Member Profile - Rachel Morris
Full name:
Rachel Morris
Role and company:
Child and Youth Counsellor at Watersedge Counselling and Director at Hope Movement AU
What do you love and/or inspires you most about being a social worker?
I love that I am able to hear the stories of people from all walks of life, that I am given the unique privilege of people sharing their moments of resilience and creativity with me, amidst some of life greatest challenges.
Who has been the most inspiring role model in your career and why?
I've had many people within the field that have played a pivotal role in shaping me personally and professionally. Chantal Ober for her work with Youth in Katherine NT , Duncan Morris for his ability to practice as a mental health clinician professionally, yet sincerely, and lastly, Shane Claiborne's work has played a significant role in helping me identify how spirituality can be used in anti oppressive practice.
What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in their career?
Don't be afraid to ask questions from those who have been around longer then you, and allow yourself to critically reflect on your work and self. It is one of the hardest things to do, but will give you the ability to have a healthy, sustainable career in the field.
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I'd have to choose Jesus. His words and actions were nothing short of revolutionary in his time, and challenged the powerful systems and people of the Empire to sit up and pay attention. His ability to connect with those on the fringes of society and offer a new perspective on social order that could actually benefit them, inspires me in my career.

Medicare Benefits Schedule Review


In 2015 the then Minister of Health announced that a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce would be established. The taskforce is considering how the more than 5,700 items on the MBS can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for patients. The review is clinician-led and there are no targets for savings attached to the review. The taskforce recommendations will be made to the Minister later this year.

The AASW has so far been involved in all the relevant stakeholder consultation forums, meeting with Chair Professor Bruce Robinson, and making a submission based on member consultation in relation to pay equity and better utilisation of social work supports. We are waiting on permission to release the submission to members.

While our prime focus will be on the review MBS items that fall under the Mental Health Committee, we have been collaborating with AHPRA colleagues on the development of a discussion paper on items relevant to the upcoming work of the Allied Health Committee. The relevant items for social workers under this committee would be:

  1. Chronic Disease Management, and
  2. Case Conferencing remuneration.

Review of allied health items is anticipated to begin in June 2018.



Australian Government Department of Veterans Affairs


On Friday, 8 June 2018 CEO Cindy Smith attended the one-day Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Providers Partnership Forum. Relevant topics covered were: 

We received from the DVA some high level data on the usage of social work. We will work with the DVA to understand the data fully and will report back through the Mental Health e-News on the data.

NHSD is a national directory of health services providers supported by Healthdirect Australia. The NHSD allows users to search for providers anywhere Australia.  Currently, veterans have limited information on which providers in their area will accept DVA clients, which results in unnecessary challenges for veterans and requires them to contact DVA directly to source information. A NHSD DVA flag will be an additional filter in the NHSD where searchers can ‘tick’ a ‘DVA Health Card Welcome box. Implementing this flag will assist veterans and their families to find health providers who accept DVA clients, making it easier for veterans to find a suitable provider at their own convenience. All allied health services were consulted on whether to move towards an "Opt in" or "Opt out" model. Most, including the AASW, have nominated for an "Opt in" model.  The "Opt in" model means that providers that have offered services to DVA clients within the last six months will have the DVA flag activated in their NHSD profiles, as long as they fit into the following categories: General Practice, mental health providers, physiotherapy, General Dental, Podiatry, Chiropractic and Optometry.

Additional providers can opt-in through Healthdirect.

The "Opt out" model means that all providers currently in the NHSD will have the DVA flag activated for the following services categories: General Practice, mental health providers, physiotherapy, General Dental, Podiatry, Chiropractic and Optometry.

A communications campaign will raise awareness of the flag and advise providers on how to opt-in through Healthdirect should this be necessary.



Telehealth - Medicare


The AASW is currently working with the Department of Health and Human Services during the development of  telehealth guidelines that aim to improve access to psychological services for rural and remote patients.

We will continue to provide updates about these guidelines in the e-Bulletin and on our website as information becomes available.



MHCC Recovery Oriented Language Guide


The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) has updated the Recovery Oriented Language Guide first developed in 2013. The second edition takes into account trauma-informed care, age-related and supported decision-making language considerations.



NDIS: Handy Tips


The NDIS can be a maze for participants and professionals alike. As such, the NDIS has created the ‘Provider Registration Guide to Suitability’. This document will assist professionals to discern what therapies they can deliver and which line items suit their role best. If you an unsure whether you are eligible to become a provider, please refer to the ‘Provider Readiness Checklist’ and the ‘Provider Registration Checklist’.

Health Professionals play an important role in helping people understand the NDIS and how it works with other government services as well as assisting them to access the Scheme. The NDIS has recently updated their 'GP and Allied Health Professional's Guide to the NDIS' factsheet in consultation with various external stakeholders. The resource includes information on referral pathways and the NDIA's evidence of disability requirements as well as advice on billing through Medicare, such as:



Tips to Access the NDIS for Mental Health Support


Easy to understand information is now available for people with a psychosocial disability, their supporters and service providers on how to access supports through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

The Mental Health Access Snapshots below are designed to help you understand the access requirements under the NDIS in relation to psychosocial disability. 

Please click on the following headings for each snapshot: 

  1. General information about how the NDIS can support your mental health
  2. Impairment and mental health in the NDIS
  3. Recovery and the NDIS
  4. Functional capacity and mental health issues
  5. NDIS and other services supporting your mental health 

The guiding principle of the NDIS is to be person-centred, giving people ‘choice and control’. It enables people with psychosocial disability associated with severe mental illness to exercise their right to make decisions about the types of services they need to improve care and support. 

The National Mental Health Commission considers the NDIS to be an important initiative with its promise of individualised care and choice for eligible people with psychosocial disability.



10th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium


Abstract Submissions Close at 5pm on Monday 25 June 2018!

Don’t miss your opportunity to present your latest research, program or findings at the 10th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, being held 15 - 17 October 2018 at Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, TAS.

The 2018 topics include:

  • Suicide and self-harm prevention
  • Child, youth and adolescent mental health
  • Supporting rural and (very) remote mental health workers
  • Mental health policy
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Mentally healthy workplaces
  • Dual diagnosis, mental health and AOD
  • Cross sections of the rural and remote community, service design and access
  • Social determinants of health
  • Consumer focused recovery, living with mental health issues
  • Digital and low intensity mental health programs

To submit your abstract, please visit: 



CPD events



Friday 22 June 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 22 June 2018
Thursday 28 June 2018
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

New South Wales

Saturday 23 June 2018 & 30 June 2018
Thursday 28 June 2018
9:15 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday 28 - Friday 29 June 2018

North Queensland

Thursday 21 June 2018
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

South Australia

Thursday 21 - Friday 22 June 2018
Monday 25 - Tuesday 26 June 2018
Friday 29 June 2018


Friday 22 - Sunday 24 June 2018
Monday 25 June 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Monday 25 June 2018
1:45 pm to 4:40 pm
This seminar will be followed by the VMHSWPG meeting at 5-7 pm.
Wednesday 25 July and Thursday 26 July 2018
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Western Australia

Wednesday 25 July 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 31 July 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Monday 23 - Friday 27 July 2018

New Zealand

Thursday 28 - Friday 29 June 2018



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