The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 2 - July 2020

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 a time of change. Many activities are returning to a 'new normal' - as close as we are going to get to returning to a pre-pandemic state. There have been some hard times, but many positives have come out of this for rural health.

Ms Helen Haines, member for Indi, talked about the issues associated with rural health to the House of Representatives on the 17th of June. And Going Rural Health are proud to report that she mentioned the important work being undertaken by our team in her region. See the full transcript of her speech in the Hansard transcripts here.

In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support and student survey

The Going Rural Health Blog

Going Rural Health education

External education

EOI: Hume Region Health Conference 2021 Steering Committee

Webinar Recordings - COVID-19 & National Reconciliation Week

Going Rural Health Website

Going Rural Health Virtual Placements

National Rural Health Commissioner Report

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.

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 also 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.

What impact are rural placements having on student opinions about working rurally?
Review of the UDRH Student Placement Evaluation Survey 2018-2019
GRH-DWA Snow Placement
The Going Rural Health (GRH) and Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) 'Snow Placement'.
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:


And online education coming soon:

  • Receiving Feedback

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

Please contact the education team via the Going Rural Health email address:


for details of what education is running in the virtual space, or book a virtual session from the education list at Education topics.


External Education

The Mobile Learning Unit – e-learning courses (free):

Compassion fatigue: the cost of caring

Clinician resilience during COVID-19


Three Rivers UDRH supports health professionals, staff and students by offering free online courses. The following 2 courses are especially relevant:

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

Three Rivers UDRH Telehealth - Embracing Technology in Healthcare


Allied Health Paediatric Video Conference Series - July: 

Management of Neuromuscular Disorders from an Allied Health perspective (presented by Physiotherapy and OT departments)

Tuesday 21st July, 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



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/

EOI: Hume Region Health Conference 2021 Steering Committee

The North East and Goulburn Valley Allied Health Group and the Hume Region Nursing and Midwifery Education Group are seeking expressions of interest from health professionals to form a steering committee to guide delivery of the Hume Region Health Conference to be held either September or October 2021- venue yet to be determined.

For more information, please contact Cathy O'Brien cathy.o'brien@unimelb.edu.au

Webinar Recordings

National Reconciliation Week 'In this together'

The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health recently held a webinar presentation by Mr Shane Charles for National Reconciliation Week.  Shane is the new Aboriginal Co-Chair for Reconciliation Victoria, born and bred in Shepparton, a strong Yorta Yorta, Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung man.

He is a highly experienced and inspirational Aboriginal leader with a strong track record across a range of sectors including education and training, justice and cultural heritage within both Aboriginal and mainstream organisations.

See a recording of the webinar at: Webinar: 'In This Together'


'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 a seven-part panel series 'Life Beyond Coronavirus' with an impressive panel of specialists in their field, which can all be viewed at this link: Life Beyond Coronavirus


The University of Melbourne COVID-19 Public Webinar Series

All three sessions have been recorded and are now available on the Department of Rural Health website https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/school-structure/rural-health

Series 1 – Professor Shitij Kapur: 'Rural COVID-19 in Australia - What have we learnt about the virus and ourselves?'

Series 2 – Laureate Professor John Hattie: 'What we can learn from educating during the COVID-19 home schooling exercise'

Series 3 –Professor Lisa Phillips: 'Mental Health and dealing with COVID-19 in the rural setting' 

Going Rural Health Website


As discussed above, all our online education can now be found on the one page of our website, accessed via this link: online education

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.

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.

Going Rural Health Virtual Placements

Going Rural Health 'virtual placements' are still continuing, with many placements becoming a combination of vitual and face to face with the relaxation of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

The Ballarat team are working with Uniting Ballarat to support OT students working with homeless people. Our own Charmaine Swanson has been providing supervision and mentoring support for these students.

See information in one of our recent blog posts above for the virtual DWA-Going Rural Health 'Snow Placement' in the Wangaratta region, supported by our team member Bec Oates.

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


National Rural Health Commissioner Report

The final report from the National Rural Health Commissioner on the Improvement of Access, Quality and Distribution of Allied Health Services in Regional, Rural and Remote Australia has just been released.  The report is a culmination of two years of consultations with the Allied Health Sector on issues and challenges impacting on access to services for rural and remote Australians.  The four overarching recommendations include:

  • The establishment of so-called "service and learning consortia" across rural and remote Australia, supported by new and existing program funding. Service and Learning Consortia will consist of local private, public and not for profit service providers, training providers, and community representatives collaborating across multi-town and multi-sector networks, according to community need.
  • The investment in strategies to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the allied health workforce. Two strategies recommended are: further expansion of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Academy model to all Australian jurisdictions; and the creation of a Leaders in Indigenous Allied Health Training and Education Network.
  • The Commonwealth should develop a National Allied Health Data Strategy, including building a geospatial Allied Health Minimum Dataset that incorporates comprehensive rural and remote allied health workforce data.
  • The appointment of a dedicated full-time Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) to work across sectors and departments including health, mental health, disability, aged care, early childhood, education and training, justice, and social services. The CAHO will work with relevant peak bodies and consumer advisory groups to ensure equity of access to high quality allied health services for all rural and remote communities.
Contact Details

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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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