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RWAV Rural Allied Health Forum – Primary Care Solutions – Webinar Recording


On the 26 May 2022 the inaugural Rural Allied Health Primary Care Solutions Forum was held by RWAV as an interactive virtual event. With the growing importance of Allied Health services in rural Victoria, and the many challenges faced by both providers and patients, RWAV called for an open discussion to generate and prioritise problems and possible solutions.

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Associate Prof Faye McMillan - Policy Perspectives on Rural Allied Health

Dr Cath Cosgrave - Attract, Connect, Stay Webinar Recording

Dr Monika Jones - What Does the Data Tell Us Webinar Recording

Kate Temby - RWAV's Allied Health Activities and Priorities


Facilitator: Trevor Carr


Dr. Cath Cosgrave (Founder and Principal Consultant Cath Cosgrave Consulting) – Attract, connect, stay – a whole of community rural health workforce solution

Prof. Faye McMillan (Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner – Allied Health and Indigenous Health) – Policy perspectives on Rural Health

Kate Temby (Senior Manager of Health Workforce Development) – Brief update on the support RWAV provides and our commitment to Allied Health as a priority

Dr. Monika Jones (Manager of the Health Workforce Planning and Reporting) – What does the data tell us about allied health need and distribution? 


The forum was promoted on the RWAV website, RWAV social media, through email footers and through partner organisations’ newsletters (e.g. SARRAH and Australian Pharmacy Council).

The forum received 55 registrants and 33 attendees.


The forum featured approx. 1 hour of discussion, where participants were split into two breakout rooms. The questions asked were:

  • What are the solutions that have worked in your area? Are there new or innovative approaches that you have tried to address your current workforce shortages, or unmet demand for services?
  • Where are the opportunities in your backyard? Can you identify what could be achieved if you had some extra…, what would make a real difference to you/your business?
  • Opportunity for participant input into RWAV AH priorities going forward? What do you think RWAV should be advocating for? Is it workforce, relocation, retention, services, funding etc?


The discussion was documented through an interactive Miro board, and several themes emerged across the suggestions given by participants:

Support more networking, connection and discussion opportunities

  • peer-to-peer discussion forums
  • knowledge sharing amongst practitioners within a discipline
  • creating clinical connections with metro counterparts
  • developing rural networks of Allied Health professionals

Encourage AHA use

  • utilise the allied health assistant workforce
  • pairing allied health assistants with allied health practitioners

Focus on early attraction to rural for healthcare students:

  • Capturing healthcare students’ attention prior to graduation, emphasising the breadth of training and skills that can be developed through rural positions
  • Advocate for greater course entrance to accessibility for rural students
  • Increase availability and support for rural placements and internships

Attraction strategies for the wider pool of allied health candidates to rural jobs:

  • investigate solutions for childcare and accommodation accessibility
  • promoting training for the development of good practice culture to encourage longer retention periods
  • opportunities for professional development and clinical supervision for senior staff


An in-event poll feedback survey was provided to participants at the end of the Forum, which consisted of 5 questions. Feedback on the delivery of the forum was largely positive – rated an average of 4 out of 5 for satisfaction, usefulness and to be used in the future by participants. Participants reported finding value in open discussion, offering input into solutions and connecting with other service providers and stakeholders.


Alongside the Allied Health Primary Care Solutions Forum, RWAV has made an open consultation survey accessible on our website for rural Victorian practitioners to offer further input. The survey is designed for those who may not have been able to attend the forum or those who have further ideas to contribute. The survey is available from the 26th of May to the 30th of June 2022.

Snezana is a Human Resources leader with more than 15 years of experience in management, playing a pivotal role in driving team transformations across diverse industries, including FMCG, automotive, government, and non-profit sectors.

With a curiosity for business and its associated complexities, Snezana fosters collaborative partnerships to cultivate a highly motivated workforce that effectively executes strategic plans.

Msc (Fin), FCCA, FGIA, CA

Shay brings over 20 years of financial
management experience in commercial and not-for-profit organizations. He has a
rich and varied experience in multiple finance and leadership roles in the
United Kingdom and Australia, including CFO, GM Finance & IT, Commercial
Manager Operations, Finance Manager and Accountant.

His extensive leadership experience is
augmented by an FGIA, FCCA, CA, a Masters in Finance and an undergraduate degree in
accounting and finance.

RN, GradDip(Health Promotion), PRINCE2, Mini MBA

Kate is a Registered Nurse highly experienced in health promotion and project management. Her people and program management skills enable her to be agile and adaptable while maintaining an outcomes focus on improving quality access to primary healthcare.

Kate’s extensive experience working with all levels of government, the community and stakeholders across the sector have provided her with insights into the challenges rural communities and health professionals face. Kate has led the design and delivery of many innovative and strategic health promotion and grants programs, supporting better access to health services, health information and activities across communities. Whilst at RWAV, Kate has led the transformation of the RWAV grants program, enhanced the administration of a number of programs and developed the RWAV allied health portfolio. She has also led the development of the RWAV research program of activities.

Having worked at RWAV since 2020, Kate will continue positively influencing the rural healthcare workforce and access to services.

Social Work (BA Hons), DipSW

With a background in social work and a proven record in recruitment, project management, and business development, Jo brings strategic leadership and a wealth of experience in driving positive outcomes within the health, human services, and State Government sectors.

Jo specialises in managing health professional recruitment and outreach programs, including the More Doctors for Rural Australia and 3GA programs. Her focus is on implementing innovative workforce strategies and clinical governance to bolster RWAV’s mission of enhancing healthcare accessibility in rural and regional Victoria.

Having previously excelled at RWAV, Jo spearheaded successful internal change initiatives while fostering strong relationships with external stakeholders. Her efforts consistently align with RWAV’s strategic direction, ensuring a cohesive approach to driving impactful change.

Beyond her professional expertise, Jo’s passion lies in uniting communities and championing positive transformations in rural healthcare in Victoria.

Martin is a governance professional and lawyer with experience in private practice and in-house legal roles. He has been a company secretary for public and private sector organisations across a range of industries including VicTrack, Regis Healthcare Limited and Dairy Australia Limited. He holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and is a fellow of the GIA.

With a rich background of consulting and in-house people and culture roles with the corporate, government and community sectors, Andrea is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Andrea has significant experience in leading teams across culture, capability, diversity, equity, leadership, organisational development and learning programs as well as core human resources partnering.

With a strong focus on building and maintaining psychologically safe organisations, Andrea’s team is dedicated to ensuring that RWAV is a place where people can work well and be well at work.


Rosemary has had a varied career as an academic teaching economics, public policy and industrial relations, and as a consultant, advocate, health union official and as a director.

She brings strong governance and strategic skills to the Board, as well as knowledge and depth of experience in health policy, economics and investment.

Rosemary was a Director of Aware Super for nine years, and Chair of the Investment Committee for three years. She was also a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the REM and HR Committee. Rosemary is currently a member of the Investment Committee of Cbus.

She was the Secretary of the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc for 20 years and knows first-hand the difficulties in attracting and retaining health professionals in rural and regional Victoria.

Dr Louise Manning is a rural GP Obstetrics trainee practising in Central Victoria where she delivers general practice, obstetric and sexual health services. Growing up in a small town she has lived experience of the difficulties accessing healthcare in rural and regional areas, and is dedicated to advocating for equitable health outcomes regardless of geography.

Louise is also a Board Director of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Victoria.

BAppSci GradDipBus MBus GAICD FIML

John Biviano is an experienced senior executive who has held many senior roles in government (Health Dept) and also in professional associations related to healthcare. Until recently, John was the CEO of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, where he oversaw the digitisation of a range of Member offerings, including aspects of training. 

BA (Politics/Philosophy) BEc GDipBus MBA GAICD FGIA

Roger is an accomplished CEO, Non-Executive Director and Chair with experience in the health, human services, law enforcement, education, transport, and environmental industries – across private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations

.He brings strong governance experience, commercial acumen, risk management and strategy skills combined with a passion for innovation and business development having also been Chair of numerous Finance, Audit, Risk, Investment and Community Advisory Committees.


Assoc Prof Phelps has practiced as a Gastroenterologist and Acute Physician in regional Victoria for more than 20 years.

He trained in safety and quality at Dr Brent James’ Institute at Intermountain Healthcare in the US and has held management and leadership roles in Victoria and Tasmania. More recently he completed a two-year project as Director of Clinical Governance for Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Grant currently works as an independent consultant providing advice to hospitals and organisations on clinical leadership and safety and quality

LLB BSc MMgt (Strategic Foresight) GAICD

As a lawyer and business consultant Jane has worked with company boards and senior management across a range of areas including IP commercialisation, internet-based businesses, healthcare products/services, privacy and data/IT security. Jane is currently general counsel for .id Consulting – population demographers, economists and forecasters.

Jane served as a director of BreastScreen Victoria for 10 years, is a current director of Ballarat Health Services and chairs RWAV’s Governance Committee.

BMed MMedSci FRACGP FARGP FACRRM DipPractDerm DipMedHyp DipFP DipBusAdmin GAICD

Assoc Prof Rawlin is an experienced General Practitioner and medical educator. He is currently in clinical general practice in suburban Melbourne and previously practiced in rural Victoria for 10 years.

Assoc Prof Rawlin is Chair of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaborative and a past Chair of the Mental Health Professionals Association and is a board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network. He is also the Medical Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Victoria.
He is a member of the RACGP Victoria Council.

Albert Giorgini is the Senior Advisor to CEO at RWAV.

As an experienced finance executive, with an extensive career in public transport and in the automotive and industrial gas sectors, Albert has honed his skills in driving financial performance improvements with a commercial and business transformation focus.

Through his strategic financial skills, Albert has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to lead and develop large teams in complex and changing environments to achieve the financial and regulatory requirements of the business. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, equipping him with the expertise to drive impactful change.

Albert has highly developed communication and stakeholder management skills to support his strong planning, analytical and financial performance improvement acumen, always striving to create innovative solutions that drive growth and success.


Lauren commenced in the role of Manager People and Culture in August 2018 and is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Lauren’s team is committed to implementing activities and initiatives to support the achievement of RWAV’s strategies and strengthen RWAV’s position as an ‘Employer of Choice’.

Lauren is an experienced Manager and HR professional, with a career spanning the professional services, automotive, defence, and not-for-profit sectors.

BHlthSci(Hons) MPH PostGradDipMgt GAICD AFCHSM

Lauren Cordwell commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer in August 2023. She took on the role of Acting CEO in April 2023 and previously served as the General Manager since February 2020.
Lauren has leadership responsibilities for strategy, communications, data, stakeholder engagement and program delivery.

Lauren’s team is committed to supporting communities in rural and regional Victoria to have timely access to affordable and safe health care.

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