Conference Summary - July 2023

21 July 2023

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​The last two months have seen some big conferences take place.

Occupational Therapy Australia held the OTA 30th National Conference and Exhibition in Cairns last month. Health Workforce Queensland attended, representing the national Health Workforce Scholarship Program. It was great to see many recipients of the scholarship come by the trade booth to thank us and many more learned about HWSP for the first time. The program provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals, in remote and rural Australia, retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. For information click below.

Scholarship Program

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) held their 64th AMSA National Convention on the Gold Coast from 5-9 July. AMSA is a not-for-profit student-run organisation that represents and connects over 18,000 medical students across Australia. HWQ enthusiastically supported the annual event by sponsoring the Australia’s Brainiest Medical Student Competition ‘BeBrainy’. Meredith Connor (picture below left), was the perfect person to chair the event. As the brains behind the Future Workforce Team, Meredith provided the students with all the ways HWQ can assist them on the health career journey and let them pick her brains for guidance and support.

Are You Remotely Interested? Conference was held in Mount Isa from 11-13 July and this year’s theme was Health Equity for the Bush. The purpose was to bring together clinicians, academics, and researchers to share experiences, research and practices that are designed with the aim to improve health equity for people living in the bush.

The event was well attended by students, health service providers, academics, and health workforce and service planning specialists, from early career professionals through to senior leaders. Professor Ruth Stewart, the National Rural Health Commissioner, provided inspiration and sharing of our common understanding of remote multi-disciplinary teams.

Jo Symons, our Health Workforce Strategy Manager, chaired the 'Strengthening the Rural and Remote Workforce' sessions, which were well received. Jo had some great conversations with delegates after these sessions who approached her with questions.

David Wellman, Senior Data Analyst, presented on 'Primary care gaps in remote Queensland: Perceptions of practitioners and managers', and Keith Palanna, Data & Evaluation Officer, presented 'Remote practitioner perceptions of factors influencing workforce turnover in Queensland' and these both generated a lot of engagement which is a positive result.

HWQ had the opportunity to sponsor a number of health students to attend the conference and one of the highlights was meeting with those students. They were very passionate about health care and their career pathways.

Thank you Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University, for having us.

The Are Your Remotely Interested? attendees reached a consensus about the link between health equity and a YES vote at the upcoming Referendum on the Voice to Parliament, and a consensus statement will be released by Murtupuni soon.

Pictured above, in main photo, from left to right, is HWQ Future Workforce Team Leader, Meredith Connor; Community Health student, Barry Rundle from University of South Australia; Nursing student, Elise Grima from Central Queensland University; Nursing student, Gabrielle Sabatino from Central Queensland University; Health Workforce Strategy Manager, Jo Symons; and Data & Evaluation Officer, Keith Palanna.