IAHA October 2014 Newsletter

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Update from the Board: Kylie Stothers – Social Worker

Kylie Stothers

2014 has quickly flown by and we find ourselves at the end of October already.

I am writing this update with mixed emotion – after being involved with IAHA since it began as a network back in 2008, at the IAHA 2014 AGM on 27 November 2014 I will officially be standing down in my capacity as the Deputy Chairperson and also as a Board Director. I have been involved with IAHA in some capacity since those early days and for the past 6 years I have had the great pleasure of being the Deputy Chairperson of IAHA. Although it is a little sad, I am also very proud of the work that IAHA has done and continues to do. I can honestly say that I have learned so much from this experience both professionally and personally.

You will notice that the call for nominations for the IAHA Board has gone out – there are currently four Director Positions, including the Chair and Deputy Chair that are up for grabs. There are also calls for nominations for the Student Director position. I encourage Full members of IAHA to consider nominating yourself.

Being a Director on a the Board of a national organisation might seem scary, nerve racking and challenging and from my perspective it is all of those things; but if you have a passion for Allied Health, if you have a passion for making a difference and if you have a passion for being a voice then you should be a part of this. I remember reading when I was a Uni student that “Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”

IAHA is only as strong as its members and I am sure there are some of you out there who have the potential to be great Directors of IAHA. So please consider it and put your name forward. And as Patrick Dodson once said “Leadership is an elusive concept, hard to describe and impossible to prescribe. It is more evident in its absence, so that when leadership is needed, its lack is sorely felt.” So don’t let IAHA lack great leadership – nominate for a position on the board!!

I leave you with these final words, also from Patrick Dodson “For Aboriginal leaders, the social and moral obligation that comes with community leadership is life-long. Those who lead, who have authority, must care for and look after those who come behind.”

On A Personal Note

I have had the privilege to see this great organisation of IAHA grow and mature and it is amazing to be able to reflect on our humble beginnings as a network of committed Allied Health practitioners dialling in on teleconference from around Australia – to being an organisation that currently has over 500 members and many strong corporate and stakeholder relationships. In a short period of time IAHA has gained a reputation nationally as an organisation that has strong governance, strategic thinking and collaborative approaches.  We have held two successful National Conferences and last year saw the commencement of our celebration and recognition of the great work that happens across this country with the inaugural National Indigenous Allied Health Awards. This idea came from our members – in which we celebrate the contribution that Allied Health makes to our communities. The awards again will be celebrated this year on 25th November in conjunction with our Gala Dinner. Senator Fiona Nash will be our guest speaker at this celebration.

So as I write my final message from my current position as an IAHA Board Director I want to thank you all for the work you do in your communities.

To the students – well done for choosing to study a career in allied health and thank you for making the commitment to go to University and be a role model for those around you. It’s not easy being a Uni student but the struggle is worth it once you achieve your dreams.  As my family use to say to me “go to Uni girl and get that ‘piece of paper’ to make a difference”.

To the graduates – thank you for remaining committed and doing the work you do every day in the communities you work in. Our families and communities need a committed, passionate, skilled and culturally responsive workforce to help bring about change.

To our associate members – thank you for being a part of the change, your contribution, your support and your willingness to work collaboratively goes a long way. Individually we can make change that is true but united we will break down barriers, change the system and forge a path for future generations to take us forward.

Thank you for allowing me to be a Director on the IAHA Board, it is a responsibility that I have taken seriously and with pride. I may no longer be a Director but I will remain an IAHA member and I will continue to be engaged, connected and vocal. I look forward to seeing the next leaders continue to take IAHA into the future. I hope that you (yes you reading this right now) might be one of them!

Thank you!

Finally, on October 21st Australia lost a great man and a great politician. I am not much into politics but the name Gough Whitlam is a name that I knew well growing up.  The former Prime Minister of Australia changed the landscape and gave opportunities to all Australian’s, which opened doors for many in this country. Some of the nation changing policy that the Whitlam Government introduced included universal health care – it gave Australians free access to hospitals and a range of medical services – the scheme we now know as Medicare, free tertiary education – removed fees for universities in 1974 seeing a huge increase in the number of Australians receiving tertiary education, the country’s first anti-discrimination laws, legal aide – the Aboriginal Legal Service began in 1970 in inner Sydney. In 1972 the Whitlam Government pledged to fund representation for ALL Aboriginal people in all courts across the country. His government must have been impressed with the work that the Aboriginal Community were doing, because in 1973 his government introduced the Legal Aid Office in 1973 (with an office in each state across the country), Women in power – Gough was the first world leader to appoint a dedicated leader for Women’s affairs, and the start of the Aboriginal Land Rights movement – returned the traditional lands of the Gurindji people to Vincent Lingiari in 1975 – A very well-known image of Gough pouring the red dirt from his hands into the hands of Vincent Lingiari.

There were many more national policy changing decision that his government undertook, and although they might not have been directly linked to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, they certainly paved the way and opened the doors for us to make changes for our people.

Whatever your political belief is, you cannot mistake that Gough was a leader in politics at time when we needed a leader to be the voice for all Australians. There is the saying that the current generation stand on the shoulders of giants – and I think we should be thankful that despite the struggles of our past and present we have had leaders that opened doors and possibilities for this and future generations.

Kylie Stothers
IAHA Deputy Chairperson

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National Forum in Three Weeks!

forum_boxThe 2014 IAHA National Forum is only a few weeks away, which means time is running out to register! The 2014 IAHA National Forum will host the second IAHA Health Fusion Team Challenge, 8 Professional Development workshops and the IAHA 2014 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards and Gala Dinner. These events will present fantastic opportunities to work together, support each other, enhance professional and personal journeys and celebrate the successes of those contributing to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours/points

All workshop participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance, detailing the duration, aims and learning outcomes of the workshop, which can be included in your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) personal portfolio. Click here to view the national Professional Associations (to date) that have endorsed the workshops for CPD purposes. 

Gala Dinner and Awards Night

Building on the success of the 2013 National Indigenous Allied Health Awards, IAHA will again recognise the contribution of IAHA members to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by holding a Gala Dinner and Awards.

The Hon. Senator Fiona Nash will be our guest speaker for the Gala Dinner and Awards.

Call us right now at (02) 6285 1010 for more details, or click here to register for this event.

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2015 Indigenous Leadership Workshop

We are taking expressions of interest for the 2015 IAHA Indigenous Leadership Workshop in Alice Springs from 17-19 February, but places are filling up very quickly so make sure you don’t miss out on this great event: REGISTER YOUR INTEREST TODAY!

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Out and About with Larry Brandy

October has been a busy month for Larry, with important calls to members to raise awareness of the upcoming National Forum, HealthFusion Team Challenge, and Indigenous Leadership Workshop in February 2015. We hope members have enjoyed having a yarn to Larry. If you haven’t received a call yet, please get in touch as we are also updating member’s contact details. (02) 6285 1010, or larry@iaha.com.au

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Policy Update

  1.        IAHA Submission to Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme

A written submission from IAHA into the Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions was sent to the Independent reviewer on 10 October 2014. In the submission IAHA advocates from the perspective of the allied health collective and IAHA did not seek to comment upon, nor influence, discipline specific issues that may arise through the review.

  1.        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework project

IAHA involvement on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework project advisory group continues upon its transfer from Health Workforce Australia to the commonwealth Department of Health. IAHA Senior Policy Officer attended a face to face workshop consultation on Thursday 9 October 2014 where a broad range of Stakeholders from professional associations, accreditation authorities, universities, and the health sector were present. There were detailed discussions and feedback given on the draft Framework presented at the workshop.

IAHA commends the work of the Project team at Curtin University for developing a draft Framework that whilst still requiring revisions and refinements, is on track to support higher education providers and regulation authorities develop and implement initiatives to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in curriculum, as well as enhance standards across professional regulation.

  1.        Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

IAHA Chairperson Faye McMillan was pleased to help launch Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s “Guide to the providing Pharmacy Services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” at the Pharmacy Australia Congress held in Canberra this month. IAHA actively contributed, along with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and people, to the development of the Guide. This document aims to increase the cultural responsiveness of pharmacists and pharmacy staff working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

  1.        IAHA Submission to Indigenous Advancement Strategy (AIS) Funding Round

The 2014 grant round for funding under the IAS opened on Monday 8 September 2014 and closed on Friday 17 October.  IAHA developed and submitted a comprehensive funding proposal to the AIS this month. IAHA shares the Australian Government’s commitment to achieving better results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in three priority areas – building Indigenous leadership capacity, building and leading a culturally responsive workforce and pathways into allied health.

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Journey’s into Allied Health – Nathan Canuto: Psychology

Nathan CanutoThis month’s featured Journey into Allied Health comes from Psychology student and IAHA Student Representative Committee member Nathan Canuto.

Click here to read more…

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Other Health News

AH&MRC – Calling For Supervisors For the Social Emotional Wellbeing and Substance Use Workforce of NSW

AH&MRC are looking for supervisors with appropriate clinical and cultural skills to go onto a Register of Supervisors that can provide clinical supervision to the workforce on a fee-for-service basis.

Click here to read more…

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Upcoming Events

24-27 November, 2014

Indigenous Allied Health Australia 2014 National Forum, Canberra.
Click here to read more…

IAHA Indigenous Leadership Workshop: 17-19 February, 2015

All Indigenous Members are invited to attend this upcoming workshop in Alice Springs. Click here to register your interest and for more information.