The impact of COVID-19 on the education, training, and professional practice of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce

Paul Gibson1

1Indigenous Allied Health Australia, Deakin, Australia

Lead presenter, Kylie Stothers, is a Jawoyn woman from Katherine, Northern Territory

As the peak national membership for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce, Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) had a key role to play in understanding and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on the health workforce, across a diverse range of settings and sectors.

In late 2020, IAHA also obtained ethics approval to undertake research to understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on the health workforce, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and graduates studying and working in allied health. 81 IAHA members – reflective of the cultural, geographic, and professional diversity of IAHA – responded to the first of two surveys at the end of last year. The responses highlighted both the challenges and opportunities experienced by members and the broad impacts of COVID-19 on both the current and emerging health workforce.

A second survey will open in April 2021 to understand how universities can and should retain flexibility in the delivery of (allied) health courses in a way which meets the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students from regional, rural, and remote Australia. The second survey will also elaborate on how COVID-19 has continued to shape the professional practice and career goals of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce.


Biography:

Biographies to come.

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