Talking for Purpose

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Welcome to “Talking For Purpose", SARRAH’s weekly podcast for anyone interested in changing up rural and remote health.

SARRAH CEO Cath Maloney is a physiotherapist with substantial lived experience of rural and remote health service design and delivery, while Allan Groth, SARRAH’s Director of Policy and Strategy, has extensive experience working at senior levels of government in health and social services.  Between them they have crafted careers out of health policy and programming and in this podcast bring their respective clinical and administrative perspectives together in the search for systemic reform.

The question is: can they make the world of health policy interesting and engaging for allied health professionals?

To help them, Cath and Allan will be joined by allied health leaders and other policy geeks to talk about the changes needed to achieve better access to allied health services for rural and remote Australia.  If you’re looking for informative and entertaining chat while you cover those miles between country towns on your daily rounds, this is the podcast for you.  

Do you have any themes/topics that you would like to hear us discuss? People you’d like us to interview?  Please drop us an email to our mailbox at


Cath and Al discuss the elements of the 2023 budget that may or may not improve access to allied health services for people living in rural and remote Australia.

Talking for Purpose -  Cath and Al sift through the prospects for rural health reforms likely to arise from the 2023 Federal Budget in this episode of Talking for Purpose. They cover the Workforce Incentive Program as part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, changes to NDIS, and call for flexible, locally-informed place-based solutions to ensure healthcare reforms hit the right notes.

Talking for Purpose - Cath and Allan discuss the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee's interim report and its implications for growing allied health expertise central to optimising social and economic participation for all.

Talking for Purpose - Scott Gibbings set out to build a career in sports science, and now works for the Tasmanian Health Service as Consultant, Allied Health Workforce Recruitment and Development. Listen as Scott unpacks for us the decision points in his career that led him from running the AFL sideline to working as a physiotherapist in intensive care and then to take on a statewide health management role.

Talking for Purpose - SARRAH President Lisa Baker talks about her passion for developing the allied health professionals of the future, and along the way describes what can be achieved over a diverse career lived wholly in rural Queensland.

Talking for Purpose  - Michael Bishop, Founding member of SARRAH - Allied Health Professionals are in a great position to advocate on behalf of their clients and communities. In this podcast, SARRAH founding member Michael Bishop reminds us that we have unique skills and perspectives to bring to the table when it comes to the debate about health reforms - and that the time for action is now!

Talking for Purpose - A/Prof Carol McKinstry (Chair, OT Australia) and Nicole O'Reilly (Chair, National Rural Health Alliance) wrap up the Mildura Rural Health Workforce Summit with Cath Maloney.

Talking for Purpose - Nerida Volker from NSW TAFE brings us an update on developments in the VET sector, highlighting the pivotal role AHPs need to play in enhancing growth of allied health assistant workforce.

Takling for Purpose - Jaimee and Kalee talk with us about the team's experiences with Covid-19 deployment in the NT, including the new experiences, challenges, and key qualities that Allied Health staff brought to this emergency response. Jaimee and Kalee also discuss what the team has learned and how this has improved staff’s clinical skills following the return to business as usual.

Talking for Purpose - Cath and Al encourage our political leaders to proceed with common sense and logic as the debate over Strengthening Medicare reforms heats up.
NOTE: Cath was on the road this week as this episode was recorded. There is some background noise affecting the audio.

Talking for Purpose - In the first podcast for 2023, Cath and Al undertake a deep-dive into the Grattan Institute's report on reforming general practice, strategically published in December ahead of the highly anticipated "Strengthening Medicare" Taskforce report due in February 2023.



Talking for Purpose - Occupational therapist Sarah Gallagher from Bendigo Health talks about the professional development initiatives she is building to support the rural allied health workforce pipeline - from undergraduate to early and middle career.

Talking for purpose - Ainsleigh Whelan (Executive Manager, Support, Therapy, Education, and Prevention Unit) and Rebecca Woodland (Executive Manager, Corporate Services) discuss a multifaceted workforce recruitment and retention strategy of the Gippsland Lakes Complete Health (Victoria).

Talking for purpose - Cath and Allan discuss some highlights from the SARRAH 2022 14th National Conference for Rural and Remote Allied Health Professionals

Talking for purpose - Al and Cath discuss the labour market cliff and where the future care workforce will come from.

Talking for purpose - Cath and Allan discuss the 2022 John Deeble Lecture keynote address delivered by Mr Michael Brennan, Chair of the Productivity Commission, and its implications for the allied health sector

Talking for purpose - Cath and Allan discuss the ABS census data showing how Australia's workforce is changing rapidly, and particularly the unmet demand for health and social assistance workforce. Who knew?

Talking for purpose - Cath unpacks the Regionalisation summit held in Canberra- 13-14 September 2022.

Talking for purpose: Shemah Appleton and Jaclyn Muscio discussed rural generalism in podiatry and Jaclyn's interesting experience and insight with Allied Health Assistants.

Talking for purpose: Allan Groth and Shemah Appleton: Discussed the immense reward of being an allied health practitioner in rural and remote Australia, its challenges and its opportunities

Talking for purpose: Allan Groth, SARRAH: More Jobs and Skills for Allied Health

Talking for purpose: Gabe Oth,  Indigenous Allied Health Australia.

Talking for purpose: Ruth Hardman: Barriers to accessing chronic care in Rural Australia

Talking for purpose: Dr Narida Volker, Dr Nerida Volker, Industry Innovation Specialist with TAFE NSW and a dietitian by background

Talking for purpose: Kim Anastasiou, PhD candidate at Deakin University talking about the environmental impacts of ultra processed foods. Also, Kim is a Research Dietitian at the CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency.

Talking for purpose: Alexandra Murrell and Sarah McGuire of Carpentaria (Northern Territory) 

Talking for purpose: Allan Groth, Policy and Strategy Manager, SARRAH

Talking for Purpose: Dr Melodie Bat, Education Program Manager, SARRAH

Talking for Purpose: Caitlin Houghton and Erica Tarlinton, Speech Pathologists

Talking for purpose: Allon Groth, Policy and Strategy Manager, SARRAH

Talking for purpose: Allan Groth, Policy and Strategy Manager, SARRAH

Talking for purpose: Dr Candice Boyd, an artist-geographer with a background in clinical and community psychology

Talking for purpose: Allan Groth, Policy and Strategy Manager, SARRAH

Talking for Purpose: Dr Anne-marie Boxall, Chief Allied Health Officer for the Australian Government Department of Health

Takling for Purpose: Gemma Tuxworth, Projects Manager, SARRAH

Talking For Purpose: Dr Faye McMillan

Talking For Purpose: SARRAH News 25 February 2022

Talking For Purpose: Rebecca Keeley

Talking For Purpose: SARRAH News 11 February 2022