Wednesday 4 December 2019

The Andrews Labor Government is backing the health and community sector in Gippsland with funding announced today for crucial Allied Health programs at Federation University.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today announced a $500,000 grant from the Labor Government’s Regional Skills Fund towards state-of-the art facilities and the delivery of allied health programs, starting with the new Occupational Therapy degree in 2020 and plans to include Physiotherapy in 2021.

Ms Shing announced the funding at Latrobe Regional Hospital -one of the training partners for students who enrol in the Federation University Allied Health programs.

Health and Community Services is Gippsland’s largest employment sector and the new courses are expected to produce between 30 and 60 fully qualified, workforce-ready practitioners within four years.

The establishment of the new courses aims to reduce the shortage of allied health professionals across the region, which was identified as part of the 2016 Gippsland Regional Workforce Plan and students will contribute to allied health services in Gippsland through work placements each year with local providers.

Following its release, the Labor Government has worked proactively across government, health and community service providers, universities and TAFE Gippsland to facilitate an industry-led strategy to address skills shortages across the sector.

The new Gippsland’s Future Health and Community Services Workforce report backs the Government’s investment to support the development of Allied Health courses in Gippsland.

Commissioned by the Latrobe Valley Authority in partnership with Latrobe Regional Hospital and Latrobe City Council, Swinburne University of Technology was engaged to deliver the new report, which also provides a framework for action to support the sector’s growth until 2036.

The healthcare and social assistance sector in Gippsland employs over 18,000 people and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years in line with demographic changes.

The Gippsland’s Future Health and Community Services Workforce is available at

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We know there is a shortage of Allied Health professionals in Gippsland which is why we’re investing in training courses to fill skills gaps and create employment opportunities across our region.”

“We’re also working with industry, government and the education sector to build capabilities for the future and this grant is an important part of this.”

Quotes attributable to Federation University Dean of School of Nursing and Healthcare Professor Wendy Cross

 “We are delighted to work with the Victorian Government to provide opportunities to build the allied health workforce to deliver better health outcomes for people in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.”