Covering the Ballarat and Grampians regions

Trish Thorpe
Associate Lecturer, Rural Placement Coordinator

Clinical Biochemist/Medical Scientist and Teacher

Trish is the main point of contact in Ballarat, managing the relationships with all our students, supervisors, staff, health services and local universities in the Ballarat/Grampians region. She also delivers some education, provides mentoring support if required, organises student events and helps with rural engagement and orientation.

Trish is always happy to assist in solving problems and sourcing placements, and is happy to take your call.

Charmaine Swanson
Associate Lecturer: Rural Health Community Placements

Occupational Therapist

Charmaine organises service learning and community based placements in the Ballarat/Grampians region, and works closely with health services and community organisations that host students, along with the student supervisors provided by Going Rural Health for placements. She is a key contact for Maryborough District Health Service, where she has supported a culture of learning and developed a range of placements. Charmaine has also facilitated placements in other community and health care settings to enable students to have a breadth of learning experiences, and also allow these sites to provide new services run by the students.

Murray Bardwell
Associate Lecturer Rural Placement Education

Credentialed Mental Health Registered Nurse/Practitioner

Murray has worked in education for more than 20 years.

For Going Rural Health he develops and delivers education workshops and tutorials for both students and staff on a range of topics suitable for students and professionals of all health disciplines. These topics include teamwork, preparation for placement/supervision, and his pet project ‘Resilience and Self-Care’, which he is also developing for an online E3 learning platform (to be available soon on this website).


Covering the Greater Shepparton and Goulburn Valley regions

Mitchell Dunn
Associate Lecturer, Rural Placement Coordinator


Mitchell is the main point of contact in Shepparton, managing relationships with all health care and university partners in the region, and investigating the possibility of longer-term allied health placements. He also provides supervision and mentoring support for physiotherapy students as required.

Claire Salter
Community Placement Coordinator

Speech Pathologist

Like Charmaine, Claire organises service learning placements in Shepparton in primary schools, aged care facilities and other locations.  Claires experience of developing allied health clinics internationally brings knowledge of how to prepare students to work in disadvantaged communities from a generalist and social model of health perspective.  Claire is also a member of the SARRAH Executive.

Cathy O'Brien
Associate Lecturer Rural Placement Education

Medical Scientist

Cathy develops and delivers education workshops and tutorials for both students and staff on multi-disciplinarily focused topics. These include preparation for placement/supervision, human rights, challenging conversations, duty of care, and pathology.


Covering the Hume and Ovens Murray Goulburn regions

Rebecca Oates
Associate Lecturer: Rural Health Community Placements

Speech Pathologist

Rebecca has lived and worked in the region for a long time and has well established networks. She is expanding service learning and community based placements in the Hume and Ovens Murray Goulburn regions, including supporting students in primary schools, social services organisations and outreach allied health clinics.

Kylie Browne

Registered Nurse, Educator

Kylie has worked as a nurse for around 20 years, and as an educator for much of that time. Originally from South Australia, she worked at the University of South Australia, and moved to Shepparton 6 years ago, where she  worked at GV Health in an educator role for the last 4 years. Kylie is now based with our Wangaratta team to provide education to our health service partners.

Cathy Jarred
Student Placement Administrator


Cathy has lived and worked in North East Victoria for many years, including working in health administration. She is located in Wangaratta and is the main point of contact for Going Rural Health, to help students with all their finance and general enquiries. She can assist students to navigate their way around applying for finance and accommodation on our website for all Going Rural Health regions.


Professor Lisa Bourke
Director - University Department of Rural Health

Social Worker/Sociologist

Lisa facilitates and oversees all of the activities of the UDRH, which involves the Aboriginal Health team and research teams examining three streams of Culturally Inclusive Rural Healthcare, Rural Chronic Ill-health and Rural Health Workforce. Lisa designed the expansion of the Going Rural Health team in 2016 to support existing students undertaking placements in our region, to bring new students to our region and to develop new placements, particularly in areas of health need.


Keryn Bolte
Student Placement Manager/Lecturer in Rural Student Placement Education

Registered Nurse/Midwife

Keryn manages the Going Rural Health team and our key relationships with universities, ensuring that quality placements are provided to students.  Keryn is also an experienced trainer with a Master of Clinical Education, and delivers some of the supervisor training programs for health staff.