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COOEE! 2010 Executive Report Hi Folks,

In this issue: • NURHC ‘10 Report • Indigenous Festivals • Members Placement Stories • Rural High School Visits • Conferences of National Significance • Our Members, Administrator & Alumni Stories • 2010 Portfolio Updates • 2010 Rural Health Club Reports

Well, we have nearly reached the end of another big, fulfilling year for the National Rural Health Students’ Network. We have successfully run two Face to Face meetings, a fantastic National University Rural Health Conference in Alice Springs, and introduced the inaugural National Rural Leadership Development Seminar along with the Australian Medical Students’ Association. We have watched a lot of our clubs go from strength to strength, with many fabulous events planned and run throughout the year. We have more members than ever before, and are hopefully reaching more University health students with our message of giving rural and remote health a go. The very beginning of the year saw some Council restructure, with a lot of soul searching regarding who we are as a Network, and what we are here for. We developed a Strategic and Business Plan, to aid in giving us some direction for the future, and assist in continuity in terms of aims and objectives.

the future of rural health

October 2010


Cooee! October 2010

2010 Exec Report

Welcome to Cooee! ...Continued from page 1

Our Induction Kit has also recently been redeveloped into a much easier, more succinct format, making it much more accessible and user friendly. As a large student group, one of our challenges is maintaining consistency in our message, and momentum in advocating for our clubs and equality of healthcare for all rural Australians. Building these structures into the Network will help to ensure this, making the inevitable handover process easier at the end of each year. Our Clubs’ Regional Events have again been fantastic, and an aspect of the Network that we’d really like to continue to encourage and expand upon. Queensland’s Midnight Muster kicked us off, a great networking and social interaction opportunity for the Qld club members, along with those lucky interstate RHC members who were able to make the trip up! The inaugural RAWVigour was held in Cavendish, Victoria as a collaborative effort between the Victorian based clubs. Based on Shannon’s model of RAW, the committee adapted the event extremely well, and were able to hold a successful event that will hopefully continue to grow bigger and better in subsequent years. The Queensland Joint Rural Health Weekend won the best RHC Event Award for 2009 at NURHC this year, and is another fantastic joint club event. The South Australian version, Campfire, was held recently in Monarto, and saw around 100 students learn about working opportunities in rural SA, perspectives on Indigenous health, basic life support and massage, to name just a few topics! We have the NSW RAW to come, which sounds

like it will be a raging success, as usual. If other clubs would like to become involved or start a version of these regional events, please get in contact, as we have some very successful models that can be easily adapted to minimise reinventing the wheel. We have also seen some wonderful, inspiring club events held this year, such as Indigenous health Close the Gap days, several Bush Dances, Teddy Bear Hospital trips, various Clinical Skills Trips to rural locations across the country, some innovative RHSV formats, a Harbour Cruise, Camps, Mental Health first skills and first aid, just to name a small selection! We encourage all our clubs to share ideas and learn from each other, so that successful event formats can be adapted for the benefit of even more club members. As part of our core business, Rural High School Visits and Indigenous Festivals have been happening in various regional, rural, and even remote locations. We have many anecdotal accounts of how successful these trips can be, and our students love the opportunity to speak to school students about their future potential. Indigenous Festivals are another superb opportunity to become involved in health promotion on the ground, and a chance to interact with some delightful kids. Everyone who has ever been on one of these trips raves about the experience, and would encourage anyone to attend.

We are all excited about the future direction of the Network, and its future potential. As the largest body of multidisciplinary students in Australia, we have an influential voice, and can really make a difference to some of the things we are passionate about: rural placements, opportunities, correcting the maldistribution of health professional across the country, and making a positive impact on rural communities. As a student body, we have some inherent challenges in terms of perpetual handover, short course lengths, limited time to be involved, and inexperience. As students however, we are young, vibrant, full of enthusiasm and ideas, and optimistic about our future. We also see our challenges as strengths, and believe we can really make a difference, which is exciting. We all bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the Network, and by encouraging student collaboration, let’s see if together we can make a difference to Australia’s rural health. Best of luck to the 2011 Executive team: Frankie Garnett, Jacinta O’Neill and Catherine Ryan – they are more than well equipped to lead the Network into a productive, successful future. The NRHSN is in safe hands to spread the rural love! Your 2010 Exec - Matt, Shannon and Jas


Rural Health Workforce Australia Give rural placements a go

By Kim Webber, CEO, Rural Health Workforce Australia It was great to see so much energy and enthusiasm on display at this year’s National University Rural Health Conference in Alice Springs. Well done to all involved for organising such a comprehensive program of speakers, workshops and activities. From the conversations I had, it was clear that many of you have a tremendous passion for rural health. If that translates into actual career commitment, then rural and remote Australians will be in very good hands. One of the best ways to inform career choices is to get those hands dirty – organise a rural placement and experience life at the coalface. As the saying goes, you will never ever know unless you go. And take the opportunity to really get involved with your Rural Health Club. When it comes time at your club for those rural high school visits and Indigenous festivals, make sure your name is on the list. Not only will you get to see parts of Australia that you’d never imagined, but you may also touch the lives of others. For some of you, going the extra mile may push the comfort zone ... but that’s how we all learn. It reminds me of the time quite a few years ago when I did a stand-up comedy course while living in northern New South Wales. Unbeknownst to me, the course culminated in all the students having to do a five-minute gig at a bar in Byron Bay. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this night has a huge cult following in Byron and is called ‘The Virgin Sacrifice’ – so there were hundreds of people there. I felt real fear that night, but boy did it develop some resilience! So pitch in, have a go and do what you can for rural health ... your country needs you!

Get Connected... Editorial What a busy year we have had. We have hosted the inaugural National Rural Leadership Development Seminar, our biggest ever NURHC and two face to face conferences in Melbourne. Needless to say the NRHSN team are ready for a bit of quiet R & R, which coincidently has nothing to do with Rural and Remote. Since the last edition of Cooee! We have said goodbye to our Director of Future Workforce, Louise Lawler who has taken up a role as Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Health at the University of Wollongong. We also say goodbye to our National Program Manager, Kristen Harrison, as she embarks on a journey with her husband and family back to North Queensland. This edition is our largest ever and promises to entertain you with insights into the activities of the network. The individual portfolio reports give an insight into the hard work that has been undertaken by our council. Our Rural High School Visit and Indigenous Festival Program continue to grow, delivering positive experiences to our aspiring rural students and making them aware of future career choices. A few of our passionate members have written about their experiences in rural and remote towns and how they have changed their lives. It is inspiring to read about the clubs activities this year. Communication has certainly been one of our challenges. We look forward to the database being finished and all the clubs utilising its unique communication capabilities in the future. Keep spreading the message and we look forward to working with you all in the future.


Cooee! October 2010

Students hear it from the heart of Australia - NURHC 2010

12th National University Rural Health Conference, Alice Springs NT, 15-17 July Over 300 multidisciplinary health students from across Australia flocked to Alice springs for the conference. The conference theme ‘Central to Health’ allowed future health professionals the chance to experience the vast array of cultural experiences that the centre of Australia has to offer. NURHC 2010 was a highly successful event, which enabled students from a variety of disciplines to get together for shared learning and networking opportunities that will benefit both the students and the community they serve. Delegates learnt about Indigenous culture, were encouraged to pursue careers in the bush and listened to some of Central Australia’s leaders in rural health. As a sign of their commitment to close the gap on Indigenous health, students placed their handprints on a large banner shortly before the official opening of the event at the Alice Springs Convention Centre. Then it was on to a packed program that featured speakers such as Dr Alyssa Vass who teaches health to remote communities in Arnhem Land, venom expert Bill Nimo and Professor John Wakerman from the Centre for Remote Health. We also heard from student network alumni member Amanda Francis, who has travelled halfway across the continent to go nursing at Alice Springs Hospital. And we rubbed shoulders with inspirational rural doctors like Tony Lian-Lloyd from Quorn in South Australia; Abby Harwood, from Kununurra in Western Australia; and Nina Kilfoyle, from Alice Springs. Among the many organisations to showcase their wares were the Rural Workforce Agencies, the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, CRANAplus, Aboriginal Resource and Development Services, the Optometrists Association of Australia, the Federal Department of Health and Ageing, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Indigenous Allied Health Australia and the Centre for Remote Health.


Mperpe ante mwerre is an Arrente term meaning “central to health”. Student delegates came from Rural Health Clubs from all around Australia, representing medical, nursing and allied health disciplines – a unique strength of the NRHSN. “We designed this conference to inspire the next generation of rural health leaders,” says Shannon Nott, Co-Chair of the National Rural Health Students Network. “Our members are the future of rural health. As an organisation we are committed to improving the supply and distribution of health professionals in rural and remote Australia. We believe we can be a driving force for positive change.” The Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon, told the conference that the Australian Government is committed to delivering an ambitious health reform agenda, which will support more health professionals to work and live in rural and regional Australia. Mr Snowdon said the Government has invested $639 million to expand postgraduate training opportunities in general practice and other specialist disciplines, including: • 5,500 new GPs in practice or undergoing training by 2020 — with 50 per cent of this training in rural and regional Australia • 7,500 rural nurses and 1,000 rural allied health professionals will receive ongoing training support over the next decade through new rural locum schemes • 400 extra clinical placement scholarships for allied health students, such as physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists and optometrists, in rural and remote areas. The passion, enthusiasm and ideas generated by the NRHSN members will undoubtedly enhance Australia’s rural and remote health both now and in future. Thank you to all who travelled great distance to be at the conference and a special mention to all alumni members that attended.


Cooee! October 2010

Indigenous Festivals 2010 Deadly Days, Wakakirri & Vibe Alive

All 29 of our Rural Health Clubs participated in Indigenous Festivals in 2010, giving members a unique opportunity to get out to some amazing locations and interact with Indigenous and non-Indigenous school kids, promoting healthy lifestyles, health careers and the staying in school message. We’d like to thank all members that participated for their enthusiasm . A special thank you to the NRHSN Indigenous Festival Internal Officers, Haylee Solomons (RAHMS) and Gabby Diplock (CARAH / FURHS) who rounded up and supported everyone to successfully participate Vibe Alive, Wakakirri and Deadly Days festivals.

Vibe Alive

Vibe Alive is a two-day festival for young Australians of all backgrounds who like to dance, sing, paint and play sport. As part of a team, students get the chance to compete in a variety of challenges. They also find out about awesome career choices, meet some celebrities and learn a few important things about their health. Vibe Alive is about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and being a proud Aussie. The Vibe Alive festivals were held in Moree NSW, Townsville QLD, Port Augusta SA, Kalgoorlie WA and Bendigo VIC.

“Being the first Indigenous festival I have e incredible experience. I spent the entire time to experience these things. To be able to go in with the community members and play ar knowledge of health was a mind blowing ex (Catherine, SHARP).

“NRHSN members that attended were able to learn from the children and give back through sharing their knowledge about health and provide them with confidence that they too can get into a health degree in the future” (Shannon Nott, RAHMS).


“I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone with an interest in seeing rural Australia and in being part of a team trying to make a difference to the lives of indigenous and non-indigenous kids out in the country” (Anna Taylor, TROHPIQ).

Outback Wakakirri

Outback Wakakirri is a performing and visual arts festival designed to give students from remote areas the chance to participate in a National Festival and to share their story with the rest of Australia. There are many activities and events being held as part of Outback Wakakirri including; Hip Hop dancing, music, arts and health workshops. The Wakakirri festivals were held in Wilcannia NSW, Ceduna SA and Barunga NT. NRHSN participants ran two stations relevant for each age group aimed at teaching them about health careers and about living healthy lifestyles.

Deadly Days

The ‘Deadly Days’ Festivals are part of the Australian Government’s Community Festivals for Education Engagement initiative and were hosted by North Coast Aboriginal Learning Partnerships of North Coast TAFE.  The Festivals aim to increase education, employment and training opportunities for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also promote positive and healthy lifestyles. The Deadly Days festivals were held in Tuncurry, Kempsey and Casino NSW.

ever attended, I found this the most e in disbelief at how lucky I was to be able nto an indigenous community and mix round with the children, improving their xperience.” The NRHSN would like to thank the Wakakirri, Vibe Alive & Deadly Days Festivals and their official photographers for providing these photos.


Cooee! October 2010

Members Placement Stories Flinders Island, Tasmania Kylie Ferguson, BUSHFIRE In January I experienced life in a small town called Whitemark on Flinders Island. This was an amazing and challenging experience. The doctors were responsible for the general practice, emergency centre and nursing home for the Furneaux Group of Island, which comprised of 52 islands. Whitemark itself has a population of 170 people which easily made it the smallest town I had ever visited. I found the people to be extremely friendly and I was soon involved in a three-legged race and Scottish dancing. I spent my first day observing the doctors interacting with their patients at the general practice clinic. Over the two weeks I was able to develop my own rapport and tried out new techniques, for example, intramuscular injections, subcutaneous injections, venipuncture, insertion of an implant, ECGs and I was also took some histories from patients. Even when I couldn’t participate, observing the doctors was an invaluable experience. I was able to correlate this with my theoretical knowledge when hearing about the different conditions and drugs. I also visited an Aboriginal community on Barron Island. To get there we had to fly in a small six seater plane and land on a dirt runway. On some nights and weekends I was called in to observe and assist in emergency situations. I saw patients with a compound fracture, chest pains and an unknown infection. All of these patients were flown out on a Flying Doctor’s plane, however it was an invaluable experience to see the initial treatment in emergency situations. Since this was my first visit to Tasmania I experienced different wildlife and weather. It was quite cold for a Queenslander and this proved to be a source of constant amusement for all of the locals to see me rugged up in my winter gear!

Meekatharra, WA Lucinda Gabriel, OUTLOOK Meekatharra, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of little water’, is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia known as the Murchison District. The township is located 764 km north east of Perth on the Great Northern Highway. It is a former gold mining town and primarily acts now as a centre for sheep and cattle transshipment via road trains, though mining exploration has recently restarted in the area. At the 2006 census, Meekatharra had a population of 798, with 44.0% being Aboriginal. The population of Meeka’ is transient, comprising permanent residents, visitors, tourists including ‘grey nomads’, ‘fly in fly out’ (RFDS/mining staff), mobile workers such as backpackers, hospital staff and police. A huge 2,181m runway at Meekatharra Airport, was built by the Americans during World War II. It is capable of servicing 737 jets and serves as a regional home to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air. The RFDS provides all medical services in Meekatharra and the surrounds. In an average 12-month period, the RFDS transfer 5,900 patients Australia wide, conduct 1,720 clinics and field 34,400 Tele-health calls.


Bordertown, SA Melanie Whitehead, RUSTICA For the first year of my medical degree, we were preached to so often about the “fun, variety and value” of rural medicine that most of my year group- myself included- had seriously tuned out to the words ‘rural practice.’ That is, until I received a John Flynn rural placement scholarship and was given the chance to see what all the fuss was about. 4 plane trips, 2 bus rides and a fortnight later I fully understood. In Bordertown, SA, I home-stayed with my hero of a mentor, May. She was some kind of superhuman. After a couple of days working alongside May, I was finding the experience so rewarding that I created an online blog so that I could share my new-found enthusiasm for the rural medical scene. Below are some excerpts that I think paint a picture of my trip: “There are 4 consulting rooms which house the only 4 doctors in town, so they work at the hospital too. The other doctors - Dr M, Dr O and Dr K are all extraordinarily friendly! I mentioned that I liked spicy food, so Pakistani Dr M is bringing everybody curry and samosas for lunch tomorrow. :)”  “For a small town, there is a very good community support system in place. The carers mainly assist the older residents in helping them take their medications at the right time (I can tell you now that even if there is not a trace of dementia, the elderly people here are very stubborn and rarely stick to their med regimes :p), driving them to the shopping centre etc. It’s great because a lot of these people have had very self-sufficient lives (farming, family businesses..) and being able to keep their independence is of particular importance to them.” “We also had a rather interesting patient, DP, who presented with ‘information’ in her ankle, lol (inflammation.) The consultation probably lasted close on an hour and included things like coconut farms and injecting her ankle with glucose. She said that putting her leg up and giving her ankle a good bash around seemed to help the pain.” “Another thing that adds to the atmosphere in the practice is that May had connections with nearly every patient- they used to swim together, play squash together, their kids were friends.... something that comes with practicing in a small town I suppose. It’s a definite appeal.” During my two weeks I watched a number of surgeries, performed some minor procedures (pretty exciting stuff for a first year,) made friends with the town-mayor and learned that you can tell the direction of the wind by the way the sheep are standing. Being a born-and-bred city-goer, my rural experience succeeded in dredging up my inner country spirit.  Now the words rural practice get me that little bit excited... ‘“I’ve been everywhere, man. I’ve been..... Meekatharra, Meekatharra, Meekatharra, Meekatharra, Jail, Hospital, Meekatharra, Jail….” - Kevin Bloody Wilson, A Town Other Than Perth ‘..it’s the end of the earth.’ - Tammy Fraser Common clinical presentations in Meekatharra include lacerations, asthmatic exacerbations, dental problems, respiratory tract Infections (notably H1N1), localised infections including otitis media and cellulitis, scabies, trachoma, and dermatological manifestations. Injury is often related to violence; assaults are common, often related to drug and alcohol consumption and may involve spear injuries, stabbing, and wounds inflicted with blunt instruments. There are many local factors influencing the delivery of healthcare in the region and the communicability of disease. These encompass issues of accessibility to critical care services (especially antenatal care), compliance, the provision of clean water, climatic influences, the presence of vectors and continuity of care in terms of staffing levels. There are significant costs involved on individual, community, and governmental levels. Indigenous health issues pose their own unique challenges and invite the need for cultural competency in communication and acceptance, as well as an understanding of value systems & rituals. This placement was a valuable opportunity to gain a better understanding of Indigenous health, an alternate and unique culture as well as the barriers to health care, in particular acute remote medicine.


Cooee! October 2010

Rural High School Visits www.nrhsn-rhsv.org.au The Rural High School Visits (RHSV) program aims to encourage students in a rural area to enter tertiary education as research has shown that rural students are more likely to return to their ‘hometown’ communities to live and work when they finish their studies. They are a unique chance for Rural Health Clubs to inspire rural and remote youngsters and attract them to the wonders of the healthcare profession and YOU can be a part of it through your Rural Health Club. Clubs have been on some great RHSV’s so far this year and we hope to hear about many more. The RHSV website has some great information for Clubs to use or add to. If you have any activities that you have found to work really well on a RHSV then email them through to rhsv@nrhsn.org.au and we will add it to the website so that other RHC’s can use these for successful RHSV’s too. There are many other great tools on this website like media release templates, health career information flyers, letter templates to schools, reports from visits, photos, tips for a great visit and plenty more. So log on and have a look at www.nrhsn-rhsv.org.au.

“From our visit, it seemed that students found the visit very beneficial. They had many questions to ask and we found it very helpful having university students that were from the country, participating in the RHSV as it helped to prove to students that a university career for a country student is achievable.” - Jan Fletcher, WILDFIRE

BUSHFIRE and HOPE4HEALTH RHSV Mt Tamborine, Laidley & Gratton area, QLD In May BUSHFIRE along with Hope 4 Health embarked on a 3 day Rural High School Visit (RHSV) to the Mt Tamborine, Laidley and Gatton area. We attended four schools where we presented and ran workshops with approximately 180 Year 10, 11, 12 students. Activities carried out at the schools included blood pressure workshops, reflex assessments, heart sounds workshop, proper hand washing and hygiene workshop and plastering. The students thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities and asked plenty of questions surrounding their options for entry into the various health related courses as well as questions regarding finances, accommodation and employment opportunities in regional areas where the courses are offered. All of the workshops that we ran were very popular and gave the kids hands-on experience with some basic medical equipment as well as a chance to have a bit of fun with plaster as well as the glo-germ hand wash. We found the 15 min rotations (with exception of the plastering which took longer) on each of the stations to be perfect amount of time and kept the students interested. We spent the week leading up to visit organising the trip – making the PowerPoint presentation, gathering all the equipment from different sources and planning how the workshops were going to be run with the resources we had and the number of students the school had elected to send. We handed out CDs/merchandise to all the students at the end of the session with plenty more info on further study options that were well received. Written by Emma Hogan, BUSHFIRE

“I think all who have attended visits in the past will agree that one of the best parts of the day is getting to talk to some of the high school students and potentially making a positive and motivating impact on their decision to go to university and study a health related career.” - Julia Whitby, ARMS


Conferences of National Significance (CoNS) With October drawing to a close we will be breathing a sigh of satisfaction that over the course of the Rural and Remote Conference season that has been building up from August, we will have sent over 45 students to great conferences all over Australia encompassing nearly every state and Territory. They have all been recipients of the CoNS program that aims to assist students with funds and administration for their flights, conference registration and budget accommodation to make attending conferences attainable. We have selected “the essential” rural, remote and indigenous health conferences in the 2010/2011 CoNS Calender. These conferences are offering specific academic programs that promise to inspire our nursing, medical and allied health student members and assist in deciding on rural and remote health careers. As a result, of hearing from inspirational speakers that offer solutions, they will gain an insight into future rural and remote health career opportunities. We have developed a relationships with our key stakeholders at these events which has seen our students become more involved the conference as a whole. The numbers of students making presentations

has risen markedly to over nine in this half of the year alone. Where possible our delegates will be scribing sessions and promoting the NRHSN programs activities and objectives from the RHWA / NRHSN exhibition booths. The extra involvement benefits our delegates greatly with providing additional opportunities to network with current and future health professionals. The current breakdown of CoNS delegates is as follows: • “Are you Remotely Interested?” Mt Isa, QLD (3 members) • Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Sydney, NSW (3 members) • CRANAplus Adelaide, SA, (6 members) • GP ’10 (4 students) Cairns, QLD • SARRAH Broome, WA, (22 members) • ACRRM Rural Medicine Hobart, TAS, (8 members) We are hoping to send a sizeable multi-disciplinary delegation to the 11th National Rural Health Alliance conference in Perth from 13 -16 March 2011. This will be an extremely popular event so get your applications in asap by visiting www.nrhsn.org.au/cons.

A CoNS Reflection - Are you Remotely Interested Conference, Mt Isa Kristy McGregor, WARRIAHS As a first year social work student, I was privileged to have the honour of attending such a conference. Delegates were challenged by speakers whom presented on all facets of health with issues pertinent to remote practice, and I came to a more comprehensive understanding as a student of multidisciplinary practice as it intersects in remote communities. Central to this, was a greater understanding of Indigenous health, and concerns that as practitioners we must be aware. A discussion with sisters Priscilla and Glenda Page, Indigenous lecturers from James Cook University, was a eye-opener into Indigenous culture and world view. I came away not only with a realisation of social constructs that consist the norm, but the fact, the more I think I know of Indigenous culture, the more there is to learn. Such realisations and the contacts I have forged with remote health professionals and academics are undoubtedly the legacy of the Conference that will influence my future career. With the intention of working in remote north and west QLD upon graduation, I now have a wide network of health professionals in Mt Isa, the Cape and Torres Strait, Townsville and western QLD, whom I will no doubt draw on for advice in the coming years. Attending the conference was also a means to see the beauty of the Mt Isa region, and a week

in the town staying with a local health professional, I was encouraged to consider Mt Isa as a place to work and live. In talking with professionals and attending a Mental health first aid course, as well as attempting a visit to a remote Aboriginal community out from Mt Isa with North west Queensland Primary Health Care (NWQPHC) – but prevented by rain, I realised the extensive networks that exist in town for both centrally-located workers, and those in surrounding areas. The conference personally highlighted opportunities for future career options outside the regular social work construction of client case management, and group work. Policy, and the research that underpins such, have heightened importance in creating positive health outcomes.


Cooee! October 2010

Our Members

Tessa Byrne, HOPE4HEALTH What are you studying? Dentistry   When and why did you join RHC? In 2009, I was keen to become a part of a group that had an interest in promoting positive health experiences for people. HOPE4HEALTH was well known in the medical department at Griffith University and I was keen to expand it into the dental area. I had also looked into setting up a student volunteer dental program and HOPE4HEALTH offered me the support I needed to get it up and running.   What do you love about your RHC? I love the new experiences that it opened up for me and the dedication that the club shows towards rural and remote health. All the members of HOPE4HEALTH have unique interests and each individual contributes with such dedication and enthusiasm. The

key factor is the support and interest offered by other members towards new ideas, allowing many new initiatives to eventuate into long term programs, such as the Teddy Bear Hospital Program.   What is your best RHC experience? My involvement in the Cherbourg Student Volunteer Dental Trips. The first trip was a great success, including not only the students but also the patients and the team at the clinic. None of the students will forget that week, seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces after their treatment was finished reminded us all why we are in health care.   What is your best NRHSN experience? Presenting at NURHC 2010. The support I received from the other students was unbelievable, and I came back refreshed and motivated to continue volunteer work.

    What are your other interests? I love cooking, hanging out with friends, playing sport and more recently, travelling to new places in Australia.    What are your words of wisdom for students thinking about a rural career? Get out there and experience it! These rural communities will appreciate your time and presence so much, and they will welcome you with open arms. If you have the chance to take a placement in an area away from your comfort zone, take it. The clinical experience and skills you gain will be invaluable, with many fun times along the way that will stay with you forever.

Rural Health Club Administrator Jess Chudleigh, RAHMS Your favorite RAHMS memory? Rural Appreciation Weekend 08’. Talk about a fun weekend !! Have been hanging to go back again, so very much looking forward to it this year. What does your job involve? When I am not administrating RAHMS, I am doing research for two days of the week and administration for the Rural Clinical School, UNSW the other two. Best rural experience? Finally being able to see Uluru for myself after the recent NURHC conference was an amazing experience. This would be closely followed by hanging out with the sea life of Coffs Harbour (see photo!)  

Why is RAHMS the best RHC? Well that is easy !! I believe we have more members than any other club in Australia. Plus, we are well just a fantastic bunch of people.   What keeps you occupied in spare time? There doesn’t seem to be much of that at the end of the week, but I am involved in a few aid organisations and love watching really good movies.   What’s the one thing you want the world to know about you, and the thing you don’t?  I am a Kiwi originally and I still go for the All Blacks. And, that I go for the All Blacks when I am in a crowd of Wallabies fans. They can be savage !!

Words of wisdom for others thinking about a rural career or wanting to get involved in their RHC?  If you want to experience true quality of life, get away from the big smoke and out into the peaceful clean air, where people are friendly and have the time to stop and smell the roses. If you need to study in the city, join your rural health club because there you will meet the most down to earth, fun loving people you will ever come across. A day in the life of… RAHMS Club Administrator Finance, a lot of finance!!


Our Alumni Cristen’s prescription: Give it a go Cristen Fleming, Pharmacist When Cristen Fleming was at high school she loved science and biology, subjects that help explain what makes people tick. Her natural curiosity about such things has led to a career in pharmacy where she uses her knowledge now to assist patients at the Wodonga campus of Albury Wodonga Health. Working as an intern pharmacist she does the rounds of the hospital’s high dependency and surgical units, reviewing people’s medication and discussing how it affects them. “Putting learning into practice is really rewarding,” she says. “You feel like you’re making a difference every day.”

the student network coordinator for SARRAH (Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health). “The NRHSN provided a lot of leadership opportunities,” Cristen says. “You had to have good people skills to coordinate jobs effectively and it certainly improved your public speaking.

For Cristen, life as a young intern in Albury-Wodonga has many benefits including a great sense of community. She also enjoys bushwalking and the occasional dip in the Murray River on a hot summer afternoon. Her partner Shannon, whom she met through the National Rural Health Students’ Network, is finishing his medical studies at Albury Base Hospital and both are committed to rural health.

“Those kinds of skills are helping me today because a pharmacist has to be a good communicator. When dealing with people it’s important how you phrase things not only to put them at ease but also to give them the right information so they can make good health choices.”

Cristen was vice president of LARHC, the rural health club at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus, where she completed her pharmacy degree. Through LARHC she got involved in rural high school visits, career fairs and the usual social activities.

Cristen expects she will stay in rural health for the rest of her career. Originally from the small town of Stratford in East Gippsland, she likes the pace and friendliness of country life. And her advice for allied health students considering a tree change? “Get out there and give it a try.”

She became an NRHSN advocate for allied health and was

HESTA Australian Nursing Award Winner James Bonello, Nurse James Bonello, former NRHSN Council member, has been awarded this year’s HESTA Australian Nursing Award.  James served in the NRHSN Council positions of FURHS representative 2007-2008, and was also Nursing Portfolio Senior in 2008.  After graduating from Flinders University in Adelaide with a combined degree in nursing and health sciences, James has completed a graduate professional transition program and is currently working in the emergency department at Flinders Medical Centre.  He was nominated for the prestigious HESTA Australian Nursing Awards by a colleague and emergency department nurse manager, who cited his outstanding commitment to ongoing professional excellence, holistic care, and effective professional communication and workplace innovations.

James was selected from hundreds of nominations as one of only three national finalists in the Graduate Nurse of the Year category.  Winners were announced on Thursday 13 May with a gala dinner at Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex.  Prizes included travel vouchers and education grants.  For more information visit www.hestanursingawards.com.


Cooee! October 2010

NRHSN Council Portfolio Reports Allied Health Portfolio

Nursing Portfolio

alliedhealth@nrhsn.org.au

nursing@nrhsn.org.au

Dan Mahoney, Clarissa Rentch & Sarah McMullen-Roach

Steph Jeremy

The Allied Health Portfolio represents the 3500 NRHSN members studying allied health courses throughout Australia. It was established to provide allied health students a voice within in the network and identify where changes could be made to encourage allied health students to consider a career in rural and remote healthcare. The portfolio has an important role in ensuring the voice of allied health students is not only heard within the network, but also with stakeholders and healthcare policy makers to ensure they have the same opportunities as other health students. One of our main goals was to compile a list of scholarships available for allied health students at a national, state and university level. This list is now available and accessible for all students by visiting www.nrhsn.org.au and clicking on the “scholarships” tab. We’re also making headway in forming important relationships with stakeholders. We have maintained a strong relationship with SARRAH, Indigenous Allied Health Australia, Student Paramedics Australasia and Pharmacy Guild. We have meetings planned with the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Speech Pathology Australia, Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia and the Australian Association of Social Workers. This will ensure issues important to students are heard on a larger scale both within disciplines and allied health as a whole. The NRHSN will be presenting at the 2010 SARRAH National Conference in Broome and facilitating a workshop with clinical supervisors and students to discuss rural clinical placements. A large contingent of NRHSN allied health students will be attending. Keep an eye out for the Allied Health Survey which should be arriving in your email inboxes soon to assist us in identifying what issues are important to you. This survey will be based on the outcomes of the Allied Health Stakeholder Lunch held at NURHC which highlighted issues around rural clinical placements, incentives for working in rural and remote Australia, forming relationships with key allied health stakeholders and identifying which professions come under the banner of “allied health”. This survey will enable us to produce a position paper on behalf of allied health students to make sure they get a say in their future.

Nursing Students are approximately 10% of the NRHSN membership but approximately 50% of the health workforce. In 2010, the focus of this portfolio has been engaging with current nursing students, increasing nursing student membership and liaising with our stakeholders. We undertook the first part of our survey of NRHSN clubs regarding student-nursing membership and will soon be undertaking the second stage. We plan to survey every nursing member to ascertain information. We are invited represent Australian nursing students at a Health Workforce Australia forum later in 2010. We attended the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) Nursing expo in Melbourne where some very enthusiastic local members assisted us in raising awareness of the NRHSN clubs and activities. Many students completed expressions of interest in joining their universities health clubs and corporate relationship development occurred with organisations such as the RCNA and the Australian Nursing Federation among others. The expo was a huge success! The first ever Remote Emergency Care (REC) Course was organized and run in Canberra in 2010 in a fantastic partnership between the NRHSN nursing portfolio and CRANAplus. The REC course is set to become a competency for becoming a Remote Area Nurse. NRHSN nursing members traveled from Townsville, Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong, Albury and Canberra. NURHC 2010 saw the largest nursing representation at any NURHC to date. CRANAplus continued a strong presence with a trade display, representation on the interactive panel, and sponsorship and presentation of an award at the nursing lunch. CRANAplus CEO, Carole Taylor awarded Matthew Tyson of RUSTICA this award. We also heard from Sabina Knight, Claire Kappel, NT New Graduate Nurse of the Year, and our past senior nursing representative Sally Grainger. Sally announced two new grants available for nursing students to do a remote/rural placement in the NT. These grants are sponsored by Alumni Sally Grainger (StARRH) and Amanda Francis (SHARP), with the successful applicants receiving mentoring and $500 toward the cost of their placement.


Medical Portfolio medicine@nrhsn.org.au Teena Downton & Nicole Delaat 2010 has been a bumper year for the NRHSN Medical Portfolio! We have been actively working on a range of projects that aim to better support our medical student members and strengthen the relationship between the NRHSN and our medical stakeholders. We are excited to report that we are well on our way to achieving all the goals we set ourselves this year. We have had many positive and productive conversations to date with the Australian Medical Students’ Association, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), ACRRM Registrar’s Committee, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand. At the Medical Discipline Lunch at this year’s NURHC, we led 3 topics for discussion among the medical student delegates. Firstly, we asked students what they found unclear about pursuing rural careers and what they would like to see covered in the Rural Medical Careers Guide we are developing. We also asked students for their opinions about current incentives and programs that promote rural practice and what they believe is missing. Thirdly, we asked the delegates for feedback on any other issues. It was evident that medical students want clear and flexible pathways to rural and remote careers, including more information about support available. They also want the option to undertake rural specialty training and be able to practice in rural areas, either as generalists or specialists. We would like to congratulate Jacinta O’Neill on winning the prestigious ACRRM Presidents Prize at NURHC. We’d also like to send a big shout out to ACRRM for presenting the prize again this year. The four of us have had a great time working together this year and look forward to continuing to represent NRHSN medical students over the coming months and in particular at the GP’10 and Rural Medicine Australia conferences in October.

Community & Advocacy Portfolio advocacy@nrhsn.org.au Clare Sutcliffe & Amy Stephenson A HUGE G’day from our Portfolio team. It was great catching up with everyone at NURHC, which for Amz and myself was our first one. We have all come back on such a huge high to help push the student’s voice when it comes to issues affecting our future as rural and remote health professionals. During the panel discussion at NURHC and speaking to students there, two key concerns came up. Theses were: More support for all health students attending rural and remote clinical placements; and More equity in access to incentives across all health discipline, including allied health, nursing, midwifery and medicine. To ensure the student voice is heard, the Community and Advocacy portfolio (CAP) work closely with our key stakeholder the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA). NRHA have 29 member bodies represented on their Council from all sorts of professional health disciplines. The NRHA are held their annual Councilfest in August which provided us with an opportunity to push students concerns. The NRHA are also holding their conference in March 2011 in Perth and the NRHSN are wanting to send students, so get in quick to apply for CoNS funding. One of our goals for 2010 was to write a position statement on Nursing Practioners which is currently being reviewed so keep your eye out for it. With the assistance of Kate and Kerryn we have also written a couple of short articles to be displayed in rural high school newsletters on a regular basis about the experiences of health students while on placements, and we are looking for more stories. So please email us through your stories. We are also currently working on a new placement guideline for rural clinical placements, so if you have any suggestions or information that you wish you had known before your placement and that you think will assist other students, let us know. The Community and Advocacy team are here for you so if you have any ideas or concerns about rural and remote health, then we want to hear them.


Cooee! October 2010

Indigenous Health Portfolio indigenous@nrhsn.org.au Walter Hipgrave This busy portfolio has been working to show students what Indigenous health can involve and give you guys opportunities to experience this exciting and important area of health. One of our big projects for this year is re-developing the AIMED (Australian Indigenous Medical Electives Database), to get it back up and running, and changing the name and content to include all health disciplines. It’s going to include placement opportunities all over Australia, so students have a start when they go to organise placements in Indigenous health. We’re currently compiling the database, so if you know of any services that are happy to take students, please let us know your suggestions. We have also been successful in having a piece published in the Leadership in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) network newsletter highlighting our quest to get the database up and running and hope to have it fully functional by the end of the year. At NURHC in Alice Springs, we had the opportunity to meet several Indigenous Reps from our clubs and we hope to see more of you in the future. Remember, we are just an email away! One item for discussion at NURHC was looking at ways to get Indigenous issues to the spotlight on your campus. Hopefully, you are being pro-active in promoting Indigenous health, recruitment and retention of Indigenous students and advertising Indigenous festivals, conferences and activities. Many members attended Indigenous Festivals throughout 2010. The feedback was very positive we encourage you all to take up the opportunity to attend an Indigenous festival before graduating. A diverse group of rural health club members participated in the GPNNT funded rural high school visit program around the Northern Territory this year. This will again be offered in 2011 so look out for the call for applications. A mix of Allied, Nursing and Medical students visited schools such as Yirrkala, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine High promoting health, university careers and proving that rural and remote students can succeed at University regardless of age or degree of isolation. The students on this trip were on ABC radio and had stories printed in local newspapers. Recently, four club members caught up in Sydney to attend a performance of the Bangarra Dance Company. This world class performance was amazing and it is great to see how the NRHSN can be responsible for forming of new friendships as we each represented a different club. Coming up, we have the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) Conference in Launceston and the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing (CATSIN) conference to be held in Sydney. Stay tuned for reports from these conferences.

Rural Health Club Reports The NRHSN is made up of our 29 Rural Health Clubs, representing universities in every State and Territory of Australia. Our 9000 members are all members of their Rural Health Club. While the NRHSN organises and overses major national activities and programs, it is the Clubs and their members who organise a very broad range of activities and events at local levels, and that is what the NRHSN is all about. Many Clubs organise joint activities encompassing Clubs within their State and often inviting members from all over the country. From clinical skills nights to Balls, from rural experience weekends to photo exhibitions, our Clubs do an extraordinary job at promoting the positives of rural and remote life and career options. Reports from each Club over the next 29 pages will showcase some of their highlights throughout 2010, and hopefully give you an insight into what happens at our Rural Health Clubs.


ARMS

Australian National University, ACT

Written by: Agnes Luty & Budhima Nanayakkara

The ANU Rural Medical Society (ARMS) was established in 2004 by ANU’s first cohort of medical students. Currently numbering over 150 members, we’re very strong and healthy. We’ve had an incredible 2010 with events such as the annual bush dance, rural show visits, NURHC, and new initiatives - the Rural and Indigenous mentoring programmes. ARMS has one of the broadest ranging and most active rural show visits programme of any rural health club in Australia. Members attend agricultural shows, farm machinery days, sheep sales, school and church fetes; just about any country town event! At larger rural shows we team up with local doctors and nurses to run a Men’s Pit Stop, a thorough screening programme for common diseases. Promoting access to health care services, and awareness of a healthy lifestyle, it offers many rewards to the local community, and we benefit from opportunities to learn about the health issues facing rural communities and doctors. Annually, ARMS organises rural high school visits to introduce rural school students to health careers and to motivate them to undertake a course in health. The best part of the day, is getting to talk to the high school students and

potentially make a positive impact on their decision to go to university and study a health related career. To further assist rural kids with achieving these goals, ARMS has set up a Rural High School Mentoring Programme. Several ARMS members provide regular tutorials to those that are significantly disadvantaged in preparing for their final year exams. ARMS is enthusiastically involved in the health and welfare of Indigenous Australians. We have initiated an Indigenous mentoring service aiming to increase the number of students finishing year 12. ARMS has also been proactive in establishing a relationship with our local Aboriginal health centre, having the chance to visit WinnungaNimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service to observe the social health team. We attended the 34th Annual NAIDOC

Luncheon held in Canberra. The highlight of ARMS’ involvement in Indigenous health this year, however, was the Wakakirri Festival in Wilcannia. It was great to be able to network with RAHMS and MIRAGE, enjoy the outback scenery and gain a valuable insight into remote Indigenous Australia. Two ARMS members attended the National Rural Leadership Development Seminar held in Wollongong. It was great to see such excitement, passion and enthusiasm among the delegates. A dozen of us attended NURHC 2010 in Alice Springs. The conference was fantastic, and the Golden Windmills was once again a hoot, with ARMS improving 2 spots to come 3rd last!! The rest of 2010 is set to be very exciting with upcoming events including a networking dinner with Dr Jeff Ayton (President/Chair of ACRRM), annual Academic Speaker Night, the Northern Territory Photo Exhibition, more rural show and rural high school visits, plus our annual ski trip which is gearing up to be a BLAST! Finally, we would like to promote inter-club collegiality and cooperation by hosting a campfire event in the Snowy Mountains region, and plans are currently underway for the event to happen in early 2011. Congratulations to our fourth years who are soon to graduate. ARMS appreciates all your work over the past four years and hopes that you go with fond memories of your time here in Canberra.


Cooee! October 2010

AURHA

Adelaide University, SA AURHA has had a solid year with some young, enthusiastic new blood coming in to the club. We can rest assured the club will be in safe hands next year! As old ‘veterans’ of this rural health business, Tim & Jasmine have had an extremely busy but rewarding and productive year as Co-Presidents. South Australia has certainly had a very collaborative year, with AURHA, FURHS and ROUSTAH working closely together on many events and projects. The year started with a joint planning day, kindly hosted by Rural Doctors’ Workforce Agency. The three rural health clubs continued the great work throughout the year with many tri-club meetings, new triclub tshirts, joint RHSVs, Indigenous Festivals and of course Campfire! Not to mention a few friendships along the way. Dinner Under the Stars is an annual dinner event, held this year at Woodstock Winery in McLaren Vale. We were treated to delicious food, fantastic local wine in a beautiful setting, complete with wood fireplace. We were lucky enough to have a local rural GP, Dr Peter Rischbieth, who is a strong and vocal advocate for rural health and the immediate past president of Rural Doctors Association of South Australia, speak about his career and his motivations. We also had an AURHA alumnus from a couple of years ago, Dr Holly O’Dea, talk about what the club did for her, and her exciting rural career plans. She’s a great inspiration for students interested in rural health, and we are very proud of her! Through the great work of our dental rep, Jo, AURHA was able to join with our Global Health Group to provide an education session to our Dentistry members, Future Callings. This was an evening about exciting career opportunities in rural and remote Australia, Indigenous Health and developing countries. Dentistry students have some fantastic placement opportunities in rural and remote health. Every year AURHA

Written by: Tim Bromley & Jasmine Banner provides 2-3 dental students with a scholarship to support students wishing to undertake rural placements, usually with a specific project in mind. Recently AURHA, together with our medical student society, organised an Indigenous health curriculum forum for interested students to have their say on how the topic is taught in our medical course. We have been thinking about what the club provides to its members, and what makes a successful year. Have we done ok at the helm of a club with so much potential and so much to offer? Could we have done more to promote rural health to Adelaide University health students? Probably. However we know we have reached a significant number and imparted the basic concept. More students every year have amazing opportunities to get involved, and gain so much more from their health degree. Hopefully we can see the club continue to grow further, and see new generations of students coming into rural health.


AWAIRH

La Trobe University, Wodonga, VIC Like a phoenix arising from the ashes, AWAIRH began the year as a shrivelled husk of a club, but due to the efforts of new executive members to recruit new members, the reborn baby bird grew to more than 50 members by NURHC, through BBQ membership drives, and lunch meet and greets. As we spread our wings and took off to Alice Springs on our maiden flight, our 10 members were giddy with excitement at the though of meeting Ernie Dingo, socialising with other health students, and experiencing the rural desert lifestyle. Enduring, we mean enjoying, our performance at the Golden Windmill’s to the tune of “Fame” starring Jas in his wig and E-cup bra was a highlight of our trip, as well as Nyombe’s superb stage management skills of just standing around. The homestead dinner on our final night was freezing cold in suits, short dresses and heels but the staff out there put on a fantastic time for us! As we sat under the stars, knee deep in red dirt, we were entertained by the antics going on around us. It was an extremely social occasion (as befitted the seven social workers on the team!), meeting so many people with different clubs, backgrounds and disciplines. Upon our return to Albury/Wodonga, the fire that had been lit on our tails began to smoulder and burn brightly with a brainstorming session, to finally enable us to take charge of our club and set it on the right path to raising rural health awareness, to become a proud phoenix. A few things hatching in the nest include hoodies and t-shirts, pizza and movie nights, a visit to the old Mayday Hills asylum, and attracting associate members from Wodonga TAFE. We also created a communications team to help streamline information to our members. There is also a noticeable higher percentage of social work students in the club, and we are working on ideas to equalise these numbers by attracting more nursing and psych students. We attended MARHS’s Close the Gap ceremony and Bush Bash, what an awesome experience. We also had out first rural high school visit at Tallangatta Secondary College, and now we are onto planning a second one soon! Right now we are looking forward to Vibe Alive at Bendigo as a capacity builder, and to contribute to remote Indigenous Health. At the beginning of September, a number of students on the executive council began placement in regional and rural areas,but this definitely didn’t dwindle our enthusiasm for AWAIRH. Lastly, a big congratulations to all our graduating members, good luck and we will miss you!

Written by: Mel Marshall


Cooee! October 2010

BREAATHHE

University of Newcastle, NSW 2010 was a busy year for Breaathhe in Newcastle with both social and academic programs going strong. February saw Breaathhe representatives heading to Kempsey High School for a rewarding visit for secondary and tertiary students alike. The year 12 students were engaged in discussions about various health degrees and some of the scholarship options available to rural students. The visit ended with many students thinking of Newcastle University as a sure fire contender for the next step in their education. Newcastle hopes to be able to visit the school again in the New Year. Coming in to March and the official beginning of the academic year Breaathhe had our official student welcome event. This year’s theme was “around the world”. The evening had a great turnout and provided a wonderful opportunity for students new to Newcastle to mingle and socialise with some of the older students and make some new friends and contacts. There was a broad diversity of students from different age groups and disciplines. Costumes ranged from flight attendants and geishas to desert nomads and French maids. The night also allowed students within degrees to reinforce new friendships and relationships made during the 1st few days of studies. In April was the Medical Welcome dinner which allowed rural students beginning the joint medical program a chance to get to know some of the other rural students in their program as well as socialise with some of the older rural students and pick their brains for some much needed study and home sickness survival tips. There were of course plenty of “small world” moments with students meeting for the very 1st time only to realise they had lived mere kilometres apart for a good portion of their childhood. We rolled up our sleeves in May and got down and dirty for the skills night. The night was practically a sell-out event with stations including suturing, cannulation, plastering, massage, and venepuncture. Students relished the opportunity to

Written by: Christina Botfield

get some hands on experience on victim’s patients that were plastic and not likely to complain. The night also gave students from various health disciplines to socialise and teach each other a thing or two about each other’s profession. Skills night is always a favourite for health students at Newcastle University and this year was certainly no disappointment. With cooler months upon us the mosquitoes and exams had subsided which allowed Breaathhe representatives to make 2 more rural high school visits, one to Duval and one to Armidale. Representatives had a great time having small group sessions with students and really being able to address student queries on a one on one basis. Like visits to other schools earlier in the year, feedback indicated many students felt keen and more confident to choose Newcastle as a place to begin their tertiary education. July of course was the month for NURHC, where a great time was had by all, the stellar social program was only slightly overshadowed by the abundant and outstanding academic calendar. Representatives not only got the chance to discuss new developments in rural health but to attend some great field trips as well. Of course the chance to meet with other health students from across Australia was its own great reward. Coming up shortly for Breaathhe is our long anticipated Inter Professional Development Night. We have a stellar line up of health professionals who are leaders in their fields coming to talk to students from multiple health disciplines to provide an insight into the valuable role of these professions and what it is like to work within an inter professional team. The event sold out in less than a day so hopefully we can make it even bigger and better next year. So in summary, 2010 has been a whirlwind of a year so far for Breaathhe with both social and academic experiences keeping everybody busy and just distracted and inspired enough to cope with the ongoing demands of our health degrees.


BUSHFIRE

Bond University, QLD

Written by: Matthew Kelly

BUSHFIRE - (Bond University Society of Health for Indigenous and Rural Experience), is the student-run rural health club at Bond University. We aim to create a strong interest in rural and indigenous health within the Bond University allied health community. Our goal is to provide Bond students with opportunities to experience rural and Indigenous health in Queensland and Australia. The re-energisation in 2009 of BUSHFIRE (originally called BURHC), has seen the membership of the club grow to in excess of 400 members! Thanks largely to the tireless effort of the previous executive and the ongoing energy of the incumbent executive, BUSHFIRE is going from strength to strength. We have also been busy planning, conducting and participating in all manner of events for our members with 2011 shaping up to be even busier. Early in 2010 BUSHFIRE participated in a joint Rural Health weekend in Rockhampton along with students from Queensland, Griffith and James Cook Universities. There were lots of activities, both clinically orientated and informative and the efforts of all involved were rewarded with a fantastic attendance and lots of positive feedback. We kicked off the May term with a clinical skills evening involving lighthearted fun undertaking topics like triage, and vitals signs skills intermixed with food, QRH scholarship scheme information and some trivia questions! There were even a few doors prizes! 2010 saw the delivery in conjunction with Qld Ambulance service of several Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) workshops where participants learn advanced techniques, drugs and monitoring of critically ill patients. The ACLS course was also followed by a phlebotomy course under the direction of Sullivan Nicolaides pathology where students take blood in a controlled environment on REAL patients! In September we had the Deadly Days Indigenous festivals – organised by the New South Wales North Coast TAFE and North Coast Aboriginal Learning Partnership.  This time we will be traveling to the Beef Capital Casino in northern NSW. Rural High School visits will continue in conjunction with Hope4Health and several BUSHFIRE members were able to attend the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland conference held in beautiful tropical Mackay this year. It was a great place to meet and great clinicians in practice and gain insight into issues affecting healthcare in the bush. It was also a great chance to kick back with students from all over Qld. Quite possibly the highlight of the 2010 calendar was the National University of Rural Health Conference in Alice Springs. The contingent from Bond University had the time of their lives and two of our colleagues presented papers. Their enthusiasm post conference has infected us all with envy and we look forward to future conferences. We have more planned for the rest of 2010 and into 2011 so keep up to date with what’s happening at www.gobushfire.org.au.


Cooee! October 2010 Written by: Gabby Diplock

CARAH

Charles Darwin Uni, NT in assoc with Flinders Uni, SA CARAH is based in Alice Springs, and we offer an excellent opportunity for members from other Clubs coming to red centre to have ready made support and social contacts. Our 2010 highlight was attending the Wakakirri Festival as outlined below. While the rest of Australia shivers through winter, the top end enjoys the beautiful cool weather of the dry season. It’s the season when droves of grey nomads in winnebagos and backpackers in wicked campers make a pilgrimage up to the centre seeking warmer winds and a motley crew of rural health students head to Barunga for the Wakakirri festival. Barunga is an aboriginal community situated 80km southeast of Katherine. The town has a health clinic, camping grounds, sports oval, basketball courts, softball pitch, school, council office, radio broadcasting unit and a store. It is home to approximately 500 people and each year it plays host to the Wakakirri Festival. Wakakirri is a national arts festival where participating schools are encouraged to create stories with a community

message and to present these stories in a creative way. At Wakakirri Barunga, the children produced films about a wide range of topics including environment, health and culture. The festival is a daylong event and along with the film screening, local organisations run sport, health and dance workshops for the students attending. The NRHSN has a commitment to sending students to assist at indigenous festivals throughout Australia. Our group was made up of students from Broome, Darwin, Alice Springs and as far as Wollongong. We were there to run a workshop introducing the kids to healthy concepts and career options. We began our workshop with a scenario- who would help you if you had a car accident/bike accident. The kids had a good understanding of common health professionals but this was a good opportunity to talk with them about the wide variety of allied health workers. Working with children never fails to make you laugh. When asked who might help you relearn cooking, dressing and other ADLS, a chorus of children suggested “Your mum”!! We then divided the group into four smaller groups and rotated them through

a variety of activities from creating a mural about staying healthy, a discussion about the body and anatomy using our trusty skeleton, making a vegieman and running a surgical relay. During lunchtime, we plastered numerous arms and painted many faces. The day was a great success. Everyone worked really hard with not much time to take a breath. A great part of these activities is the chance to meet students from other clubs and explore new parts of the country. We were lucky to spend two great nights in a local caravan park in Katherine. The evenings were spent enjoying great food and conversation around a roaring campfire. Saturday morning was admiring the gorgeous scenery of Edith Falls and for some, a refreshing dip in her cool waters. I want to thank everyone who came to Wakakirri Barunga. Your excitement and enthusiasm was infectious and your help very much appreciated. I would highly recommend going to an Indigenous festival. They are lots of fun and it is an opportunity to take that knowledge out of the classroom and get those skills dirty.


CRANC

University of Canberra, ACT

Written by: Katie Doherty

CRANC are the Rural Health Club at Canberra University in the ACT. We have only been established for a couple of years but are well and truly on the way to becoming one of the NRHSN’s greatest Clubs! We were really happy to host the CRANA plus REC or Remote Emergency Course for our members as well as a few students from other clubs around Australia this year. We were also lucky enough to participate in a Mental Health First Aid course with our brothers at ARMS earlier this year. We highly recommend this course which gives you skills in identifying when someone is in a mental health crisis, what type of problem they might have and the immediate action to take to address the situation. We are very excited to announce that we are running a series of eight film and speaker nights in the latter part of 2010. These free events will provide an opportunity for our members to regularly associate and network. The first event was a movie called “Fighting the Dragon with Luck”, a film which has won awards at international film festivals in its own right and documents the methadone maintenance program. It will be introduced by the Pharmaceutical Societies’ 2008 Pharmacist of the year and film’s creator Angelo Pricolo. Other highlights our film nights include Samson and Delilah introduced by renowned nursing academic Louise Lawler, a speech and film by prominent mental health advocate Linda Rosie in mental health week, and a Breast Cancer Awareness evening where our students have the opportunity to dress up in pink sponsored by Ralph Lauren in October. Rural High School Visit’s are big events on our annual calendar and certainly get our members jostling for positions on the Visits. Part of the attraction, along with getting out to schools and mingling with high school students while promoting health careers and hopefully increasing the numbers of future rural health professionals, may be the local attractions that we like to visit while getting in rural communities. Members are given opportunities to particpate in activities such as surfing, going to the snow, playing golf and rock climbing at the end of the trip to truly appreciate what rural life has to offer outside of career opportunities. We are developing a six station one hour circus showcasing the different disciplines we represent to

take to schools. These are highly interactive workshops that allow the students to hear what each professional study, how you get into that course, where you can study the course and what kind of activities each role performs. We’re holding our Christmas party in conjunction with ARMS at the Yarralumla Woolshed this year and are hoping to have this hosted by a high profile comedian who cannot yet be named. We are also holding a Children’s Christmas party at the University of Canberra. This will involve story-telling, a jumping castle a free sausage sizzle and a book fair. We have involved families who study at our University and the members of the Koori pre-school program in the ACT. Next year we are investigating holding small student conference down on our beautiful South Coast. This would involve speakers, workshops, a mock disaster exercise and plenty of social activities. It’s all CRANC-ing in Canberra!


Cooee! October 2010

FURHS

Flinders University, SA

Written by: Emma Hazelton

The 2010 school year has seen a great membership drive (currently at over 500 members) no doubt aided by ice cream in hot weather and a really eager intake of first year med students. Whilst we have run the gamut of NRHSN events; NURHC, rural high school visits both in SA and NT, Indigenous festivals (Wakakirri in Ceduna), we have also done a few fun things in our own right and with our colleagues from the other side of town (ROUSTAH and AURAH).   First things FURHSt – the Wilderness FURHSt Aid Night with live venomous snake handling , how to roll a casualty into a sleeping bag, and most people went home with a well treated laceration (only fake ones, no vampire groupies!). Then there was the RDWA clinical skills trip to Port Augusta and Quorn in the southern Flinders Ranges where we played at being veterinarians (suturing pigs trotters), took our lives in our hands in the tray of a 4WD ute, and met the locals at the pub. By the by, climbing Devil’s Peak is not recommended if you are hung-over…   Next up on the list are more rural high school visits, another Indigenous festival, and the EVENT of EVENTS – Campfire 2010!! With giraffe feeding! Okay, so giraffes aren’t native to Australia, but they look great at a formal dinner. We’ll be sharing the honours of giraffe feeding with our pals from ROUSTAH and AURHA. Campfire is our annual SA health forum for students that want to find out more about rural practice, whether it be medicine, nursing, occupational therapy or any other varied disciplines.   As we go to press, there is also a rural allied health trip planned for the Yorke Peninsula, and a film for thought night series presenting films like “Samson and Delilah” at the Flinders Uni student residences. ... And there is still lots more to come this year.


HOPE4HEALTH

Griffith university, QLD

Written by: Jordan Whicker

2010 has been a huge year for HOPE4HEALTH. Our membership has increased to over 650 and many new events have been staged. The large increase in our membership base has been mainly due to the increase in members from dentistry and allied health disciplines. The HOPE4HEALTH Alumni Program was also launched this year and has started to gain pace. We kicked off 2010 with the Leadership Camp at the Binna Burra Eco Resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland, a great opportunity for 2009’s management team to meet with the incumbent team to share experiences and to plan for the year ahead. Our launch party in February was themed “Ded Mental” to coincide with the start of the medical and dentistry school years. Many zombies and ghouls descended on Surfers Paradise. In March successful fundraising events were held for the Leukaemia Foundation’s Shave for a Cure and National Close the Gap Day. We also recommenced the Cherbourg Specialist medical and dental trips. These trips see a group of students travelling out to Barambah Medical Centre with some volunteer specialists from the Gold Coast Hospital to administer specialist consultations to the people of Cherbourg. This year we expanded the program to include more trips out to Cherbourg, which will see 500 people receive free dental care in Cherbourg. The Third Annual Midnight Muster was also held out at Beaudesert Race Course in March, raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Queensland. The night consists of a B & S ball-like party with a live band and fun activities. HOPE4HEALTH was also involved in two RHSV visits this year, one to Boonah and districts and the other to Charleville and districts. Both these

trips had our members visiting many schools across rural Queensland promoting careers in healthcare. We have also organised to run a few clinical education weekends out at Goondiwindi and Roma to promote careers in rural healthcare to our members. In April, 60 members from the four Queensland rural health clubs travelled to Rockhampton to attend the Annual Joint Rural Health Club Weekend. The weekend was a huge success and included clinical skills sessions at the hospital, lecture presentations from local health professionals, and a trip to a local property. The trip was well run and everyone left the weekend with an increased drive for rural healthcare. Members attended various conferences in 2010 including the RDAQ Conference in Mackay and the NURHC in Alice Springs. While HOPE4HEALTH was unable to clinch a coveted medal at this years Golden Windmills, the HOPE4HEALTH routine was certainly memorable and is probably permanently scarred in the minds of many who witnessed it!! Ernie Dingo said he was very impressed with our efforts!

Events that are yet to come for HOPE4HEALTH in 2010 include our signature Jazz Dinner Dance, Corporate Golf Day, and Red Party. The final project of the year will be the HOPE4HEALTH Annual which will include a report of this year’s events, rural and international elective HOPE4HEALTH scholarship reports, and interview articles from prominent people in rural healthcare. On a side note, this year has seen building commence on the Dabaa Medical Centre in rural Ghana. This project has been the major focus of HOPE4HEALTH’s international portfolio for the past four years. It is great to see that student initiative is being rewarded. 2010 has been very successful for HOPE4HEALTH. Elections for the new management team will be held soon and we look forward to them leading HOPE4HEALTH in 2011.


Cooee! October 2010

KRASH

University of Notre Dame, Broome, WA

Written by: Don Main & Matt Williams

International Nurses Day was celebrated in style at Broome albeit a week late (but hey its Broome time)! This was so we could include all our external members, many of whom live away from Broome and travel here for intensive block weeks of learning. It went really well with our first year nurses being presented as being ready to go out on prac and recognition of students who have been accepted for different courses and placements. This was followed up by a big BBQ lunch. The School of Nursing laid on a big cake that everyone managed to find a bit of space for. We also sent eight delegates to NURCH10 which was an awesome experience and gave us ideas and motivations for the remainder of 2010. Our treasurer got an exciting phone call while he was on prac to say that our new equipment for the rural high school visits had arrived. This was very exciting as being a young club we have little in the way of equipment and now have a skeleton, some stethoscopes, sphygmometers and a gutsy gus. As you’ll see below, KRASH’s trip to the Northern Territory with the stethoscopes and ‘Don’ the skeleton (which one of our members mistook for ‘gutsy’) went down really well with the kids. KRASH sent three members to Darwin and then a half day drive to Katherine to meet up with other NRHSN members from SHARP and STARRH to take part in Wakakirri Indigenous Childrens Festival, in Barunga, Northern Territory. The groups met at Katherine and formulated the plan for delivering their chosen topics to convey to groups of predominantly Indigenous primary and secondary students. The school students blew us out of the water with their incredible knowledge of health related topics surrounding anatomy, nutrition, exercise and general awareness about different career’s in health care. They won prizes for answering health and science related questions and locating all the different bones and surrounding muscles on ‘Don’ the skeleton. They also listened and located heart and respiratory sounds and listened for changes before and after exercising! The next events on KRASH’s agenda are two local rural high school visits and two of our members are looking forward to jet off to Kalgoorlie to attend VIBE Alive. We have also been lucky to have some visiting students from Fremantle join us this semester who will be joining us on the high school visits. KRASH is planning an end of year event for all members. All in all, KRASH has had an eventful 2010.


LARHC

La Trobe University, Bendigo, VIC

Written by: Dave Tarrant

There have been a few highlights, since we last spoke. Firstly, we had a rural high school visit at La Trobe University, where the students came from the Kilmore International School from the town of the same name. Two LARHC students presented at the rural high school visit, one pharmacy and one nursing student and spoke about health careers, particularly in the bush. Our rural high school visits target in particular Year 9-12 students to influence those who are sitting on the fence to go to university and take on a rural and remote health career. There will be more rural high school visits to look forward to later in the year. In April, two members of LARHC attended National Rural Leadership Development Seminar in Wollongong containing some great influential speakers such as Wallabies captain, John Eales, as well as many other leadership and team building activities. The Health Science Ball (LARHC/BOHDS) was held in May, which 250 people attended from all the 29 health science courses at La Trobe University. The theme of the night, James Bond was a smash hit and we saw many great costumes. This was the biggest attendance of all our balls so far and we hope this is a sign for the future. We sent 10 people to NURHC to represent LARHC and all were fantastic representatives, who gave it their best with Brand Nue Day adaption of the Zorba Dance in the Golden Windmills and although we suffered a touch from stage fright, we still made LARHC proud. There were some fantastic speakers at the conference such as rural health warrior Janie Dade Smith, who is always fantastic and is an inspiration to all prospective rural and remote health professionals. ‘A Dying Shame’ was also a fantastic workshop which showed the plight of some of our Australians and was insightful to those who attended. Ernie Dingo apart from being a great MC, told us about his life and his thoughts in rural and remotes areas, but was also humourous and his infectious passion for health was a highlight of NURHC. LARHC hopes to send more students to other health conferences and functions throughout the years such as CRANA Plus, RAW and SARRAH. Health conferences are great to inspire new ideas and learn about more health issues that you ever would learn in your studies at university. Health conferences also allow an opportunity to present in front of a formal audience and to network with rural and remote health practitioners, as well as other health science students. Students come back from conferences making new connections and bring back new ideas to their studies and also their rural health club. In exciting news, LARHC has just recently had their AGM with a new committee sworn in. We hope that this new committee continues the good work of our previous LARHC committees. Coming up, we will be sending people to attend Vibe Alive, held in our fantastic city of Bendigo in mid September and we can’t wait to be part of this great indigenous festival. An end of year event is also in the pipeline. That’s all for now, we hope that LARHC will continue to see good times.


Cooee! October 2010

MARHS

Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW MARHS (Multidisciplinary Albury Rural Health Society) is the rural health club of Charles Sturt University, Albury. Established in 1999, we consist of members studying occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech pathology, nursing, and health & rehabilitation science. We’ve just reached 200 members, our biggest number yet! MARHS started 2010 with a bang and has continued from strength to strength in 2010. Our O’Week activities were a big success, attracting the attention of new students with our bright red t-shirts, green and gold MARHS hat, lots of freebies, exciting stories, and friendly faces! We also held our first Welcome Night to introduce members to MARHS. We had great presentations from students about trips and experiences they’ve had through MARHS, and also provided information about the club and our plans for 2010. Everyone was buzzing with the great vibe of enthusiasm and excitement for the year ahead.

Written by: Sian Draffin & Stephanie Frazer

having the opportunity to meet other spirited future health professionals and catch up with friends. Hearing others’ experiences and challenges they faced while administering health services to rural and remote Australia was a real eye opener. Highlights include drinks with Ernie Dingo, and who could forget the Golden Windmills competition? We all had a ball.

We visited Wodonga College early this year, and travelled to Wangaratta and Wagga for health careers expos. Two lucky MARHS members were part of the RHSV team visiting Central Australia. We had an awesome road trip to Central West NSW in late August, returning to some members’ home towns and visiting schools in Young, Cowra and Grenfell. We are excited to be joined by our newest member of the team, Jiggly Jo, our new anatomical model! We love chatting to students and sharing our passion for health at RHSV! Five members were also very excited to attend the Deadly Days Indigenous festival in Tuncurry in September.

Our best event of the year was undoubtedly our inaugural Close the Gap and Bush Bash Ball event. Our Close the Gap ceremony was driven by the passion of our members about Indigenous health equality. We started with a street stall, raising awareness within the community and grabbing autographs on pledge sheets. We had many enthusiastic volunteers and collected 340 signatures by the end! We headed out to uni for a BBQ lunch with the 8 visiting clubs, before pouring into the lecture theatre where we were captivated by a great variety of speakers about Indigenous health issues, before gathering outside for an Indigenous dance performance. We shared an amazing “Dinner at Al’s”, unveiling Al’s culinary genius. We then headed out to the Kinross Woolshed for a night of mad bush dancing at our Bush Bash Ball. The next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed because they had gone to bed really early the night before, visiting club members rocked up to Wonga Wetlands for breakfast. Here we encouraged everyone to eat up the remaining scones and wattle seed cream! All in all it was very successful event, with a fantastic response and great plans for next year!

Over the last few years MARHS has built a strong focus on mental health awareness. We’ve continued this in 2010 with 2 subsidised Mental Health First Aid courses which are very popular with our members. We also have an upcoming ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) course and an eating disorders awareness session. In July, 13 MARHS members packed their bags and journeyed to the red centre for the much anticipated NURHC. It was a chance to discuss issues facing rural Australia, while also

What a year! Being involved in a rural health club is very rewarding and truly inspiring. MARHS is a fantastic club with a great sense of teamwork and community. Our members are enthusiastic, innovative, and passionate about rural health. Our love for our club and what we do is infectious. We have grown into a close group that is very supportive of each other, and also expanded our networks with other rural health clubs. Now the big question on everyone’s mind is: what can MARHS achieve in 2011?


MIRAGE

University of Sydney, NSW

Written by: Imogen Willock

The University of Sydney’s Rural health Club MIRAGE (Multi-disciplinary Interest in Rural And General health Education) has been a prominent institution within the University for nearly 20 years and currently boasts over 500 members. Our members come from a wide range of health disciplines including Dentistry, Pharmacy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Medicine and Nursing to name a few. MIRAGE recruits most of its new members by setting up stalls at various Orientation Week events and consolidates new friendships at our ever successful Welcome Drinks, which are held at Marlborough Hotel in Newtown, a venue that is notorious with Sydney University students from all academic backgrounds. 2009 and 2010 have been very exciting years here at MIRAGE. Last year MIRAGE hosted its first Wilderness Medicine Weekend. The event was a joint collaboration between the MIRAGE and a new and exciting student society within the University named The Wilderness Medicine Society. The Wilderness Medicine Society was inaugurated in March 2008 with the intention of introducing medical students to the field of wilderness and remote medicine, as well as the emerging field of expedition medicine, which is receiving worldwide attention. The Wilderness Search and Rescue Medicine camp involved medical students from the University of Sydney, Notre Dame, the University of Wollongong and the University of Western Sydney. The camp was a fantastic vehicle through which to meet medical students from other universities and share information and ideas. MIRAGE was also involved in organizing a multidisciplinary and multi-university cruise for its students to attend. The cruise was a joint event of RAHMs (UNSW Rural & Allied Health Medical Society), UNSW MedSoc, MIRAGE and SUPA (Sydney University Pharmacy Association) with rural health club members invited also from the UNSW/ ACT universities. 500 health students attended the three hour cruise and after-party which was held in Darling Harbour.

MIRAGE has already conducted two Rural High School Visits in 2010 and we’re planning another for October. On the first weekend in May we went on a tour of Parkes and Forbes. The two high schools they visited loved having the MIRAGE students in their towns but the real highlight of the trip was the fact that all the MIRAGE students got to experience their own fifteen minutes of fame – they made it onto the front page of the Forbes Advocate! They were invited to a dinner hosted by a local councillor where they were able to meet and talk to some local doctors and pharmacists, which they all found to be an invaluable rural health experience. The second RHSV hosted by MIRAGE was organised by some of our members doing an elective term at the University’s School of Rural Health in Dubbo. They went on an impromptu visit to Wellington High where they were warmly received. Students who wanted to study medicine found the chance to talk to ‘real’ medical students particularly enlightening. All of the MIRAGE members lucky enough to be chosen to attend NURHC found Alice Springs an inspiring location and from attending the conference and exploring the town were able to get some beneficial insight into what it would really be like living in a remote location. Finally, MIRAGE would like to extend our warmest of wishes towards all of our final year students, all of whom have played a significant role in developing MIRAGE into the successful club it is today. MIRAGE would also like to thank everyone fwho has held positions within the MIRAGE Executive Committee. MIRAGE would also like to recognise the continued support we receive from the University of Sydney’s RUSC program.


Cooee! October 2010

NERCHA

University of New England, NSW

Written by: Shannon Townsend

The year 2010 has been an exciting and progressive one for the NERCHA Executive and it’s members, with more and more students experiencing all that rural health has to offer. Highlights of the year include our kick-off BBQ and O Week sign up day, where we welcomed new members. We were particularly excited to see the first intake of Pharmacy and Exercise Physiology students at UNE. Their contribution to our club this year has been outstanding and has furthered our status as a truly multidisciplinary club. Six of our members were fortunate enough to be selected for the National Rural Leadership Development Seminar in Wollongong. This was described as an “inspirational” experience. It is here that we learnt through the words of Rosalynn Carter: “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” The NERCHA Rural Health Hoedown was one of the great events of this year also. This event saw NERCHA Members head out to the “Echidna Gully” Woolshed in Armidale, NSW for a night of flannelette shirts, cheap drinks, BBQ’s and more Miley Cyrus’ ‘Hoedown Throwdown’ than we had ever heard. Once again, NURHC was the biggest highlight of the year. NERCHA members boarded many turbulent planes in order to voyage from Armidale to Alice Springs. The bumpy trip was well worth it though, as NURHC 2010 opened our eyes to the key issues in rural health. The location of this years NURHC gave rise to great diversity, as we were able to learn so much more about Indigenous Health and what it is like to work in remote communities. Having come from Armidale, we are all well aware of the rural lifestyle. Hearing stories of remote communities, however, took rural and remote health to a whole new level, inspiring us all to get out there and see Australia and do some placements in remote communities. Ernie Dingo certainly made the conference a great success also. Ernie was one very funny man, with lots of wise words and tales to share. Many thanks to the NRHSN and it’s auspicing bodies for providing the funding and hence the opportunity for so many NERCHA members to attend NURHC, Alice Springs. In the world of educational experiences, NERCHA members have just returned from a three day stint at ‘Ag-Quip’ a large farm national field day held annually in Gunnedah, NSW. We didn’t bump into Miranda Kerr, but we certainly ensured that the farmers are now well aware of their blood pressure and oxygen saturations. This was a great event that allowed us to reach a diverse audience. We were able to speak to students about careers in rural health, whilst also promoting general health measures and raising awareness of mental health within the rural community. It was amazing to see just how many people were keen to visit our stand. We, like many other clubs, are about to enter a new phase as we elect a new Executive at the upcoming AGM. We would like to wish the new Executive all the best. May they experience all of the fantastic opportunities that are made available by Rural Health Clubs and the NRHSN.


NOMAD

Deakin University, VIC NOMAD has continued to grow this year, with over 180 students from medicine, nursing, OT, health science, psychology and social work. Membership drives took place early in the year, mostly during O-week as well as on a sunny February afternoon at the Torquay Lawn Bowls club! Many a bowl was rolled and the only thing hotter than the action was the passion of our newest members. With over 60 attendees, the night was a complete success - perhaps the real winners were the sport of lawn bowls and rural health! In April NOMAD held our first inaugural dinner discussion night promoting careers in rural health and providing some uplifting inspiration. The event was held just outside of Geelong at Fyansford and more than 65 people attended. Guest Speakers included Dr. Richard Di Natale, Greens candidate and local Geelong doctor. He spoke about his inspiring travels throughout rural Australia as a new medical graduate and what had drawn him to choose a career path outside of metropolitan areas including the rewarding experiences he had working with rural and remote communities as a general practitioner. Our second guest speaker was Registered nurse Louise Lawler, who awed the audience and kept them raving for days with her experiences and travels throughout the world working in isolated areas including the Torres Straight islands. Her photos documented an interesting life led in remote area nursing and left a wake of students ready to trek their own way into adventurous health careers along a path less travelled. Our final speaker for the night was Dr. Will Twycross, order of Australia recipient and Local G.P to the people of Mansfield and Mt. Buller, who kept the audience entertained with an interesting history lesson about Fyansford and the origins of the Geelong hospital. A wonderful night was had by all, with much discussion generated regarding rural health and the options available to health students seeking some of the daring adventure and reward that rural health careers have to offer.

Written by: Emily Dalton Our storytelling sessions have continued throughout 2010, with four sessions so far covering a discussion with John Flynn Scholars, a Reconciliation Week talk with Professor Wendy Brabham from the Institute of Koorie Education, a NURHC sharing session, and a Surgical Education and Training session from Mr. Simon Williams which offered insight into rural surgery training and practice. Our next storytelling session is planned for later in the year and will discuss renal disease and cultural issues surrounding chronic disease in Indigenous Australians.  The other big event for NOMAD for 2010 was undoubtedly NURHC. We sent sixteen delegates to Alice Springs and every one of them returned home inspired and more passionate than ever about remote and rural health. Our facebook photos can attest to the amount of fun we had, but there was a serious side too, and we all learned a great deal. The speakers were inspirational, with highlights including NOMAD’s own Laura Smith, Dr Alyssa Vass talking about her amazing work with ARDS and NOMAD favourite Al Dyason with his funny yet poignant presentation (I cried!). Our very own co-chair Jacinta O’Neill proudly returned home with a swag of prizes, after winning the ACRRM President’s prize and the Section 2 Student Speaker award. We were all very proud! Unfortunately our Golden Windmills performance was less successful, although we didn’t capture the wooden spoon either so we all felt like winners! RHSVs have continued to run regularly and successfully for NOMAD this year. In addition to visiting school around the region, in July Deakin University held a Health Expo at Waterfront campus for approximately 250 senior high school students. Here we were able to promote health careers with a focus on working within rural and remote areas. We held an extensive Q&A session with students and the stand was extremely popular! We ran a vital signs workshop (heart rate and blood pressure), ‘Bag of Bones’ where students were encouraged to build a skeleton and the ever-popular ‘Boozed and Confused’ booth. So what’s on the horizon for NOMAD? Well, we’re very much looking forward to participating in Vibe Alive Bendigo, continuing with our RHSVs, and the six planned Teddy Bear Hospital sessions we have in the coming months and generally continuing to recruit and inspire! I’d like to finish off by thanking our Co-chairs, Secretary and Executive team.


Cooee! October 2010

OUTLOOK

University of Melbourne, VIC 2010 has been a great year for Outlook, with lots of events on the calendar for our 300 plus members. The creation of Outlook’s newsletter ‘Horizons’ has kept members informed of all the goings on in the club, and lead to Outlook’s Rural Photo Competition. We had some great entries, and the winner scored themselves a coffee voucher, to keep them going through the long uni day. Outlook members have had some great opportunities to get involved in rural health this year. We supported Lucinda Gabriel to undertake a placement with the Royal Flying Doctor in Meekatharra, WA, who said is was “a valuable opportunity to gain a better understanding of Indigenous health, an alternate and unique culture, as well as the barriers to health care, in particular remote acute medicine.” The Indigenous Subcommittee has been busy as usual, raising awareness of Indigenous health issues amongst Outlook members, and more widely throughout the university. We had an information session with Terori Hareko-Samios and Marika Kalargyros from the Australian Women’s Health Business Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital, and were privileged to hear how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women might have different needs when accessing the services of the hospital and how the Unit aims to address these needs. Through the additional pool of funding, Jess Clare went to the Garma Festival, in Arnhem Land, NT, and had a great time and we are looking forward to sending two Outlook members to the Vibe Alive Indigenous Festival in Bendigo. A highlight for Outlook this year has been participating in the inaugural RAW VIGOUR, a weekend experiencing life

Written by: Kate Hurley

on a rural property with the other Victorian Rural Health Clubs. Activities on the weekend included talks from the local indigenous community, staff from the local hospital and other community members in combination with a number of workshops. The afternoon dedicated to sheep farming gave everyone a chance to get a hug from a sheep, scream like a madman and have fun trying to get them into the right paddock. Other events this year included the Rural Obligation Dinner, offering a chance for all students on rural obligation places including ERC, RAMUS, BMP and MRBS a chance to meet each other, talk to other students who have ‘been there, done that’ about their rural experiences and meet representatives including Louise Young from ACRRM, Dr. Peter Kepel, the Director of the ERC and Dr. Graeme Jones from the RACGP. Outlook’s Annual Discussion Dinner was held at Queens’ College again this year, and all who attended were very lucky to hear from two great speakers. Josh Crase, an Intern at Ballarat Hospital, talked about his rural experiences during his medical degree, and it was great to have an old Outlook member back again. Annette Alison, from the Royal Flying Doctors Service, talked about the great work they do, inspiring us to get involved any way we can. We are very thankful to VicNet who helped out with sponsorship for the night. Before students submitted preferences for clinical school, Outlook organised visits to the rural clinical school sites in Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Wangaratta. This offered a great opportunity for students to visit the hospitals and accommodation, and for many reaffirm their decisions to do their clinical training in the country. Our rural high school visit team has been busy, with a visit to Western Victoria early this year, and a few more to central Victoria. Outlook had a great team of members attending NURHC this year. Alice Springs proved a fantastic location, and everyone came away inspired about rural health. The conference was a resounding success, not least because we are proud to say we cleaned up in the Cattleman’s Cup video competition, with the very original ‘Rural Master’ and won the most highly anticipated Golden Windmills – think ABBA meets Hilltop Hoods and a VW kombi van running over a sheep!


RAHMS

University of New South Wales, NSW

Written by: Nathan Mortimer

2010 was full of non-stop action for RAHMS with a plethora of events being run and even more on the horizon. Additionally, this year has also been one of change for the RAHMS exec as it expanded to include an Allied Health portfolio with representatives from Allied Health degrees joining the team. This has allowed RAHMS to design and promote events that are more targeted and inclusive of students from the other professions that make up an effective health care system and are constituting and increasing proportion of the RAHMS membership. The Allied Health team has been working very hard to contribute to the RAHMS agenda and we are very happy with the results so far! RAHMS held an information evening about the John Flynn Placement Program where current JFPP scholars shared their amazing experiences and encouraged new students to investigate the program and the opportunities it offers. Also during first session, a few lucky RAHMS members took part in an awesome guided tour of the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens where an experienced guide taught about traditional indigenous bush medicines, foods and culture. The event provided an excellent opportunity to see and experience medicine the way it was long before CT, MRI and ECG machines! Later in the session, just as things were getting a little tense with exams and assessments on the horizon, RAHMS came to the rescue! Like-minded students with an interest in rural health got together to learn some basic skills in unwinding the nerves and loosening some muscles as they were led through a massage whilst sipping some delicious green tea. RAHMS finished up first session with our usual end-of-session party where members enjoyed some snacks, a few beers and some great company at the Doncaster Hotel; a great way to unwind before the break and the session ahead. Of course, there were those who just couldn’t wait to get another dose of rural health goodness so, not liking to miss out on a good party, RAHMS was out in force at the National Undergraduate Rural Health Conference (NURHC) with a good portion of the exec and a few lucky members attending the much lauded rural health conference. Our own Matt Irwin gave a presentation and a great time was had by everyone who attended! Getting back from the break with a full tank of energy and some new ideas RAHMS wasted no time getting stuck straight into second session. The Indigenous Health Night saw some inspirational speakers, including the first indigenous surgeon in Australia (and a UNSW graduate!) Dr. Kelvin Kong, present to a crowd of inquisitive students regarding their experiences and the challenges faced in indigenous health. This was a great opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of indigenous health and to munch on some delicious bush tucker (kangaroo and damper always go down a treat)! The second Clinical Skills Night for the year was a great success as we once again gathered to have some fun and learn some valuable skills for future careers. Over the course of a couple of fun-filled hours students made their way through stations of suturing up an unfortunate pig’s trotter, measuring blood pressure, performing a cannulation on an artificial arm and the always messy art of plastering each other. Looking ahead; preparation for this year’s RAW (Rural Appreciation Weekend) is now in full swing with the event to be held from in October. NRHSN members from all across Australia are preparing to descend on Dunedoo for a weekend of rural experiences, edutaining tidbits and lots of fun and frivolity. To learn more about RAW head to our website www.rahms.org.


Cooee! October 2010

RHINO

James Cook University, QLD

Written by: Surabhi Khosla

Rural Health In The Outback (RHINO) are the Rural Health Club at James Cook University, QLD. We’ve had a very busy year with two standout events, the RDAQ conference in June and the joint QLD Rural Health Club Weekend in April. The Rural Doctor’s Association of Queensland held their 21st annual conference at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre. This year, 14 James Cook University medical students attended the RDAQ conference, with 11 students being directly sponsored by RDAQ doctors and RHINO. This year’s conference was titled, ‘Coming of Age: Innovations in Rural Health’. With this theme came the introduction of a new conference tradition of the ‘StudentSponsor Networking Function’, held at the beginning of the conference weekend. This function gave students the opportunity to meet and thank their individual sponsors whose generosity allowed us to attend the conference. It was a great way to get to know the many sponsors and to create new relationships with potential mentors. In line with the conference theme, many of this year’s sessions presented new, up and coming information, ideas and projects.  These sessions included the keynote address from Commandore Tracey Smart of the Australian Defence Force’s Department of Defence Joint Health Command, a presentation from Dr James Goertzen on the innovations in rural teaching in the Canadian wilderness, rural generalist sessions presenting current information, plans and issues for scholarship holder’s and rural generalist trainees, student presentations and many sessions based around government initiatives in health. The conference succeeded in presenting us with the issues that we will encounter in our pursuit of rural careers. In addition, students enjoyed a Magical Arabian Night and Formal Dinner to conclude the conference. 16 members from various health disciplines represented RHINO at the Joint Rural Health Club Weekend held in Rockhampton on the ANZAC day weekend. We undertook an 8 hours bus drive down south to meet members from other QLD university health clubs - Hope for Health (Griffith Uni), Bushfire (Bond Uni) and Trophiq (Uni of QLD). The weekend comprised of two days of clinical skills advancement and talks from local health professionals. Chest Drains and skin cancer removal with suturing were two of the favourites for this year. The students also got the opportunity to build networks and give a club presentation showcasing the variety of activities run by each rural health club. The highlight of the social program was a trip to Myella Farm, which is 1.5 hrs west of Rockhampton. Students enjoyed an afternoon full of whip cracking, cow milking, horse riding and playing with Kangaroos, followed by a bike ride to view the sunset and a hearty outback BBQ in the company of the local doctors and ambulance staff. A trip to Yeppoon beach and a formal dinner were also on the list. This event achieved its purpose of enhancing rural exposure, clinical skills and student networking while strengthening the relationship between the rural health clubs in QLD.


RHUUWS

University of Western Sydney, NSW A great big hello from RHUUWS, the Rural Health Union of the University of Western Sydney! Yep, like “kangaROOS”, for those who were wondering. We’re a club based in Campbelltown (on the outskirts of Sydney), and consist of members studying occupational therapy, medicine, nursing, and more recently, podiatry. Over the past year it has been great to see more of our members getting involved on the executive committee and in our events. The RHUUWS Clues Trivia Night was a hit, as usual, giving our members a chance to do a bit of mingling with students from other years and other disciplines in the relaxed company of delicious platters and refreshing beverages. Being early in the year, it gave first years in particular a chance to put faces to names and names to faces. Clinical skills night provided members with the opportunity to get some hands-on workshops on various clinical skills, including plaster-casting, canulating, and first aid clinical scenarios that involved their fair share of (probably unnecessary) melodramatic demonstrations. Particularly for those in the more junior years, the hands-on stuff was a welcome change from lectures and tutorials. We look forward to putting on the same event later this year with a new array of skills to tickle our collective fancies. Perhaps our physios, who start this semester, could show us a thing or two from their trade! In the rural high school visit department, we grabbed members, their bags and their enthusiasm and sent them on two trips – one to Orange, and one down to the Ulladulla region. Both were fantastic for the RHUUWS members who attended, and for the high school students who had the opportunity to meet people who are on their way to working in health services. It was great to see fresh young faces showing interest in what we do and having fun learning through interactive activities (such as role play scenarios). We also held an event to celebrate NAIDOC week, which had an excellent turnout. Several local Aboriginal elders attended, Uncle Ivan giving us a passionate talk about the meaning of NAIDOC and some insight into Aboriginal culture. This was followed by the evocative tones of the didgeridoo, which was played LIVE by a local dij player. He even included a rendition of a self-composed hip-hop beat. Gotta keep with the times. And if people were hungry, we had waiting for them a delicious assortment including kangaroo steak and crocodile sausages. Very cool indeed.

Written by: Manik Mayadunne

Also very cool were a few of Australia’s talents that our members mingled with. Vibe Alive in Moree gave a few RHUUWSers the opportunity to educate school kids about health professions and healthy lifestyles, and also to mix with the likes of Shannon Noll. Word must have got around that RHUUWS members had made an entrance on the Australian celeb social scene, because a flattered Bec Lawrence, while at NURHC 2010, was the recipient of a compliment on her pink thongs, from none other than Ernie Dingo! If only it were accompanied by the theme song from the Great Outdoors. I love that song. We wouldn’t be RHUUWS if we didn’t hold RHUUWS BBQs on campus, and that we did! Many of our members have also been on various rural placements around the country and have come back with nothing but positive feedback from their experiences. With the fresh faces of podiatry students and the even fresher faces of physiotherapy students on campus this year, we look forward to getting more students aboard the rural express and heading towards the glorious wide brown land of rural health that RHUUWS is so proud to be a part of.


Cooee! October 2010

ROUNDS

University of Notre Dame, Sydney, NSW This year our ROUNDS members have made the most of conference and seminar opportunities, especially students that attended the Leadership Conference in Wollongong, saying it was one of the best conferences they had been to. A keen carload took a long trip to Moree for the Vibe Alive festival, and others returned to Griffith and Hillston schools for our successful Rural High School Visits, as well as adding a new visit to Kandos High School. This was the journey to the destination that proved as exciting and eye-opening as the High School Visit itself, with students stopping to take in the random attractions along the way, and getting to know each other. Not only did we go out to rural high schools and meet students, but some came to us for the School Vacation program. Students from rural areas were given the opportunity to come to Sydney and spend time at the University of Notre Dame’s Darlinghurst campus, participating in workshops similar to those offered on our Rural High School Visits. This gave students a chance to see what the University looks and feels like during semester, to meet and greet current students, and to realise some of the possible opportunities that are available to them. Members worked

hard to give them a positive experience, and to help them discover the possibilities of a health-related career. With over 150 members and still growing, ROUNDS used opportunities like the MED Camp, University Orientation days, and occasions such as Close the Gap day to encourage more nursing and medical students to sign up. Over the past three years that ROUNDS has been developing, BBQs in the common courtyard still prove the most enticing way to get new memberships. A new event to the ROUNDS calendar was a trip to Cowra Picnic Races. A bus took students out to Cowra the morning of the races, dropping them at the camping grounds. With a tent in the members area, a track side location, perfect weather and an energised community, it proved a very successful day. Finishing at a local hotel with a dinner for the group, the day was not only enlightening to the students that hadn’t attended a picnic race day before, but to the community that were overjoyed at trying to impress potential medical and nursing staff to their town. Held in July annually it will be an event that should be on everyone’s calendar. During this last year, ROUNDS members were keen to get involved with the NRHSN council and were well represented with the Junior Indigenous Portfolio holder and almost the entire Medical Portfolio from Notre Dame Sydney School of Medicine.

Written by: Kelly Wilkinson

As usual, competition for attendance at NURHC was fierce, and the lucky 13 that attended made sure those that missed out, knew all about the fun and unrivaled experiences they had. It was a memorable night at the Golden Windmills Performances, and although

we missed out on the big prize, and got ‘gonged’ halfway through… we did manage the most prestigious award of best dressed for our adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. A day trip to Uluru and Kata Tjuta by some of the students was a great way to end the trip, and make the most of their time in Alice Springs. ROUNDS is only going to continue to get bigger and more effective as our medical student cohort grows next year to it’s capacity of 4 years, and students will be set free to rural hospitals in Wagga Wagga, Lithgow and Ballarat for their clinical years. Taking over the organisation of the social night program for the Rural Trauma Week, held in Wagga Wagga, ROUNDS is making sure that everyone knows about our Rural Health Club. With such a variety of clinical schools, and nursing placement opportunities, ROUNDS is always looking to get involved in new events and locations, and encourage more students to jump into the great unknown of rural and remote Australia.


ROUSTAH

University of South Australia, SA Our Rural Health Club quote of the year would have to be Keep it Real, Keep It Rural, Keep it ROUSTAH!! With 442 members in your rural health club, we are becoming a strong and developed club, having been run for approximately 5 years now We’ve had some really good events this year such as our O Week, Coffee and Donut Days, BBQ’s, to entice members into joining this year as well as some really outgoing and keen exec members who have the gift of the gab!! Our clubs best events are still to come! We have Campfire looming very soon, the program is great, we have some amazing guest speakers, some awesome activities and a great committee that’s

bringing it all together. Also we have our RHSV coming up in the Riverlands, we’re staying in a houseboat on the river, and taking the ski boat up with us for the weekend! Then we’ve got our cocktail ‘Meet and Greet’ night for all new and prospective members preparing for the up and coming AGM!! The Indigenous festival we participated in this year was the Wakakirri Festival in Ceduna, SA. The students appeared to really enjoy each workshop. They were particularly interested in our plastering session, as well as our different sensory challenges. A real hit would have to be the Indigenous Hip Hop Project that gave each student the opportunity to learn some moves, as well as demonstrate their raw talent.

By the end of this year, our club would have done four Rural High School Visits. Our first one was the NT RHSV, which was a huge success, then AURHA hosted the next one in the Spencer Gulf, which was also really successful. Our next one is FURHS RHSV, which we’re going to on the Fleurieu Peninsula, then our RHSV that we’re hosting in the Riverlands. Our biggest achievement has been the amount of events we have coordinated this year. We’ve achieved a huge database of students this year as members all thanks to our success of all our different working parties, and our absolute commitment to rural and remote health. We also went to FURHS clinical skills trip this year, which was an amazing trip. Our favourite memory of NURHC this year, would have to be Golden Windmill night, it was a great night, incredibly

Written by: Ruth Vogelsang

funny, and we all got a bit loose after, making it a very good night out. Our favorite rural and remote location visited this year would have to be Alice Springs as most people who went to NURHC from our club had never been before and it was great for them to be able to have the opportunity to go to the NT, as it would have been the most remote the majority of the student’s would have ventured. We have over half of our senior club members graduating at the end of this year. It will be incredibly sad to see them go, our club over the past two years has undergone some incredible changes and we have certainly come a long way. I feel we owe every success of our club to these members who have done such a fantastic job of being so hands on, and being so passionate about our club, what we stand for and most importantly rural and remote health!


Cooee! October 2010

RUSTICA

University of Tasmania, TAS

Written by: Miriam Woodgate

RHSV are being organised with many enthusiastic volunteers. One of the highlights is Sheffield District High School. This is the second year we have been invited Rustica’s first big event for 2010 was the Welcome Dinner, in back. Our medical and pharmacy students March. With many new members signing up on the night, it spoke to 50 Grade 8’s was a great opportunity to meet some new faces and hear many great ideas about how to promote rural health. Students about the brilliance of a rural health career. from all disciplines were present, and everyone had a good night. Rustica were delighted to donate the raffle proceeds to The feedback from the school is that there is a huge increase in the number of students wanting to pursue a health career since Red Cross for the Queensland flood appeal. Rustica has been visiting, which is a great result. Rustica, the University of Tasmania’s Rural Health Society, has had an eventful 2010. Nursing, medicine, pharmacy and paramedic students joined at Societies’ Days held in Hobart and Launceston. First year medical students were keen to join after experiencing clinical skills tutorials at their welcome camp in February. In Burnie, welcome BBQs and parties were well attended.

Another big event on the Rustica calendar for first semester was Skills Night. Always popular, this event gives students the opportunity to learn a variety of clinical skills in a safe and supervised environment. Venepuncture, urinary catherterisation, cannulation and suturing were all on offer. Students from a range of faculties were present and everyone was impressed by the high level of skill exhibited by the tutors. Rustica provided a free dinner after wards for all attendees (both students and tutors). Everyone present is looking forward to the upcoming second semester Skills Night. A new event for Rustica this year was the photo competition. We were delighted to have members of the local Aboriginal community present to give a brief talk and judge the photo competition. Final year medical student Nick Stacey, won the competition with his fantastic photo taken on Croker Island, north of Darwin, while on placement at the Darwin Hospital.

Rustica had many members attending rural health events across the country including RAW VIGOUR and NURHC. Members at RAW VIGOUR appreciated the opportunity to hear some great speakers, meet some like-minded young people and shear a sheep! In addition to the NRHSN-funded students, two other Rustica members attended NURHC. NURHC was an incredible experience for all 11 of us selected to go and the whole group were uber excited especially with Ernie Dingo as the MC! The Tassie delegation did the state proud with their Golden Windmills performance which involved a heart felt rendition of ‘Memory’ from the CATs musical. Unfortunately, the judges did not agree and we were gonged early although, the shame (or is it honour?) of the wooden spoon thankfully went to another club! Both the academic and social program on offer provided great memories for the delegates and the last day in Alice Springs involved many promises of catching up and looking for our new friends on Facebook. Almost a month on from NURHC, our time spent in NT seems like a dream especially the warmer weather! Many thanks to the NRHSN committee whom organised such a fantastic conference! Rustica members have a lot to look forward to in second semester with Skills Nights, Careers Evenings and a Mental Health First Aid Course. We hope to see a lot of members at these events later in the year.


SHARP

University of Wollongong, NSW 2010 has been an awesome year for SHARP, with our members getting up to some inspiring rural health work! We have been busy and as always SHARPies have been having too much fun in the process of promoting a healthier rural Australia and encouraging the future rural health workforce. The year began with SHARP’s launch party – The Bush Dance. SHARPies young and old boot scooted all night long! In February, SHARP said welcome to the new cohort of Medical students with a BBQ and fun times at med camp. Our AGM was held in March which gave us a sparkly new committee that were keen as mustard to make 2010 a blast. The ‘Hills Hoist Series – stories from our own backyard’ continued this year, following great success in 2009. These series of lectures are a collaboration between SHARP and the university’s global health club, WUHOW. Speakers in 2010 have been: Jenny Lane, Dr Philippa Binns and our very own medical students whom recently participated in humanitarian work in Vanuatu. Professor Noel Tait will be sharing his experiences later on in the year. Close the Gap day at the University of Wollongong (UOW) was bigger than ever this year! SHARP was overwhelmed by support within the university and community for this imperative campaign securing over

300 signatures. Events were held at Wollongong and Nowra campuses where the Oxfam video was played and SHARPies handed out information about Indigenous health, encouraged people to sign the petition and manned the BBQ. In Wollongong, special guest speaker Garry Simon ‘Jagamarra’ gave an inspirational speech. University and local media covered the event on the day, so a few SHARPies made it into the paper and onto the local TV news! This year SHARP has sent 6 students to 2 different Indigenous festivals, Vibe Alive Moree NSW and Wakakirri Barunga NT. We had an incredible time talking to rural and remote kids about health and health careers. Gutsy Gus made a star appearance and by the end of the day almost every child had a finger plastered and their face painted. It was an extraordinary experience for all involved and one that they will draw upon during their health careers. We SHARP sent a record 15 members to NURHC. Although robbed of the Golden Windmills trophy (again) SHARP members definitely made their mark on the conference. Meeting like minded students from all across Australia in such a beautiful part of the world like Alice Springs made our SHARPies even more inspired to help the Australian rural and remote population. The speakers at NURHC were second to none and having Ernie Dingo as MC really epitomised the rural health passion attendees.

Written by: Emma Harvey In August, SHARP supplied student volunteers to a Healthier Illawarra Men event entitled ‘Check It’. The event encouraged men to come to the Wollongong Entertainment Centre and get a free mini health check. SHARP students assisted local health professionals by taking blood pressures, measuring blood cholesterol and calculating BMIs. The day was a great chance for students to build relationships with local health professionals, practice some clinical skills and bond with the wider Illawarra community. Other events that SHARP has been apart of this year include: UniCentre Cup, UOW Diversity Week Celebrations, UOW Student Experience Projects Showcase and a Health Careers Expo for Illawarra High School Students at Wollongong Hospital. Furthermore, back in April, SHARP and UOW were proud to host the first National Rural Leadership Development Seminar (NRLDS) in Wollongong. This event was a great success and we hope to see NRLDS happen again, bigger and better in 2011. The rest of 2010 is jam packed full of more rural health fun. SHARP is looking to finish the year off in style by sending students to RAW, Rural Health Harbour Cruise in Sydney and having a party of our own around Christmas time.


Cooee! October 2010

SPINRPHEX

Combined Western Australian Universities, WA In the summer… of 2009, our exec exec grew old, and was replaced by a new, HOT bunch of newbies (mostly) ready to take on the job of running SPINRPHEX, the oldest and one of the biggest rural health clubs in Australia. There was much rejoicing, but much more planning. The first event held was the Executive Planning day, where SPINRPHEX members learned how to be a team and communicate well along with members of the WAALHIIBE exec. There were many challenges to overcome on this day, including crocodile infested rivers, time machines that kept falling apart and meetings that involved too much sugar. In the autumn… By autumn things were in full swing. The first event to take place was the ‘Get Plastered’ evening. Members ate some pizza, mingled, and as the name suggests learned to plaster things. This year however daylight savings was scrapped, meaning that it got dark an hour earlier than anticipated by the organising committee. Members persevered though, and many can now plaster in the dark. So if you heard something go bump in the night at NURHC, it wasn’t a monster, it was just a lonely SPINNERPHEXer looking for someone in need of a good plastering. Autumn also brought the infamous ‘Perth Storm’. Cars were dented, windows were smashed by golf-ball sized hail and the medical faculty buildings flooded and collapsed-(literallythey are still out of action!) SPINRPHEX Exec however, braved the storm and arrived at the medical buildings for our committee meeting. Alas, all we could do was dry ourselves with a kindly donated towel, eat soggy pizza and cower in a corner as the water rose around them. The next day the sun came out and SPIN members gathered up the equipment that had not been evacuated or drenched and boarded a plane for the SCITECH festival in Kalgoorlie to spread the word about the advantages of being healthy and having a health career amongst the primary and high school students who attended. Later we headed south to Nanga for the annual SPINRPHEX camp. In addition to camping (CRAZY in the cold weather), we also built rafts and went sailing, stabbed each other with cannulas, sutured pig’s trotters and played giant twister. In the winter… Winter was cold. REALLY cold. WA had the equal coldest July in recorded history. Once again however we braved the weather and made winter the most productive season all year, with five huge events. Firstly, with some WAALHIIBE members we headed out to York District High School for a rural high school visit. We showed the students how to read x-rays, how to bandage and how to use some bush remedies. SPINRPHEX ran a mental

Written by: Marie Leknys

health night where members heard from guest speakers about the impact of mental illness and suicide in rural and remote areas. This was followed by a visit to the Cunderdin Agricultural School, a school of mainly boys who will be the farmers and tradies of the future- also the group with the highest suicide rate. Members spoke to the year eleven students about stress, depression and how to be a good mate. Next SPINERPHEX sent a huge contingent to NURHC where SPINners came third in the Golden Windmills!! Thankfully the sun was shining at the annual SPIN/ WAALHIIBE conference entitled ‘Thorny Situations’. The aim of the day was to provide academic activities for members that addressed the issues often ignored or misunderstood about rural and remote health. There were some amazing guest speakers including a remote area nurse and a remote area OT, followed by workshops looking at Indigenous cultural safety training and self care to name a few. One of the highlights of the day was a discussion with speakers from the True Colours and Gay and Lesbian Community Services organisations about the huge and often ignored challenges facing gender/sexuality diverse people living in rural and remote areas, and how we as health practitioners can make our future practices more accessible and open to this group. And in the Spring.. SPINRPHEX members will defrost! The year is far from over, and there are still many events in the SPIN pipeline. The most exciting of these is the Youth and Children’s festival in Bruce Rock, north of Perth. VIBE alive in Kalgoorlie is also coming up, as well as this year’s AGM. All in all it has been an absolutely fantastic, fun, inspiring year!


StARRH

Charles Darwin University, NT

Written by: Kim Izod

StARRH has been busy in 2010, from uni lunches and dinners to NURHC in Alice Springs, the wheel has not stopped turning. Nestled away in the top of the Northern Territory, StARRH rarely has contact with other clubs from around Australia. This year however, StARRH has been greeted by many visitors to the NT. The GPNNT Top End Rural High School Visit bought several students up to Darwin from all around Australia and Kim Izod form St ARRH was fortunate to be able to help them out with the 3 schools they visited around The Darwin area. She had a great time meeting all the enthusiastic high school students and answering their many many questions, and was impressed by the passion and eagerness her fellow NRHSN members had for rural health. Meeting students from other clubs is quite difficult for StARRH members as our closest club is 1500km away; however when four StARRHs headed down to Alice for NURHC we were met by over 350 students from around the country as equally passionate about rural and remote health. Good times were had by all, listening to some truly inspirational speakers and meeting some colourful locals when the sun went down. It wasn’t all fun and games however, there was of course the Golden Windmills trophy up for grabs and many hours of choreography and rehearsing (from other clubs) meant we were quietly confident of taking out the wooden spoon. As the night progressed however we grew slightly more optimistic of our chances at success. Finally the night was at an end, everyone had opened up and left their heart and soul on the stage. In what can only be described as a purely magical experience StARRH and its little group of four came home strong and burster into second place, just shy of the fame and glory of winning the title of Golden Windmill champions. The Wakakirri Festival, held in Burunga; a small community about 400km south of Darwin, bought up members from SHARP in Wollongong NSW, KRASH in Brome WA and CARAH in Alice Springs NT for a weekend of Territory life. The weekend was packed full of the good stuff, starting with a gourmet beef stew cooked in the camp oven by the gifted Ian Vickers from StARRH and Gabby........ from CARAH. We set up camp at Springvale Homestead just outside of Katherine in a luxury campsite generously supplied by Connections Safaris. Sitting around the campfire, under the stars, we discussed how we were going to run the workshops in the morning. While the girls from SHARP were furiously cutting up carrot for the next day, the rest of us pondered how we were going to run an anatomy talk with the skeleton that stole Gutsy Gus’ seat on the aeroplane over from Broome. An early start in the morning saw us heading the 80km toward Burunga. A detour to The Coffee Club on the corner of the main strip of Katherine ensured we had the energy for the big day ahead and off we went. The festival was fantastic and all the kids were so excited and enthusiastic , it was a long day full of skeletons, fruit & veg men, theatre relays, face painting and of course plastered arms. After getting supplies at the shopping centre it was off to the Katherine hot springs for a dip before dinner. The next day we headed out early to get to Edith Falls before the long drive back up to Darwin. A quick swim in the beautiful yet freezing cold Edith Falls and a leisurely walk through the bush bought to an end a great weekend.


Cooee! October 2010

TROHPIQ

University of Queensland, QLD TROHPIQ has been a hive of activity this year and there is still a massive line up of events to go in the second half of the year. Think of it as Splendour without the traffic, or the amazing bands‌ Some of the events rapidly approaching are the Toowoomba Trip, the Medical and Allied Health Careers Discussion Evening, the Formal Dinner, and a Health Careers in the Bush trip. The second Herston Skills Day of the year has just been completed and it was very satisfying to see sixty new members enjoying the day and learning different skills. Our skills days are always heavily oversubscribed, so we have tried to meet the demand this year by holding a skills day at the Ipswich Campus, two skills days at the Herston Campus, and we are also hosting a station in the combined medical school student clubs first year pre-elective workshops (which is run for 400 students!). Our trips to the Rural Clinical School sites are still going strong and as popular as ever. The Fraser Coast and Rockhampton trips went off with a bang, with the Toowoomba trip still to come. These trips give students the opportunity to visit the Rural Clinical School sites, learn a few skills, learn a bit more about rural health and check out the local nightlife with their fellow TROHPIQ members.

We ventured up to Rocky again for the Joint Rural Health Club Weekend. This event is a collaboration between all the rural health clubs in Qld. It was, as always, a fantastic success. Many thanks must go to the organising committee as well as our dedicated and highly organised friends at health workforce Qld. Our Indigenous portfolio has been doing a great job this year. The annual Cherbourg trip happened in May, which this year not only gave TROHPIQ members the opportunity to learn more about the community and indigenous health, but also gave back to the community with members engaging with the local kids in fun, healthfocused educational activities. We also had a couple of TROHPIQ representatives at the Vibe Alive Moree festival, and we will have two representatives at the upcoming Casino Deadly Days festival. TROHPIQ once again had a contingent present at the annual Rural Doctors Association of Qld conference, this year held in Mackay. The students who attended are very grateful for the support they received from members of RDAQ to attend the conference. There was a great blend of social and networking opportunities, and academic and policy issues. The students were made to feel a real part of the conference and there was even a session for student presentations. The other standout conference for the year was of course NURHC. TROHPIQ had great success at NURHC this year. Like every

Written by: Elissa Milford year the TROHPIQ contingent had a fabulous time meeting health students from around the country, immersing themselves in rural health, and getting better acquainted with the Alice Springs nightlife. The main highlight for us though was the 2009 Joint Rural Health Club Weekend winning the award for the best NRHSN Rural Health Club event. This is a prestigious prize and everyone from four Queensland clubs - TROHPIQ, RHINO (JCU), BUSHFIRE (Bond), Hope4Health (Griffith), and our administrators, Health Workforce Queensland should be very proud. The other highlight of course was avoiding the wooden spoon prize for Golden Windmills. We’ve won this prestigious award the previous two years and somehow managed to avoid a trifecta. One new initiative TROHPIQ is very excited to deliver for our medical students members is a new rural elective program for both first and fourth year students. The first elective program is now up and running. The fourth year elective program is being developed for a 2011 roll-out, and will provide logistical support for students wanting to undertake a rural elective in Australia or overseas. So, once again a busy year for TROHPIQ with the regular events getting bigger and better and a number of new initiatives taking form. Thank you to everyone who gives up their time to help make the activities so successful.


WAALHIIBE

Written by: Joanna Fry

Curtin University & Edith Cowan University, WA As the end of the year approaches more and more rapidly, WAALHIIBE continues to power full-steam ahead with no intention of slowing down. The year so far has been jam packed with excitement and a range of experiences, and we’re set stimulate our members’ senses even more! WAALHIIBE’s member recruitment mode has been set to “steep incline” and numbers continue to grow each year, with figures hovering around 300 this year – our greatest membership yet! However when looking at the opportunities the club is providing there’s no doubt as to why we continue to grow. Our first event of the year kicked off with a Rural Placement Workshop, where students presented their experience, clinical supervisors advised us what was expected from us on placement, and information was provided on how to find financial assistance. We also attended the CUCRH Careers Expo in Geraldton, and with SPINRPHEX continue to set an example for other rural health clubs in working together to produce fabulous events. One such event was a Multi-Disciplinary Night where students learned about the roles of the Royal Flying Doctors Service, a Physiotherapist in Critical Care, a Speech Pathologist in Neurosurgery and a hospital-based Occupational Therapist. Afterwards it seemed all students were more confident in understanding other disciplines’ roles and communicating with colleagues regarding patient care. Other events held with SPINRPHEX were a joint Rural High School Visit to York, and the almighty annual Rural Health Conference. Titled “Thorny Situations in Rural Health”, with presenters from a variety of professional backgrounds speaking about their personal prickly experiences working in the bush, as well as how they overcame some of the barriers, and tips for the future. Radiology, Aboriginal health, disability, relaxation, and alcohol workshops were run in the afternoon with enthusiastic contributions from participants and some very funny experiences had with some goggles! More standout events include Health-Based Weekends in Laverton and Leonora, as WAALHIIBE continues to

strengthen its partnership with Curtin Volunteers! (CV) in providing such extraordinary opportunities. These trips were fantastic in helping out and having fun with local communities and showing our members what it’s like to live in a rural and remote community. WAALHIIBE also assisted CV to promote their Ways of Working workshop in which our members learned how to become more culturally competent health professionals, and more are set for semester two. Still to come are additional Health-Based Weekends in Laverton, Leonora, and Wiluna which are sure to open the eyes of those lucky enough to go; Vibe Alive Indigenous Festival in Kalgoorlie; Rural High School Visit to Harvey; and a Mental Health workshop. The SARRAH National Conference is being held in October in majestic Broome, and members have got their fingers, toes, and legs crossed hoping they’ll be selected to attend and represent our club. WAALHIIBE’s members continue to strive to their infinite potential, and we wish to congratulate Vice-President Daniel Mahony once more for receiving the Rural Health Workforce Australia Outstanding Contribution to Rural Leadership Award, in addition to the SARRAH Student Leadership Award, both presented at NURHC. Other members who attended NURHC have reported back the absolutely fabulous time they had throughout the conference, with special mentions to dining with Ernie Dingo under the stars, insightful workshops, and the amazing scones at morning tea! In other news, we recently (sadly) said goodbye to our talented and dedicated Administrator Poonam who has worked tirelessly for the club over the past two years. Poonam’s departure saw the arrival of Kelli, and we welcome her into the club with wide, open arms. Kelli has already been recognised as an extremely valuable, hard-working member of the team and has adjusted to her new role beautifully. We look forward to all the exciting, fun adventures WAALHIIBE has ahead!


Cooee! October 2010

WARRIAHS

Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Written by: Andrea Hales

Rural Health, worth fighting for! Wagga Area Rural, Remote and Indigenous Allied Health Society (WARRIAHS) has approximately 240 members in 2010. Despite a miserable rainy day to start of our club recruitment we had a great response and managed to maintain membership numbers similar to previous years. We enticed our members to join with our sassy and stylish Polo shirts, oh, and also the wonderful opportunities and scholarships available to students through the NRHSN.

In July we sent 10 lucky members on a journey to the red centre. A few went a little early and did a bit of site seeing, and the hot tip from Alice Springs is to avoid to the Alice Haven backpackers and remember your thongs for the shower! Let me tell you, we all VERY MUCH appreciated the luxury of crown plaza bathrooms. We were all lucky enough to be counted as “locals” because we saw the Todd River flow three times, although I think driving over the river multiple times doesn’t quite count...

We rallied our people and tested out the food at the Steer Hotel and gathered more memberships at our commencement dinner. We followed this up with the biggest Easter raffle in town! Our effort raised close to $1000 to go towards a number of events for the year.

Some say that the WARRIAHS highlight of NURHC 2010 was the fact that we didn’t get gonged at Golden Windmills, despite our lack of Mary Poppins pizzazz and others enjoyed the online set-up and decorative flair of Bojangles. As one of the few health clubs that doesn’t have medicine in its midst, we all enjoyed the variety of speakers at NURHC 2010 and we would like to thank all of the NRHSN executive for hosting such a great conference!

It was then time to get stuck into organising the WARRIAHS Health Expo, an annual WARRIAHS event where we invite approximately ten schools (150 students) from the Riverina region to come to Charles Sturt University. The day begins with health professionals and academics giving formal presentations, where the students have the opportunity to learn a little about selected health professions and ask questions. We then progress to a lunch time “market” where university students interact with the high school students, and discuss the student life aspect of studying to become a health professional. In the afternoon the high school students are able to select from a range of educational workshops which give an insight into different aspects of a profession. After the health expo we kicked on with our Black and Blue Winter Ball (be careful to word that right...). We enjoyed a beverage or two and a lovely meal while listening to the smooth guitar tunes of veteran WARRIAHS executive, Party Marty. By the end of the night we had all loosened up and were pulling out some inspired dance moves before many continued on to the local publican. Thanks to MARHS for making the journey to join us for Health Expo and the Ball.

Our newest executive member Kristy McGregor (a.k.a. “the enthusiastic first year”) has been representing WARRIAHS all over Australia this year. She was selected to represent social work on the Northern Territory students “top end tour” as well as gaining a spot at NURHC and one of the few students places at Mt Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health Conference. Keep an eye on this one, she doesn’t have the name “enthusiastic first year” for nothing! A few members headed off to Vibe Alive in Bendigo in September, we have Professional development sessions underway, our Cadaver Trip with our favourite MARHS crew is coming up in the near future and our rural experience night and annual general meeting toward the end of 2010. Good luck to all of those club members who are about the venture into the “real world” and thank you for your commitment to WARRIAHS throughout the years!


WILDFIRE

Monash University, VIC

Written by: Margot Lodge

Alice Springs and did so with flair! Whilst expectations were 2010 actually started for the WILDFIRE team at the end of 2009. With the election of the Council that would lead us for high, the Conference did not disappoint – from the exotic location to the academic program to a suitably sociable social the upcoming year, things were looking exciting. program, WILDFIRE students took every opportunity to make NURHC as fantastic as possible. O-Weeks at the various university clinical sites were the perfect opportunity to showcase WILDFIRE to potential The 6th Annual Rural Careers Weekend took place at the Bendigo members. Between local subcommittees and central Rural Clinical School Site. Medical students, in particular, Council, there were activities planned to appeal to were invited to learn more about careers in rural practice. The everyone. Both social and educational events took place around metropolitan and rural Victoria and we were able to weekend provided all with fantastic opportunities to hear guest speakers, working in rural areas, entertain new members whilst discuss the realities of such continuing to demonstrate practice. Further opportunities the fantastic opportunities were provided to network with afforded by rural health these professionals in more careers. informal settings, meet fellow students and explore the city of Whether due to the iceBendigo. cream or clinical skills days, our membership recruitment As always, Rural High School has been overwhelming Visits have been a highly successful; with over 400 valued experience to both our members early in the year, members and the secondary we certainly kicked off with a school students. RHSVs have bang. Of note, our number taken place in the South of nursing and allied health Gippsland, Central/Bendigo, and Mildura regions, allowing for members has increased from 4% in 2009, to 16% this year. This is an achievement we are very proud of and excited by, WILDFIRE members spread throughout the state to inspire rural secondary school students. We ran a range of RHSVs, providing and is a trend we hope continues into 2011. the school students with varying experiences that aimed to provide a positive perspective on further tertiary health studies. We soon had a chance to impress all of our new members Interactive sessions kept students engaged in exciting activities with WILDFIRE’s major event, the Matthew Campbell th including basic life support/CPR skills, practice in blood pressure Memorial Evening. Our 16 annual MCME was as inspirational and educational as ever, with keynote speakers taking, bandaging skills stations, and teaching and practicing discussing the theme “Sharing Stories in Indigenous Mental the basics of x-ray interpretation. The high school students also took the opportunity to quiz the WILDFIRE representatives Health”. A packed lecture theatre was motivated by the about tertiary education, medicine, nursing and health science stories and teachings of the brilliant speakers, and the evening continued Matthew Campbell’s legacy of education courses available to them, entrance requirements to such courses, VCE subject choices, and further questions about the people about issues pertaining to the health of Australia’s logistics and practicalities of studying away from home. Indigenous people. The Rural Appreciation Weekend was an exciting new joint initiative of the Victorian Rural Health Clubs. Held in Hamilton, in western Victoria, the weekend was a huge success and a fantastic time was held by all. NRHSN and AMSA’s inaugural National Rural Leadership Development Seminar was an amazing opportunity for WILDFIRE’s four delegates. As always, the lead up to the National Universities Rural Health Conference was filled with much anticipation and excitement. Eighteen students represented WILDFIRE in

Subcommittees have organised regular local events, engaging their respective students in the community and furthering education about rural and regional health careers. Events included trivia nights, Indigenous festivals, balls, morning teas, visits to health care providers, local produce tours, and more. Such a busy and fun-packed year has meant we’ve had numerous positive experiences of rural and regional health care. We look forward to the rest of 2010 and have no plans to take the foot off the accelerator, with numerous activities planned for all members. Bring it on!


Cooee! October 2010

QLD Rural Health Clubs awarded NRHSN Best Event 2009 Joint Rural Health Club (JRHC) Weekend The NRHSN was very proud to award to the Best NRHSN Event of 2009 to the four Queensland Rural Health Clubs, BUSHFIRE, HOPE4HEALTH, RHINO and TROHPIQ at NURHC in July. There were some excellent events held last year and entries for the award were of a very high standard including OUTLOOK’s Country Hoe Down Round Up, SHARP’s Close the Gap Day, RAHMS’ Lifeskills, MIRAGE’s Wilderness Society Training Camp, NERCHA’s Skills Day and BREAATHHE’s Skills Night among others. Excerpt from the winning entry The 2009 Queensland JRHC was held in Beaudesert, 23-26 April. The event began in Rockhampton in 2005 and has expanded expotentially since then. 2009 saw the largest ever attendance and the four QLD Clubs combined with 68 members covering Speech Pathology, Pharmacy, Nursing and Medicine disciplines. As in previous years, the trip was an educational,experiential and social event that allowed members to learn and network whilst in a rural setting. Students were given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge by participating in workshops and discussions at the Beaudesert Hospital. We undertook suturing, venipuncture, CPR, plastering, burr-holes and intubation skill sessions as well as hearing from experts in rural and Indigenous health. The weekend was also an excellent forum for Clubs and individuals to network and socialise.

One student wrote: “This weekend was packed to the rafters with fun social activities and health based exercises to keep the mind ticking. Some of the highlights of this trip were getting... [an] insight into rural medicine and health practice in general. Overall, this was a fantastic opportunity to get out and amongst it. It was an excellent experience, and something that I will be raving about for some time!” The event aims to: • Expose students to rural health and rural communities in a fun and friendly setting • Strengthen ties between Qld Rural Health Clubs • Give students access to skills and knowledge useful for rural practice • Facilitate student networking with current practising rural health practitioners • Exposure to a range of disciplines • Fun experience of rural and remote health in order to address rural health workforce shortages

Oz Fusion Team Challenge The NRHSN’s first team entry In September five NRHSN students (Adem Anaa (Pharmacy, RHINO), Heather Hanks (Medicine, RHINO), Tess Griersmith (Dietetics/medicine, NOMAD), Steph Frazer (Physiotherapy, MARHS) and Anna Treloar-Tanner (OT, MARHS), competed as a wild card entry in the National Health Fusion Team Challenge in Brisbane, against teams from universities around Australia. The aim was to plan an interprofessional management plan for Jeremy, a 42 year old man, with multiple medical and psychosocial issues. We were given 4 weeks to work on the case and while most teams had the benefit of meeting each other face-toface prior to the event, our team met for the first time the day before. Despite

the challenges of distance we managed to put together a very thoughtful and realistic management plan with the help of our team mentors, Ms Louise Lawler and Dr Aaron Wiggins. We are most grateful to them for their support and assistance. All ten teams presented their management plans to a panel of judges and we were then asked to interview Jeremy to identify his needs and concerns. We were judged on how we communicated with our patient and as a team. The top three places were taken out by Monash, Griffith and Curtin universities in an exciting final with extra challenges, and final honours went to Griffith University. Congratulations to Griffith and all the teams who competed.

It was interesting to see the great variety of ways in which different teams approached the challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed working within our team and valued the different ideas and viewpoints that each of us brought to the case. We each learned more about other professions and how we can best work together to support our clients to improve wellbeing and achieve their goals.


NURHC Photo Competition

Congratulations to Joe Duncan, MIRAGE The NRHSN once again ran a photo competition at NURHC calling for members to submit entries that would inspire other health students to get out to the bush. We had a very difficult task selecting the top 20 finalists from a fantastic bunch of entries, and then left it up to NURHC delegates to vote for their favourite.

2 men and a sunset Joe Duncan, MIRAGE

The top 3 entrants received a $250, $150, $50 Harvey Norman voucher respectively. You will no doubt be seeing many of the entries on the NRHSN website and in publications for a long time to come, including this Cooee!’s cover submitted by Alex Sleeman from SPINRPHEX. Thank you to all members who submitted photos, and to everyone who voted.

Winston & orange Steph Jeremy, CRANC

1st Place (above) “Enjoying a well deserved break at the pub in White Cliffs.” 2nd Place (right) “Nowadays even cows are keen to get their facebook profile photos! Seen in Dookie Dairy farm.” 3rd Place (above right) “I wish I had a truckload of oranges, rather than the one I shared as the children could not get enough!”

Two Calves Chang Yang Yew, OUTLOOK

NRHSN Alumni Network – Graduating Members Join Now! The NRHSN Alumni Network is growing and we need you to sign up to help ensure success!  If you are graduating this year, or have been a member of the NRHSN in the past then we would love to hear from you.  We are still in the early stages planning, but we have set up a database and we’d love to add more people to it. We would like to create an opportunity for all past members to continue building networks with each other and offer the support that members are telling us that they think they’ll need after graduation.  You will receive the biannual newsletter - Alumni Action which will keep you updated with the happenings at NRHSN and the experiences of others working in rural health.

Some of the ideas that we are currently looking at (and we’re certainly keen to get your suggestions for more) include: • NRHSN Online Alumni Database allow members to contact other members • Networking opportunities with other alumni members • Creating opportunities for alumni members to speak at Rural Health Club events • Mentoring Program Join now by registering at the following link: www.nrhsn.org.au/alumni_register


the future of rural health

The National Rural Health Students’ Network is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government.

If you would like to recieve additional copies of the Cowpat, the Rural Placements Guide or the Wide Horizons DVD please email us at info@nrhsn.org.au Rural Health Workforce Australia National Rural Health Students’ Network Level 5, 10 Queens Road Melbourne Vic 3004 Australia www.nrhsn.org.au Telephone 03 9860 4700 Facsimile 03 9820 8383 Email info@nrhsn.org.au


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