The SARRAH Conference Committee would like to acknowledge the Larrakia people, the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today. I would like to acknowledge their culture and their elders both past, present and emerging.

Welcome to the 2018 SARRAH National Conference

I would like to wish all our delegates a very warm welcome to the 2018 SARRAH national conference, held in a capital city for the first time in SARRAH's history. Darwin was the obvious and very clear choice of our members and we couldn't think of a better spot.

Moving our conference to the capital city of a jurisdiction that perhaps more than any other, encapsulates the rural and remote character of much of our country, is indicative of the journey that SARRAH is on.

We will always be true to our mission but we are no longer content in pursuing it from the sidelines. We are going to be front and centre and vocal in advocating for the interests of allied health and the need for our professionals to be living, working and thriving in as many communities in rural and remote Australia as possible.

Our efforts to achieve our mission will always be well reasoned and we will always be responsible in the way we advocate.

But nor will we go unnoticed.

We will need the help of our members, friends and supporters and each of you has a role to play in the struggle to achieve our objective. This conference will provide an opportunity for you to engage, learn, teach, share but also to become involved.

From the President's speech at the start of the conference right through to the member-focused workshop myself and my Deputy CEO, Deslie Rosevear will be hosting at the end of conference, you will hear about SARRAH's new direction and learn about the ways you can be involved.

The conference theme is deliberately focused on change. Whether it be the changes in the modern healthcare system, changes in how services are delivered or in ways to heal, we all know that change is the only constant.

The impressive line-up of keynote speakers will share their respective stories and will offer us the opportunity to learn from their experience with each underscoring the same key message.

Success is as much a result of being able to respond effectively to changing circumstance as it is a result of anything else.

As health professionals, whether you're in the field, in academia or administration, this is a principle you're already very well aware of.

I hope and trust this conference amongst many other things, is also an opportunity for you to observe that it's also something we at SARRAH understand and hopefully inspires you to be part of our journey.

On behalf of all the team in the SARRAH National Office, I would like to offer our sincere thanks for attending and helping to make this conference so special and I strongly encourage you to keep in touch with me and the team as the office is there for you and we'd love to hear from you.

Again, welcome to our conference and welcome to Darwin and I hope you have a very enjoyable conference in the company of your colleagues, friends, peers and fellow travellers.

Yours in unity.

Jeff House