Doing something with nothing – Marketing Allied Health in the Far West

Ms Rebecca Smith1, Ms  Patricia  Holtze, Mrs Tracy  Herlihy

1Far West Local Health District, Broken Hill , Australia


With the fast pace of recruitment across Allied Health how do you go about standing out from the crowd hooking the best candidates and making your workplace/region shine?

Often as teams and managers we are not only faced with lengthy processes, financial barriers but also technological restrictions, which effect the innovation and creativity within a recruitment process.

Our story is about how we engaged an Allied Health department to showcase the amazing opportunities in the Far West Local Health District (Broken Hill) by creating a short Facebook video. In doing this we overcame some of the barriers that many teams face across the rural and remote landscapes in showcasing the opportunities without designated advertising funding. Reoccurring comments that we hear from staff are that “we would have been here sooner if we knew just how exciting, well serviced and diverse the area was”.

With no budget, no technological support and no idea what we were doing, let us discuss with you how we used an iPhone, Laptop and enthusiasm to build our Social Media Video. This single video also increased our recruitment application pools by 200% across the board and is the highest rating video on our LHDs Facebook page with over 4,000 views, 90 likes and 60 shares while still counting.

This is a simple plan with a large effect on our recruitment pools and just the starting point for our continued plan to change the landscape of Far West Allied Health and changing our workforce’s professional lives.


Patricia Holtze has had an extensive healthcare career as a Speech Pathologist working in many metro, regional and remote areas in Australia. Patricia returned to the Far West Local Health District in 2016 as the Manager for Primary and Allied Health where she has been systematically building the profile of Allied Health and working to establish quality and sustainable clinical services for the broader region.

Tracy Herlihy Manager of Dietetics within the Far West Local Health District based within the Broken Hill Hospital and Health Service. Working with the health service from a new graduate she was compelled to remain with the area for her vast clinical career. Working not only for the local health service she has also held roles with the University Department of Rural Health with the University of Sydney and various other state-wide committees. Tracy has also been instrumental in the establishment of Exercise Physiology tertiary placements within Broken Hill, along with many other achievements.

Rebecca Smith is currently Manager of the Occupational Therapy and Acting Manager of the Physiotherapy services within the Far West Local Health District within the Broken Hill Hospital and Health Service. Working in rural and remote locations has been a passion since graduating as an Occupational Therapist in 2006 and she has worked in various states and locations including Port Augusta, Rockhampton, Longreach and now Broken Hill. Workforce sustainability and rural practice are areas that of continual importance to her as a health care professional.