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.

Placement Experiences


Teena Downton, SHARP, University of Wollongong, Broken Hill, NSW  

''I spent 40 weeks of my medical school training undertaking a longitudinal clinical placement in Broken Hill during the 3rd and 4th years of my degree. Broken Hill is a rural mining town in Far West NSW with a population of approximately 20,000 people. A 14-hour drive from Sydney and a 6-hour drive from Adelaide, it is surrounded by the spectacularly beautiful Australian outback and home to some of the most welcoming and down-to-earth people I have ever met....''  Read more - Teena Downton-Rural Placement



John Flynn Placement Program, Bordertown, SA
Melanie Whitehead, RUSTICA

"During my two weeks I watched a number of surgeries performed some minor procedures (pretty exciting stuff for a first year), made friends with town-mayor and learned that you can tell the direction of the wind by the way the sheep are standing. Being born-and-bred city goer, my rural experience succeeded in dredging up my inner country spirit. Noe the words 'rural practice' get me that little bit excited....." Read More - Melanie Whitehead

Medical Placement in Lake Nash, NT
Tom Gleeson, ARMS
"One of the highlights on the long drive home was spotting a Thorny Devil on the Barkly Highway. We stopped and went to say hello, as you can see from the two photos below." Read More - Tom Gleeson
Placement with Royal Flying Doctor Service, Meekatharra, WA
Lucinda Gabriel, OUTLOOK

" Meekatharra, an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of little water', is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia known as the Murchison District. the township is located 764km north east of Perth on the Great Northern Highway. It is a former gold mining town and primarily acts now as a centre for sheep and cattle transshipment via road trains, though mining exploration has recently restarted in the area." Read More - Lucinda Gabriel


Medical Placement in Flinders Island, Tasmania
Kylie Ferguson, BUSHFIRE

"In January I experienced life in a small town called Whitemark on Flinders Island. This was an amazing and challenging experience. The doctors were responsible for the general practice, emergency centre and nursing home for the Furneaux Group of Island, which comprised of 52islands. Whitemark itself population of 170 people which easily made it the smallest town I have ever visited. I found the people to be extremely friendly and I was soon to be involved in a three-legged raceand Scottish dancing. Read More - Kylie Ferguson


Nursing Placement in North Eastern Arnhem Land
Sally Grainger, StARRH

"Returning to a small town/community to live for even a short time has reinforced my love of country life and the wonderful people you deal with every day. Having grown up in country Victoria in a town of about 2000 people, I have thoroughly enjoyed returning to a close knit community with the assistance of this placement scholarship. Only this time, I am working in the Indigenous community of Yirrkala in North Eastern Arnhem Land, nestled on the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria". Read More - Sally Grainger


Flinders medical students can now venture further in fourth year... Thanks to a new six month rural stream, from Arnhem Land to Alice Springs! Jacinta Spry, FURHS

"Nhulumnbuy is a remote, vibrant and welcoming township of 4000 people on the northeast coast of Arnhem Land, only 15km from one of the largest Aboriginal communities on the Gove Peninsula.  it is a hub of a number of medical and other services that support eight other major Aboriginal communities, and many more homlands and outstations in the area.  If you have a passion for remote and Indigenous health, but still enjoy the comforts and support of living in a town, it's a great place to be."

Reflection of a True Australian Pharmacy Experience, Nhulumbuy
Nick Knowles, CRANC

"I have called my clinical placement in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory,a  'true Australian pharmacy expereince'.  I think this is becuase, before I arrieved there, I thought I knew what pharmacy iN Australia was all about.  I thought because I had experienced pharmacy in NSW and the ACT that I had things pretty well covered.  My time in Arnhem Land made me realise taht pharmacy in Australia has much more to offer than most of us expect."

Derby, West Kimberley physiotherapy placement

"A typical day for me involvedspending the morning on the ward at the hospital, assessing and treating everything from pneumonias and COPD exacerbations to patients for rehab post CVA, children with cerebral palsy... and even the odd tourist with a croc bite!  Afternoons saw outpatients, and I did school and home visits.  There are regular trips to visit communities, either flying or driving, depending on distance and whether there was a RFDS clinic on that day.  One of my fondest memories of these trips was to Wananami School at Kupungarri Community on the Gibb River Road - the kids were so loving and wanted to learn or have a go at everything!"

Oenpelli placement
Claire Seiffert, ARMS & 2007 NRHSN Co-Chair

"I stepped foot on the dirt airstrip at the Oenpelli airport, having survived a single engine flight from Jabiru (1 pilot x 1 engine = 1, my rule on flying already broken - the number of pilots multiplied by the number of engines should be equal or more than 4!) just after midday on January 15 and was immediately overwhelmed by the mozzies, heat and sauna-like humidity.  My 5 weeks of Top End tropical delights and the war on mozzies had just begun.  And here I was terrified encountering of snakes and crocodiles..."

Going West... and questiong what you know
Angela Titmuss, 2006 NRHSN Co-Chair

"I was lucky enough to undertake two elective placements in remote communities in late 2006 - and had a small glimpse into the diversity of Aboriginal communities and the challenges and richness of health care in such a setting.
I undertook the first half of my elective at Nganmarriyanga Health Centre, a remote Aboriginal community 500km south west of Darwin.  The clinic was the only health facility in the community and was staffed by two remote area nurses and one Aboriginal health worker."




If you have a story to tell about your placement in an Indigenous or rural or remote community please email with photos to the NRHSN.




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