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.
Biographies to come.