The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 15 - August 2021
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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.

Another stint of lockdown in Victoria has been challenging, as students have been hesitant to travel to rural areas for placement, though now restrictions are thankfully starting to lift. We are thinking of NSW people who are still struggling with a large delta COVID-19 outbreak, particularly health care workers.

We encourage everyone to stay safe - socially distance, wear a mask when required, wash your hands, follow the restrictions, and get vaccinated when you can.

 The Going Rural Health team

In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support

Student virtual social event - Christmas in July (in the Microwave) - Virtual Cooking Class

Student photo competition - 'Winter Wonderland'

Going Rural Health Extended Rural Immersion Clinic (ERIC)

Going Rural Health Rural Pharmacy Support

Going Rural Health Mentoring Program

The Going Rural Health Blog

Going Rural Health Education & University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health Webinars

External Education & Resources

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

Going Rural Health Website

Going Rural Health Occupational Therapy Placements with Elderly Residents

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.  For financial assistance, eligible students may only receive EITHER subsidised accommodation at University of Melbourne owned housing (where available, subject to availability) OR a financial payment for their placement (not both). Financial payment is calculated per day of attendance at placement.

More information on the Going Rural Health Student Support Scheme, including how to apply, eligibility criteria and the full details of 2021 changes, 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.

Student Virtual Social Event - Christmas in July (in the Microwave)

On Tuesday 27th of July, the Going Rural Health team hosted medical, nursing and allied health students for a Christmas in July cooking class. The twist - it was all cooked in the Microwave! Mains included Salmon with Herb & Mustard Sauce (or Potato for vegans & vegetarians), Chicken with Satay Sauce, and a dessert of either Chocolate or Sticky Date Mug Cake. The food was delicious, and we changed the minds of at least a couple of people - in that you can make fresh, healthy, and tasty food quickly and easily in the microwave.

Student Photo Competition - 'Winter Wonderland'

Get snapping students! Going Rural Health have a 'Winter Wonderland' photo competition on now. See the image above for competition details. Showcase your rural winter!

Going Rural Health Extended Rural Immersion Clinic (ERIC)

In 2021, Going Rural Health have organised a new 'Extended Rural Immersion Clinic' (ERIC) for physiotherapy students. 


ERIC students complete multiple consecutive rural placements over an extended period, from 10-20 weeks, to immerse the students in the rural community. Emerging research evidence shows that immersion placements for nursing and allied health students are more likely to result in students working in rural locations.


The first three ERIC students finished their long-block placements recently. Mitchell Dunn (GRH team member and physiotherapist who organises and supports these placements) and our Promotions Officer Johanna Kyriakou interviewed  these students for the 'Real Talk' series. This interview will be available soon on our Facebook page.


Going Rural Health Rural Pharmacy Support

Pharmacy Student Support

Please see the flyer below for Going Rural Health support provided to pharmacy students completing rural placements.

Rural Pharmacy - Journal Articles of Interest


Badowski, M. E., Bente, J. A., Davis, E. M., Isaacs, D., Lewis, L., Martello, J. L., Pitlick, M., Almodovar, A, A., Stadler, S., Sutton, E., Belk, M., Tovey, A. & Kane-Gill, S. L. (2021). Telehealth and Technological Applications in Patient-Centred Care: Implications for Pharmacy Learners and Clinical Pharmacists. Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, accepted article, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jac5.1490


Livet, M., Levitt, J., Thomas, J., Lee, A., Pathak, S. & Curran, G. Feasibility of a CMM telepharmacy service for patients with diabetes in rural and underserviced communities: Preliminary results. Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, accepted article, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jac5.1493


Taylor, S. M., Cairns, A. & Glass, B. D. (2021). Rural pharmacists and stakeholders perspectives of expanded pharmacy practice: A descriptive study. The Australian Journal of Rural Health, early view, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12739

NEW Going Rural Health Mentorship Program - ELEN

The Going Rural Health Emerging Leaders Engagement Network (ELEN), is an exciting, new, & interdisciplinary career-development mentorship program, aimed at linking new graduate, early career, and intern rural health clinicians, with experienced and accomplished professionals working in country Victoria.


ELEN is currently actively recruiting for mentors and mentees to be involved in the program!

If you are a novice rural health practitioner interested in gaining insight into how to build your career in rural health, or ELEN’s next superstar mentor, then you are encouraged to register by emailing a short expression of interest detailing who you are, your professional background, and motivation to be a part of the program to: mitchell.dunn@unimelb.edu.au


For further information please see the attached documents below, or contact the program coordinator, Mitchell Dunn, on the email above.

ELEN Mentee Flyer

ELEN Mentor Flyer


The Going Rural Health Blog

Did you know that Going Rural Health 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. 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.

Student Placements: Benefit or Burden?
How can you make placements beneficial for both students and the host organisation?
Partnerships & Placement Planning
The critical importance of partnerships in placement planning
Preparing to complete a rural placement
What do you need to do prior to starting your rural placement?
Technology in Healthcare
How has technology changed healthcare, especially recently?
Facebook Twitter
Going Rural Health Education

Online Going Rural Health Education

Going Rural Health will soon be launching a new Learning Centre on our website, which will host all of our education packages. Watch this newsletter for more details!

Our online courses can still be accessed via the online education section of our website HERE.

Education - August/September 2021


Receiving Feedback 

  • Wednesday 11th August 7.30-8.30pm via zoom.


Self-Care for Students

  • Wednesday 8th September 7.00-8.00pm via zoom.


Critical Thinking & Clinical Reasoning

  • Thursday 5th August 2-3.30pm, via zoom.


To register for any of these student workshops, contact Kylie Browne kylie.browne@unimelb.edu.au or visit the booking system HERE.



Introduction to Supervision Workshop

  • Friday 20th August 10am-12pm via zoom


Peer Assisted Learning - Supervising Multiple Students

  • Wednesday 25th August 7.30pm via zoom. See flyer above or HERE for more details


Advanced Clinical Supervision - A short course for health professionals

  • Session 1 - 16th September 9.30am-12.30pm
  • Session 2 - 23rd September 9.30am-12.30pm

See flyer above for more details.

**NEW** Introduction to Perioperative Nursing Short Course

To register for any of these staff workshops or courses, visit the booking system HERE.

Cultural Competency in Aboriginal Health Training

Ballarat (virtual): Friday 6th  & Thursday 12th August. This is a full day workshop in two parts, each 9.15am-12.15pm. Each half must be booked into separately. See flyer HERE or above for more details. 

Shepparton (Mooroopna): Tuesday 17th August 9.30am-3.30pm (face to face). NOTE: WORKSHOP FOR STUDENTS ONLY

Wangaratta: Tuesday 14th September 9.30am-3.30pm (face to face). NOTE: WORKSHOP FOR STUDENTS ONLY



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


Please contact the education team via the Going Rural Health email address: going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au  for details of all education, if any issues with bookings, or to book a virtual session from the education list at Education topics.

New Interdisciplinary Graduate Education & Learning (NiGEL) Series

Going Rural Health have introduced a new FREE education series for graduates and early career health professionals in 2021. This series will support new graduates and early career professionals to develop their transferable skills and non-discipline-specific knowledge in health care. 

After discussions with multiple health service staff, these sessions will be pre-recorded and accessible via the soon to be released Going Rural Health Learning Centre, on the Going Rural Health website. A discussion board will be made available to participants to simulate the conversations which would normally occur in a live event, which will also be monitored by Going Rural Health staff.

For more information please contact:

Mitch Dunn mitchell.dunn@unimelb.edu.au or

Trish Thorpe trish.thorpe@unimelb.edu.au


6th Annual Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference

The Department of Rural Health invites you to attend the 2021 Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference.  This year our conference will be held online, commencing at 9:30am on Wednesday 13th October, 2021.  The conference will begin with a keynote address from Mr Stan Grant.

We are currently finalising our conference program and updates can be viewed on the Department of Rural Health website http://go.unimelb.edu.au/2fvi.

Please register online at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/7nvi by COB Thursday 23rd September, 2021. 


Ticket prices

$50.00 Non Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

$25.00 Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander

$50.00 Conference dinner – The conference dinner will be held in Shepparton, venue details to be confirmed at a later date

$20.00 Online craft classes - If you wish to virtually attend one of the online craft classes (either a ceramic turtle or grass weaving coil provided by Kaiela Arts) you will receive your craft kit in the mail


If you have any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me or Ms Di Doyle (Events Coordinator) on 5823 4512 or at aboriginal-health@unimelb.edu.au.

External Education & Resources

ADMA Social Isolation and Social Prescribing Webinar Series

Webinar 5 – Wednesday 11th August 2021 12 – 1pm FREE

A series of online forums focusing on social isolation and social prescribing are being co-hosted by the Australian Disease Management Association (ADMA), Bolton Clarke Research Institute, Melbourne Academic Centre for Health, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health (MSPGH), Monash Partners, and the Western Alliance.
The webinars include a mix of research, learnings from trials and services that have been implemented, provide an opportunity to collate what is being done across Australia, and are open to all healthcare and social care sectors, researchers and policy makers. They provide a great opportunity to hear and liaise with others working or interested in this area.

Open & Close: Dr Daniel Fineberg, General Medicine, Alfred Health & ADMA
Chair: Sian Slade PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Prof Katherine Boydell, Professor of Mental Health, Black Dog Institute; Director, AKT Lab (arts-based knowledge translation); Director, Knowledge Translation, Sydney Partnership in Health, Education, Research & Enterprise (SPHERE) - Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Lab and Black Dog’s Social Prescribing Program. 
Assoc Prof Sonja Pedell, Director Future Self and Design Living Lab; Program Leader in the Centre for Design Innovation (CDI), School of Design, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design; Stream Leader Assistive Robots for Healthcare in Manufacturing Futures Institute; Theme Leader, Designing with Users in Smart Cities Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology - Co Designing a Social Prescription Service
Deborah O'Reilly-Nugent, Community Link Worker, Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership - 500 Assets and a Case Load of Participants in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Social Prescribing Program.
Nerida Dye, Community Outreach Coordinator, Campaspe Regional Library Service - What does a regional council library service have to do with hospital to home transition services and social prescribing?

Registrations essential. To register, visit the link HERE.


Allied Health Paediatric Videoconference Series 2021

AUGUST: Wednesday 25th August 2021, 1-2pm. Topic: Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. Presented by Sharon Vladusic - Physiotherapist, Orthopaedic Department. Book via the link HERE.

SEPTEMBER: Tuesday 14th September 2021, 1-2pm. Topic: Failing to comply or failing to understand? Getting to know young people and their struggles with medical and therapy treatment plans. Presented by Robyn Clark, Simon Yip, Angela Crooke - Social Workers, Social Work Department. Book via the link HERE.


Head to Help: A Free Mental Health Service For All Victorians

This is a service available through the Primary Health Network (PHN), for Victorians of any age experiencing mental ill-health - whether they have a GP mental health plan or not. The service is FREE, and no appointments are required.

Phone: 1800 595 212 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

For more details see the website HERE.

NOTE: This is NOT a crisis service.

For urgent support call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Out of hours and weekends call Beyond Blue on 1800 512 348.


Yarning SafeNStrong - A New Counselling Service for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service has established Yarning SafeNStrong: a free and confidential counselling service for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The service is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to people and families who need to have a yarn with someone about their wellbeing.

Phone: 1800 959 563

For more information see the website HERE.


Three Rivers UDRH

Three Rivers UDRH supports health professionals, staff and students by offering free online courses. The following two courses are especially relevant:

Three Rivers UDRH Rural Clinical Placements – How to grow your own course .

Three Rivers UDRH Telehealth - Embracing Technology in Healthcare


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


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/

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.


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. Visit the Going Rural Health webpage HERE for more details.


Journal Article:

Perceptions of work-integrated learning in rural health and human services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia (Quilliam, C. & Bourke, L. 2021)

The article has been published in the International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, and can be found online HERE.



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 .

Going Rural Health Website


All our resources for students and staff/supervisors can still be found in the student or staff menus. Please feel free to contact us at going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au if you have any items to add or queries regarding content.

The website has a new videos page, that contains all videos relevant to student rural placements. Find the new page HERE.

Going Rural Health Occupational Therapy Placements with Elderly Residents

Occupational Therapy students continue for the third year in a row to run a therapy group for elderly people in a small rural town living with various sensory, cognitive and physical challenges. Using occupational therapy principles the group is developed and run to ensure that all members can engage actively in the group and outcomes include members showing an improvement in mood, having an opportunity to engage in cognitive stimulating activities and engage in new learning. Some of the themes for the group this year have included Autumn, songs from memorable movies and the 2021 Olympics. Students have benefited from learning to focus on the strengths and skills of their group members to enable them to join in with the various leisure activities included in the group. As students have learnt how to develop and run groups, residents too have benefited from the weekly opportunity to partake in the group for 8 weeks and expressed their gratitude for the experience.



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

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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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