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Care Squared Rural Outreach Program 

26 April 2022

Regional and remote communities often face challenges in receiving essential services, especially within the allied health space. That’s why Care Squared was so pleased to kick off the Rural Outreach Program in Biloela, Queensland. 

 The Regional Outreach Program is an assessment, report and plan service designed to deliver much needed NDIS assessments for communities who have gone without, possibly for years. 

For Occupational Therapist Amanda Lacey, this program hits close to home, quite literally. As a born and bred Biloela girl, Amanda first started her Occupational Therapy career there,  completing her final student placement there and then spending the first 18 months of her time as a qualified OT back in Biloela.  

Given her history with not only living in rural Queensland, but also delivering allied health services, Amanda has the first-hand knowledge of how finding ongoing support in regional areas can be challenging. Participants are often required to travel to metro areas to gain access to the support they need, or else they go without.  

“The Regional Outreach Program provides an opportunity for clinicians to visit more isolated areas of Australia where services are limited or booked to capacity. Clinicians often become a part of a community, while also giving local communities the allied health support they require,” said Amanda.  

A pleasant return to her hometown meant that Amanda was greeted at reception by her Kindergarten teacher, proving that you just cannot beat that nostalgic feeling and small-town charm. What followed was a week of assessments, who for some participants have gone over 18 months without having access to allied health support.  

While Amanda has recently stepped back from practicing as an OT and into a Director of People role with Humanity Health Group, when this Program was announced, she couldn’t help but put her hand up to help deliver the pilot program. As a professional a large majority of an Occupational Therapists’ role is all about purpose; it’s about people increasing their function and independence  in the way in which they live their lives.  

Not only does this program offer   regional Australians the supports they desperately need, but it also offers our people the opportunity to travel, to experience different communities and to make a lasting impact on people’s lives. For Amanda, as a mother and a professional, it's about how work integrates with her life. Biloela gives her the work-life integration to complete meaningful work in a job she loves, whilst also connecting with family in her hometown.  

21 years later and working in a leadership and management role, Amanda’s love for OT continues and she has been given the opportunity to focus on her purpose and why she chose Occupational Therapy as a career.