National Allied Health Professions Day (AHPs Day) 2021 is this Thursday 14 October. 

To celebrate the incredible work of Australia’s 200,000+ allied health professionals, Lead Researcher and University of Sunshine Coast Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Denise Wood AM writes a blog providing insights into this sector, taken from the Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report. 

In the blog she captures why Allied Health Professionals are one of Queensland’s most in-demand roles.

Don’t forget! WorkAbility hosts the Grow the Allied Health Workforce NDIS Jobs Roadshow on Allied Health Professions Day. It’s not too late to register. 

Click Here to Register


Professor Denise Wood AM:

This week highlights the importance of allied health professionals who support millions of Australians to lead their everyday lives and make independent choices around their educational, health and social outcomes.

Allied Health Professions Australia estimate there are 200,000+ allied health professionals, who make up more than a third of the nation’s health workforce.  This celebratory week is timely given strong themes of a growing need for more allied health professionals to support the delivery of NDIS services across Queensland, presented in the Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report.

Increases in allied health professional roles has been very apparent within the NDIS workforce between 2018 – 2021 (see Graph 1 below).  

However over coming years, to 2024,  Jobs Queensland anticipates a continued employment growth of allied health professionals within the NDIS workforce, specifically psychologists, expected to grow by 24.8%, physiotherapists by 20.7%, occupational therapists by 19.8% and audiologists and speech pathologists/therapists by 19.5%.

We know from the Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report and more recent analysis of Internet Vacancy Index data that this demand is already playing out, with a significant increase in the number of jobs advertised for allied health professionals, especially occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech professionals/audiologists, presented in Graph 2 below.

However, it is important to recognise allied health professionals take three or more years to become qualified meaning there will likely be a short-term gap which needs to be addressed to reduce pressure on our current industry allied health professionals who are experiencing high workloads as the NDIS continues to grow.

Research show us the pipeline of allied health professionals enrolling in allied health degrees across Queensland universities is not reflective of the growing need for Allied Health Professionals to meet demand for in particular the disability and aged care sectors, as two of Australia’s fastest growing industries.

So, as one of our most in-demand roles presented in the Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report, next to Disability and Aged Care Support Workers, there are many things to celebrate about Allied Health Professional Day.

This is a highly reputable and growing sector to be a part of, and where many opportunities lie for young people, people from diverse backgrounds, existing allied health professionals as well as NDIS services, sole traders and RTOs.

I encourage you all to spread the word about the career opportunities on offer within the NDIS workforce and wider health sector, and and take a moment to celebrate these professionals that work tirelessly within our care and support sectors.

About the Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report

The Strengthening Queensland’s NDIS Workforce report has been recently launched by WorkAbility Qld and funding partner Jobs Queensland.

The report documents the findings and recommendations from the first stage of a three-year research project led by the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) investigating the impacts of the NDIS since its rollout in 2016.

Read more about the Project here 

Contact the Research team 


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Date published
October 12, 2021