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Expressions of Interest: Guest IJSLP Editor

Expressions of interest are invited for the position of IJSLP Guest Editor for the 2021 Speech Pathology Australia National Conference Proceedings. The Guest Editor will coordinate the review process and selection of high quality papers to be included in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (IJSLP) to be published in June 2022. Each paper will be between 6,000 - 7,000 words in length and reflect the conference theme, Local Contexts, Global Practice.

Previous editorial experience is highly recommended. Direct enquiries to: Libby Cardell ( or Anne Whitworth (, Editors, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Email expressions of interest, curriculum vitae and two referees to the Association’s Chief Executive Officer, by close of business, Friday 14 May 2021.


Submission on NDIS inquiry into Independent Assessments

Speech Pathology Australia’s submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s Inquiry into Independent Assessments was submitted on 14 April 2021.

This submission is now available on the Association’s website.

A summary of all key recommendations can be found on pages 19 and 20 of the submission.

Essentially, the Association does not support the Independent Assessment process as it is currently proposed and is calling for a ‘pause’ on the program’s implementation until there is comprehensive consultation and evaluation, including exploration of potential alternative models. If, however, Individual Assessments do proceed in some form, then the Association recommends specific role definition and clinical governance features are addressed including a trial period that is reviewed after 12 months and that the independent assessments are not the only method of determining a participant’s eligibility for support under NDIS.

The Association would like to thank the many members who provided feedback, case examples and participated in focus groups about this submission. This input has been very helpful in guiding the key messages outlined in this submission. The Association would also like to thank the Association’s advocacy team, the Association’s Senior Advisor Disability, and Advisor Professional Practice who have worked particularly hard on this submission.


Expression of Interest: Advisory Group - Speech Pathology in the Early Years

Speech Pathology Australia is seeking expressions of interest to join an advisory group to engage and support speech pathologists working within the Early Childhood Sector. The advisory group would support new SPA initiatives and projects within this sector.

Selection Criteria

  • member of Speech Pathology Australia
  • clinical or academic experiences/interest in topic area
  • ability to participate in meetings and contribute to advocacy efforts, new initiatives and projects with this sector.

Please complete an expression of interest of 250 – 500 words outlining experience/ interest related to the practice area and/or publications.

Participants will be selected based on a mix of experiences relevant to the practice area.

Email the Association’s Senior Advisor Early Childhood and Education for further information.

Closing date is 30 April 2021.


ICU Workforce Standards - subcommittee

Speech Pathology Australia is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced Association members to join a subcommittee to inform recommendations for minimum speech pathology staffing in Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Australia and New Zealand.

The subcommittee is to be jointly chaired by Speech Pathology Australia and the New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association and will report to a multidisciplinary working party convened in December 2020 to develop minimum ICU staffing levels in Australia and New Zealand ICU. Tasks of the subcommittee will include reporting research and best practice guidelines for speech pathology staffing. The first meeting of the subcommittee is anticipated to be in May.

Email expressions of interest, outlining relevant experience, to the Association’s Senior Advisor Professional Standards by COB Friday, 30 April 2021.


Changes to the Therapeutic Goods Administration Framework for Personalised Medical Devices

As of 25 February 2021, there is a new framework for regulating ‘personalised’ or ‘customised’ medical devices. This means the majority of existing custom-made medical devices will now need to be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Read more…


Call for urgent action on Aged Care - Speak to your local MP

Recent events, including the release of the report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have shone a light on the aged care sector and supports provided to older people over the age of 65 years living at home or in residential aged care. Subsequently, there is current appetite at both a Government and community level for significant reform of the sector. Importantly, the Federal Government is currently shaping its response to the Royal Commission recommendations and considering what will be included in this year’s Federal Budget.

Urgent advocacy action is needed and timing is tight.

Speech Pathology Australia calls for members to also play a role in influencing politicians and this government response to ensure that older people with swallowing and communication difficulties can access the supports they need and deserve.

What can you do?

  • Contact your local Federal Member of Parliament, Senator or political candidate
  • Contact the Federal Minister for Aged Care

You can do this by calling and requesting a meeting, writing a letter or email, contacting them via their social media and connecting in person at local community events.

Collective action is needed now, and every voice helps us to highlight our message.

How do I contact my local MP / Minister?

You can find your local Federal Member of Parliament and their contact details by searching the Parliament of Australia website. You can also find details of the Federal Minister here under the Ministry List.

What should I say?

Your own experiences and case studies highlighting impacts from lack of access to speech pathology services will be powerful.

Additionally, Speech Pathology Australia has prepared two downloadable accompanying documents to help you:

  1. Position Paper: Food, Nutrition and Mealtime Experience in Aged Care
    This is the first in a series of Association position papers to be developed, initially strategically targeting this area because we know this is a current priority action area for the Department of Health. There are specific recommendations from the Royal Commission here to refer to, to request priority action on.
  2. Talking Points
    This captures some key points that may assist you to think about things to say.

Ask questions of what the Member is going to do to ensure better access to speech pathology for older people.

Provide specific recommendations for them to follow up which include their support and advocacy for the recommendations as per listed on the Position Paper.

Your voice can help the collective action to improve the lives of people with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Action is needed now

Future design of the aged care sector is happening right now in these weeks.