News

Posted 30 May 2023

Anti-Racism Position Statement and Committment to Combatting Racism released

Today the Association is proud to release to members its Anti Racism Position Statement and Commitment to Combatting Racism. Speech Pathology Australia unequivocally condemns racism and recognises the ethical imperative for action to eliminate it at all levels of the profession. All members and staff of Speech Pathology Australia have a responsibility to take action to eliminate racism.

The Anti-Racism Position Statement and Commitment to Combatting Racism outline our robust approach to combatting racism and provide the steps we will take to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to racism. Racism in all its forms causes harm to individuals, communities and society, and to the profession of speech pathology. Our intent to do no harm is articulated in the principle of non-maleficence within the Speech Pathology Australia Code of Ethics (2020, p. 4), "We act to prevent harm and do not knowingly cause harm."

Speech Pathology Australia commits to adopting and publicly articulating an anti-racist approach. Anti-racism is an active process to eliminate racism at all levels and requires consistent commitment, action and attention.

Read full position statement and commitment

Posted 16 May 2023

Federal Budget Summary 2023

Speech Pathology Australia was pleased to see the large commitment to health and aged care in the 2023-24 Federal Budget, with investments that include Medicare ($5.7b), mental health and suicide prevention ($586.9m), First Nations health ($818.5m) and aged care ($36b). The Government also committed $72.4 million to support the Early Childhood Education and Care sector to build and retain their workforce with a focus on training, in particular teacher education courses at a bachelor or post-graduate level. This has been an area of our advocacy to increase the quality of early childhood education. While it is disappointing that there were no specific commitments to speech pathology, the importance of the multidisciplinary workforce was evident in the commitments to increasing allied health access in general practice and using the primary health networks to commission allied health services. Speech Pathology Australia will follow up with government representatives that the prioritisation of fundng and model of commissioning supports additional speech pathology services.

Read the summary of budget items as they relate to the profession


Posted 28 April 2023 
Jodie Long appointed as Speech Pathology Australia CEO

Speech Pathology Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Jodie Long as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  

Jodie will join the Association at the end of July 2023. 

   

“During the long and carefully considered recruitment process, we were very honoured to meet some highly skilled candidates and through our due diligence we are confident that our decision to appoint Jodie will set the Association up for a prosperous future,” said Speech Pathology Australia, National President Tim Kittel.  

 

“Jodie’s strong financial and management background combined with her experience in allied health will make her a great fit for the Association.” 

 

Most recently Jodie was CEO of the Australian Sonographers Association (ASA). “After an amazing 5 and a half years with the ASA I am excited to have the opportunity to join Speech Pathology Australia. I am extremely passionate and committed to achieving better healthcare outcomes for all and I look forward to working with the talented, and dedicated team and their more than 14,000 members, as we work together to empower all speech pathologists and strengthen access to speech pathology,” said Jodie.  

 

“I recognise that allied health professionals have significant and often overlooked roles in caring for clients at all stages of life and I will work tirelessly to continue to raise awareness of the vital role of speech pathologists, so that everyone can achieve effective communication and swallowing throughout their lives.” 

 

In the weeks leading up to Jodie’s start date current Deputy CEO, Robert Di Leva will be acting CEO. 

The appointment comes after the recent retirement of Gail Mulcair who held the Association’s CEO role for 18 years.   

 

Bio of Jodie Long 

Jodie is a highly accomplished executive healthcare leader with more than 25 years’ experience in the allied health sector. She has the ideal mix both of business and clinical experience. Having worked for a large corporate healthcare company for 11 years Jodie had customer orientated sales roles, senior divisional managerial roles as well as being a spokesperson for the healthcare division and clinical experience who started out as a radiographer. She has also provided healthcare management consultancy services for a couple of years under her own company and demonstrates strong in-depth healthcare knowledge and executive business leadership.  

 

Jodie was instrumental in transforming ASA’s membership which had an increase of over 40% of members, more than 30,000 online CPD points issued last year, as well as advocated for policy change with the Australian government. The transformation was recognised by Associations Forum in 2020 with ASA short-listed as a finalist for the Association Turn Around of the Year award. Jodie has continually strived throughout her career to create a positive impact and deliver impactful change. 

 


Posted 17 April 2023

 

Important changes to the Fair Work Act  

All practice owners and healthcare providers should be aware of the recent changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 . A significant number of these changes require employers to revise their employment contracts or agreements and associated workplace practices. These include

  • expanding the grounds for requesting flexible working arrangements
  • limiting the use of fixed term contracts
  • sunsetting of zombie agreements
  • the end of pay secrecy. 

For more information read this document.


 

Posted 6 April 2023

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee: Seeking graduate member

Speech Pathology Australia is seeking nominations from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples that are current graduate members, for one vacant Graduate Speech Pathologist (CPSP) position on the Association’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

The graduate speech pathologist position will work with other members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee to provide advice to Speech Pathology Australia on culturally safe and responsive service provision as well as strategic direction.

Download the nomination form

Submit your nominations by 5pm (AEST) Wednesday 31 May 2023.

Enquiries can be made to Tara Lewis (Senior Advisor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy and Practice).


Posted 28 March 2023

Speech Pathology Australia Workforce Analysis Report released

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) has released the Speech Pathology Workforce Analysis: Preparing for our future report to address the growing concern of a shortage of speech pathologists in Australia. The report highlights the need for accurate and reliable data to plan for the future of the profession and provide better outcomes for the community.

Prompted by the rapid growth in the number of people entering the profession, and changes in funding that have impacted on access, the report aimed to understand the supply, distribution and estimated need for speech pathology services. The findings showed that speech pathologists were inequitably distributed across Australia and the supply of speech pathologists is not meeting the estimated population need. The report drew on data from surveys distributed to speech pathologists, the Speech Pathology Australia membership database, employers, consumer organisations and publicly available data from Medicare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics and surveys distributed to speech pathologists, employers and consumer organisations.

The recommendations in the report focus on enhancing the capacity of the existing speech pathology workforce, increase the supply and distribution of the workforce and improving the quality of data to support advocacy for speech pathology services and workforce.

"The findings within the report confirmed what was already known anecdotally by the Association through our member and other stakeholder feedback, that the profession of speech pathology is in high demand, with varying levels of estimated unmet need across the community. The report will provide a foundation and benchmark for the Association and affirm that what we are currently working on is appropriate to support the current and future workforce," said Speech Pathology Australia CEO, Gail Mulcair.

The report will guide Speech Pathology Australia in its future strategic and operational plans and help build on its advocacy efforts for the profession.


2023 Election of General Directors

In accordance with Speech Pathology Australia’s Constitution and associated By-Laws, nominations for the Board of Directors were called for, with nominations closing on 31 January 2023.

Six nominations were received for three vacating positions. All nominees were considered by the Director Nomination Review Committee and confirmed as meeting the pre-determined selection criteria set for Directors. Accordingly, an election is being held, via electronic ballot, to elect three only of the six candidates.

Read more...

2023 Election of Ethics Board Members

In accordance with Speech Pathology Australia’s Policies and Procedures the Ethics Board consists of; an Ethics Board Chair, senior members (appointed by the Board of Directors), member elected members and community representatives.

Three (3) nominations were received for one vacating member elected position. Accordingly, an election is being held, via electronic ballot, to elect one only of the candidates.

Read more...


EOI: Speech pathology representation on AHPA’s Allied Health Digital Health Reference Group

 

With funding from the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) is convening a time-limited Reference Group to guide development of a high-level strategy document for use by the ADHA and other stakeholders.

The Allied Health Digital Health Reference Group will focus on the specific digital health task of connecting the health system and providing more efficient, personalised, and precise health care delivery via Australia’s My Health Record (MHR) system. The strategy scope will consider all work settings and clinical information systems currently in use.

AHPA are seeking nominations via an Expression of Interest (EOI) process from all member associations, including SPA, to be a part of this important strategic Reference Group.

The Reference Group will include both external stakeholders and allied health professionals.

AHPA is seeking allied health professionals with the following core experience, knowledge and skills:

  • Currently practicing allied health professionals and/or office administrators within allied health practices
  • Working within large digitally enabled multidisciplinary allied health practices
  • Either using MHR during day-to-day practice or have considered integrating MHR to practice and consciously decided not to for reasons they are able to share.

AHPA particularly encourage and seek out individuals who have the above core knowledge as well as knowledge of stakeholder groups such as:

  • First Nations peoples
  • people with digital technology accessibility challenges/disabilities
  • links with the ADHA
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • health informaticians.

The commitment will be to attend three (3) online meetings on:

Please contact Nichola Harris ([email protected]) if you are interested in this  role.


A message from the National President

On Monday 14 November the National President of Speech Pathology Australia, Tim Kittel, emailed members to inform them that Gail Mulcair was resigning as the Association’s Chief Executive Officer. Read the National President’s statement.


Call for External Director nominations

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) is seeking to appoint two External Directors to join our existing Board of Directors. Read more…


Commitment to adopting neurodiversity affirming practice

Speech Pathology Australia recognises a neurodiversity affirming approach to all aspects of speech pathology practice and the importance of working with the neurodivergent community to achieve this goal.

This commitment is in line with the expected release of the National Guideline for supporting the learning, participation, and wellbeing of autistic children and their families in Australia in early 2023.

View the draft guideline.

The Association is proud to have a number of members who identify as Autistic or ADHDer speech pathologists, which will be an invaluable asset to this work, as well as being valued members of the Association.

Similarly, the Professional Education team at the Association have hit the ground running. The Manager of Professional Education has confirmed that Neurodiversity Affirming Practice is an education priority for the Association in 2023, and that the Association looks forward to the co-design process with Autistic speech pathologists and the wider community.

The Association has already released a podcast, new practice documents stating this new commitment (for members), and has planned some self-paced learning modules to commence work in early 2023, as well as further activities to be announced.

Further detail available in the December edition of Speak Out.

For further enquiries, telephone the Association’s Senior Advisor Disability on 1300 368 835.


New Early Career Community

The Association has launched an online community for final year students and early career speech pathologists. This is a forum to connect with current and future early career professionals and to engage in peer support for issues relevant to this stage of the career

The Early Career Speech Pathology Community is a forum that focuses on topics related to practice during the early career stage as well as transitioning into the profession. Participants can also pose questions for Association staff, seek support, and engage in discussions with peers about professional issues.

The community is open to members in their first 3 years of practice and speech pathology students in the final year of their qualifying course. Members in this demographic are automatically added and rotated out of the community – there is no need to apply or request to be added. However, a member may wish to update their email preferences to control whether and how frequently they receive notifications from this community.

To access the page, visit the Member Hub > Communities > My Communities > Early Career Speech Pathologists Community.

A member who is a first 3 years of practice or a final year student and has not been added to this community, please email the Association’s Professional Support Advisor.


Launching two new member communities on the Member Hub

On Monday 14 November, the Association is launching the Aged Care and NDIS/Disability member communities on the Member Hub. In these communities, members can seek the support of National Office staff and have conversations and discussions with their peers about these topics.

In response to member feedback, all members will be automatically added to these two communities, but a member will need to manually turn on their email notifications in the Member Hub to receive daily or weekly email updates via the Member Hub email digest.

The Association now have over 5000 members participating in the Member Hub. These new communities stimulate discussions relevant to a member’s work and workplace.


32nd World Congress of the IALP – Auckland, NZ – August 2023

The next IALP World Congress is on 20-24 August 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. The theme for the conference is: Together Towards Tomorrow.

Members of Speech Pathology Australia are encouraged to either return to this page to find the latest information about the congress or visit the IALP World Congress website.

Registration is now open.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • Registration Open: 9 December 2022
  • Call for Abstracts Close: 16 December 2022
  • Notification of Accepted Authors: 20 March 2023