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2022 first Nations allied health conference 


june 8-10, 2022

now calling for papers

round 1 open


​In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgement to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting/attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.


Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal culture. 



The National First Nations Allied Health Conference will be held on the 13th - 15th December 2021. The conference is held biannually and over the past two years has attracted hundreds of attendees bringing together representatives from all states and territories governments, First Nations medical services and mainstream allied health sectors, community-controlled organisations, First Nations communities, allied health professionals and non-government organisations, researchers and interested individuals. The conference is hosted by Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) with great line up of First Nations speakers from all throughout Australia.

The event is based upon the principal belief that Indigenous health must be approached from a holistic view, which encompasses body, mind and spirit; thus, leading to the fundamental rights of self-determination. The conference recognises that treating our health must be done by treating the whole person, through mind, body, soul and culture. No matter what your culture is. If you are a First Nations person, statistics show that health, education and the justice system is monstrously weighted against First Nations People. In today’s society, Indigenous people have a varied lifestyle, ranging from inner-city living to isolated communities. Therefore, there is no set approach to dealing with health issues, as you have to look at the environment that you live in and, more importantly, the agencies that are available to assist. The conference is designed to bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the Indigenous health sector, therefore focusing on Allied health and strengthening the life expectancy of First Nations people to equal that of non-Indigenous people. ​In Australia, the most successful initiatives in First Nations Health are the Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and now the partnerships between government and communities. The first Aboriginal community-controlled health service was established in New South Wales and has been operational for the past forty (40) years.  Today, there are over 120 AMS and countless numbers Primary Health Care Posts in First Nations communities in Australia. 



The conference themes include the following:

  • Allied Health & NDIS  

  • Telestroke-Rehab Program in Allied Health 

  • Allied Health & Chronic Diseases Management

  • Allied Heath Practice in COVID-19 pandemic

  • Allied Health expanded scope models of care

  • Allied Health & Telehealth Practice

  • Community partnerships between First Nations peoples, governments and NGOs

  • Innovative projects which promotes leadership

  • Community/ grassroots-based initiatives towards health

  • Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Allied Health Programs



The conference is not politically based. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. Today the world has become smaller with the invention of the internet and jet travel.  As such, we are of the belief that there is nothing more empowering and more effective than people having an opportunity to network and collaborate. The conference vision for this event is to embrace the philosophy of First Nations community controlled and mainstream service providers through promoting an informative forum of research, health education and training of staff for the betterment of Indigenous health.



In February 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison tabled the Closing the Gap report 2019/2020. It clearly highlighted that the Closing the Gap campaign is only making small inroads into the gap between Indigenous people and the wider community in regard to health issues and has still got a long way to go. Some of the points highlighted were;


  • ​To engage in partnerships with mutual respect

  • In 8 years, there’s been mixed results

  • We still have an Indigenous life expectancy around 10 years less than mainstream Australians

  • The past decade has seen a 70 percent increase in Indigenous students undertaking Higher Education

  • Employment targets not met

  • Many Indigenous Health Targets were falling short off the mark


The Federal Government has made a commitment to create more opportunities for Indigenous Australians to;

  • Celebrate those successes

  • Recognise “Healing Takes Time”

  • Acknowledge, embrace, celebrate the humanity of Indigenous people

  • Bring to the table policies and approaches that nurtures optimism rather than entrench despair

  • Do things WITH Indigenous people, not TO Indigenous People

  • Even though Indigenous Australians only make up 3 percent of the population, First Nations People still make up over 20 percent of the prison population and that number is still increasing


The Prime Minister has committed himself and the government to work with Indigenous Australians, not just in delivering programs but listening to First Nations People in developing partnerships with Indigenous Communities. The Prime Minister stated the government must be innovative in creating effective solutions in partnership with First Nations Communities. The Prime Minister has taken the stance and announced that Allied Health must be more than another government policy.   



This event guarantees the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering all delegates to make greater informed decisions within their professional and extended communities. Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and new contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own local community. Whether you are an allied health professional, Indigenous health worker, medical professional or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you and your organisation back in your community.  The opportunities that this Conference provides to people involved in First Nations Health is the sharing of knowledge and development of long-term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is designed from an Indigenous perspective, in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.



The National First Nations Allied Health Conference aims to

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussions

  • Lend support to individuals and groups working in the field of First Nations Health

  • Help grow a network for the sharing of information and resources in the field of First Nations Health

  • Bring together both government and non-government agencies working in First Nations Health

  • Show that poor health is no longer tolerated or acceptable in today’s society

  • To bring together organisations as a united voice in Allied Health

  • Bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the field of First Nations health

  • Exchange information regarding the successes of community projects 

  • Reduce incidences of poor health at all levels within the community  

  • Strategies for linking holistic policy with health interventions

  • Explore methods for improving accountability at all levels to ensure sustainable progress

  • Provides an opportunity to network and meet face to face to exchange ideas, valuable information and successful programs in place in their communities.

  • Develop new partnerships



​To ensure grassroots community programs are highlighted, no less than 50 percent of the conference proceedings are and is devoted to community groups. If your paper is selected, you may have more than one presenter to present your paper. However, only two presenters will be entitled to the registration discount. If you are chosen to present at the conference, your paper will form part of the conference proceedings and be distributed at the conclusion of the event with all other presentations. To further ensure the continuous success of the conference, an Indigenous working group is being established to advice on correct adherence to cultural equilibrium. TO SUBMIT A PAPER, COMPLETE THE ONLINE FORM AT THIS LINK: SUBMIT-A-PAPER


(This draft agenda may change without prior notice and published only to guide those submitting papers. Final agenda will  be published closer to date.)




8:30am           Registration               Registration of Delegates  

8:45am           Combined Session      Master of Ceremony - Welcome & Safety Announcement          

9:00am           Welcome Address       Welcome to Country & Traditional Performance

9:45am           Combined Session      Formal Opening of Conference - NDIS & Indigenous Allied Health

10:30am         Morning Tea               Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors   

11:00am         Keynote Session          NDIS paves the way to accessing technology and allied health services for First Nations peoples

11:45am         Keynote Session          Attracting Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples to study & work in allied health sector 

12:30pm         Lunch Break              Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors

1:30pm           Concurrent Sessions  Room A:  Working with Indigenous communities - From an Occupational Therapist's Perspective (Calling for Papers)

                                                               Room B:  Exploring the sustainability of Allied Health expanded scope models of care 

                                                               Room C:  Working with Indigenous communities- From a Physiotherapist's Perspective (Calling for Papers)

                                                               Room D: Healthcare rights in guardianship matters - From a Social Worker's Perspectives

2:15pm           Concurrent Sessions  Room A:  Working with Indigenous communities - From a Dietitian & Nutritionist's Perspective (Calling for Papers)

                                                               Room B:  Improving rural health through a pharmacist-led post-discharge and high-risk medication service

                                                               Room C:  Embedding advanced practice in gastrostomy (PEG) tube management

                                                               Room D:  Fall Risks Consumers - where do we invest intervention to maximise outcomes for our consumers


3:00pm           Afternoon Tea           Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors

3:30pm           Keynote Session          Establishing a Culturally Safe and Responsive Allied Health Practice

4:15pm           Keynote Session          How COVID-19 is changing allied healthcare practice

6.30pm           Networking Dinner  Conference Networking Dinner




8:30am            Registration                 Registration of Delegates         

9:00am            Combined Session        Healing Power of Culture: Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Programs 

9:45am            Combined Session        NDIS Partner in the Community delivering Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)


10:30am         Morning Tea                 Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors

11:00am          Concurrent Sessions    Room A: Rural Allied Health Pathways - Innovative approaches for success

                                                                  Room B: Engaging with NDIS participants implementing their plan – practical aspects for allied health practice

                                                                  Room C: Improve community access - Providing disability transport or vehicle modification for people with a disability

                                                                  Room D: The value of Allied Health – From Indigenous service user's  perspective

11:45am          Concurrent Sessions    Room A: Accessing therapeutic and behavioural supports using NDIS funding

                                                                  Room B:  Understanding child development and identify developmental concerns

                                                                  Room C:  Accessing occupational therapy, speech therapy or physiotherapy using NDIS funding

                                                                  Room D: Prescribing Allied Health – From Healthcare Team’s perspectives

12:30pm         Lunch Break                 Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors

1:30pm            Concurrent Sessions    Room A:  Lived Experience Matters - From an Indigenous Allied Health Worker perspective 

                                                                  Room B:  Functional-task based exercise program for older adults with mild cognitive impairment 

                                                                  Room C:  Telehealth practice in rural paediatric psychology, speech-language pathology and parent education services

                                                                  Room D: Strengthening interprofessional culture across allied health professional education and the workplace


2:15pm            Concurrent Sessions    Room A: Working with Indigenous families - From a Diabetic Educator Perspective (Calling for Papers)

                                                                  Room B:  Supporting rural Allied Health staff in providing stroke rehabilitation through Telestroke-Rehab program

                                                                  Room C:  Working with Indigenous families  - From a Speech Therapist's Perspective (Calling for Papers)

                                                                  Room D: Paediatric speech pathology via telehealth

3:00pm            Afternoon Tea             Network with Service Providers/Exhibitors

3:30pm            Keynote Session            Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention

4:15pm           Keynote Session             Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A Multidisciplinary assessment team model of care 





For 2022, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences. Our pre-masterclass is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. 



The Healing Circle Work masterclass addresses emotional challenges and barriers faced by people who have had traumatic experiences. Healing Circle Work is not a therapeutic program, but therapeutic outcomes are experienced. As participants, you will learn to live life in the moment recognising and understanding your own spirituality, and gaining the ability to enter the moment to reaffirm yourselves. 

This workshop will teach you to learn to appreciate and be accountable for your highest good, and the highest good of others around you.  Healing Circle Work is provided in group sessions, and is suitable for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants over 18 years of age. Reserve your place now and

let us unlock this ancient Aboriginal wisdom and knowledge shared with all peoples.

                                                          Healing Circle Works is strictly limited to 10-12 people only. Cost is $350 per person.


OPTION 2 - CONFERENCE MASTERCLASS - The Gatekeeper Cultures and Spirituality - Interventionist to Suicide 

​Worrying about how your team, family and community effectively assist and manage clients experiencing intergenerational trauma? Indigenous peoples around the world endured several generations of trauma and other neurological effects and compromised behavioural immunity which leads to behavioural indicators such as substance abuse and suicide.  Our current generation is impacted by structural violence, poverty, racism, governmental neglect and ongoing hostilities, and unfortunately, our mob have learned our lessons in traumatiSation as well wherein many situations, we have internalized the trauma imposed on ourselves and turned onto our own families, communities, and selves.   


This workshop will teach you:

  • The strong benefits of recapturing and revitalizing our languages, cultures and spirituality

  • How to become an interventionist to suicide in your communities

  • Understand and utilise trauma-informed care to heal ourselves, our clients, and our communities.

  • Strategies in managing clients and families affected by intergenerational trauma and break the cycle of suicide in our communities.

  • In Just One Day You Can Learn Strategies for how to become an interventionist to suicide and work effectively with your clients who are experiencing intergenerational trauma and their families.  




Register early to get a discount! Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. Hence the earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees must be received within 7 DAYS of from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration button and complete the form or you can also request a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at  


We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous worker from Australia and throughout to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.


To ensure that delegates attend and participate, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation, each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition, delegates will receive a CD with all papers & presentations presented at the conference.

Who:     Individuals, Groups, NGO’s, Government Agencies & Others

When:  June  8-10, 2022

Where: Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Queensland

Time:     9.00am – 5.00pm

WARNING: Limited availability. Please register online or contact us via email, should you have any further queries.


Cairns is truly a destination to impress everyone. From the moment you fly in over lush tropical green rainforest and aqua blue reefs of the great, you know you are truly in a special part of the world.  Pullman Cairns International (formerly The Sebel Cairns) is the most prestigious 5-star hotel and is perfectly located in the heart of Cairns. The Pullman Cairns International is just moments from the city’s best shopping, dining and cafes. Within a few minutes’ walk is Cairns Esplanade and swimming lagoon, Pier Shopping Plaza, Cairns Central Shopping Centre and train station and an excellent selection of shops and restaurants. Pullman Cairns International is an upscale hotel, perfectly located in tropical Cairns, Australia. Overlooking Cairns Harbour and lush mountain hinterland, this 321 room hotel is spectacularly positioned to take advantage of all the city have to offer. You can choose from a range of accommodation rooms and suites in Pullman Cairns International.


PULLMAN CAIRNS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL: Directions from Cairns International and Domestic Airport When exiting the airport turn left on to the Captain Cook Highway. Follow this road for approximately three kilometres. Turn left on to Mulgrave Street and continue until turning right on to Abbott Street. Continue heading along until you see Cairns International on your right.

Conference Networking Dinner Cruise - Waterside Dining

As they say, all work and no play, makes for a dull conference. So to overcome this, the conference secretary has organized a conference dinner to be held on the first night of the event. This dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further network while letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will be a private charter dinner cruise with the Spirit of Cairns at a cost of $150 per person including a three course meal. The conference dinner is additional to the conference fees and bookings must be made prior to the event. 


A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way, to end a perfect day in paradise. Boarding our sailing catamaran at the Marlin Marina, you’ll enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounding mangroves, as they transition from day to night. Every journey begins with bubbles, as all good dinner cruises should. With your glasses charged, stroll the interior or exterior decks and admire the view as the sky transforms from blue to red to orange and finally a silky black, filled with thousands of sparkling stars. Your journey takes you deep into the heart of Trinity Inlet and across the waterfront precinct of Cairns, from the Cruise Liner Terminal to the Esplanade. The water is calm, the weather mild and the night is yours to enjoy, with entertainment and a delicious  3 Course Buffet Dinner  featuring some of the region’s best produce, including seafood. The luxurious Spirit of Cairns sailing catamaran is fully licensed, selling a range of beverages, including tropical cocktails. This is the ultimate in waterside dining.

When Do We Go

The Spirit of Cairns dinner cruise departs Marlin Marina at 6.30pm and returns at 9pm. Check-in and boarding is at the boat, moored at Marlin Marina, between 6 pm. A complimentary drink is served on arrival and the bar is open for you to relax on board prior to departure. The conference dinner cruise is scheduled for the evening of Day 1.

What Will You See / Do

Enjoy a fantastic evening of calm water cruising with entertainment, delicious 3 course buffet meal and fabulous views, including sunset over the rainforest-clad mountains (depending on the time of year). Starting at Marlin Marina, Spirit of Cairns takes you on a journey deep into the interior of Trinity Inlet and its winding tributaries. Keep your eyes peeled, you might even see a crocodile. The cruise passes along Cairns’ waterfront and Esplanade precinct, delivering panoramic views of the twinkling night lights of this port city.

What Do You Need To Bring / Wear

​Yourself and your smile, for a great evening ahead. Tropical cocktail attire is suggested, with a light jacket for the winter months. Footwear is mandatory, with suitable shoes for boating recommended. Although it’s a calm water cruise, you will find it more comfortable moving around the boat in flat rubber soled shoes. Don’t forget to bring a little cash, EFTPOS or credit card for your bar purchases.

Highlights & Inclusions

  • A 2.5 hour calm water sunset / evening cruise

  • Luxurious air-conditioned vessel

  • Large outdoor decks

  • Complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer or soft drink on arrival

  • Delicious hot and cold 3 course buffet, featuring fresh seafood and local produce

  • Live Music by some of Cairns’ best musicians



One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGO’s or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore First Nations Travel Agency quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to consider the time that is required to obtain funding. For the best possible airfares and seat availability, please confirm your attendance ASAP. All of our booking is made through First Nations Travel, a new 100% indigenous owned travel agency here to make booking your flights stress free and relaxing for an enquiry please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by email:


The event secretary has come up with some great ideas on how to save money for you and your organisation.


​ACCOMMODATION: We have negotiated a special room rate for delegates


TRAVEL: We have engaged First Nations Travel Agency to negotiate with all the relevant airlines for discounted airfare & hotel rates.


CONCESSION: A special registration rate for university students is being offered for a flat rate of $650


Contact:  Phone 07 41945168

 Email. to request for a quote


Further advantage to using First Nations Travel Agency for your airfares is that if something goes wrong, you have greater access to your travel agent if required. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages.


To book your accommodation and avail yourself of the special delegate discount rates, please note that included in your registration is 3 nights twin or double room. Indigenous Conference Services has negotiated special rates for delegates and speakers attending the conference, when you complete your registration form you will see a sector highlighted accommodation need. It is possible to stay outside the venue however this may lead to a higher cost to your organisation. Please note that when registering you have 7 days from the issue of the conference secretariat to make payment this is so your accommodation is locked in.


VISA TO AUSTRALIA due to covid-19 please follow travel advisory from Australian embassy near you.

If you are an international guest or speaker, please note that citizens of some countries require visas before entering Australia. To obtain an Australian Visa, you may require a letter of invite from the conference secretariat.  To obtain the letter of invitation, the guest must have registered for the conference and paid the required conference cost. This is refundable if visas are not approved, you should allow a minimum of 60 days for visa processing at the nearest Australian Embassy.  Please note, processing visa documents in some countries may take longer, depending on your country of origin. Visas can be obtained online from the Australian Federal Government's Department of Home Affairs website at this link



ICS Conferences have developed flexible sponsorship packages to sponsor the conference either in part or in full. Sponsorship is a great way of promoting your organisation/ company/ department to all delegates attending the conference. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by email:


contact us


Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia



Phone: 07 4194 2803, +61 4557 76 668


Please note this website is continually being updated.

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2021 Closing the Gap on Indigenous Healt
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