Magazine Issue

STRIDE: May 2023

Welcome to the May edition of our digital STRIDE magazine. Enjoy exploring this issue's hot topics and latest news!

The Australian Podiatry Association reserves the right to edit material for space and clarity and to withhold material from publication. Individual views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Association and inclusion of product or service information does not imply Association endorsement unless specifically stated. STRIDE for podiatry is the official monthly publication of the Australian Podiatry Association Limited. STRIDE for podiatry is copyright and no part may be reproduced without written permission from the Australian Podiatry Association. ©2019 AUSTRALIAN PODIATRY ASSOCIATION, 89 Nicholson St, East Brunswick, VIC 3159, P (03) 9416 3111 W The Australian Podiatry Association would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of all the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations that make up the great continent of Australia. We would like to pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders past and present, also the young community members, as the next generation of representatives.

In this issue

From the President

From the President

Podiatrists often work in isolated environments – whether working in a multi-disciplinary practice, aged care facility or simply being so focussed on patient care that they barely lift their heads to talk to colleagues.

The need for the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA) to continue to work as one representative peak body for all podiatrists has therefore never been greater. The APodA keeps you in touch with changes and provides a baseline of support when you need it.


Health reform is slow, and often success is measured more by, ‘Were we at the table?’ than ‘Did we get what we wanted?’ As a strong voice for podiatrists throughout Australia, the national Department of Health and Aged Care respect APodA’s position to advocate on behalf of the whole profession.


In a post-Covid world, health care has been struck with a substantial sideways blow; experiencing reduced staffing, slow international recruitment and temporarily reduced graduate numbers. Meanwhile, podiatry has been at the coal-face when it comes to supporting primary care; often performing services that take us to full scope of practice. The APodA has been there to encourage new entrants to the profession, and to support the journey through various Covid restrictions imposed on each region of Australia.


It is approaching five years since the APodA was born. The presidents and members of the state based associations could see the advantage of working together and avoiding duplication of organisations. The national structure has proven to be strong enough to withstand the buffets of a major black swan, in the shape of the Covid pandemic. This continues to be strengthened through collaboration and negotiation with what remains of the former state-based groups.


It is not a new saying, but: ‘Together we stand, divided we fall’.


As annual membership approaches and you’re perhaps wondering whether it is worth re-joining, or joining afresh, consider how important it is to have a podiatry profession. For most of us, this is our livelihoods. For a relatively small fee you can maintain membership and bolster a voice that stands up for podiatry when you’re busy clinically – and also support you when you don’t have the time to search through ‘all the guff’. There are many benefits in being a member of the APodA which positively impact your day-to-day experience as a podiatrist, while also delivering benefits to the entire profession.


I’m proud of what the APodA has achieved in the past five years, and I look forward to APodA continuing in its role as a representative body for podiatrists well into the future.

Ainslie Davies, President

Advocacy & aged care: an update for podiatrists

Perhaps you already hire, or work alongside, allied health assistants. Or perhaps you run a practice and are considering employing an allied health assistant but are unsure as to their scope of practice – or even how to go about recruiting for such a role. This short guide can help to get you started.

Firstly, what does an allied health assistant do?

Allied health assistants (AHAs) are trained professionals who work under the supervision of allied health professionals, such as podiatrists, to provide clinical support and assistance to patients. They work in a range of settings, including hospitals, community health centres, aged care facilities, and private practices.

Their duties can vary depending on the field and setting they work in. There is plenty more information available online, such as documentation that explores the process involved in developing an allied health workforce. This same resource also links through to a video by the Victorian Government on some do’s and don’ts when delegating to an allied health assistant.

What are some of the benefits in hiring an allied health assistant?

Benefits are detailed in Australian Podiatry Association’s (APodA) member-only resource on allied health assistants, while some additional benefits include:

  1. Support for routine tasks: AHAs can provide support for routine tasks, such as patient preparation, record keeping, and scheduling appointments. By taking on these tasks, podiatrists can focus their skills and expertise on more complex care.
  2. Assistance with basic assessments and interventions: AHAs can assist podiatrists with basic assessments and interventions, such as taking basic measurements, performing foot care treatments, and providing patient education. This support can help increase the number of patients who can receive care, thereby reducing wait times and addressing workforce shortages.
  3. Increased access to care in rural and remote areas: AHAs can help to increase access to care in rural and remote areas, where there may be a shortage of podiatrists and other allied health professionals. By providing basic services and support, AHAs can help to bridge the gap in care provision – and ensure that patients in these areas have access to the basic services they need.
  4. More facilitated teamwork and collaboration: AHAs can facilitate teamwork and collaboration among podiatrists and other allied health professionals. By working closely with other members of the health care team, AHAs can help ensure that patients receive coordinated, informed, timely and integrated care.
  5. Cost-effective support: AHAs can provide cost-effective support for podiatrists. By taking on routine tasks and providing basic services, AHAs can help reduce the workload of podiatrists which frees up further time for additional patient contact hours or management related administrative tasks.

The member-only resource mentioned above also details some potential barriers to be aware of before hiring an AHA.

How much should I pay an allied health assistant?

The latest remuneration information is detailed in APodA’s member-only resource on AHAs, which is regularly updated for members.

What information does the Australian Podiatry Association have on allied health assistants?

The APodA has comprehensive information for its members when it comes to hiring or working alongside an AHA. This extends to the benefits and barriers in hiring an AHA, remuneration information, the role of AHAs in the context of private sector podiatry, clinical and non clinical duties of an AHA working in a podiatry practice, relevant tertiary insights, and modes of clinical supervision that are applicable to AHAs.

Do other entities offer support in this space?

Emerging associated bodies seek to offer support for allied health assistance. If you are an APodA member and you want to get involved in related developments, reach out to APodA’s Advocacy team via



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Q+A special: Patient advice from the Heart Foundation

What to expect at this year’s conference

Live & Local events are on their way and they are not to be missed! These cost-effective education offerings are designed for podiatrists who work across the public, community, private and academic sectors.


What’s involved

Carefully curated, these half-day sessions take podiatrists through a range of clinical presentations and demonstrations to unlock fresh opportunities for skills development.


Perth is where it’s at


Based near Perth? Here’s what you can expect at the Live & Local in Perth, proudly sponsored by Restorate, and taking place on 12 May at the University of Western Australia.

Deeply practical,  this series of presentations cover different clinical areas such as high risk pathologies, fluoroscopy,  laser case studies and related demonstrations.

Dan Miles, head of advocacy at the APodA, will also be there to discuss advocacy issues and associated points for action. Tours of the surgical suites offer another highlight and once all of that has taken place, it’s time for canapes and networking opportunities! Be involved in this face-to-face CPD opportunity – at this not-to-be-missed local event.

Adelaide must-attend


Near Adelaide? Then the Live & Local is taking place on 26 May at the University of South Australia.

This event kicks off with a discussion, led by leaders in the podiatry profession, on the role of a vascular assessment and its place in the future of podiatry. Other topics include a reflection by Dr Helen Banwell on how podiatry students were taught during Covid – accompanied by a forecast on teaching hands-on skills into the future. Co-care relationships are also examined, with  guidance provided on when to hold patients and when to send them in for further medical intervention. There is also a live ulcer debriding showcase as this jam-packed day event draws to a close, before the location switches to Sportitude Running. This is where the pace slows down for some networking and overdue face-to-face time, a relative rarity since Covid began. The event sponsors, Sportitude, are also providing four free pairs of shoes as lucky door prizes at this add-on networking event, which starts at 4:30pm. Not only this, but Sportitude are also offering 30% off RRP to all in attendance.


Further afield


Not based in either of these locations? The good news is that we have more Live & Local events happening in the second half of 2023 – with Rockhampton already confirmed, and potential locations slated in NSW, ACT and Victoria.


Over to you


Keep checking the website for further updates on future Live & Local locations. And don’t forget to book in for Live & Locals in Perth or Adelaide before it’s too late.


See you at a Live & Local soon!


These monthly questions are compiled by our member services team who take multiple calls, five days a week, to ensure accurate information is being given to our members when it comes to complex queries such as: 


  • Whether a patient can access clinical notes 
  • What required documents need to be legally sent back to a patient’s doctor after a first visit 
  • Whether it’s necessary to complete a service agreement for a self managed NDIS participant. 


All of these questions are answered here – and answered via APodA’s regular member-only emails.  

Understanding employment contracts


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That’s a wrap on this issue of STRIDE! Remember that up-to-the-minute updates are available through our social media channels like Twitter and Facebook (and on our website).