Each year, Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) sets out policy and advocacy priority areas. These are the issues that are of most importance to speech pathologists and to people with communication and swallowing problems and those where we can make the greatest difference.
The Association draws on the expertise of its members working across many fields to ensure our advocacy is based on the best available evidence and is grounded in the experiences of contemporary Australian speech pathology practice.
Advocacy in April 2023
Speech Pathology Australia continues to represent speech pathology issues in submissions to key inquiries and meetings with members of parliament and their advisors. If the submission is not available on our website, please contact [email protected] for further information.
There are occasions when significant issues arise requiring the Association to consider a concerted advocacy drive. Examples of this are Oral Eating and Drinking Mealtime Supports and Developmental Language Disorder.
These advocacy drives may require the Association to develop (with input from subject matter experts) a policy brief outlining the particular issue and the potential impact speech pathology can have on resolving the particular problem or gap. Such policy briefs contain key messages to assist the Association, and other interested parties, in clearly articulating the issue and what we believe needs to be done to provide better outcomes for the identified population group.
Recent policy briefs include:
The Association is regularly invited to provide written input and advice to governments and non-government organisations on matters that relate to the work of speech pathologists and on issues impacting people with communication and swallowing problems. View recent submissions made by the Association.
The Association is regularly invited to provide representatives to sit on government, industry and professional panels, working groups and forums.
The Association is a member of the following national alliances:
- Allied Health Professions Australia
- National Rural Health Alliance
- National Primary Health Care Partnership
- National Aged Care Alliance
- Mental Health Australia
- Consumers Health Forum of Australia
- Professions Australia.
If you interested in having an Association representative contribute to your organisation’s work, contact the Association's Manager, Policy and Advocacy.
Senate Inquiry into Speech Pathology
In 2014, the Australian Senate’s Community Affairs Reference Committee held an inquiry into the Prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology in Australia. View the Senate Committee’s Final Report.
The Association made a detailed submission to the Senate Inquiry .
In December 2017, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Health, Hon Greg Hunt, responded to the Senate Committee’s report and recommendations, which was tabled in September 2014.
The Association contends that the response fails to fully acknowledgement the needs of those Australians with communication and swallowing difficulties, and makes no specific commitment to improving access to adequate and timely services.
The Association is currently preparing a response that focusses on specific projects that it considers the Federal Government should still consider and lead. In particular, the Association will be renewing its call for a consolidated analysis of availability of speech pathology services and gaps in access or adequate levels of intervention. Work in relation to cost-benefit studies will also be reinforced.
View the government response to the Senate Inquiry .
View further information about the Senate Inquiry, including its terms of reference.
The Association regularly seeks to promote its work and activities and view on important issues relating to the speech pathology profession and people with communication and swallowing difficulties. View the Association's recent media releases.
SPyce Project Report
The Speech Pathology in Youth (Justice) Custodial Education (SPyce) Project was established by the Association to explore how speech pathology services, as part of the school curriculum, would impact on the lives of young people on remand or serving custodial sentences. The SPyce Report has the potential to revolutionise the way speech, language and communication difficulties are viewed and treated in youth justice systems around Australia and the world. View the SPyce Project Report. .
For more information about the project or to request hard copies of the report (free to members) contact the Association.