The National Rural Health Students' Network (NRHSN) represents 29 Rural Health Clubs (RHC) with over 9000 members located at universities throughout Australia. The NRHSN is a multidisciplinary Network.

Indigenous Community Engagement Activities

Due to the limited number of Indigenous Community Festivals now available for Clubs to attend, please find below the 2015 Club requirements for Indigenous Community Engagement Activities.

Each Club must participate in at least one Indigenous Community Engagement Activity each year.  Participation can be as an individual Club or jointly with another. These activities must be organised, paid for and participated in by each Club.  As a core requirement, each RHC needs to make provision for the cost for such events in their NRHSN funding budget at the beginning of each year.  Club members can contact the NRHSN Indigenous Health Officer and RHWA when planning or researching their activities.

The aims of RHCs participation in these activities are to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to consider:

  • choosing to study a health discipline at University;
  • the wide range of health disciplines available to study;
  • working in their local community as a health professional;
  • staying at school to complete their studies; and
  • making healthy lifestyles choices.

Indigenous Community activities are a fantastic opportunity for RHC members to:

  • experience and make connections with rural or remote communities;
  • increase their knowledge of community health and education;
  • promote the study of health disciplines;
  • gain experience presenting to groups and organising activities
  • gain positive rural experiences
  • get to see an aspect of rural life they may not otherwise see while interacting with the local communities; and
  • visit a rural health service and speak to local health professionals.   

 Indigenous Community Activities could include:

  • attendance at Indigenous Family Days
  • working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through youth clubs or other organisations
  • Indigenous Community Festivals
  • assisting schools with a predominantly Indigenous student population with a series of health workshops including healthy eating, skills based sessions and highlighting health careers as options for future study.

Clubs must ensure they make appropriate contact with the Indigenous Community including the community’s health services to ensure the appropriateness of a short term visit to that community.

The NRHSN has developed an Indigenous Community Engagement Activities Kit to help Clubs plan their activities.

Once the Activity has been completed it is advised that the Rural Health Club share the knowledge and experience with other Club Members to ensure the highest impact of the activity.

The Rural Health Club must complete the required NRHSN Indigenous Community Activity Report within one month of attendance.  As RHWA is contracted by the Australian Government to administer the NRHSN Program and its funds, RHWA is also required to report to the Government on the use of the funds and Club activities to justify the funding provision. These Club reports play an integral role in feeding into this reporting.


Danielle Dries - 2015 NRHSN Indigenous Health Officer

Sally Blackstock - Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA) Program Officer 03 9860 4700


All Indigenous Festivals for 2014 were held sucessfully and many NRHSN members enjoyed the opporunity to participate and promote healthy lifestyle and rural health careers to Indigenous children across Australia.

For more information about what is involved please have a look at the Indigenous Community Engagement Kit. (Please note the existing Indigenous Community Engagement Activity information sheet is currently being updated.)


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