Partnering for impact: Rural Nursing & Allied Health collaboration event recap

On 14 February we were delighted to hold our inaugural rural roadshow event in Wangaratta together with our colleagues at Going Rural Health – a commonwealth funded initiative by the university's Department of Rural Health that supports students on rural placement to benefit the rural and regional health workforce.

Proceedings kicked off with afternoon tea and networking before the Department of Rural Health’s Rebecca Oates opened the event, acknowledging our shared commitment to rural placement partners and our continued commitment to addressing rural health workforce needs, framing local recruitment as essential to achieving a sustainable workforce.

Following on was an introduction from Professor Bruce Thompson AM and Professor Marie Gerdtz, before Professor Lisa Bourke, Director of the University Department of Rural Health introducing the panel discussion.

On the panel, Physiotherapy alumni Tahira Larson and Speech Pathology student on placement Celia Schild talked about their experiences working rurally; Tim Davis from North East Health Wangaratta (NHW) discussed some of the innovations at NHW as well as the challenged the university may be able to provide support with; Professor Marie Gerdtz explained the RUSON model, a strategy highlighted to overcome financial barriers faced by nursing students whilst studying, focusing on its impact on graduate employability and employment choices.

It was also the first time the Mobile Eyecare van hit the road, Professor Bruce Thompson, Associate Professor Andrew Metha, and Associate Professor Christine Nguyen driving it from Parkville campus all the way to the event. After the event, people were invited to visit the van for demonstrations of the great work of our audiologists and optometrists.

Being the first of its kind, this event featured in the local paper, the Wangaratta Chronicle, showing everyone just how important rural healthcare is.

“It was really impressive, the number of people that came”, said Marie Gerdtz. “They wanted to talk about the ways in which we could expand our clinical placements and bring together students from different disciplines to start learning together while on placement.”

Want to know more about rural placements in Allied Health and Nursing? Join us to hear more on the rural experience on our information night.