Health Outreach Program

Palm Island, Nth Queensland

Our long term commitment to the remote Palm Island indigenous community is to provide a range of accessible allied healthcare services with cultural sensitivity. Working with SOS Health Services Palm Island, the community, and local service providers, volunteers contribute to long term solutions and positive health outcomes.

Current Challenges on Palm Island

It is widely reported that the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians is among the poorest in the world. Attributed to decades of neglect and inadequate service provision, the Bwgcolman and Munbarra people on Palm Island in North Queensland have not escaped the issues associated with remoteness. Limited availability of allied health services such as physiotherapy, podiatry and dietetics in particular, was problematic given the high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; as well as women’s health issues, sports injuries and general health concerns experienced by the elderly and people with disabilities, or those requiring post surgery rehabilitation.

Inequality in service availability

Although essential health services are available through Queensland Health, inconsistent access to physiotherapy and related allied health services on Palm Island highlights the inequality of service provision when compared to the rest of the Queensland population. Despite being located just 65kms off the coast of Townsville, Palm Island still lacks regular, culturally specific health services, and this is the gap SOS Health Outreach Team volunteers try to fill. Travel to access services on the mainland is inconvenient and costly, so SOS Health Foundation flys volunteer allied health professionals to Palm Island.

Management, carers and residents are eternally grateful for your time, effort, expertise, empathy and professionalism. Thank you SOS Team.


Why volunteer with SOS Health Foundation

Focus on Allied Health

SOS Health Foundation was formed by physios to provide opportunities for allied health practitioners who want to use their skills and expertise to ensure quality services are available when and wherever needed, even in the most remote communities in Australia.

It’s an experience

We visit some of Australia’s most remote communities and locations, places that most people will never get to see. Volunteers join the Health Outreach Program because they want to ‘give back’ to those less fortunate, and we can make that happen. What most people don’t expect is just how much they gain from the experience.

All organised for you

We make it easy for you to get involved. We plan your itinerary and take care of all the details, including travel, accommodation, cultural orientation, and program facilitation. You are free to focus on what you do best and enjoy the experience of serving the health needs of those who would otherwise go without, right here in your own backyard.

Sustainable impact

We work collaboratively with local organisations to ensure that we are hitting the most in-need areas and having the most effective long term outcomes.

How can you help?


Volunteer with us

Your physio, podiatry, OT, dietetics and other allied health professional skills are of particular value, but not essential. Your contribution will benefit others immensely by meeting the most basic health needs of the disadvantaged.


Donate to us

Every gift, no matter what the amount, will go a long way to supporting health programs for disadvantaged individuals and communities throughout Australia. Help us improve the holistic physical health and wellbeing of those in need.


Join a Fundraiser

The SOS Health Foundation relies on the generous support of the community and our generous donors to enable us to continue our work. You can make a positive difference in the health of others by fundraising on our behalf.