Chief Allied Health Office (CAHO)

The Chief Allied Health Office (CAHO), led by Jennifer Campbell in the role of Chief Allied Health Officer, provides leadership, strategic advice and support on issues including workforce, clinical practice, education and research for more than 26 allied health professions.

The Office has a broad systems role in:

  • identifying trends in the delivery of allied health services and workforce across the WA health system
  • encouraging leadership, strategic direction and interprofessional collaboration for allied health services
  • collaborating with Health Service Providers and allied health professionals to facilitate a safe, effective and efficient health system
  • providing high level policy advice to the Minister for Health, State Government, as well as professional leadership to national groups, on issues related to the allied health professions.

Allied health (encompassing allied health and health science) includes the following professions working with the WA health system, and their related assistant/technician workers:

  • Art Therapy
  • Audiology
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Cardiac physiology
  • Clinical perfusion
  • Dietetics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Genetic counselling
  • Medical imaging technology
  • Medical librarians
  • Medical physics
  • Medical science
  • Music therapy
  • Neurophysiology science
  • Nuclear medicine technology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Orthoptics
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Paramedicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology (incl. clinical psychology)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Sleep and/or respiratory science
  • Social work
  • Sonography
  • Speech pathology

On behalf of the WA Department of Health, CAHO leads the application of strategic solutions to issues related to allied health services. Previously CAHO was WA Health’s lead for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in WA. CAHO now includes assistive technology and homeless health among its responsibilities.

CAHO news

15th National Allied Health Conference

From the 7–9 of August 2023 the WA Chief Allied Health Office will be hosting the National Allied Health Conference in Perth, Western Australia, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

The theme – expanding horizons – provides an opportunity for local and international allied health professionals to explore the many and varied contributions of allied health and to showcase their innovations in clinical practice and research.

Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to join other allied health professionals and renowned experts to unpack and explore opportunities to reimagine your career, build resilience and drive change.  There is an exciting program of local and international speakers, workshops, and exhibitors, and lots of networking opportunities. 

To register visit the National Allied Health Conference webpage (external site). Early bird registrations are available until 23 June 2023.

Follow the conference on Facebook (external site), LinkedIn (external site), and Twitter (external site) for the latest updates.

December 2022 – CAHO calls time on NDIS-related role 

CAHO’s work on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) transition has ended. With 48,000 NDIS participants across WA, the NDIS transition is on target for completion by June 2023. The introduction of the NDIS was one of the most significant social reforms in Australia’s history. One in five Western Australians experience disability, and around 10% of these people with significant and ongoing disability now have access through the NDIS to individualised services.  

In 2017/18, CAHO assumed the lead WA Department of Health disability policy role, assisting clinicians to channel issues for discussion with Department of Communities, aiming to influence the policy decisions to ensure clinical understanding and consistency in interpretation and actions in response to the NDIS rollout. 

For 5 years CAHO worked on the implementation of the NDIS as well as disability issues more broadly, driving changes through liaison with Health Service Providers, WA Government agencies and the Australian health and disability sectors. Until 2021, CAHO’s role included informing the Department of Communities and other WA Government agencies of WA Health issues as well as representing WA Health in various State and national forums. 

CAHO will complete the Ready to Go Home Project in early 2023 and will continue to contribute to disability-related areas that involve allied health, such as assistive technology.

Allied health

The Allied Health portfolio provides leadership, strategic advice, guidance and support to WA allied health professionals and promotes their role in optimising a person-centred, sustainable, innovative health system for all Western Australians.

Key priorities within this portfolio include:

  • System level monitoring and analysis of allied health workforce trends
  • Building allied health research capability
  • Providing strategic policy advice to governments on issues relevant to allied health
  • Promoting contemporary workforce roles, scope of practice, and models of care

National allied health leadership

Australian Government's CAHO (external site).

See Allied health care | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (external site) for Australian Government’s CAHO newsletters, resources and information including about the Allied Health Industry Reference Group.

Other national allied health groups include:

Assistive technology

The Assistive Technology portfolio develops strategic policy and programs for the provision of State-funded aids, equipment and associated consumables to eligible West Australians.

Assistive Technology enables and promotes inclusion and participation, especially of persons with disability, ageing populations and people with non-communicable diseases. The primary purpose of assistive products is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, thereby promoting their wellbeing (World Health Organization, 2023).

Homeless health

The Homeless Health portfolio develops strategic policy related to the often-complex health needs of people experiencing homelessness. Projects and policy developments are focussed on the interfaces between the WA health system and other agencies and sectors, aiming to provide equitable, coordinated, effective and person-centred health care for this population.

Key priorities within this portfolio include:

Profile projects and reports

Ready to Go Home Project

The Ready to Go Home Project (external site) is a three-year project funded through the Department of Social Services (Mainstream Capacity Building grants) in partnership with National Disability Services in WA focussing on:

  • addressing delays to hospital discharge for people with a disability
  • improving the hospital experience   
  • improving the interface between health and disability (community) services

The target group are people with disability aged 18-64 years (including NDIS participants) who are experiencing a delay in discharge from hospital to home. The project commenced in April 2020 and concludes in March 2023.

Lymphoedema Garment and Allied Health Therapies Program

The Lymphoedema Garment and Allied Health Therapies Program (external site) was announced by the Australian Governement Department of Health in March 2020. A Project Agreement was negotiated with Western Australia and the Commonwealth.

The overarching program objectives are:  

  • To increase access to lymphoedema compression garments in Western Australia.  
  • To contribute to activities that promote increased access to allied health professionals appropriately trained in the prescription of compression garments for lymphoedema 
  • To contribute to activities that increase access to allied health professionals to enable the timely assessment of patients requiring compression garments.  

An example of projects supported by the program is the WA Health Prospective Surveillance Model of Care (PSM) Pilot Project for Early Detection of Lymphoedema. The PSM pilot is being undertaken by the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Departments at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in collaboration with CAHO and involves the monitoring of pre-clinical changes in oedema to upper limbs post breast and regional nodal surgeries following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Where indicated patients are referred to the Occupational Therapy Lymphoedema Clinic service for early intervention.

14th National Allied Health Conference

From 9-12 August 2021 the WA Chief Allied Health Office hosted the 14th National Allied Health Conference (external site). This conference is the preeminent Australian conference for allied health professionals, attracting professionals from across the country and internationally. With the challenges presented by COVID-19, the conference was held virtually for the first time. It attracted more than 800 delegates and 400 abstract submissions.

The conference provided an opportunity for professionals to showcase their great work as well as discuss key issues relevant to allied health including national reforms in the rural health and aged care sectors, digital and technological innovation and the allied health response to challenges presented by COVID-19. Additionally, it provided an opportunity to hear from some of the leading speakers and experts on these issues.

One of the highlights was keynote speaker Sam Bloom, 2 times World Para Surfing champion, author, and inspiration behind the movie Penguin Bloom, who shared her story and spoke of her positive experiences with allied health professionals.

WA will host the 15th National Allied Conference (external site) in August 2023.

Allied health workforce reports

CAHO has produced the following reports:

Standardised position titles are available at Standardised position titles (

Employment opportunities

All WA Health Allied Health and Health Science employment vacancies are advertised online. You can view vacancies, apply online and sign up for email alerts so that you are notified when any suitable jobs are advertised.

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More information

Chief Allied Health Office (CAHO)
GPO Building, 3 Forrest Place, Perth
Phone: +61 8 6373 2309
Mail to: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre WA 6849

Last reviewed: 03-07-2023
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Chief Allied Health Office