Allied health finally gets a new CAHO

4 minute read

It’s taken a while but finally DoHAC has filled the chief allied health officer’s chair.

After 10 months staring at an empty chair, the Department of Health and Aged Care has announced a new Chief Allied Health Officer, with Anita Hobson-Powell named late yesterday.

Ms Hobson-Powell is currently chair of the National Alliance of Self Regulating Health Professions, a role she will step down from on 14 July, starting as CAHO on 15 July.

She replaces Dr Anne-Marie Boxall, who was the inaugural CAHO for just over three years before resigning in August 2023 to become DoHAC’s assistant secretary of the Health Reform Taskforce.

Ms Hobson-Powell has been a leader in exercise physiology and sports science. She was CEO of Exercise and Sports Science Australia for eight years until November 2023, with previous roles including serving on the boards of Gymnastics Queensland (chair), Gymnastics Australia, and Allied Health Professions Australia (deputy chair).

In a LinkedIn post, Ms Hobson-Powell said she was “thrilled” with her appointment.

“Looking forward to diving in to ensure all Australians can get better access to allied health services,” she said.

The CAHO’s responsibilities include:

  • Raising awareness of the role and value of allied health care in Australia.
  • Building and strengthening engagement with the allied health sector.
  • Promoting inclusion of allied health in relevant policies, programs, and reforms across the health portfolio, and where appropriate, across government.
  • Supporting the development and implementation of allied health policy within the primary care sector and health system more broadly.
  • Providing timely and accurate advice to ministers and senior executives on matters relating to allied health.
  • Complementing the work of the CMO, the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and the National Rural Health Commissioner.

“I welcome Anita as the new CAHO,” said Health Minister Mark Butler.

“Allied health professionals make up the second largest clinical workforce across the health system.

“Harnessing those dedicated health professionals that make up that critical workforce to improve health outcomes and reduce health-system costs is a very important part of our efforts to strengthen Medicare.

“The government looks forward to working with Anita to improve the system, for allied health professionals and for patients.”

Changes afoot at ADHA with new CCA named

Lack of Chief Allied Health Officer ‘erodes goodwill’

New role for former RACGP president

Dr Karen Price, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners from 2020-2022, will be starting a new role shortly as Chair of AMA Victoria’s General Practice Policy Council.

It’s a brand new role with terms of reference still being worked on but Dr Price told HSD it was a “good time” for policy conversations in the state.

“Given that we’ve got the beginnings of state involvement in community health, I think it’s a good time to start helping to have a conversation that’s sensible,” she said.

“If I can be of help, then I’m happy to do so.”

Dr Price hasn’t exactly been shy and retiring since ending her role in the big chair at the RACGP. She is currently on the board of HCF Australia, is Provost of the college, an executive member at large of WONCA, and an advisory board member at the University of Melbourne.

She’s also a working GP, doing her PhD, and entertaining and informing conference audiences. Case in point:

With RACGP elections coming up in August Dr Price has been playing a straight bat to questions about whether she will run again for president.

“I won’t be running in this iteration,” she told HSD. “I haven’t closed the door [permanently] on that possibility, but it’s not open at the moment.”

Positions vacant

Ambulance Victoria is looking for a director of operational triage services, reporting directly to the executive director. Applications close on Thursday 18 July. For more details contact Danielle Bourke on 0417 374 824 or

NT Health is recruiting for a director of recovery and rehab for its Top End Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Service. Remuneration is in the range of $169,251 – $184,320 and applications close on 3 July. For more details contact Robyn Westerman on 0457 768 296 or

The ADHA wants an assistant director of clinical governance. Applications close on Sunday 7 July at 11pm. Contact

Murrumbidgee PHN is seeking an executive (policy strategy and innovation). It’s worth $173,400 – $195,000 per year and for more details contact Narelle Mills on 0488 007 780 or email

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