 additional postgraduate scholarships, 36 additional continuing professional development scholarships and 18 Undergraduate (Entry-Level) Scholarships in 2015 through theNursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS). Click here for scholarship guidelines, application forms and more info.

NAHSSS Allied Health Postgraduate Scholarships (up to $30,000 over two years) and NAHSSS Allied Health Continuing Professional Development Scholarships for 2015 are OPEN NOW!! Be quick as they close 15 October 2014.

Want to receive up to $10,000 per year during your undergraduate or graduate entry professional studies? NAHSSS Undergraduate (Entry-Level) Scholarships open 15 September 2014.

If you have any questions about any of these scholarships, you can talk to the friendly staff at SARRAH who are more than happy to walk you through the application process on1800 338 061 (toll free) or (02) 6285 4960.  We at IAHA are also here for you on (02) 6285 1010 if you’d like any further support.

Click here to download flyer.

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Out and About with Larry Brandy


August was a busy month for IAHA, we attended several expos in the Northern Territory with IAHA members. Our CEO Donna Murray and Student Representative Committee member Nathan Canuto attended the Darwin Careers expo at the Darwin Convention Centre in early August, and spoke to over 400 Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, organisations, and community members over the day and a half event. Donna also met with key stakeholders including Charles Darwin University to talk to students and staff, Northern Terriroty Government and Department of Health Representatives to discuss allied health careers and pathway opportunities.

On 5th August I attended the Fogs Expo in Rockhampton with IAHA member Ariane Anderson (Oral Health student) at Central Queensland Univeristy. Approximately 300 people attended this fantastic event, and Ariane and I spoke with many young school attendees plus a few mature age health workers in the Queensland Department of Health. It was a great event, and Ariane did a wonderful job assisting on the day.

Then it was onto the Queensland University of Technology’s Murri-Ailan Way event on 6th August. Around 300 people passed through over the course of the event, despite not having many allied health students visit the stall I was able to point some nurses in the direction of our friends at CATSINaM. Anne-Marie Lacaze, Events Officer for the Faculty of Health at QUT, was very pleased IAHA could attend.

Lastly, I attended the Skills, Employment and Careers Expo in Alice Springs from 21 & 22 August 2014 at the Alice Springs Convention Centre with IAHA Board Member Rebecca Allnutt, and IAHA Members Corrine Butler (Occupational Therapy) and Candice Butler (Social Work). There was a steady flow of students and parents over the two days, and Rebecca and I spoke with many young school attendees and a few teachers. Rebecca had a huge ear module sitting at the stall to teach people about Audiology – students were very interested and it helped spark conversation about different allied health professions, as many weren’t aware of what an allied health professional was.

I look forward to seeing you out and about at future events I am attending – keep an eye on our upcoming events!

Photos - Fogs Expo

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Larry with Ariane at the IAHA booth.



Larry with Jharal Yow Yeh… no, Jharal isn’t standing on a box.

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Policy Update

In June 2014 IAHA put in a submission to the senate inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia. The Committee is required to report by 1 September 2014 and we look forward to reading the report which will be loaded onto the Committee’s website www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca.

IAHA is part of the Australian Allied Health Forum (AAHF), a collaborative partnership of allied health organisations who work together on issues of national importance to the allied health professions and the Australian public. Click here for an overview of AAHF and it’s shared priorities for 2014-15. AAHF aims to contribute to Australian Government policies in relationship to allied health services across the broad range of sectors in which they operate; allied health workforce development (including education and training); and progressing allied health priorities. IAHA provides secretariat support to AAHF and has recently been working hard to prepare for a series of parliamentary meetings with a number of politicians on Tuesday 2 September 2014. For information, founding members of the Australian Allied Health Forum are Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) – the peak body representing and advocating for the role of allied health professions in Australia; Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) – the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health peak body; National Allied Health Advisors Committee (NAHAC) – national network of allied health advisors with state/territory level responsibility for the development of allied health workforce and clinical service development in health and human services; and Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) – nationally recognised as a peak body representing rural and remote allied health professionals.

Considering current discussion around the GP co-payments proposed in the Federal Budget 2014/15, the release of the Senate Inquiry into the out-of-pocket costs in Australian healthcare report on 22 August 2014 is very timely. The full report can be found here. The purpose of the inquiry was to investigate growing concerns about the extent of out-of-pocket costs in health and the impact on individuals. Some encouraging quotes found within chapter 6 of the report include “the committee notes evidence regarding the potential of multidisciplinary teams to achieve cost saving and better health outcomes by focusing on prevention as well as ongoing management of chronic conditions” and “In the area of primary health care, the committee recognises opportunities for reform… examination of alternative models of primary healthcare service delivery to assess the benefit of incorporating a  more prominent role for allied health professionals” and recommendation 5 states “The committee recommends that the Government review existing models for funding and delivery of primary healthcare with a view to identifying opportunities for improved service delivery and health outcomes.” We will continue to keep you updated as further information about the impact of this report and discussions about proposed budget measures evolve.

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Journeys into Allied Health – Debra Hunter-McCormick, Social Worker

debrahunterDebra Hunter-McCormick is a 59 year old Nykina woman, with connections to Bardi, NyulNyul, DjabbaDjabba and Mungala people in the Western Kimberley region of Western Australia. She has 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Although Debra was born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, her family originates from the Kimberley’s.

Click here to read Debra’s story in full…

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Check out our Awesome Range of IAHA Products!

IAHA has a range of products available via our webstore, including Hoodies, Polos, Snapback Hats, Scarves, and Ties. All proceeds are used to fund IAHA Scholarships, which support our members in furthering their allied health careers.

Click here to read more…

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Scholarship Opportunities Available Now!

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship is now open for application. There are also a number of other scholarships available in the Scholarships section of our website.

Click here to see more scholarships…

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AMA plan doesn’t remove our concerns – Indigenous doctors

Australia’s Indigenous doctors say the AMA Medicare co-payment plan does not address the concerns of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander community.

President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), Dr Tammy Kimpton, said that Indigenous doctors were disappointed that the AMA’s “Alternative Model” for Medicare co-payments makes no mention of Indigenous Australians.

“Despite clear evidence that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples suffer from the worst health of any section of the Australian community and that they consistently appear at the bottom of Australia’s socio-economic ladder, the AMA’s proposal does little to protect them from the disincentive of the $7 Medicare co-payment,” she said.

Dr Kimpton said that the AMA plan does nothing to address the acknowledged financial impact of the proposed co-payment on Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander community-controlled health services.

“The Federal Government’s co-payment plan has been universally rejected by the Indigenous health sector because we know that any co-payment will provide a disincentive for our people to visit a GP and we have spent the past decades working hard to encourage our peoples to visit doctors; the original proposal and the AMA’s plan both fly in the face of all the evidence.

“Both proposals work against the comprehensive primary health care model that our sector has strongly advocated for and remains committed to.

“So much so that nearly all community-controlled health services have publically said they won’t collect the co-payment and will consequently lose a significant proportion of their income. Is the Government’s intention really to reduce the funds available to our front-line services?

“One service, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, with a strong track record of effective primary health care, particularly in the area of birth weight and maternal health, has estimated that its income will be reduced by nearly $700,000. I have to ask what services will Congress by forced to cut if the co-payment plan is actually implemented?” said Dr Kimpton.
Dr Kimpton said that the co-payment idea must be abandoned in the face of strong evidence that it will lead to reduced doctor visits by those most needing medical care and advice, particularly those with chronic illness.

“There is already anecdotal evidence that even the discussion about the $7 co-payment has caused some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to reduce their visits to their GP.

“I think it’s time that the Government sat down with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak health bodies so they can better understand the implications of this policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” concluded Dr Kimpton.

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The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet- Indigenous Advancement Strategy Guidelines (IAS)

Note: This information about a funding round administered by the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. IAHA provides this information to assist our members, but potential applicants should not rely on this information. Refer to the program guidelines and information on the website of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for complete and authoritative information.

The Government has committed $4.8 billion over four years to the IAS. In addition, a further $3.7 billion has been allocated through National Partnership Agreements, Special Accounts and Special Appropriations. When taken into account, the total Indigenous-specific funding through the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio is $8.5 billion. A significant level of grant funding is also available through Indigenous-specific and mainstream programmes delivered by other agencies.
The five new programmes under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy are:

  • Jobs, Land and Economy;
  • Children Schooling;
  • Safety and Wellbeing;
  • Culture and Capability; and
  • Remote Australia Strategies.

Further information on each of these programmes and the IAS Funding Guidelines can be found here at; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Office of Indigenous Affairs Website.

Whilst the Guidelines provide for a number of grant selection arrangements, an open, competitive grant round for funding under the IAS will open in September 2014. The round will provide funding for activities that commence from January 2015 onwards (for calendar year funding) or from July 2015 (for financial year funding). It will provide the opportunity for those organisations with a current funding agreement expiring in the 2014-15 financial year to apply for future funding, and the opportunity for new organisations to apply for funding.

Funding will be allocated to projects that focus on:

  • Getting Indigenous Australians into work, fostering Indigenous business and ensuring Indigenous people receive economic and social benefits from the effective management of their land and native title rights;
  • Ensuring Indigenous children regularly go to school, improving literacy and numeracy and supporting families to give children a good start in life;
  • Increasing Indigenous Year 12 attainment and pathways to further training and education;
  • Making communities safer so that Indigenous people enjoy similar levels of physical, emotional and social wellbeing as that enjoyed by other Australians;
  • Increasing participation and acceptance of Indigenous Australians in the economic and social life of the nation; and
  • Addressing the disproportionate disadvantage in remote Australia and the need for strategic grant funding for local solutions.

Organisations will be able to apply for funding from one or more of the IAS programmes through a single application, and receive a single funding agreement from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Further information on the funding round will be available shortly.

Click here to download the Q&A for stakeholders

Click here to download the IAS PowerPoint Presentation

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Primary Health Care Roadshow

Public HealthPrimary health care in Australia is undergoing a transformation with the introduction of Primary Health Networks. Join the discussion on this transformation and more at the Primary Health Care Conference 2014 Roadshow.
The Roadshow will provide a unique opportunity for organisations and individuals interested in the establishment of the PHNs and primary health care in general, to meet with those with similar interests in the same state. As well as examining the how, what and why of PHNs, the Roadshow will delve into the international experience and provide a state by state perspective and focus.
These events are a must for anyone with an interest in the future of primary health care.

For more information visit the website.

Roadshow Dates

Perth Adelaide
Date: 18 September 2014 Date: 22 September 2014
Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm
Venue: Pan Pacific Perth Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor on Hindley
207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth 65 Hindley Street, Adelaide
Melbourne Sydney
Date: 25 September 2014 Date: 29 September 2014
Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm
Venue: Bayview Eden Venue: The Grace Hotel
6 Queens Road, Melbourne 77 York St, Sydney
Date: 1 October 2014
Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm
Venue: Mercure Brisbane
85-87 North Quay, Brisbane

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Upcoming Events

17-20 September, 2014

National Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) conference
Click here to read more…

18-20 September, 2014

Diversional Therapy Australia 2014 Conference, Adelaide
Click here to read more…

9-10 October, 2014

4th Annual Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association Congress – Melbourne
Click here to read more…

15-18 October, 2014

2014 CRANAplus Conference – Melbourne
Click here to read more…