Skip to content
Government Federal, Political

Finally – a migration strategy that may tackle the massage sector calamity

Massage & Myotherapy Australia 2 mins read

For the first time since the skilled migration and temporary visa programs were introduced decades ago, the newly released migration strategy promises to address the calamity it has caused in Australia’s massage sector.

Ann Davey, CEO Massage & Myotherapy Australia, said that the massage sector has become the epitome of what Dr Martin Parkinson described as a system ‘so badly broken’ that it required a ‘10-year rebuild’…a system not delivering for workers, for businesses, or for Australians.

‘Australia’s temporary and skilled migration program opened a floodgate of poorly trained massage workers, as a source of cheap and temporary labour, for the many quasi-massage shops that dot the country, offering anything from spa style massage to illicit and legal sex work that operates under the guise of legitimate massage therapy.’

The initiatives detailed in the strategy highlight key issues that have enabled the calamity that is the low end and poorly skilled massage sector in Australia. The new commitments include:

  • higher English language requirements for international students and graduates;
  • more scrutiny of high-risk student visa applications;
  • a $19m investment into the Home Affairs student visa integrity unit; 
  • Restrictions on onshore visa hopping;
  • ending settings that drive long-term temporary stays;
  • tackling exploitation of the visa system; and
  • targeting skilled migration to genuine shortages.

Mrs Davey said, ‘We hope these commitments will be applied vigorously to massage visa and sponsored visa applications. Australia has never had a serious skills shortage in qualified, professional massage therapists and the extraordinary influx of low skilled massage workers has led to confusion and the sexual stereotyping of massage therapists as sex workers and massage as sex.’

The professional massage sector is a female-dominated sector of complementary health, with a ratio of approximately 4:1 women to men. The long term and grievous consequences for massage therapists in Australia are well documented.’

Numerous studies indicate that the conflation of massage therapy with sex work and the subsequent confusion around health-related massage and massage therapists contributes to:

According to the 2022 Pulse Survey of our 8,600 members, respondents indicated that some professional massage therapists experience sexual harassment from clients in their workplace daily.

Mrs Davey said, ‘the Australian temporary and skilled migration program has not kept pace with the substantial improvements in professional development including the higher education and competency standards, or the demands or needs of the healthcare sector and community.

‘We look forward to further developments and the impact these changes will have on Australia’s current visa programs,’ Mrs Davey said.

END


Key Facts:

Massage therapy qualifications are recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF);

Sex workers are not subject to the National Code of Conduct for Health Workers which prohibits sexual relations with clients yet they can promote their services as legitmate health related massage

 


About us:

Massage & Myotherapy Australia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 2003 and is the leading representative body for professional massage therapists nationwide, with a membership of over 8,500 therapists.


Contact details:

Glenn Schaube 0439 320 151; glenns@grscom.com.au

More from this category

  • International News, Political
  • 15/07/2024
  • 09:37
Parliament of Australia

Treaties Committee to examine Australia-PNG security relations and IPEF supply chain resilience

TheJoint Standing Committee on Treatieswill hold public hearings today for its inquiry into theAgreement Between the Government of Australia and the Government of Papua New Guinea on a Framework for Closer Security Relationsand its inquiry into theIndo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity Agreement relating to Supply Chain Resilience. On the Australia-Papua New Guinea (PNG) agreement, Committee ChairMr Josh Wilson MPsaid that, ‘The agreement would build on existing arrangements and would enhance bilateral ties between Australia and PNG as security partners, friends, and near neighbours. The proposed agreement would create a legally binding framework for the two nations to work more closely…

  • Energy, Political
  • 15/07/2024
  • 09:29
Nexa Advisory

Energy transmission delays are costing Australians

We need to stick to the plan - delays to transmission builds are costing Australians A new report by Nexa Advisory reveals that delays in building energy transmission infrastructure will lead to higher electricity bills for both households and businesses, compromise energy reliability and jeopardise emissions reduction targets. CEO of Nexa Advisory, Stephanie Bashir, said: 'The factors contributing to the slow pace of the energy transition are complex.’ 'Nationally significant projects cannot languish in the purgatory of planning and regulatory processes that are not fit for purpose. We have to forge a way forward urgently, focused on accountability, coordination, and…

  • Government Federal, Taxation
  • 15/07/2024
  • 09:20
Australian Taxation Office

The ATO is here to help during tax time

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is committed to helping taxpayers get their tax returns right this tax time. ATO Assistant Commissioner Rob Thomson acknowledged that for some, managing their tax affairs may seemtricky. ‘TheATO is here to help with support and guidance for those struggling with their tax obligations,’ Mr Thomsonsaid. Tax Help and Tax Clinics If you need help with your tax affairs, there are many resources to help. If you’re earning under $60,000 youmay be eligible for the Tax Help program. ‘From July to October each year, our accredited volunteers help people to lodge their tax returns online,’…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.