The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 11 - April 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.

It's a busy time for the team, who are co-ordinating a number of service learning placements; providing varied virtual education to students, new graduates, and staff; organising student events; promoting the program across various media; and supporting many student rural placements. With COVID-19 numbers currently very low, and immunisations well under way, it is hopeful that the current situation - where face to face placements are going ahead - will continue for the foreseeable future.

There is a lot of news in this edition, but please take the time to peruse!


In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support - including changes for 2021

SAVE THE DATE - Rural Placement Support Webinar 

Going Rural Health Rural Pharmacy Support

NEW Going Rural Health Mentoring Program

2021 Victorian Rural Health Awards 

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 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.


2021 Changes

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.

Federation University students will no longer apply for their financial assistance from Going Rural Health via the Federation University Scholarships office, but via the Going Rural Health website. 

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.

Looking after yourself while on a rural placement is more important than ever. 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. 

SAVE THE DATE - Rural Placement Support Webinar

The University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health (Going Rural Health), together with Monash Rural Health, LaTrobe Rural Health School and Deakin Rural Health, are hosting a joint 'Regional/Rural Placement Support' Webinar for students undertaking placements in regional and rural Victoria.


When: Tuesday, 27th April, 5-7pm

How:   Via Zoom


More details will be available in coming weeks on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as via email to our partners. For any questions please contact Trish Thorpe trish.thorpe@unimelb.edu.au

Going Rural Health Rural Pharmacy Support

Going Rural Health recently hosted rural Pharmacy staff, including interns, at the University of Melbourne Shepparton campus to do First Aid and CPR training.

According to one of the facilitators: 'Intern Pharmacists need to do this course as part of their preparation for registration. It is compulsory for pharmacists who are Pharmacist Immunisers to hold current First Aid and CPR qualifications. ...Participants were there from Shepparton, Tatura, Benalla Violet Town, Mooroopna, Wangaratta and Rutherglen.

'Over the years, many pharmacists have completed this training, even if it was not required for registration or immunisation purposes. Over the years, lives have been saved as a consequence. One of the pharmacists present on the training day had previously had a patient requiring CPR in store. I know of another such case in Benalla.'

This training was hosted as part of the support Going Rural Health provides to rural Intern Pharmacists.


Pharmacy Student Support

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

Going Rural Health Pharmacy Support

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


2021 Victorian Rural Health Awards

Since 2005, RWAV with the support of the Victorian Department of Health has proudly hosted the annual Victorian Rural Health Awards to recognise the outstanding contributions made by health professionals working in rural communities. 

The awards honour the exceptional medical professionals, nurses, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health workers and practice managers working across rural Victoria. 


To nominate a rural health professional visit: https://www.rwav.com.au/vrha21

Applications close on Sunday 18 April 2021.

To learn more about the Victorian Rural Health Awards and past winners, click here.

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, 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.

Engaging With People Living With Dementia
Engaging with people living with Dementia: tips for students going on placement

Role Emerging Placements
Role Emerging Placements - Community service through student placements

A guide for practicing thankfulness amid uncertainty.

Student Perspectives of Rural Placements in 2020
Results of the 2020 Going Rural Health Student Rural Placement Survey + Advice for students in 2021

Facebook Twitter
Going Rural Health Education

Online Going Rural Health Education

With the current caution preventing face to face education occurring, Going Rural Health have continued to provide education to staff and students via online education packages. See our online education page HERE for details.

Going Rural Health Education 2021

In 2021 GRH will need to charge a fee to any staff who attend our training workshops:

  • $30 for half day
  • $50 for half to full day (unless otherwise indicated)
  • Multiple days will incur the daily rate for each day of training (unless otherwise indicated) 

One hour sessions will continue to be free of charge. Fees will apply to staff participating in training; students will remain fully subsidised to attend training at no charge.


Virtual Education - April/May 2021


Receiving Feedback 

  • Monday 12th April
  • Tuesday 27th April
  • Thursday 20th May
  • Thursday 27th May


Self-Care for Students

  • Thursday 1st April
  • Thursday 6th May
  • Tuesday 18th May

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

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



Introduction to Supervision Workshop

  • Thursday 29th April


Peer Assisted Learning Workshop

  • Friday 23rd April

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


To register for any of the paid workshops above for STAFF, visit the Eventbrite booking system HERE.


Mentoring Community of Practice Workshop

  • Tuesday 20th April
  • Tuesday 4th May

These are run 2.30-3.30pm via zoom.

To register for this free STAFF workshop, 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 running in the virtual space, 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

NOTE: NEW BOOKING LINK https://rb.gy/hvkjez

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 develop their transferable skills and non-discipline-specific knowledge in health care. Sessions will be held monthly via Zoom.

For a printable PDF copy of the flyer, click HERE.

Registration for sessions essential. Bookings are via the link above (also on the flyer). Zoom connection details will be emailed to participants prior to the session. For more information contact:

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

Trish Thorpe trish.thorpe@unimelb.edu.au

Virtual Cultural Training


Going Rural Health is hosting some virtual cultural awareness workshops in 2021, in April & August. Workshops are in two parts, each 3 hours. For more information and booking details visit the link HERE.



The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health, the Goulburn Valley Regional Training Hub and Going Rural Health present the webinar event, Doing Health Differently - 'Humanity over Bureaucracy'.


Buurtzorg is a pioneering healthcare organisation established 13 years ago with a holistic model of care that has revolutionised community care in the Netherlands.


The organisation focuses on client satisfaction which has inspired interest and collaboration from all over the world. In this webinar, founding partner Dr Arnold Stroobach will speak to the adapting model within Australia and discuss the progression of the model within our communities.


When: Tuesday 30th March, 5.30-6.30pm

Where: via Zoom webinar


For more information, and to book, visit the link HERE.

Free Public Webinar


Looking to the Future - Experts discuss what to expect as we adjust to living with COVID-19


The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health are excited to bring you a webinar with a panel of expert COVID-19 specialists.

Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC - Peter is a graduate of the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize for his immunology research and was 1997 Australian of the Year. Since then, he has gone in to bat for evidence-based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger, and anthropogenic climate change.

Professor Sharon Lewin AO - Sharon Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. Scientists from the Doherty Institute were the first to isolate and share the SARS COV2 virus outside of China and have a broad program of research focused on testing, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19.

Professor Tony Blakely - Professor Epidemiology at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. Tony is committed to answering questions about which public health interventions will achieve the greatest improvements in health and social outcomes, reduce inequalities in health, and do so cost-effectively.


When: Apr 21, 2021 5:30 PM 

Where: Via Zoom Webinar


To book visit the link HERE.

External Education & Resources

National Allied Health Online Conference - Call for Abstracts 

The 14th National Allied Health Conference, to be held ONLINE for the first time, will give us the opportunity to explore and discuss the many factors that contribute to the overall success of Allied Health in Australia. There will be an exciting program of speakers, workshops, virtual exhibitors and lots of networking opportunities.

For more information visit the conference webpage HERE.


Allied Health Paediatric Videoconference Series 2021


Topic: Eating Disorders in Adolescents. Presented by Dr Melissa Whitelaw - Senior Dietician & Stephanie Campbell - Clinical Nurse Consultant for Eating Disorders

When: Thursday 22nd April, 2021, 1-2pm

Book via the link HERE.



Topic: Multidisciplinary Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adolescents. Presented by Amanda Apple (Physiotherapist), Ally Thompson (Occupational Therapist), Matt Hodges (Psychologist), TBC (Clinical Psychologist): Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (RCH)

When:  Thursday 27th May, 1-2 pm

Book via the link HERE.


**NEW** 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.


**NEW** 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.


Report Published - The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Rural Placements

Many thanks to the students who took the time to complete the online questionnaire sent to them when they had a scheduled placement in 2020.  Interviews were conducted with 29 students, randomly selected from those who volunteered at the end of the questionnaire, which 1505 students completed.  Students were drawn from University Departments of Rural Health across Australia, along with the research team.  Researchers are continuing to explore many aspects of the key findings.

The full report can be found 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 Virtual Placements

In 2021, Going Rural Health will be continuing to develop rural placements which may be delivered virtually, face to face, or a combination of the two modes, to allow for any changes to conditions that may occur due to COVID-19. This should mean that these placements will continue regardless of any lockdown measures that may need to be implemented by the Department of Health.

If you or your organisation have any ideas for these type of placements, and would like the assistance of Going Rural Health to develop them, please contact the team via email to discuss at going-ruralhealth@unimelb.edu.au

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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