Faculty of Health

University partnerships build rural and remote leadership

A collaborative program is offering emerging health leaders a chance to grow their knowledge and insight into rural community living.

Since 2011, Rural Health Workforce Australia and the Northern Territory Primary Health Network have been running student experience events in Alice Springs which included educational, clinical, cultural awareness and lifestyle learning components.

Earlier this month, the central Australian town hosted a new rural and remote leadership skills program for university health students from around the country.

Funded by the Australian Department of Health, as part of the National Rural Health Student Network Programme, CARAH Health LEADS provided an opportunity for a new collaborative approach to providing a leadership program for Australia’s future rural healthcare leaders.

The first two days were led by Dr. Elizabeth Shannon, Senior Lecturer, Postgraduate Programs at the University of Tasmania’s School of Medicine. These focused on further developing participants’ leadership skills through an exploration of the Health LEADS Australia framework and related tools for practice.

This was followed by a day focused on developing cultural awareness and culturally responsive care, with content provided by staff from the Centre for Remote Health. The final day provided site visits to a local health clinic and school to give participants real-world context for their newfound skills.

Students attending CARAH Health LEADS included those already on placement in the NT as well as six students from the National Rural Health Student Network, selected through a national application process. The aim of CARAH Health LEADS is to equip these future doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with the skills and confidence to lead healthy change in rural communities.

Photo caption: Centre for Remote Health staff Annie Farthing (far left) and Pat Ansell-Dodds (far right) with Primary Health Network Northern Tasmania staff Diana Carli-Seebohm​ (centre left) and the University’s Dr Elizabeth Shannon (centre right).