Thursday Morning Workshops

0830-1200 Thursday 27th October 2016 | Port Lincoln Hotel.

They are free to attend for Full Conference Delegates and Thursday Conference Day Delegates.  However space is limited and bookings are essential.

Workshops will be filled on a first come first served basis and space is limited.  Book your preferred workshop during the registration process.

Thursday Workshop A

Survival skills for a sustainable and viable future

Are you working in an environment where funding models are changing?  Will the NDIS, changes to Aged Care, the requirement to tender for services through Primary Health Networks and other funding model changes impact on your community? This workshop will assist you to understand the changing environment in the provision of aged care, disability, mental health, chronic disease services and more, and develop the skills you need to provide a viable service in this changing environment.

Presenters & Facilitators

Danny has been a business consultant to the medical and allied health industry since 2008, advising on all areas of practice management including business planning, infrastructure development, HR management, and increasing available services. He heads up the Practice Management Services division of Brentnalls SA which is focussed on supporting medical and allied health practices and health services to achieve their goals.

Having worked with medical practices throughout a period of huge change, Danny has brought about many improvements including establishing more effective governance, restructuring service models, and improving systems and processes such as patient pathways and the coordination of care. He has helped develop more financially viable service models and, ultimately, more profitable and sustainable practices.

Danny is currently the National President of the Australia Association of Practice Management (AAPM) and a Board Member of the Northern Health Network (NHN).

  • Elaine Ashworth

Elaine’s background is in physiotherapy and she has spent many years working in a range of clinical and management positions in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and the United Kingdom.   Most of this time has been spent in rural and remote areas, including 2 years in Mount Isa developing an Allied Health service to remote communities spread over 370,000 sq km of North West Queensland.  She ‘retired’ from the position of Principal Allied Health Advisor for Country Health SA 2 years ago and since then has enjoyed a good balance of recreation (with lots of travel and messing about in boats on the beautiful Murray River) and freelance project, consultancy and locum work in a range of exotic places.

Elaine grew up in Melbourne, and trained there over 40 years ago, but now couldn’t bear to live in a city!  She is based in Berri in the Riverland of SA, with her very patient husband and cat.

She has been a member of SARRAH since its inception, served on the Board for several years and is the proud recipient of a ‘Squawk Award’ in recognition of her contribution to the organisation.

  • Diane Graham
    Collaborative Project Officer

Diane has been the Collaborative Project Officer providing support to Aged Care Service providers in the Eyre & Western Region of South Australia for the past 4 years. Based in Port Lincoln the Eyre & Western region covers Whyalla and Ceduna and all points in-between.

The Collaborative Projects across South Australian are twelve regional structures funded by the Department of Health. A Project Officer is allocated to each region: their role it is to facilitate service reform and improve service cooperation and coordination at a regional level. The Project Officers  engage with services that support frail older people and their carers. The work completed by the projects lead to improved quality of life outcomes for the target group, including independence and participation in their communities of choice through a partnership approach with all stakeholders.

During the current period of Aged Care Sector Reform there have been many challenges  for service providers but as they say in the classics “change to some is an opportunity to others”. Supporting service providers to work in this dynamic environment has resulted in many lessons being learnt,  some of which may be of value to delegates in ensuring that they are best placed to provide services to the increasing aged population and their carers in their community.

  • Anne Skordis
    General Manager, Scheme Transition, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Anne Skordis is the General Manager, Scheme Transition, for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Anne has responsibility for leading the NDIA’s collaboration with the Commonwealth, States and Territories on arrangements for transition to full implementation of the NDIS. The Scheme Transition Division also leads development of NDIA approaches related to mental health, supporting transition to employment and interface with mainstream services. Prior to joining the NDIA Anne held several roles within the NSW government related to disability and aged care policy and service delivery. Her most recent roles were in intergovernmental negotiations and disability policy reform including a role as the Executive Director, NDIS Implementation and Transition for the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Originally from Victoria, Anne studied social work and her early career was in income support programs, concessions and customer policy for gas and electricity providers in Victoria.

Thursday Workshop B

Evidence for allied health efficacy and efficiency

Recent times have witnessed dramatic changes to health care in Australia. There is now an overt recognition for quality to inform health care practices and this recognition for change has been driven by an increasingly well-informed consumer of health service, the patient, and other stakeholders who strive to underpin their service delivery within the quality health care framework. The key components of this framework include safety, effectiveness, patient centeredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity. Essentially from a clinical perspective this means treating the right patient, at the right time, by the right person, in the right way in order to achieve the right outcomes. However, improving the quality of health care, including allied health, is a complex undertaking. Understanding and demonstrating quality in allied health is influenced by a number of factors including the definitional ambiguity, diversity of disciplines, differing governance structures,  historical reliance on processes of care, focus on impairment, activity limitation and participation restriction, which are difficult to measure within the traditional health care systems. Despite these barriers, it is imperative that allied health professions demonstrate their impact on efficacy and efficiency through research-informed and practice-based evidence.  This workshop will bring together a range of different presenters who will showcase how allied health can demonstrate its impact. Using practical examples, this workshop will also showcase opportunities and challenges that confront allied health in the 21st century, where change in the new norm for health care.


  • Dr Saravana Kumar

Dr Saravana Kumar is a Senior Lecturer and Research Leader at the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia. As a physiotherapist, he have 16 years of professional experience spanning clinical practice (in manipulative and sports physiotherapy), research (health services research, evidence-based practice, quality and safety, allied health) and teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy, evidence-based practice, and research methods).  He collaborates with a number of allied health disciplines and as he has expertise in transforming health and achieving best practice, he provides specialist advice to several local, national and international agencies in development, implementation and evaluation of new models of care, workforce role re-design and quality and safety initiatives.

  • Dr Jane Adams

Dr Jane Adams is a Senior Health Economics Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia. Dr Adams was the lead author on a recently completed report titled “The impact of allied health professionals in improving outcomes and reducing the cost of treating diabetes, osteoarthritis and stroke” which was commissioned by SARRAH. The findings from this report has several key learnings for all allied health stakeholders and Dr Adams will provide a presentation which will centre around the findings from this report.

  • Dr Narelle Campbell

Dr Narelle Campbell is a Senior Lecturer at the NT Clinical School, Flinders University. Dr Campbell has expertise in allied health workforce and rural and remote practice. Recently Dr Campbell was instrumental in developing a new evidence-based free resource for increasing quality in student supervision. Student supervision is a task that many rural and remote professionals undertake but their access to support, training and feedback is more limited than their urban colleagues. The peer review process counters their isolation by providing both resources and a readily available solution to increasing quality in supervision using a peer review observation process. Dr Campbell is also actively involved within SARRAH by providing leadership in areas of research.

  • Ms Catherine Turnbull

Ms Catherine Turnbull is the Chief Allied & Scientific Health Advisor and Transforming Health Education Lead at the Office for Professional Leadership, Department for Health and Ageing, South Australia. Ms Turnbull has provided local, national and international leadership on how allied health can demonstrate its impact in an ever changing health care context. As a policymaker, Ms Turnbull has been instrumental in lifting the profile of allied health within health care and at this presentation she will share her perspectives about why and how allied health can continue to lift its profile.

Thursday Workshop C

Using e-mental health services with Indigenous clients in your practice

E-mental health services can provide an engaging and effective opportunity to reach populations with poor service access. E-mental health services provide treatment and support to people with mental health concerns through telephone, mobile phone, computer and online applications, and range from the provision of health information, peer support services, virtual applications and games, through to real-time interaction with practitioners. They may be client-driven, practitioner-supported or involve a combination of support and self-driven use. Workshop participants will discover the small but growing collection of e-mental health resources available to support the needs of Indigenous people. Participants will then have the opportunity to build practical skills in using e-mental health in treatment settings, including building trust and rapport, matching e-mental health tools to clients appropriately and using e-mental health in referral. We will facilitate hands on experience with the Stay Strong App for greater depth and familiarity with a specific e-mental health resource developed for Indigenous Australians.

Click here for more information!

Presenters & Facilitators

Michelle Sweet & Stef Puszka

Both presenters are based at Menzies School of Health Research and work within the Indigenous stream of the e-Mental Health in Practice project, a national collaboration to provide training and support in e-mental health to health professionals.

Michelle Sweet has previously with Aboriginal controlled organisations in Alice Springs both as a Consultant and Manager. Her passions lie with advocating, exploring and developing innovative strategies to address health issues.

Based in Darwin, Stef Puszka has a background in anthropology and has experience working in health services and in research in the areas of Indigenous mental health, alcohol and other drugs and healthcare systems. She is interested in the intercultural interaction between Indigenous people and health and community service delivery.

Saturday Workshop

Allied Health Rural Generalist Workshop

0900-1030 Saturday 29th October 2016 | Port Lincoln Hotel.

The session will present work being undertaken to develop and formalise rural generalist workforce, education and service models for specific allied health professions.  Presenters will consider learnings from other professional groups, progress to date and the future directions of rural generalism for allied health, and provide an opportunity for facilitated discussion of this important topic.

Presenters & Facilitators

Ilsa Nielsen (Presenter / panelist)

Principal Workforce Officer, Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland, Queensland Department of Health.

Ilsa is based in Cairns in far northern Queensland.  Her current role supports workforce policy, planning and development for rural and remote allied health services in Queensland Health.  Ilsa has post-graduate qualifications in public health, education, and health economics and policy.  Her former appointments include academic and clinical physiotherapy positions, and she maintains involvement in undergraduate teaching as an adjunct senior lecturer at James Cook University.

Renae Moore (Session Facilitator)

Principal Allied Health Advisor, Northern Territory Department of Health

Renae’s professional background is as a speech pathologist with experience working in remote, rural and urban settings across health, education and community sectors. Renae has been actively involved in rural and remote allied health issues at a local, State/Territory and national level throughout her career. Over the last 14 years, Renae has worked in a variety of senior policy and project roles across aboriginal health, early intervention, aged and disability and workforce strategy, most recently as the NT Principal Allied Health Advisor. Renae is currently the A/Executive Director Allied Health for Top End Health Services.

Associate Professor Bruce Chater OAM  (Presenter / panelist)

Assoc Professor Alan Bruce Chater is Medical Superintendent with Right to Private Practice in Theodore, Chair of the Statewide Rural and Remote Clinical Network, Head of the Discipline of Rural and Remote Medicine, University of Queensland, Secretary of the international Wonca (World Organization of General Practitioners) Working Party on Rural Practice and on the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Board.  He was founding convenor of the Queensland and Australian Rural Doctors Association and the first chair of the National Rural Health Alliance. As Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) president he was integrally involved in setting up the Queensland Rural (Medical) Generalist program which has a yearly intake of 80 interns.   Performing all these roles from his rural base of Theodore, Dr Chater remains grounded in the needs of rural communities. His practice as the Medical Superintendent with Right to Private Practice in the small town of Theodore is an exemplar of rural practice encompassing services including surgery and obstetrics, general practice and inpatient care, ultrasonography and x-rays, private practice and hospital practice.

Anna McDonald  (Presenter / panelist)

Program Manager, Allied Health – WA Country Health Service

Anna McDonald is a physiotherapist ‘by trade’ and is the WA Country Health Service Program Manager, Allied Health. Anna has had a long and varied career in country WA having worked as a public physiotherapist in the Wheatbelt and Kimberley and has run small private practices in Kununurra as well as Perth. She has also worked in other non-clinical roles in country health including injury prevention, revenue and rural health development. Anna has a passion for supporting allied health professionals in the country and is a member of the Greater Northern Australia Regional Training Network (GNARTN) Rural and Remote Allied Health Generalist Steering Committee.

Georgia McCullagh  (Presenter / panelist)

Georgia McCullagh is an occupational therapist working in an Allied Health Rural Generalist Training Position in Longreach, Queensland. Georgia also worked at Chinchilla Hospital in an Allied Health Rural Generalist Training Position in 2014, the inaugural year of the program.

Georgia provides a unique perspective of this rural workforce development program having worked in positions in two different health services and observing the development of the program since its commencement.

Within these roles Georgia has developed and implemented telehealth services for consumers in rural and remote areas and is a current member of the Queensland Telehealth Network for hand therapy.