Media Release: GROW Rural South West Queensland

01 October 2020

Grow Swq 2020

Health students commence new three year GROW Rural program in South West Queensland.

Health Workforce Queensland’s GROW Rural program in Central Queensland has been hugely successful in its short history. The three-year commitment has seen health students immerse themselves in communities in Central Queensland each year since 2017, with some returning to complete their university placements.

Due to the success of the GROW Rural Central Queensland event, Health Workforce Queensland has partnered with Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) for the development of an inaugural GROW Rural South West Queensland event. The RDAQ Foundation has also partnered with us to support GROW Rural SWQ as Travel and Accommodation partner. A new cohort of health students have been selected to participate for the GROW Rural South West Queensland, which commenced in October 2020.

The purpose of GROW Rural is to provide allied health, nursing, midwifery and medical students the opportunity to connect with rural communities, network with local health professionals, undertake clinical skills and experience community and rural lifestyle. GROW Rural highlights the professional and personal life students could have when working in rural Queensland and encourages health students to take up rural practice in the future!

Health Workforce Queensland CEO, Mr Chris Mitchell, elaborates on why a second program was created.

“Only a few years ago, GROW Rural was just an idea. After the outstanding success of GROW Rural Central Queensland, a partnership with Southern Queensland Rural Health was formed so more health students could have the opportunity to be part of rural communities and discover how integral rural health professionals are to community wellbeing” he said.

During the 2020 GROW Rural event, students will:

  • Undertake general practice tours in Roma and St George

  • Participate in a Talking Circle facilitated by local health professionals

  • Learn about the cattle industry at the Roma Saleyards

  • Watch ‘The Big Rig Sunset Experience’

  • Experience community hospitality

  • Develop cultural awareness

  • Enjoy local food including a night out at Riversands, St George

  • Participate in clinical skill sessions with local health professionals

  • Celebrate Indigenous culture in St George

“Southern Queensland Rural Health are excited to be partnering with Health Workforce Queensland for the South West Queensland GROW Rural. We look forward to being part of this new cohort’s rural journey over the next three years of the program, and hope that by growing student appreciation of rural practice during their student years they will return as qualified health professionals to a rural community. We also hope to see the students undertake placements in South West Queensland to strengthen the
connections they made during GROW Rural,” Associate Professor Geoff Argus said.

GROW Rural is an initiative that aligns with Health Workforce Queensland’s strategic plan of growing the sustainability of the rural health workforce, as students who are exposed to rural practice during their undergraduate studies are more likely to take up rural practice in the future.

With thanks to:

GROW Rural South West Queensland Partner, SQRH

Travel and Accommodation Partner, RDA Foundation



Health Workforce Queensland is a not-for-profit Rural Workforce Agency focused on making sure remote, rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have access to health professionals where and when they need them, now and into the future.


Andrew Hayward 

Engagement & Development Manager  

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