CSU to host future health leaders


Friday 23 Aug 2013
Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Orange will host more than 100 health professionals and students for the National Rural Health Leaders Forum next month.
 
The forum is organised by Future Health Leaders (FHL), an organisation created by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) to ‘engage and exchange’ ideas about health reform issues with health students and early-career health professionals from all health disciplines across Australia.
 
CSU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Andrew Vann, said the forum fitted well with the University’s commitment to building the rural health workforce.
 
“Charles Sturt University is proud to play a continuing role in the education and further training of the next generations of Australia’s rural health professionals,” he said.
 
“Charles Sturt University (CSU) is the largest university in regional Australia, and has a specific mission to meet the needs and aspirations of rural and regional communities.
 
“Our focus on training students in rural areas, with an emphasis on the skills necessary to succeed in rural practice, has resulted in more pharmacists, physiotherapists, dietitians, nurses and midwives working in our communities.
 
“It’s essential to provide these early career health professionals with opportunities to develop their leadership capacity so they can go on to be advocates for those communities in the years to come.
 
“Attracting events like this is one of the big advantages of having a regional university in town. Not only does this allow our communities to show visitors the attractions of rural living, but it also helps stimulate the local economy.”
 
National FHL co-chair and resident medical officer at Orange Health Service, Dr Shannon Nott, said every health student or early-career health professional could make a significant contribution to improve the health of all Australians, regardless or their location, background or discipline.
 
“The forum, ‘Plant the seed, harvest the potential’, will aim to address this huge potential for leadership within rural and remote contexts,” he said.
 
“It will also highlight key challenges that the next generation of health professionals will have to face to continue to improve the health outcomes of Australians living in rural and remote areas.”
 
Headline speakers at the forum will include National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Dr Tom Calma, Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Medicare Local Alliance, Ms Claire Austin, and the founder of mental health support organisation, ‘Mate Helping Mate’, Mr John Harper.
 
The Forum will also feature a lively ‘tweeter-active’ panel debate and breakout workshops aimed at up-skilling delegates to take on leadership roles within rural and remote contexts.
 
Orange FHL forum chair and FHL social work council member, Ms Alice Munro, said the forum would help delegates build strong, interdisciplinary networks.
 
“So much of the evidence tells us this plays such an essential role when building a sustainable and dynamic rural health workforce,” she said.
 
More details and registration for the forum are available at www.futurehealthleaders.org.au/orange-forum.

ends

Media contact: Mark O'Brien, 02 63657813

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The National Rural Health Leaders forum will be held at CSU in Orange on Saturday 21 September.
 
Photo: CSU's first cohort of fifth-year dentistry students are preparing for graduation later this year.