The Going Rural Health Newsletter
Edition 13 - June 2021
Modify or cancel your subscription    |    View online

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.

Students on Going Rural Health developed placements are providing some fabulous support to rural communities and rural patients and clients. A number of rural primary schools, kindergartens and specialist schools are receiving allied health services for their students. These students would otherwise have very limited or no therapy support.

And Occupational Therapy students at regional and rural Neighbourhood House centres are receiving a very different placement experience, providing varied support therapy to local residents.

Time to rug up and prepare for winter. Keep contract tracing, sanitising, and - since we unfortunately have community cases of COVID-19 again - wear masks when you can't socially distance. Stay healthy!

The Going Rural Health team

In this month's edition:

Going Rural Health student support

Rural Rainbows

Meet, Mingle & Learn Shepparton

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 Role-Emerging Placements

Going Rural Health Website

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.

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. 

Rural Rainbows

On Monday 17th May Going Rural Health and the Goulburn Valley Regional Training Hub hosted ‘Rural Rainbows’, a public workshop for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHoBIT).

The workshop catered to local members of the LGBTIAQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender / Transsexual, Intersex, Asexual, Queer plus) Community, and local healthcare clinicians, centering around inclusive care in the local area.


Topics covered included;

  • Rural Diversity and Inclusion with Dr Olivia Mitchell (Research Fellow in the culturally inclusive rural health care stream of research at the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health
  • Rural LGBTIAQ+ Mental and Social Health with Mx Georgina Poort (Community Development Worker with Uniting, and long-time LGBTIAQ+ Advocate)
  • Rural LGBTIAQ+ Sexual Health Prof Jane Tomnay (Director of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health - CERSH - with the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health) 
  • Rural LGBTIAQ+ Physical Health with Mr Mitchell Dunn (Associate Lecturer with the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health in the Going Rural Health team)

It was a great night with a lot of community involvement, and may become a regular event on the Department of Rural Health calendar.

Meet, Mingle & Learn Shepparton

The GV Regional Training Hub was proud to host medical, nursing and allied health professionals and students at the first regional introduction day called Meet, Mingle & Learn Shepparton. The day was designed to introduce those new to the region - and those considering a move to the area - to the fantastic benefit of living in Greater Shepparton, whilst encouraging learning and networking amongst the health community. Generous local community groups facilitated sessions for attendees that included rowing on Lake Victoria, joining in with the 36 Degrees South Choir, engaging in a resilience and wellbeing workshop, and learning about traditional Indigenous medicine and local cultural stories. Check out what the group got up to in this video HERE.

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, a 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 social media platforms.


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.

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.

Gay in the Hay
Gay in the Hay – Being Queer in the Country
Engaging Participants Virtually
Tools to make virtual presentations more interactive for participants
Rural Social Work Placements
A Rural Social Work Field Education Placement - A peek behind the scenes
Why Live Rurally?
The advantages of living and working rurally.
Facebook Twitter
Going Rural Health Education

Online Going Rural Health Education

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

Virtual Education - June/July 2021


Receiving Feedback 

  • Tuesday 8th June

Session will be held 3-4pm by zoom.


Self-Care for Students

  • Thursday 3rd June 3-4pm
  • Thursday 17th June 3-4pm
  • Wednesday 14th July 3.30-4.30pm

Sessions will be conducted via zoom.


Critical Thinking & Clinical Reasoning

  • Monday 21st June 1400-1530 via zoom


Cultural Competency in Aboriginal Health Training

  • Mooroopna: Friday 18th June 0930-1530 (face to face)
  • Wangaratta: Tuesday 13th July 0930-1530 (face to face)


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



Introduction to Supervision Workshop

  • Tuesday 15th June

Resilience & Self-Care Workshop

  • Thursday 10th June


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


NIGEL Series  (New graduate education)

  • #5 Giving & Receiving Feedback, Wednesday 16th June 2-3pm, via zoom
  • #6 Self-Care, 14th June 3.30-4.30pm via zoom


To register for these staff 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 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 NIGEL 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


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


The University of Melbourne, Department of Rural Health are pleased to advise that abstract submissions for our 6th Annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Conference are now open that address our conference theme ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing’.


If you are interested in presenting, and want to submit an abstract, please complete your registration at the link HERE.


The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Conference is an opportunity for sharing information and connecting people that are committed to reforming the practice and research of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health, and celebrates Aboriginal knowledge systems and strength-based approaches to improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal communities.


When:                     Wednesday 13th October 2021, 9.30am

Where:                    Virtual 

Keynote Speaker:  Stan Grant

External Education & Resources

Allied Health Paediatric Videoconference Series 2021


Topic: Maximising therapeutic outcome when anxiety is present: tips from Clinical Psychology. Presented by Natasha Dean, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (RCH).

When:  Monday 1st June, 1-2pm

Book via the link HERE.


'Primary Care Refresher 2021' - Virtual Conference

Hosted by: WestVic PHN

When: 29-30 May 2021

Theme: 'Partners in Prevention'

Keynote Speakers: Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Department of Health.

The focus of the conference is to strengthen the multidisciplinary approach to patient care. For more information, and to register, visit the WestVic PHN website HERE.

The conference booklet, which includes the program and speaker biographies, is available 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.


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 Role-Emerging Placements

Going Rural Health are invested in exploring employment opportunities for students who have participated in GRH-supported placements.

The team also looks for opportunities for locally-based students who are more likely to stay working in their region post-graduation.

Two social work students from Shepparton completed a 3 month service learning/role-emerging placement in late 2020 at a local disability organisation. Neither student had much prior experience working with people with disabilities, so although initially challenging, they finished their placement feeling more comfortable and confident.

Recently, both students have joined the organisation as support workers while they complete their studies. We hope there might be scope for the organisation to create a social work position (or two!) in future, as the placement identified the benefits of having a social work lens over the work of the organisation.


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.

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

Facebook Twitter
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.
Modify or cancel your subscription    |    View online