Allied Health Governance in the Catholic Health Sector – bringing the allied health voice to the national systems level

Rachel Resuggan1, Kirby Young2, Anne Maree Buttner3

1St John Of God Healthcare, Perth, Australia, 2Cabrini Health, Melbourne, Australia, 3Allied Health Services, , Australia

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is the largest non-government provider grouping of health, community and aged care services in Australia, nationally representing Catholic health care sponsors, systems, facilities and related organisations and services. There are 80 hospitals with over 10,000 hospital beds (2700 public hospital beds), accounting for over 25% of all private hospital beds Australia wide and approximate 10% of all healthcare services within Australia.

In 2020 CHA established its inaugural Allied Health Committee. CHA’s Allied Health Committee has drawn members from within its network providing it with a unique opportunity to drive debate and initiate, review and integrate policy across both the private and public hospital sectors in Australia’s largest non-government health and social care provider organisation.

Key components for initiating and shaping the establishment of this allied health governance infrastructure included:

  • Strengthening the Allied Health voice in key national reforms and leveraging the successful advocacy role of CHA
  • Providing an integrated forum for information exchange and collaboration across the CHA national landscape
  • Driving Clinical Excellence and improving quality of health services through consensus-oriented conversation to achieve nationally supported positions on policy and practice
  • Targeted discussion on contemporary issues impacting allied health services and workforce shaping innovative models of care and building a sustainable future

Early achievements of the new committee include:

  • Advocacy for Allied Health services in government health reform
  • Established committee TOR and key actions that align to the Catholic mission and values

The presentation concludes with discussion of Next Steps and an evaluation strategy.


Kirby Young (BPT, GCMskPT, MHA) is the Chief of Allied Health and Ambulatory services at Cabrini Health – a private, catholic, not-for-profit health service in Melbourne’s south-east. Kirby trained as a physiotherapist and has worked across the public and private sectors in clinical, quality, and operational roles. Kirby has a passion for integrated care, meeting unmet demand, and driving the development of out-of-hospital services.

Anne Maree Buttner has been a Director of Allied Health Services for more than 25 years working in two acute health care organisations, one in the public sector, the other a private not for profit organisation delivering both private and public services. She has also held roles as Director of Corporate Services and Director of Strategic and Master Planning within health organisations. Anne Maree has a strong interest in strategic planning, Allied Health workforce planning, benchmarking and quality improvement

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