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First of its Kind Summit Seeks to Reimagine Rural and Regional Hearing Healthcare

Mar 3, 2022

Media Release

Opening today for World Hearing Day, the Minister for Regional Health, the Hon. Dr David Gillespie has joined Audiology Australia (AudA) in welcoming service providers, consumer and business groups, university researchers and government representatives from across the Australian Hearing Health sector to a first of its kind online Rural and Regional Hearing Healthcare Workforce Summit.

Hosted by AudA as part of its Rural and Regional Workforce project in partnership with the Hearing Health Sector Alliance, the two-day summit has been funded by the Australian Government as part of its response to recommendations identified in the Roadmap for Hearing Health.

The Summit will feed into a White Paper to be presented to the Australian Government by the Hearing Health sector along with the Hearing Health Workforce Audit Report and Literature Review. Input the Minster said would play a critical role in shaping the way forward for hearing health service delivery and resourcing for Australia’s rural and regional communities.

“This event is an important platform to explore current and projected hearing workforce issues and inform future service planning and delivery in rural and regional Australia,” said Dr Gillespie.

Rural and Regional Workforce Project Working Group Chair and Summit Convenor, Dr Helen Goulios said the event was a powerful opportunity for the Hearing Health sector to shift focus and reimagine what is possible against the opportunities and challenges of rapid economic, social, technological, political, and environmental change.

“The hearing health sector is not unique in the challenges it faces in preparing its workforce to navigate the complexities of hearing health service delivery within rural and regional communities,” said Dr Goulios.

Dr Goulios said, “Over the next two days we have a chance to collectively redefine what is possible for hearing health in the future. This might be from the way the hearing health professions work together to the technologies and platforms we use and how we understand and identify the need.”

The event comes as rural and regional hearing health services remain a key priority under the Roadmap for Hearing Health in recognition of the complex realities of accessing and delivering services within these communities.

AudA Board President, Dr Barbra Timmer said she hoped this week’s Summit was a beginning and not a destination and would lead to a much bigger important discussion about how the sector can prepare to meet the hearing health needs of Australians, particularly in rural and regional communities, in an environment of great disruption and opportunity.

“We cannot wait until change is upon us, we need to start planning for how hearing healthcare will and could look in decades to come, so we are ready to meet the needs and challenges of the communities reliant on these services and support,” Dr Timmer said.

More Information:
Audiology Australia Webste
Road Map to Hearing Health
Road Map to Hearing Health Initiatives
AudA’s World Hearing Day initiatives
Minister Gillespie’s Speech
Minister’s Media Release

About the Rural and Regional Healthcare Workforce Summit

Funded under the Roadmap for Hearing Health, The Rural and Regional Healthcare Workforce Summit is running online nationally on 3 and 4 March 2022. Exploring findings from the Rural and Regional Workforce Audit identifying gaps, changing demographics and future hearing workforce needs, the summit will inform a White Paper to be presented to Government guiding future policies, programs and supports for people with hearing loss living in rural and regional Australian communities.

The Rural and Regional Workforce Audit and Summit form part of a program of initiatives being delivered by the Australian Government based on recommendations from the Roadmap for Hearing Health to raise awareness of hearing health and build an evidence base to improve services and support including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and older Australians.

About Audiology Australia

Audiology Australia is the peak professional association representing audiologists in Australia. Established in 1968, it has a current membership of over 3,000 audiologists representing approximately 95% of the profession.

Audiology Australia’s mission is to provide leadership in the science and practice of audiology through advocacy, education, and networking. We enable audiologists to deliver the highest standards of person-centred care. Audiology Australia provides professional accreditation for audiologists. Professional accreditation by Audiology Australia is a requirement to provide audiological services that fall under Medicare, the Hearing Services Program, state and territory work cover schemes, as well as many private health insurance funds. The profession of audiology is self-regulating, and Audiology Australia strives to help our members achieve the highest standards when delivering services to their clients.

Available for Comment:

Dr Helen Goulios, Rural and Regional Workforce Project Working Group Chair and Summit Convenor
Dr Barbra Timmer, Audiology Australia Board President


Laura Watson
Communications and PR Manager, Audiology Australia
Ph. 0421518733

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