Initiatives to enhance the NSW Health Indigenous Allied Health Workforce

Dr Hassan Kadous1, Mr  Charles  Davison

1NSW Ministry Of Health, Sydney, Australia, 2NSW Ministry of Health, Sydney, Australia

The NSW Ministry of Health Workforce Planning and Talent Development Allied Health and  Aboriginal Workforce Portfolios have collaborated to increase the Aboriginal Allied Health Workforce within NSW Health. NSW Health Aboriginal allied health workforce is currently at 1.1% well below the recommended 1.8% across all awards and occupations.

2 priority projects have commenced.


Aboriginal Allied Health Workforce Pathways Scoping Project

This project is to identify and explore current pathways, programs and initiatives within Australia that attract and support Aboriginal people to enter and remain in allied health careers. Focus will be around programs most appropriate for attracting and retaining Aboriginal people within the NSW public health system, cultural safety and responsiveness, allied health professions with the lowest proportion of Aboriginal staff, allied health professions with the greatest potential to improve Aboriginal health outcomes. The project covers metropolitan and rural/regional areas. It will consider secondary, VET, as well as university students. The Expert Reference Group will guide the project including support and development of a full project plan, refine data collection tools, collaborate to interpret findings and review the draft evaluation report. UTS has been commissioned and commenced an early discussion paper.


Healthy Deadly Feet (HDF) Initiative- small but critical workforce initiative

Podiatrists have been identified as a small but critical workforce with only 2 Aboriginal Podiatrists in NSW Health. This is particularly concerning in light of the evidence which exists around Addressing Diabetes – Related Foot Disease (DRFD) in Indigenous Australia- a report commissioned by NSW Ministry of Health (MOH). The report highlights issues around the high incidence of DRFD in Aboriginal population, Podiatry workforce distribution issues and issues around culturally safe services. H D F Initiative is a collaboration between Moh, HETI, ACI and five nominated Districts/Network which have begun to structure the workforce to improve the access, awareness and cultural safety in the delivery of diabetic high risk foot services for the Aboriginal population. To support this program the NSW Mo H has partnered with Indigenous Allied Health Australia and HETI to establish an Aboriginal Allied Health Network and the Coordination of Cultural Responsiveness training.


Hassan is the Principal Allied Health Advisor in the Workforce Planning and Talent Development branch of the NSW Ministry of Health. He has worked clinically as a Physiotherapist at a number of hospitals around NSWs with extensive skills and knowledge in Emergency, Aged Care and Rehabilitation areas. He has managed the State-wide Physiotherapy service at the Justice Health Forensic Mental Health Network and completed a Doctorate of Business Administration specialising in Healthcare Leadership and Management. He is also a member of the Health Professionals Council Authority, NSW Physiotherapy Council. Hassan retains a fractional clinical Physiotherapy role at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital Emergency Department and is enrolled to train as an Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT), providing local and international health relief deployment after disaster.

Charles’ to be confirmed

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