Allied Health Service

SOS Health Services - Palm Island

Physiotherapy & related services for Palm Island community

EVERY Australian should have access to physiotherapy and related health services when needed, but sadly many people don’t. SOS Health Foundation is working to Close the Gap in health outcomes for people in remote indigenous communities.


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Current challenges in Palm Island

Palm-mapIt 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 Manbarra people on Palm Island in North Queensland have not escaped the issues associated with remoteness. Limited availability of allied health services such as physiotherapy and dietetics in particular, was problematic given the high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.General health concerns, post surgery rehabilitation, women’s health issues and sports injuries were also not being adequately addressed within the community.

Inequality in service availability

Although essential health services are available through Queensland Health, limited availability of physiotherapy and 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 lacked the autonomy and choice of regular, culturally specific health services; exacerbating the general distrust of the health system and practitioners.  Travel to access services on the mainland is inconvenient and costly,

What SOS is doing?

SOS Health Services – Palm Island

We can’t offer a ‘quick fix’ solution, however SOS Health is working together with the Palm Island community to improve the long term availability, regularity and quality of health services through the provision of  physiotherapy and related allied services.

Address: Park Street, Palm Island, QLD 4816
Phone: 0455 588 079
Open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Health Outreach Program

The capacity to improve the physical health and quality of life for the Palm Island community cannot be underestimated. To supplement SOS Health Services, teams of volunteer allied health practitioners will provide specialist services to meet specific community needs including:

  • Physiotherapy – Cardiorespiratory, Continence and Women’s Health, Neurology, Paediatrics. Exercise and Fitness
  • Dietetics, Diabetes education
  • Podiatry

Close the Gap

SOS Health is working with community services to Close the Gap in health outcomes for the Palm Island community through the provision of full time services:

  • Physiotherapy and related services
  • Health Promotion and education to increase health literacy
  • Promoting meaningful partnerships with existing health service providers


Providing injury prevention techniques through strapping clinics, assessing and developing treatment plans for those with new and existing injuries are just some of the basic, but essential, services we offer to support the strong sporting culture on Palm Island.

  • "It was great to see that a simple exercise program taught to the residents of the aged care facility, or massaging the hard working teachers of the Palm Island schools, had made a small impact on the morale of the island."

    Nearida Siv - Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy (ACT)

  • "There are no words to describe the experiences I had and the people I met there… after being lucky enough to have a small glimpse of life on Palm Island."

    Mandy Lowe - Physio, Back In Motion, Mentone(Vic)

Read more stories

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.

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.

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.

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?


Your skills are important to people on Palm Island. Opportunities are open to physiotherapists, dieticians and allied health practitioners from around Australia who can give of their time to make a significant contribution to the health and wellness of people in this community. If you share our vision and values, and would like to use your skills and expertise where they are needed most, apply now.

Health Outreaches are for a one week period. This opportunity is open to fully qualified practitioners who are registered in Australia.

Apply to Volunteer


If you are not in a position to volunteer but would like to help, why not consider making a tax deductible donation to this or one of several other initiatives by giving Online. Or, start or join a Workplace Giving Program in your workplace.

Your contribution is important to maintaining sustainable services which significantly improve the health of disadvantaged individuals and communities in urban and remote Australia.

Donate to this project

Join a Fundraiser

SOS relies entirely on the generosity of supporters to exist, so every dollar helps.  There are many fundraising opportunities.

  • Get involved in work4significance Day, 1st Tuesday in September.
  • Start or join a Workplace Giving Program in your workplace.
  • Take part in a major public fundraising event and select the SOS Health Foundation as your charity of choice.
Fundraising events