The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 7 - December 2020
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Welcome to Going Rural Health News! Going Rural Health News is the publication of new and relevant information about all things related to rural clinical placements, education and rural health, from the Going Rural Health team. Team members are located in Ballarat, Shepparton and Wangaratta.

It's with a great sigh of relief that Victoria emerges from lockdown, and has re-joined the rest of Australia as the borders re-open (the South Australian border looks to be only temporarily closed). Regional Victoria finally being reconnected to metropolitan Melbourne is also fantastic. It has been a hard slog, but the number of double doughnut days is extremely satisfying - as is the new ability to walk around outside without a mask on, particularly as the weather warms up.

The impact of the lockdown on student clinical placements will be felt for some time to come, as the backlog of placements will increasingly put pressure on health services and education providers. Aged care placements, a significant proportion of nursing placements in regional and rural areas, will be subject to tighter restrictions for longer than other settings, which ultimately could impact on workforce as students' eligibility to graduate may be delayed. All in all it is a tough time, but no doubt everyone will band together to achieve best possible outcomes.

In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support and student survey

The Going Rural Health Blog

Going Rural Health education

Specialist Certificate in Empowering Health in Aboriginal Communities

External education & Resources

COVID-19 Events, Training and Resources

Going Rural Health and University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) Research

Going Rural Health Virtual Placements

Going Rural Health Student Support

Going Rural Health supports students to complete rural clinical placements. Support includes financial assistance, subsidised accommodation in selected areas, education, mentoring support, student activities, & cultural training.

More information on the Going Rural Health Student Support Scheme is available HERE.

As always, we are trying to ensure that students get the best placement experience possible. Please help us to do this by directing students to complete our Student Placement Survey. It is a short online survey that should only take students 10-15 minutes to complete.

Looking after yourself while on a rural placement is more important than ever at this time. See this Going Rural Health blog post for more information about what is available for students: Looking After Yourself on a Rural Placement. The post includes useful links, including to Going Rural Health's own online Resilience, Wellbeing and Self-Care education package. 

The Going Rural Health Blog

Did you know that Going Rural Health now has a blog? The blog contains posts on relevant rural, rural health, student placement, and education topics. There are also posts about self-care, particularly relevant for students on rural placement, and while there are social isolation restrictions in place. Authors are Going Rural Health health professional staff, with the occasional guest blogger.

Our most recent blog posts can be accessed below. New blog posts are posted on our Facebook page and tweeted on Twitter.

Preparing to complete a rural placement
What do you need to do prior to starting your rural placement?

Service Learning Placements
What is a service learning placement and why could it benefit your degree?

Going Rural as a Grad Physio
Going Rural as a Grad Physio

Mental Health Week 2020
Mental Health Week 2020

Going Rural Health Education

Online Going Rural Health Education

The Going Rural Health website contains a number of online education packages. See our online education page HERE for details.


OT Infographic Video

The joint Going Rural Health and Charles Sturt University infographic video about Occupational Therapy is now on our website. View the video HERE.

Going Rural Health Virtual Education 

What a year 2020 has been for all of us. Thank you all for your support and understanding as we adapted to new ways of delivering education. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a passionate health care workforce in our rural and regional areas who have been able to be innovative, flexible and respond with compassion and commitment as we navigated through these ever changing times.


The year of 2020

In response to COVID-19 the education team of Going Rural health made changes with sessions being transitioned on-line and education delivered via zoom. We had our challenges as expected but we have also found some positives. There has been less travelling, participants are able to join in from home, there have been opportunities for students and staff to connect from different health services throughout our footprint and it has been easier for educators to co-facilitate.

We have moved to a new booking system Star-Rez which can be accessed via our Going Rural Health website HERE.

Whilst in lockdown we welcomed Kylie Browne to our education team. Kylie is based in Wangaratta and has extensive experience in nursing clinical education support & facilitation. Some of you may have met Kylie already.

We say farewell to Murray Bardwell who will be entering retirement at the end of 2020 and we thank him for his incredible contribution to the education of many, many, many students and staff.



With these changes and the uncertainty of COVID-19 we have decided to try a different format for delivering and booking sessions in 2021- the sessions will be run by zoom and any allied health or nursing staff members or students, once registered and booked, are welcome to attend. There will be a calendar of events on the Going Rural Health website – this will be regularly updated.

We will be having the regular sessions such as:

1. Self-care/resilience (staff and students)

2. Receiving feedback (students)·

·      3. Supervision training (basic and advanced)

4. Peer Assisted Learning Workshops

5. Communication

We will also deliver some graduate specific workshops throughout the year and will be trialling a monthly session for supervisors to zoom in and connect with others.

We would like to emphasise that this plan will be flexible and where possible we will respond to individual requests.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Kylie Browne kylie.browne@unimelb.edu.au or Cathy O’Brien cathy.obrien@unimelb.edu.au if you have any queries or requests.

We look forward to working with you in 2021.

Virtual Education Dates 2021


  • Thursday 4th March
  • Thursday 22nd April
  • Thursday 10th June
  • Tuesday 10th August
  • Thursday 16th September
  • Thursday 28th October
  • Thursday 25th November

All sessions will be conducted 10.00am-1.00pm via zoom.


Receiving Feedback (for students)

  • Tuesday 9th February
  • Friday 12th March
  • Monday 12th April
  • Tuesday 27th April
  • Thursday 20th May
  • Thursday 27th May
  • Tuesday 8th June
  • Tuesday 22nd June

All sessions will be conducted 10.00am-1.00pm via zoom.


Introduction to Supervision Workshop

  • Tuesday 9th February
  • Thursday 29th April
  • Tuesday 15th June
  • Friday 20th August

All sessions will be conducted 10.00am-1.00pm via zoom.


Peer Assisted Learning Workshop

  • Friday 23rd April
  • Tuesday 24th August

All sessions will be conducted 10.00am-1.00pm via zoom.


Self-Care for Students

  • Thursday 4th February
  • Tuesday 16th February
  • Monday 1st March
  • Thursday 18th March
  • Tuesday 30th March
  • Thursday 1st April
  • Thursday 6th May
  • Tuesday 18th May
  • Thursday 3rd June
  • Thursday 17th June

All sessions will be conducted 10.00am-1.00pm via zoom.

To register for any of these events, visit the booking system HERE.

Please note: to book into events you will need to register for the site to obtain your own log-in details. Retain these log-in details to quickly book into future events.

Specialist Certificate in Empowering Health in Aboriginal Communities

Specialist Certificate Information Session: Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 5.30pm.

Contact the Aboriginal Health team at aboriginal-health@unimelb.edu.au for more details.


Course details:

Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person? Are you passionate about the health of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people? Have you worked for at least two years in your community? Do you wish you had a University qualification? YES? This course just might suit you.

Students undertaking the Specialist Certificate in Empowering Health in Aboriginal Communities will gain advanced understanding of how both Aboriginal and Western knowledges can be applied to the field of health in rural communities, as well as community development and project management skills. The course introduces students to health-related knowledges from critical social science and Aboriginal cultural perspectives; empowering Aboriginal health.

For more information, please visit the webpage HERE.


Artwork: Rebecca Atkinson, Empowering our People, 2019

© Rebecca Atkinson

External Education & Resources

Dr JuMP – Medical Mentoring for Regional Victoria

Dr JuMP is a coordinated medical mentoring program for Doctors in regional Victoria. The program is designed to build valuable mentoring relationships that support all stages of training and professional development.   Benefits for Mentors:

  • Develop leadership & management skills
  • Fine-tune communication and education skills
  • Potential for succession planning
  • Develop your social, professional and academic networks
  • Support junior doctors and the medical community

  Benefits for Mentees:

  • Access an independent voice, outside your direct sphere of influence
  • Gain practical advice, support and encouragement
  • Develop your social, professional and academic networks
  • Explore opportunities to upskill
  • Career progression opportunities

To learn more about the program, or to sign up as either a Mentor, Mentee or both, visit https://mentorloop.com/drjumpportal/


CRANA Plus Webinars & Online Courses

CRANA Plus is committed to assisting rural and remote health care workers and students, and has courses and webinars available. For more information, visit their website HERE.


SARRAH Telehealth Community of Practice

As remote working becomes the new norm, telehealth is more popular than ever. SARRAH is ready to support allied health professionals navigate telehealth. To find further info or join SARRAH's Telehealth Community of Practice, email sarrah@sarrah.org.au or visit their dedicated telehealth resource page HERE.


SARRAH Student telehealth placements resource

There is a great resource available from SARRAH about student telehealth placements. It is a copy of the presentation from a recent webinar. Access it via the link below:

SARRAH webinar student TH placements Robyn Gill


RWAV Rural Allied Health Education Grant

RWAV Allied Health Education Grant supports allied health practitioners working in private practice in Victoria to access educational, professional and skill development opportunities that are relevant to the development and provision of rural health and meet the needs of the community. For more information, visit the RWAV website HERE.


PHN resources

WestVic PHN and Murray PHN also have education available in regional and rural areas. See their websites for details of what is on in your region:

WestVic PHN: https://westvicphn.com.au/events-education/upcoming-events/

Murray PHN: https://www.murrayphn.org.au/events/

COVID-19 Training and Resources

Free Public Webinar

The University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Ballarat South, invites you to a Public Webinar provided by Professor Brett Sutton, the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Webinar: What will 2021 Look Like?

When: Tuesday 1st December, 6.30-7.30pm

Bookings essential via the link HERE.

Professor Sutton provides expert clinical and scientific advice and leadership on issues impacting public health. He has been instrumental in putting Victoria back on track from the recent second wave and therefore we are now the envy of many countries worldwide.

Professor Sutton will share his knowledge on COVID-19 and what 2021 and beyond may look like for Rural and Regional Victoria, as well as lessons that can be learned from Europe and the America following the disastrous second wave of the pandemic occurring in their autumn and winter months.

There will be the opportunity for Q & A at the end of the presentation.


COVID-19 Resources - ACHSM 

A number of COVID-19 resources have been put together by the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM). These are continually updated, and include general resources, as well as those on prevention, treatment and diagnosis, to name a few. Find the most up to date resources HERE.


Short Courses: Well-being in the time of COVID

Resilience techniques for improving well-being, the second in the series of free online well-being short courses, is now available. These courses provide valuable life-skills to improve and maintain well-being even in the face of challenging life circumstances and cover mindfulness, resilience and behaviour change techniques.

Self-paced, free. Enrol HERE.


Free COVID-19 public webinars: recordings 

If you have missed any of the COVID-19 public webinars from Series 1 or 2, recordings will be available a short time afterwards on the Department of Rural Health website HERE.

Going Rural Health & UDRH Research

The Going Rural Health program sits within the University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) of The University of Melbourne. The UDRH undertakes a number of research projects, some of which relate to student placements - from both the student perspective, and of those who support students (supervisors and placement support staff).


Student Placement Survey

As previously mentioned, Going Rural Health are trying to ensure that students get the best placement experience possible. Please help us to do this by directing students to complete our Student Placement Survey. It is a short online survey that should only take students 10-15 minutes to complete.


Student Placement COVID Study

The University Departments of Rural Health (UDRHs) across Australia are undertaking research to gain a better understanding, from a student perspective, of how COVID restrictions impacted student placements.  This will enable us to provide additional student support and policy input in the future.  Going Rural Health students are invited, via email, to participate and we appreciate students taking the time to complete this 10-15 minute questionnaire.  


Supervisor & Placement Support Staff Survey

Going Rural Health are undertaking a research project to gain a better understanding of rural clinical placements, from the perspective of those who support students (supervisors and placement support staff). Many of you will have already received an email from one of the Going Rural Health team members to invite you to participate, and to encourage you to share the invite with your colleagues.


If you would like any further information on any of these projects, please contact the Going Rural Health team at going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au .


The Going Rural Health team undertakes a variety of research projects. A new Going Rural Health research page can be found on our website HERE. Research project reports can also be found on this page.

Going Rural Health Virtual Placements

Virtual placements are still continuing for allied health placements in our regions. In 2021 this may still continue, for at least part of our placements, to ensure placements still go ahead regardless of the situation with COVID-19.

Please feel free to contact the Going Rural Health team about virtual placements by emailing


Contact Details

Newsletter: To subscribe or change your subscription, please click here.

If you would like to contribute to Going Rural Health news please email your contribution to trish.thorpe@unimelb.edu.au

Phone: (03) 8344 6791

Email: going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au

Website: www.goingruralhealth.com.au 

Blog: https://goingruralhealth.com.au/going-rural-health-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoingRuralHealth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoingRuralHlth

The University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health acknowledges the financial support provided by the Australian Government, through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program, for the Going Rural Health program.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which our campuses are located, pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Indigenous Australians.
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