The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 6 - November 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.

Great news this week with COVID restrictions being eased for Melbourne, as potentially disastrous outbreaks were avoided. Soon Melbourne will no longer be separated from the regional and rural Victoria, but masks will probably be with us for quite some time.

A journal article by members of the Going Rural Health team - about development of virtual placements during COVID - was published in mid-October; see the section about virtual placements for more information.

In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support and student survey

Going Rural Health Online Student Q&A Series

Going Rural Health Innovative Placements Showcase

The Going Rural Health Blog

Going Rural Health education

External education & Resources

Save Social Work Australia

Rural (Virtual) Social Events & Competitions

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. 

Going Rural Health Online Student Q&A Series

Going Rural Health introduces their online student Q&A series - ‘Real Talk’. UDRH Promotions Co-ordinator, Johnna Kyriakou, interviews Going Rural Health students about their rural placement experience and advice to future students. So far the series has been well received with over 1000 views and almost 9000 overall reach.

Visit our Facebook page for previous episodes, or tune in every fortnight for a new episode HERE.

Going Rural Health Innovative Placements Showcase

Going Rural Health at the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health,  invites you to attend a webinar ‘Innovative Placement Showcase’ on Monday 30th November 2020, 10:00 – 11:30am. 

Going Rural Health are excited to showcase some of the unique placements that are occurring in our region. You will hear from current students and placement partners about the innovative ways they have provided and participated in placements during the unprecedented times of 2020.


RSVP - Please register online: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/jz9j

For any enquiries contact Ms Kylie Browne, Associate Lecturer in Rural Placement Education, Going Rural Health, The University of Melbourne E. kylie.browne@unimelb.edu.au or P. 0423 011 998.

Please also see the flyer image below for registration and event details.

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.

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

Mental Health Week 2020
Mental Health Week 2020

Speech Pathology
Speech Pathology - Helping people swallow & communicate

Making Placements Happen
Making placements happen, even during a pandemic

Going Rural Health Education
Online Going Rural Health Education

With the current restrictions in place preventing face to face education occurring, Going Rural Health have continued to provide education to staff and students via video conference, and have also recently added to our list of online education packages that are available. Links to the available Going Rural Health online education packages are below:

More online packages are currently in development and will become available over the coming months. See our online education page here for details.

Going Rural Health Virtual Education

Going Rural Health staff run a number of education sessions. At this time they are being run virtually via Zoom.

For details of all education running in the virtual space, please visit the upcoming events page HERE or contact the education team via the Going Rural Health email address: going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au to book a virtual session from the education list at Education topics.

External Education & Resources

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


Allied Health and Nursing Education Outreach Program - Online Education Series:

Difficult Conversations and Child Wellbeing

  • Difficult conversation in Paediatrics     

  • Responding to violence and aggression in the paediatrics

  • Intimate partner (Family Violence) where children are involved

When: Tuesday 24th November 2020, 0900-1200

Free for all public health staff. For further information and bookings, visit this link: HERE.


Allied Health Paediatric Video Conference Series - November: 

Cleft Palate - Overview of Speech Pathology Management (Speech Pathology Department)

When: Wednesday 11th November, 1-2pm

Any allied health professional, allied health assistant, nurse and general practitioner who are interested are welcome to attend. Please register your interest by emailing



Breathing Better - Acute Paediatric Respiratory Care Course (online): The RCH Allied Health and Nursing Education Outreach Program

When: Tuesday 17th November 2020, 9am-10:45am 

This online course will cover the nursing and physiotherapy considerations in the care of children with an acute respiratory illness. It will focus on children with various presentations of respiratory conditions and their acute management. A case study discussion will be highlighted.

The course is suited to any medical, nursing and allied health clinicians who are interested in expanding their knowledge on respiratory ward management and in particular, physiotherapists and nurses with developing respiratory experience.

See the course flyer HERE for more details and the Eventbrite registration link.

Please contact education.outreach@rch.org.au if you have any questions about this course.


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/

Save Social Work Australia
Great News!
The Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 was passed on the 8th of October.
The legislation included an amendment that improves the funding amount for social work degrees. Although student contributions will rise slightly, Government contributions will be boosted considerably (around 12 times the original proposal).
The Save Social Work Campaign will continue to work with the Australian Government to fix the historic misclassification of Social Work which lead to the original issue.
Thanks to all who supported this great cause!
Rural (Virtual) Social Events & Competitions

Best Rural or Regional Placement Competition

And the winner is..... Yushi Saran!

Thanks to Monash University School of Rural Health student Yushi for sharing your #BestRuralorRegionalPlacement. We are glad you enjoyed your rural placement in Leongatha.

Yushi has received a Coles Myer voucher as a prize.

Chocoholics Night

The University of Department of Rural Health, with Going Rural Health, ran a 'Chocoholics' event on Wednesday 26th of October 2020.

Hosted by Trish Thorpe and Johanna Kyriakou, participants competed in a Chocolate Quiz - won by Jennifer Wang and Nicole Milanko from the University of Melbourne - then were shown some quick ways to get your chocolate 'fix', by making microwave hot chocolate and a microwave chocolate mug cake. The Mug Cake was allergen friendly, being easily adaptable to gluten free, dairy free, nut free and vegan - and naturally being egg free (if you want the recipe, please feel free to ask).

We finished up the night by providing details of some fantastic regional and rural Victorian chocolate producers and suppliers. A sweet time was had by all!

COVID-19 Training and Resources

Free COVID-19 Public Webinars: Series 2

The University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health is committed to sharing health expertise with our communities to build their knowledge and resilience. In an attempt to make sense of what we are currently experiencing as a result of COVID-19, The Department of Rural Health has invited experts to share their knowledge. Keynote speakers will share their insights and offer solutions.

Bookings for Series 2 of the COVID-19 Public Webinar Series are now open. The two webinars in September were well attended, and recordings will soon be available. The next webinar is in November, please see below for details:


COVID-19: The Virus & Vaccines

When: Thursday November 5th 2020 - 5.30-6.30pm

Presented by: Professor Kanta Subbarao, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity

Bookings essential via the link HERE.

Kanta is a virologist and physician with specialty training in infectious diseases. Her research is focused on newly emerging viral diseases of global importance including seasonal and pandemic influenza & SARS, and now COVID-19. She is involved in the study of immune response to infection and vaccination, development and preclinical and clinical evaluation of vaccines and evaluation of antiviral drugs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she have been invited to sit on international panels on vaccine safety.

Professor Subbarao will provide an insight into this virus that has changed our lives in 2020 and share her knowledge on COVID-19 vaccines.


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.


'Life Beyond Coronavirus'

Professor Shitij Kapur, FRCPC, PhD, FMedSci is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) at the University of Melbourne. Professor Kapur hosts the series 'Life Beyond Coronavirus' with an impressive panel of specialists in their field. All recordings can be viewed at this link: Life Beyond Coronavirus

If you have any issues accessing these videos via the above link, they are available by searching for 'Life Beyond Coronavirus' on YouTube.


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

Going Rural Health 'virtual placements' are still continuing, with many new placements being developed as the COVID-19 restrictions continue.

A virtual Social Work placement has begun with West Vic PHN in Ballarat, with a new project team. Beaufort and Skipton Health Service physiotherapy virtual placements are continuing, with many Going Rural Health staff participating as patients and simulation clients.

An Occupational Therapy (OT) resource, a joint project developed by Charles Sturt University OT students on virtual placements and Going Rural Health, was launched on the 26th of October. The resource is a video that explains the scope of OT practice across a range of domains, and will soon be available on the Going Rural Health website. A series of 'snapshots' of this resource will be available on our social media platforms. The first has just been released, and are available via the following links or by clicking on the image below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoingRuralHlth/status/1321241617156636673

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoingRuralHealth/videos/962453267498006


Virtual Placement Articles

A paper by members of the Going Rural Health team has been published in a special issue of the International Journal of Work Integrated Learning - 'Responding to COVID-19: Exploration and expansion of good practice of work-integrated learning'. Find the paper, about virtual placements, HERE.

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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