Charles Sturt University (CSU) welcomes Professor Amanda Barnard as interim Head of School for the Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University (WSU) Joint Program in Medicine.
Professor Barnard commenced at CSU on 5 November 2018.
CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said Professor Barnard’s extensive experience in rural health and her leadership skills will shape the CSU and WSU Joint Program in Medicine into a school that will produce exceptional graduates with a focus on rural health and the community.
“We are privileged to have the experience and knowledge of Professor Barnard who will develop a school and program that will be a leader in rural health education,” Professor Vann said.
“We know that the CSU and WSU Joint Program in Medicine will deliver a world class education that will enable our graduates to provide high quality healthcare for rural and regional Australians.”
Professor Barnard said she saw the CSU and WSU Joint Program in Medicine as an opportunity to build a sustainable rural health model.
“The health education model is premised around teamwork and involving medicine and all health programs to achieve better health outcomes for rural and regional communities,” Professor Barnard said.
“I have enormous respect for what Western Sydney University has done to create programs that fulfil the needs of Western Sydney and Charles Sturt University now has the opportunity to adapt this model to rural and regional communities.”
“I welcome the opportunity to work with Professor Hennessy and the Western Sydney University team in creating this model,” Professor Barnard added.
Professor Barnard said as a small school there was an opportunity to be innovative in its education program and that she also looked forward to collaboration opportunities.
Professor Barnard said she is focused on building a roadmap to develop the school and program by talking with stakeholders.
“I will be talking and meeting with people to understand resource requirements, what admission policies and criteria are required and what new facilities will be needed at the school located at Charles Sturt University in Orange.
“I will also meet with external stakeholders, to understand how we can maximise relationships with the community health and hospital groups,” Professor Barnard said.
Professor Barnard said she valued the relationships with health professionals, seeing them as crucial for embedding and engaging students from the beginning.
“It’s important for students to have relationships with health professionals who can act as mentors and for them to picture themselves as rural practitioners and rural generalists right from the start of their education,” Professor Barnard said.
Professor Barnard added staff involved in the CSU and WSU Joint Program in Medicine were excited to build a program focusing on inter-professional learning and rural generalist skills, to help deliver exceptional standards of care and health services in rural and regional Australia.
“I’d also like to build on Charles Sturt University’s track record in engaging with local Indigenous communities and recruiting and supporting Indigenous students, to further develop and integrate that focus in the new program.”
Prior to her appointment as interim Head of School, Professor Barnard was an academic at the Australian National University and GP in rural NSW. Professor Barnard’s research interests include medical education, rural medical education, primary care, asthma and COPD primary care as well as gender issues in health care.