SARRAH Webinars

If you are a SARRAH member you can find the recordings of our webinars in the members section of the website

SARRAH Discussion Forum - “Rural allied health workforce – clearing a path and joining up dots”

SARRAH is pleased to invite you to attend a discussion forum “Rural allied health workforce – clearing a path and joining up dots” to be run in conjunction with SARRAH’s Annual General Meeting Scheduled for 26 November 2021. The forum is scheduled to run from 9.30 am to 11.30 am AEDT. The AGM will start at 12.00 pm (AEDT).
Members and colleagues committed to improving allied health services and access across rural and remote Australia are welcome to join the Discussion.

Purpose of the Discussion Forum:
To develop a shared set of priorities to promote ahead of the next election and opportunities to connect with and develop networks – national, local and mixed, cross-sector and community focused.  
We expect that the proposed priority actions:

  • enable workforce and services that help address national issues but work locally. 
  • enable place-based trials/collaboration in locations, especially in communities with effective local networks.

We're keen to identify options which have broad participant support to work up and put to political leaders and funding agencies.
Focus on the Forum:

  • We will focus centrally on the NDIS, however for allied health in rural and remote Australia that often means looking at health, aged care and every situation and setting people need these services.
  • We will share ideas, what works on the ground and what doesn’t: innovative practice, collaborative service models and ways of building, attracting, supporting and retaining a workforce.
  • We will identify the best opportunities to connect with and where can we work together?

Who will be involved in the discussion?
SARRAH members include rural practitioners in the public, private and community sectors, students/future rural practitioners, educators working in the university and VET sectors, small and large service delivery organisations, researchers, policy and program managers. Other attendees will include:

  • Local service coordinators and providers, other allied health and workforce development/education and training representatives.
  • We hope, government representatives with an interest in promoting place-based action supported by broad partnerships to help address service and workforce challenges.

How will the session be organised?
The Forum will be a facilitated discussion, led by SARRAH CEO Cath Maloney ensuring all participants are comfortable sharing their inputs.

  • We encourage participation but you won’t be put on the spot.
  • There will be an opportunity to raise issues and questions online.
  • We will aim to get to and include all of your points, feedback and suggestions as much as possible during the session, but afterwards if not.

 The draft agenda items are as follows: 

Item # Description Approximate time
 1 Opening comments and introduction 5 minutes
2 The context: snapshot reminder of the policy and political environment 5 minutes
3 Scene setters: Selection of stakeholder viewpoints - national, regional and local  (speakers TBA) 30 minutes
4 Forum discussion:  Facilitated and time-limited short organised around 3-5 identified priorities for action.
  1. What’s important?
  2. What works and why?
  3.  What doesn’t and is needed to improve workforce and service access?
60 minutes
5 Synthesis and re-cap – what needs to be prioritised for action now? 15 minutes
6 Next steps and close 5 minutes

If you are interested, please submit the registration form here  We will share the link to dial-in once the registration form is received.
SARRAH Secretariat

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street, Barton ACT 2600

Past Webinars: 

SARRAH Expert Panel Discussion

 This webinar featuring The Hon Mark Coulton MP, Associate Prof Ruth Stewart, & Dr Anne-Marie Boxall was held in conjunction with our AGM. It proved to be a lively and thought provoking discussion, highly recommended watch in the members section of our website. 

An Expert Panel Discussion - The Value of Allied Health

To celebrate Allied Health Professionals Day we held an expert panel discussion featuring some to the sharpest allied health professional minds in the country.

How do we advocate for the important role that allied health play in our healthcare system and community? Please join our celebration of allied health professionals day with an expert panel discussing how to sell the value of allied health. Panel members include Professor Lorimer Moseley, Professor Susan Nancarrow, Dr Ianthe Boden, Ms Catherine Maloney and Dr Anna Moran (facilitator). 


Australian rural aged care workforce: precarity and capacity

The precarity of the aged care sector has recently and abruptly surfaced to become the subject of intense public scrutiny. The incapacity of this sector to consistently deliver appropriate levels of care follow many rounds of reform that have ultimately landed care and the business of providing it within a ‘quasi’ market model. The many covid-19 related deaths of aged care residents in Victoria have triggered demands for urgent action to redress the sector’s weaknesses particularly those relating to workforce adequacy. This webinar will present findings from a recent study led by Sue Hodgkin in conjunction with aged care providers operating across a large rural part of Victoria. The webinar will focus on the impact of rural locations on care provision, and significantly on the capacity to maintain an appropriately skilled workforce. Demographic factors and funding shortfalls for consumers with high level and complex care needs underscore the need for strategic planning to ensure workforce adequacy into the future. Encouragingly, the data showcase the many capacities of rural aged services in partnership with university providers to develop effective strategies relative to recruitment and retention of direct care workers. 

Benefits of Delivering Positive Behaviour Support via Telepractice - Dr Genevieve Johnsson

Technology delivered intervention has been used successfully in allied health services for speech pathology, adult autism assessment, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. There is emerging research on its use for delivering behaviour support interventions based on applied behaviour analysis, however investigation is needed on the use of technology to deliver the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) model of intervention. PBS is adopted by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and focusses on building capacity in individuals, their families and local support teams to prevent and manage behaviours of concern. Aspect is currently delivering a clinical trial of PBS delivered via tele-practice (Tele-PBS) in regional and remote areas of Australia. This presentation discussed the delivery of PBS by allied health practitioners under the NDIS, current policy and evidence to support the delivery of PBS via telepractice, adaptations of a comprehensive model of PBS for telepractice, and lessons learnt from our research on Tele-PBS so far.

Transform your approach to service planning (an introduction) - Dr Anna Moran
Have you got an idea for your allied health service but don't know where to start? Have you got a new service or model of care that you think could work better but are struggling to conceptualise it? Or perhaps you are planning to re-design parts of your rural allied health service or business but need some help to get started? Over the 4 weeks you will have live presentations and work through online content with Anna, she will share with you what she has learned over her years of research and practice. Anna understands the pressure rural practitioners are under and how they are committed to their community but sometimes just need the right place to start.

Allied Health Utilisation Findings from the Crossroads-II Study - Dr Kristen Glenister
Tuesday 29 June 2020
Data from studies like Crossroads-II can be used to advocate for additional allied health services to meet the needs of rural communities. Findings from Crossroads-I were used to advocate for increased numbers of allied health professionals from one at a particular rural hospital to 11 at the time of Crossroads-II. Allied health utilisation results from the Crossroads-II study capture allied health services subsidised by Medicare or private health insurance, as well as services paid for 'out of pocket', and thus provides a unique insight. For example; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures for 2017-2018 report that 3% of Australians received Medicare subsidised physiotherapy services in that financial year, whereas 18% of Crossroads-II respondents had received physiotherapy services in the past 12 months, likely via Medicare subsidy, private health insurance or paid 'out of pocket'.

Allied health student supervision for telehealth placements
Tuesday 23 June 2020
COVID-19 has required us all to be agile and flexible in service delivery and also to enable Allied Health (AH) student placements to proceed. We all want the rural ‘pipeline’ to continue to flow to support our AH rural workforce. In this current time, placement experiences may differ from traditional placements but they can still be valuable learning opportunities for students. A telehealth (TH) based student placement is one method to enable placements to continue during COVID-19. And in fact we might discover that TH is such a good option for service delivery for our rural and regional clients, and also provides excellent learning opportunities for our AH students, that we continue using post COVID! Many of the aspects of student supervision for a TH based placement, are no different to supervision of a traditional, pre-COVID, face to face placement. This webinar will explore considerations for best practice in supervising Allied Health students using telehealth as a mode of service delivery during placements (both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond).

The Social Determinants of Attracting, Building and Retaining a Rural/Remote Health Workforce: Findings From My 2019 Churchill Fellowship Trip Dr Cath Cosgrave
Thursday 14 May
Dr Cosgrave is a social scientist with internationally recognised expertise in rural health workforce (recruitment and retention). Her research specialisation is rural health workforce recruitment and retention of nursing and allied health professionals; sub-specialisations include early-career and health professionals from non-rural backgrounds. In 2018, Dr Cosgrave was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, to visit rural and remote communities in Canada to investigate community-led and engaged health workforce development approaches for the psychosocial needs of newcomer health workers. Since completing her PhD in 2016, she has been working as a research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health and as an independent management consultant in rural health services and workforce planning. Dr Cosgrave has developed a ‘Whole-of-Person Retention Improvement Framework’ outlining supports for improving job and life satisfaction. Dr Cosgrave has recently completed a two-year partnership project with two rural Victorian public-health services working to support improved retention of their allied health workforce; she is currently writing up the study.

The Fragile Forgotten - The Experience of Providing and Receiving Services Under the NDIS in Rural Australia Dr Luke Wakely
Tuesday 7 April
Dr Luke Wakely is a senior lecturer in physiotherapy at the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health. As an APA titled paediatric physiotherapist with 20 years of clinical experience in rural Australia, he is passionate about addressing health inequity for rural communities in particular children and their families. His research focuses on the parenting of children with health issues or disability and the particular needs of rural families.

If you have a topic or research you would like to present as a webinar please contact us as sends e-mail)