Tim Kelly, National Rural Health Alliance Chairperson, took part in a roundtable on Regional Health Industry Pathways in Northam, in the Wheatbelt of WA, on 22 May.
The meeting was convened by Trevor Saunders, for Regional Development Australia (Wheatbelt) and Sorcit Ltd., together with the Commonwealth Department of Employment and the Wheatbelt Workforce Development Alliance.
It was a chance for key health industry stakeholders to consider health workforce attraction and retention issues and take a leading role in creating a framework of opportunity for the Wheatbelt community, its young people and others.
Tim talked at the meeting about regional health workforce issues and some of the systems required to incorporate the socioeconomic determinants of health into planning – like employment and education.
The event helped to develop a 'framework of opportunity' for regional people, including older members of the community who would be prepared to take on Certificate training in Community Services, for example, to gain employment in the regional health industry. Not only will such employment benefit members of the community to whom services are provided, it will also make people more productive members of the community and - through work - give them better quality of life.
The health and community services sector is a major source of regional employment opportunities and training pathways for regional people.
The roundtable in Northam was one step in ongoing activity to improve the health and wellbeing of families in the Wheatbelt.