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Bridging the Gap: KEO Care’s Expansion into Regional Victoria

By Marny Bykerk

Despite significant growth in the Victorian allied health workforce from 2011 to 2021, staff shortages remain an issue throughout the sector and significantly affect regional areas.  

Therapist shortages in Regional Victoria

As of 2021, only 26% of therapists working within clinical, clinical support and social services teams across Victoria were located in regional areas1. It is forecast the Barwon area will require 1,074 new allied health professionals by 20262, while Geelong’s population alone is set to increase by 37% by 20413. Furthermore, as of 2017, 57% of regional, rural, and remote students across Australia were required to relocate to access tertiary education and pursue their desired professional pathways4.

Health staff shortages often lead to participants experiencing long wait times for therapy and support, having limited choice in health care services, and experiencing lower quality care. KEO Care strongly believes a person’s postcode should not dictate the standard of care they receive. Nor should students and therapists living in regional, rural, and remote areas be disadvantaged by limited educational and professional development opportunities.

KEO Care’s Regional Expansion

KEO Care has recently committed to expanding its services regionally to increase access to quality health care options and strengthen career pathways for therapists and healthcare practitioners working in regional areas5. As an organisation we want to empower those who are passionate about serving their communities to achieve the best participant outcomes regardless of where they choose to work, live, and play.  

Originally from the Bellarine Peninsula herself, our Clinical Director relocated to Melbourne to study physiotherapy, but has always been passionate about expanding allied health services across her old stomping grounds. Excitedly, we can now announce that we have an office up and running in Geelong, servicing the city and its surrounding areas. We are beyond excited to embrace the beautiful beach landscapes, family-centred community, and inviting lifestyle the Barwon area has to offer, as well as share with the community KEO Care’s values of kindness, connection, clinical excellence, and lifelong learning. We cannot wait to work together with the community to strengthen meaning and fulfillment at every stage of life. 

We are privileged to be able to draw upon our existing clinical support structures across our sister hubs in Elsternwick, Carrum Downs, Nunawading and Mill Park, as we expand and continue to strengthen our Geelong team.  

If you’re passionate about supporting others to lead vibrant and fulfilling lives and are interested in improving access to health and wellbeing services across regional communities, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch by contacting Louise from our Talent Acquisition Team at careers@keocare.com.au or on 0484 128 704 


1,2 Victoria’s healthcare workforce | health.vic.gov.au | https://www.health.vic.gov.au/victorian-health-workforce-strategy/victorias-healthcare-workforce

3 Home | City of Greater Geelong | Population forecast (id.com.au) | https://forecast.id.com.au/geelong

4 Retention and attainment of regional, rural and remote learners in tertiary education | https://www.education.gov.au/download/4519/issues-paper-3-retention-and-attainment/6721/document/pdf#:~:text=In%202017%2C%2057%20per%20cent,RRR%20students%20and%20their%20families.

5 Improvement of Access, Quality and Distribution of Allied Health Services in Regional, Rural and Remote Australia | https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/04/interim-report-improvement-of-access-quality-and-distribution-of-allied-health-services-in-regional-rural-and-remote-australia.pdf (p7)

About the author

Marny Bykerk is the Regional Support Lead at KEO Care, known for her thoughtful approach. With many years of experience in the disability sector as an occupational therapist and early intervention key worker, Marny has developed expertise in developmental delay, neurodiversity and family-centred practice.