Postcards from Rural Australia

  • All Smiles for Rural Dental Placements

    Derby dental 8
  • Stepping Towards Better Care: An Outreach Podiatry Story

    Emma
  • New Rural GP Orientation 

    NGPO Group CROPPED
  • Rural and Remote Retrieval Weekend 

    IMG 20230511 WA0001
  • Nurse Student Rural Placement Project

    Tamworth2
  • A Warm Welcome

    GT fran and doc
  • Long Service

    Awards 2
  • Bush Bursary

    Bush Bursaries
  • See it, be it

    High school to health
  • Rural location, professional excellence

    Psychcaffe
  • In Practice

    Dan Mealey MDRAP1
  • Holiday heroes1
  • Locum in Motion

    Alan Kerr Ramingining 300x225
  • Good Practice

    Practice manager conference
  • Full House at Yura Yungi

    YYMS Senior Management cropped
  • Students 
    Go Bush

    Queensland health students
  • So pleased
    to see you

    Outreach Stephen Copeland with Kim Timms Warmun clinic
  • Health Allies

    Health Allies Helping Hand

After years of planning and collaboration, dental students in Western Australia now have more opportunity to complete clinical placements in rural and remote locations as part of their studies.

Rural Health West has been working closely with The University of Western Australia to develop placements aimed at increasing the profile of rural practice for the future dental workforce.

Rural Health West Senior Workforce Consultant Brooke Wilson said the idea first came about nearly eight years ago when she struggled to recruit dentists into rural locations, despite strong demand from employing practices.


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14 December 2023

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Rural & Remote Australia

Outreach teams collaborating with local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services have been a step in the right direction for positive chronic health outcomes for people living in rural and remote NT.

Sally Sunits, director and podiatrist from Darwin Podiatry, is one of those outreach providers delivering outreach podiatry across the NT since 2016.

Operating from Darwin, her services now encompass 3 of its 5 remote regions: Darwin, East Arnhem, and the Big Rivers region. Her efforts address the escalating need for foot care, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, who form the majority demographic in these remote regions.

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20 December 2023

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Eleven GPs who are new to rural NSW practice attended a two-day New Rural GP Orientation (NGPO) Program in Tamworth last year hosted by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN). The group included Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) from Russia, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, the Philippines, South Africa and Hong Kong.

The GPs received an overview of general practice in rural NSW including navigating Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, cultural awareness, accessing GP support, pathways to Fellowship, professional and ethical responsibilities and more.

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10 January 2024

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Amidst Western Australia’s stunning Karijini National Park, Rural Health West orchestrated a unique medical wilderness challenge for rural doctors.

Over three days, 20 rural doctors performed simulated emergencies in scenic gorges, enhancing their skills for non-hospital settings. Led by senior specialists, they honed critical thinking, leadership, and improvisation abilities.

This event empowered rural doctors to manage emergencies in remote locales, fostering connections and practical insights.

The immersive experience promoted adaptability, teamwork, and rapid response enriching their medical toolkit. This annual event transforms doctors’ perspectives, equipping them for vital roles in rural and remote care.

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16 August 2023

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Rural & Remote Australia

Three nursing students from Sydney’s Torrens University have become the first to take part in the Nurse Student Rural Placement (NSRP) Project in NSW, a partnership delivered by Rural Doctor Network (RDN) and the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA).

The project empowers students to explore rural primary health care careers, offering small ratio learning under Registered Nurses and/or Nurse Practitioners supervision. Diverse placements cover General Practice, aged care, and community health.

Collaborating with universities, NSRP spans over 60 rural NSW sites, inviting rural nurses to mentor future healthcare professionals.

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06 September 2022

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Rural & Remote Australia

In May 2016, Fran Robinson, Recruitment Consultant at HR+, drove Dr Ikechi Gbenimacho 50 kms north of Launceston, to deliver him to George Town Medical Centre.

The journey to practice in Australia had taken eight months for the Nigerian-born doctor since Fran had alerted him to the opportunity on Tasmania’s northern coastline.

Fast forward 7 years: Dr Gbenimacho and his family live and volunteer in the local community and he supports the local hospital. This year he became a partner in the practice and is now qualified to supervise future migrating doctors.

“I have to tell you, we don’t have a single regret coming here. We will be staying,” said Dr Gbenimacho.

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06 September 2022

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Dr Gbenimacho with Fran Robinson from HR+

In his 40 years of practice in rural Western Australia, Dr John Gliddon has almost seen it all.

Not many can boast of delivering a baby on a double-decker bus at the Winning Pool Station Races at 2am, for example.

According to Dr Gliddon the parents even named the newborn ‘Winning’.

John’s extraordinary commitment to rural communities, including 30 years in Bunbury in the state’s southwest, was recognised and celebrated at the WA Rural Health Long Service Awards in March.

Coordinated by Rural Health West, Long Service Awards recognise the commitment of 20 years plus to rural health services, often caring for many generations of the same family, and ongoing community involvement.

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03 April 2023

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Dr John Gliddon

Sydney-based medical students Asher Taccori and Georgina Cornall are considering a rural medical career.

“I’ve always been curious about practising rural medicine, and there is only so much you can learn from reading a pamphlet,” said Asher.

The Rural Doctors' Network (RDN) in NSW administer the Bush Bursary program in collaboration with the Country Women’s Association (CWA), providing scholarships which give medical, nursing and midwifery students a taste of the life of a country GP.

Asher and Georgina each received a $1500 scholarship from CWA and RDN arranged their two-week rural placements in Tumbarumba and Tumut in southeast NSW as part of the program.

“Through this placement I was able to meet the local community and learn more about the skills and experiences of rural health professionals,” said Asher.

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30 March 2023

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Asher and Georgina in Tutmut

In February 2023 Charity Selleck started work as a physiotherapist in Nhulunbuy in the remote northeast of the Northern Territory.

Charity, an indigenous physiotherapy student, joined other university students on a 2022 High School to Health program in Nhulunbuy delivered by the Northern Territory Rural Workforce Agency.

The program takes health students into remote areas to deliver interactive programs in schools. They worked with primary and secondary students in the remote community, introducing them to health roles and role models.

In turn the students are exposed to the culture, community and landscape of remote NT. In Charity’s case, the ultimate goal of encouraging and supporting the placement of health graduates into remote communities was realised.

‘If you can see it, you can be it!’ applies to the health students and to the school students.

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28 February 2023

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Charity Selleck (left) and fellow health students join Benji the health bear in school at Nhulunbuy.

Students, interns and registrars who secure a training place at one of Psychology Caffe’s six locations in rural towns in northern Tasmania are amazed at the variety and complexity of the work they are involved in.

“I think that’s why recruitment has been easier for us, because we offer more than the usual private practice,” said Managing Director and practice owner, Tracey Martin-Cole.

Psychology Caffe is proud to house a team of highly skilled psychologists, social workers, play therapists and nurses. The award-winning practice boasts three AHPRA registered supervisors, with another soon to qualify.

There is an urgent and growing need for qualified psychologists in rural and regional areas. HR+, Tasmania’s Rural Workforce Agency, has been pleased to support the growth of Tracey’s business and the services it delivers to rural Tasmanians through relocation grants, scholarships, recruitment and practice management support.

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14 February 2023

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Image: Psychology Caffe General Manager, Tracey Martin-Cole

For Dr Daniel Mealey, the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP), administered by the NSW Rural Doctors' Network (RDN), has been the perfect way to return to clinical practice.

MDRAP allows non-vocationally registered doctors to work in rural regions and access Medicare while working towards a GP specialisation. The program also offers a funding package to support supervision and education.

Dr Mealey says, “Having taken time off work, I highly recommend MDRAP and RDN’s recruitment services. It’s hard for any doctor to trust others to give accurate and timely advice, particularly when time is ticking on a career requiring an immediate clinical placement."

RDN matched Dr Mealey with an opportunity at the Queen Street Medical Centre in Moruya, a rural community which is now benefiting from an extra GP in town. “It could not possibly have been a better fit,” he says.

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08 February 2023

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Dr Daniel Mealey, happy to be practicing in Moruya.

Holidays are here. Vehicles loaded with bikes, kids and camping gear snake out of cities to beautiful beaches and idyllic country campgrounds. Sunburn, barefoot cuts, boisterous bungles, surf spills and general illness add pressure on small rural hospitals and practices, which can host up to ten times their usual populations.

Enter locums like Dr Ed Mulvey, who was welcomed with open arms at the Apollo Bay Medical Centre on the Victorian surfcoast.

"We thank Doctor Ed for his commitment to rural health, his caring and friendly nature that has been embraced by our staff and community,” said Great Ocean Road Health practice manager, Mandy Farrelly.

Many health services in holiday spots rely on locum support from Rural Workforce Agencies like RWAV, coordinator of Dr Mulvey's placement.

As the year ends, we acknowledge and thank the rural medical teams who work while we play so that we can enjoy safe and happy holidays.

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12 December 2022

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Image: Dr Ed Mulvey at his coastal placement

When a remote Northern Territory doctor needs a well-earned break, or an extra pair of GP hands, enter Dr Alan Kerr.

Originally planning to visit once a year from Victoria, Dr Kerr is now solely committed to locum support to outback communities.

“The medicine in the NT is beyond fascinating with a range of presentations barely seen in ‘mainstream’ practice. The learning never stops and that’s a great part of the work,” he says.

Dr Kerr is part of a locum program managed by the Rural Workforce Agency NT. He is deployed to a variety of locations, usually remote, usually involving complex comorbidities, often at short notice.

“I feel lucky that I can do something to help, even more so when I consider the fascinating medicine and the remarkable locations,” he said.

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27 October 2022

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Image: Dr Kerr at Ramingining Airport, 550km east of Darwin

Ochre Health staff in Tasmania were amongst those seizing the opportunity to attend the HR+ Practice Managers' Conference in Launceston.

“It’s always a stellar line up of industry experts and a chance to network with 60+ practice managers from across the state, learning from each other’s experiences, and this year’s program did not disappoint,” said Ochre Intern Support Officer, Molly Rumbold.

Practice Managers from across Tasmania (and beyond) met to explore their own potential, discover resources available to advance their education, their practices and to improve the health of patients. They also learnt about programs and grants to assist and grow the rural workforce.

"The leadership coaching from world class experts and personal growth sessions were inspiring and valuable beyond words, and we can’t wait to attend the next one!" said Molly.

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28 October 2022

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Halls Creek sits on the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert in the heart of the wild Kimberley. The extreme remoteness and harsh conditions can make it tough to recruit GPs to Yura Yungi Medical Service.

Recently Dr Lewis Rassaby decided it was “time he did his bit” and was recruited to the health service by Rural Health West (RHW). He was welcomed with open arms!

“I am glad and proud to say this – for the first time in the 4 years I have been here, we no longer need the advertisement (for a GP),” said Yura Yungi Executive Manager, Chona Mae Garabato.

“And it is all thanks to Rural Health West. We now have two GPs who were both introduced by (RHW). We also have a third GP courtesy of locum funding who also came to us via RHW.”

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20 October 2022

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Pictured: YYMS Management and GPs. Dr. Rassaby, (3rd from left), Chona Garabato (2nd from right)

Laura Rutherford was uncertain about the career direction of her physiotherapy degree before joining GROW Rural, a rural immersion program for health and medical students from Health Workforce Queensland.

“I was looking for mentors to show me how to reconcile a successful health career with staying in rural areas,” she said “GROW showed me that going rural isn’t a full stop on a career.”

As she embarks on her rural practice, Laura is grateful for the community and professional connections she made. “It gave me confidence to back myself and my aspirations … (and) has shown me the gaps and some of the solutions to all the Rural, Health and Women’s issues I now advocate around,” she said.

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26 August 2022

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Optometrist, Stephen Copeland, is visiting patients in the Kimberley, nearly 3000 kms northeast of his Perth homebase.

Stephen and his medical specialist colleagues make more than 1000 trips a year, delivering care to remote and indigenous communities in West Australia.

The services they deliver are as diverse as the locations. Covering around thirty specialisations, they range from optometry to obstetrics, psychiatry to physiotherapy, paediatrics to geriatrics.

Rural Workforce Agencies coordinate Commonwealth funded outreach programs in WA, SA, NSW, NT and Victoria, bringing specialist care to rural and remote communities.

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04 August 2022

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Stephen Copeland and Kim Timms in Warmun

Dr Naomi Malone and her team are enjoying their new rooms at 'A Life Simply Lived Psychology' in Swan Hill, which now hosts 20–30 more patients each week.

Furnished by RWAV’s Rural Allied Health New Service Grant, Dr Malone's two new clinical spaces support one-on-one and group therapy, assessments for children and adults, and newly added speech pathology, art therapy and occupational therapy sessions.

The grant supports allied health services and allied health practitioners to access funding up to $20,000, to establish or expand allied health services in rural and regional
Victoria (MMM3-7).

The grant is funded by the Commonwealth Government and administered by RWAV.

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25 August 2022

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Psychologists Shane DuPreez and U'Nita Harold with Louie (AAT dog)